Imagine a Bay Area supergroup that combined the firepower of the Jefferson Airplane, the improvisational brio of the Grateful Dead, and the harmonic prowess of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – with Joni Mitchell sitting in. Now imagine that this group really existed and made some of the best recordings of their era. That’s the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (a.k.a. PERRO) -- the unofficial name for the loose confederation of psychedelicized folk-rockers behind a series of boundary-stretching albums that included Volunteers (credited to the Airplane), Blows Against the Empire, Baron Von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun, and Sunfighter(credited to Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Jefferson Starship), and David Crosby’s masterpiece If I Could Only Remember My Name. On November 27, 2018 at the Tenderloin Museum, New York Times bestselling author and lifelong music fan Steve Silberman will bring to light the secret history behind these legendary sessions, which were recorded at Wally Heider’s famed studio in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Probing the evolution of PERRO from the early days of beatnik-influenced communal living in Venice Beach, through the peak of the Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, to the post-“Death of Hippie” diaspora in the Watergate era, Silberman will chronicle the rise and fall of this unusually inspired and inspiring body of work, which stands out as some of the most creative and innovative music produced by these gifted musicians, and still sounds fresh today. The author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, which the New York Times praised as “beautifully told, humanizing, and important” and became an international bestseller translated into 15 languages, Silberman is also a noted scholar of the PERRO oeuvre. His commentary has appeared in the widely hailed Amazon Studios Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip and in many books on the band, including Silberman’s own 1993 cult classic, Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads, co-authored with David Shenk. Silberman has also co-produced and written liner notes for box sets by the Dead, Jerry Garcia, and various permutations of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. His appearance at the Tenderloin Museum – which will include the playing of some rare unreleased recordings and a booksigning – marks his first public presentation on music ever. By appraising the PERRO legacy, Silberman will also weigh the larger contributions of the ‘60s-era “counterculture” to music today.
Doors at 6:30pm.
Talk at 7pm.