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Go Ride the Music & West Pole [DVD] [2008] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £16.14
Only 9 left in stock - order soon.
Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.
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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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£16.14 Only 9 left in stock - order soon. Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018M6J7C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,728 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: DVD
There were a number of reasons why I sought out this DVD. Firstly to have another record of performances by Bay area bands thatI have listened to for years. Secondly as a bit of a historical record of a time when a different set of rules applied, a sort of revolutionary era, which has since been reversed.

As a musical journal, the version of the Airplane has different characteristics to what is considered by many as the classic lineup. Perhaps this may offend the sensibilities of the purists but things, and people, change. By the time of this recording, the Airplane's evolution was moving forward and would metamorphose again within a few years.

I was very disappointed personally with the clips of Quicksilver and in particular with the focus on Dino Valente while John Cipollina was virtually invisible. Gary Duncan and David Friedberg got a reasonable share of the filming and it is rather cruel irony that Valente's version of the band would persist while Cipollina went on to attain virtuoso status. Again, it is an historical footnote to one of the best, but unluckiest, bands of the era.

The second disc is rescued from mediocrity by the musical interludes of Dead, Airplane and QMS. It is a more historical semi-autobiographical documentary conducted by Ralph Gleason who distracts the viewer by his constant downward glances at his script. I am disinclined to crticise the attempts of Ace of Cups to make their mark in the company of even the Steve Miller band but they made a contribution to the scene as a whole and disappeared alongside hundreds of others.

All in all, not the best collection of Bay Area music, but a reasonable addition to a growing collection. Something to share with our children and our children's children, if they do not laugh too much at our antics.

As a sidenote, I have just learned of a Cheech and Chong reunion tour. Well I can tell you, Dave's not here.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Go Ride the Music provides an essential record of two of the top West Coast bands playing in live contexts.
Quicksilver Messenger Service are caught, probably on a run-through at an outdoor festival. Many lost faith with the band when Dino Valente joined and dominated proceedings, but he gave the group their biggest hits and they remained hugely popular live. The clips here (complete with annoying 'clever' camera-work) show why. The band gave real Umph to Dino's numbers like the excellent Subway, and his guitar added to the mesmeric shuffle on earlier numbers like Mona (both seen here). Pianist Nicky Hopkins was still with the band at this stage, but he is visible for no more than a moment.
Jefferson Airplane play live in the studio, and are simply incendiary. The material is largely from their Volunteers album, and the only negative is the lack of Grace Slick numbers.
West Pole is much less interesting, being a collection of interviews, general footage over recorded tracks, and a few live fragments. The one real highlight is all-girl group Ace of Cups whose live-studio performances are excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x97ad721c) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f78c60) out of 5 stars OY WHAT A MESS 13 Aug. 2008
By coot veal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Okay, disc one, "Go Ride The Music" has the only worthwhile footage on this two disc set. It's the Airplane playing at Pacific High Studios to some cameras, but no audience present. It's a little strange also because they've just dumped the subtle, inventive, tasteful drummer Spence Dryden in favor of shlock pounder Joey Covington -and believe me, you'll notice. There's a few songs such as "Mexico" and "Emergency" that never made it on to record and here you'll find out why. "We Can Be Together/Volunteers", "Plastic Fantastic Lover", "Somebody To Love", and "Wooden Ships" are good though, and if you're an Airplane fanatic you should get this DVD just based on that. Grace Slick is splendidly beautiful and charismatic, as she was in the pre-booze days, and once again you're reminded that she was really a jazz vocalist singing in a rock band.

The only other redeeming feature of this disc is a solid rendition of "Mona" by Quicksilver featuring a good vocal and guitar solo by the ever-underrated Gary Duncan. There's a couple of other tunes by Quicksilver here but they focus unfortunately on Dino Valenti, who is sort of like Al Pacino doing a bad impersonation of a rock star. Strangely, one of the great keyboard players of the 60's and 70's, Nicky Hopkins, is present and playing but the cameramen chose to ignore him completely.

Disc Two, "West Pole" is pretty much a total washout. The only plus here is to finally here and see the venerable musicologist/writer, Ralph J. Gleason,who did so much to promote the San Francisco scene as it was just emerging. But the song list is MISLEADING. One of the reasons I purchased this DVD is that it lists some tremendous rarites such as the Grateful Dead performing, "New Potato Caboose", the Airplane doing "Greasy Heart" as well as some Steve Miller stuff and more Quicksilver. BUT, these are not actual performances. It's just some overly "psychedelic" (read poorly photographed) early pseudo-videos set to the album tracks of these songs. Bad idea. And the poison cherry on this moldy cake is the mercifully forgotten "Ace of Cups", arguably the worst Bay Area band of all time -sort of like an SNL send up of the era. Yikes. So proceed as advised, my friends...
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f78cb4) out of 5 stars Sunrise, surprise, civilised man, You were keeper to me, your animal is free 18 Aug. 2008
By Junglies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There were a number of reasons why I sought out this DVD. Firstly to have another record of performances by Bay area bands thatI have listened to for years. Secondly as a bit of a historical record of a time when a different set of rules applied, a sort of revolutionary era, which has since been reversed.

As a musical journal, the version of the Airplane has different characteristics to what is considered by many as the classic lineup. Perhaps this may offend the sensibilities of the purists but things, and people, change. By the time of this recording, the Airplane's evolution was moving forward and would metamorphose again within a few years.

I was very disappointed personally with the clips of Quicksilver and in particular with the focus on Dino Valente while John Cipollina was virtually invisible. Gary Duncan and David Friedberg got a reasonable share of the filming and it is rather cruel irony that Valente's version of the band would persist while Cipollina went on to attain virtuoso status. Again, it is an historical footnote to one of the best, but unluckiest, bands of the era.

The second disc is rescued from mediocrity by the musical interludes of Dead, Airplane and QMS. It is a more historical semi-autobiographical documentary conducted by Ralph Gleason who distracts the viewer by his constant downward glances at his script. I am disinclined to crticise the attempts of Ace of Cups to make their mark in the company of even the Steve Miller band but they made a contribution to the scene as a whole and disappeared alongside hundreds of others.

All in all, not the best collection of Bay Area music, but a reasonable addition to a growing collection. Something to share with our children and our children's children, if they do not laugh too much at our antics.

As a sidenote, I have just learned of a Cheech and Chong reunion tour. Well I can tell you, Dave's not here.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f78f90) out of 5 stars Airplane At Their Height of Power 1 Sept. 2008
By Robert Piercy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's nice to have the Airplane in its entirety, along with QMS, with a clean, clear picture. Although it's not my favorite Airplane performance, it's a fascinating look at when they were at the height of their power, as a band and individually. Each member holds a commanding presence, self-assured and comfortable of their role and collective sound. Marty and Jorma, in particular, are full of testosterone here, like a good rock star should be. Joey adds the new dynamic, the new energy, the power "rock" drummer who is now the focal point for the band, that Grace, Marty and particularly Jorma encircle around, feed off and respond to. Paul and Jack are on either side in the background, but one can't deny how crucial they are to the overall sound. Sound quality itself is still so-so. I can detect no difference in the extrapolated stereo to the mono. Still it's much superior to the horrid UATWMF vinyl that came out later. My only real complaint on this video is why they left out Eskimo Blue Day, which is on the vinyl record. Could it be because, since this was slated for TV, the FCC would not have allowed for a repeated profanity but OK'd the slightly discernible one in WCBT? Lastly, only Marty could have sung the chorus to the Delfonics 'La La Means I Love You' at the beginning and refrain of a counter-culture anthem like Wooden Ships and made it work. But that was the Airplane then, wildly diverse and creative as we all know and love them.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97f78e88) out of 5 stars "Eskimo Blue Day" Clarification 2 Dec. 2010
By JoJo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To clarify something from another review, the Jefferson Airplane song "Eskimo Blue Day" was never part of GO RIDE THE MUSIC. It was part of A NIGHT AT THE FAMILY DOG, and is included on the DVD release of that, along with the Airplane doing "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil." The old vinyl bootleg called UP AGAINST THE WALL MOTHER F... consisted of the 2 JA tracks from A NIGHT AT THE FAMILY DOG combined with the 7 JA tracks from GO RIDE THE MUSIC.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c081090) out of 5 stars Lightning in a Bottle 6 Sept. 2013
By J. Herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
When PBS aired "Go Ride the Music" more than 40 years ago, it was indeed a pretty big deal. Most television accounts of San Francisco musicians at that time portrayed them as little more than a flower-child freak show. But here was earthy, close-up footage of two of the original psychedelic bands, perhaps not quite when they were young and hungry, but still well before they imploded completely. And remember, most of the 1970 TV audience knew nothing about the Airplane beyond their top-40 hits, and only those tuned in to the more "underground" music scene had even heard of Quicksilver. For hipsters, tripsters, and real cool chicksters, this special provided a rare glimpse into the last breaths of San Francisco's golden music days.

The Airplane songs, all concert standards for them at the time, include "We Can Be Together," "Volunteers," "Wooden Ships," "Plastic Fantastic Lover," "Somebody to Love," "Mexico," and "Emergency." Though the emerging Starship and Hot Tuna wings had pushed Marty Balin into the background by this point, you'd never know it, as Balin appears to be running the show, vocally at least, on all but Grace Slick's two solo pieces. The singing is enthusiastic, albeit ragged, though you'll keep watching it mainly for Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady's jams, which are spot on.

The four Quicksilver songs capture a rare transitional moment for the band, after Dino Valenti had taken over, but before John Cipollina, David Freiberg, or Nicky Hopkins took off, so the performances excel despite Dino's attempts to sabotage them. In fact, there are some real treats, like their seldom-heard version of "Warm Red Wine," extended solos on "Subway" (including a brief one by Hopkins), and a memorable "Mona." Yes, it's not quite up to their 1967-68 rave-ups of "Smokestack Lightning" and "Back Door Man," but it's literally the oldest and best extant footage of this moribund ensemble.

As for West Pole, it's a product of its time, an amateurish -- amateurish, in the sense of doing something out of love -- do-it-yourself tribute crafted by an intelligent and important music critic who wanted to let the rest of the world know that something truly exciting was happening in San Francisco. Of course, it's marred by the dependance on album tracks and contrived psychedelic effects, but it's really worth it if only for the performances by the Ace of Cups.

If you like the Airplane and Quicksilver, "Go Ride" is a real treat. If you think that Haight-Ashbury's psychedelic era represented one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time or anywhere in the world, then both discs are any absolute must. If you don't think either, then pass these by.
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