Sound of the Summer of Love: RIP Marty Balin

cracked rear viewer

Another voice from the fabled “Summer of Love” has been silenced, as Jefferson Airplane cofounder Marty Balin has died at age 76. While co-lead singer Grace Slick got most of the attention, Balin’s soulful voice rank him among the very best rock vocalists in history.

Marty Balin was born in Cincinnati in 1942, and at age 20 recorded a couple of solo singles (“Nobody But You”, “I Specialize in Love”) that went nowhere. Migrating to the West Coast, Balin was involved in San Francisco’s burgeoning folk music scene, until The Beatles exploded in America and changed everything. By 1965, he’d opened a club called The Matrix and decided to form a band. Together with Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, Signe Anderson, Jerry Peloquin, and Bob Harvey, the first incarnation of Jefferson Airplane (a riff on bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson’s name) was born. Harvey was replaced by Jack Cassidy, Peloquin by Skip…

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Music Video of the Day: Life’s What You Make It by Talk Talk (1985, directed by Tim Pope)

Today’s music video of the day is for another song that I discovered while driving around Vice City in a stolen car.

(Several stolen cars, actually.)

Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It is one of the most popular songs on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City‘s FLASH FM.  It’s the perfect song to listen to when you’re heading out to take down some drug dealers or if you just want to drive along the beach and wonder why Tommy Vercetti never learned how to swim.

The song was a hit both when it was originally released in 1985 and when it re-released in 1990.  The video was filmed in Wimbledon Common, London, during the early hours of the day.  The video was directed by Tim Pope, who directed videos for almost everyone in the 80s and 90s but is probably best-regarded for his work with The Cure.

Pope also directed the film, The Crow” City of Angels and was the original director for The Last King of Scotland.  Though Pope eventually left and was replaced on that project, he was responsible for casting Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin, the role that would eventually win Whitaker an Oscar.