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Sport 11: Spring 1993

Far Out

Far Out

While late Baxter could often be accused of grandstanding and sermonising, at least he hardly ever indulged in that other great ’60s pursuit,weirdness (the out-of-it instrumentation, the exoticism*). Elements in Baxter’s late vocabulary have dated rather badly (the alternative lifestyle terminology where police are ‘fuzz’, women ‘chicks’, drug-addicts ‘junkies’, and people are addressed as ‘Man’), but compared with the members of Jefferson Airplane, he now appears a very conservative, responsible hippy indeed. Perhaps the drugs weren’t as good down here.

black and white drawing

How Baxter would align himself, 20 years after his death, now that the so-called counter-culture and the dominant culture are so thoroughly interwoven, is anybody’s guess.

* After Bathing at Baxter’s included such memorably weird song titles as ‘A Small Package of Value Will Come to You, Shortly’, ‘The Last Wall of the Castle’, ‘Shizoforest love Suite’, ‘Two Heads’ and ‘Won’t You Try Saturday Afternoon’. Jefferson Airplane released a record earlier in 1967, Surrealistic Pillow, and two equally ‘far out’ albums the following year: Crown of Creation and Bless Its Pointed Little Head.