Up against the wall, motherfuckers: Airplane/Starship singer makes end run around the homophobes and turns their own money against ‘em. Below, watch her old band do “Volunteers” at Woodstock – it’s still a call to arms.
By Uncle Blurt
Marry me, Gracie; we’ll have the reception band play nothing but Jefferson Airplane covers.
Although financial magazine Forbes doesn’t come to mind immediately when one is looking for the latest music news, Tuesday the site was probably getting more than its fair share of visits from aging rockers, punk activists, and LGBTQ sympathizers. Possibly a few Chick-Fil-A customers, too, perplexed over why their favorite fast-food joint was taking a thumping once again.
Cast your mind back a few years to that Chick-Fil-A boycott stemming from the anti-same-sex-marriage activity and statements by CEO Dan T. Cathy, then check out an essay that singer Grace Slick published at Forbes in which she outlines, with surgical precision, her disdain for Cathy and Chick-Fil-A’s philanthropic wing, WinShape. Slick, it turns out, was approached by an ad agency seeking to license a hit tune she’d sung with Starship, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” —to Chick-Fil-A. “My first thought,” says Slick, “was ‘Fuck no!’” Then, upon reflection, she sanctioned the deal, and the commercial using her song was aired during the Grammy Awards.
Slick, however, wasn’t selling out—she was buying in, subsequently donating “every dime” she will accrue from the licensing deal to Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest legal organization active in working for LGBTQ civil rights. “Instead of them replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to ‘Check’-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.”
Slick rightly notes that when she was coming up through the rock ranks, she was part of a generation—as I was, too—that believed in taking a stand when a cause demanded it, and of not bowing down to the almighty dollar just because it was being dangled. And she concludes her editorial with a challenge to fellow musicians to think first before taking that dollar, and assess who is offering it—and, in turn, to find ways to target one’s music so it reflects one’s beliefs and ideals.
“We can use our gifts to help stop the forces of bigotry. Nothing’s gonna stop us now.”
You go, girl. If that’s not a goddam call to arms, then my name’s Milo.