- Mini Bio
- Name: Spencer Dryden
- Born: 7th April 1938, New York, U.S.
- Died: 11th January, 2005, Petaluma, California, U.S.
- Occupation: Musician and drummer
- Famous for: Drummer with Jefferson Airplane
- Famous concerts: Sixties gigs of note; Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont
- Trivia: He was the nephew of Charlie Chaplin
"Get them while they're young and bend their minds"Spencer Dryden
"Baxter's was a reaction to the success of Pillow because the band was pissed off. We went in and said: screw it, we can do what we want to do"Spencer Dryden
"I was the right choice for the band .... I liked the band, liked their music. I always had a folk-blues current active in my head. It just worked"Spencer Dryden
"I didn't even know Haight-Ashbury existed. Everybody had long hair, everybody was an artist. And there was a vibe going on, a lot of energy"Spencer Dryden
"There was a vibe going on, a lot of energy. I was the right choice for the band - it was a good match-up"Spencer Dryden
"Matthew [Katz] couldn't find a drummer in San Francisco. All the drummers were getting snapped up"Spencer Dryden
"I just happened to be the first one to pack my parachute"Spencer Dryden
"It was pretty cool ... I wouldn't trade in my 60's bubblegum cards for anything. I'm just glad that I made it through ok"Spencer Dryden
"I certainly did enjoy myself to the utmost, got away with enormous amounts of hell"Spencer Dryden
"I kept going to different colleges, but dropped out"Spencer Dryden
"I had a playground that was just immense. I was constantly around artists and Bohemian types "Spencer Dryden
"I'm gone. I'm out of it. I've left the building"Spencer Dryden
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Spencer Dryden Biography
Spencer Dryden didn't herald from the rock and roll background of his mid sixties contemporaries as he was a drummer working the jazz club scene in Los Angeles until he was spotted and recruited to replace Skip Spence on sticks for Jefferson Airplane.
He joined in mid 1966 at a time when the Airplane was about to begin its ascendency to rock legendary status. Along with fellow new band member Grace Slick Jefferson Airplane went on to lead the San Francisco psychedelic music movement through albums such as Crown of Creation and Surrealistic Pillow as well as headlining in the legendary music festivals at Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont.
While Woodstock stoked the feeling of the summer of love Altamont was an altogether different beast and Dryden and the band felt the vibes were not good and Altamont went on to make sensational headlines for all the wrong reasons including the murder of concert goer Meredith Hunter at the hands of the notorious Hells Angels biker group who provided security for the day.
He was a character who was responsible for some memorable one liners during interviews over the years and here is my list of 12 of the best Spencer Dryden quotes.
Quotes About Spencer Dryden
The Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick paid tribute to his drumming prowess:
"He was not a power drummer - he was more imaginative than that. He had a rough call because he was having to keep time. Jack Casady used to play lead guitar before he played bass, so he played kind of a lead bass thing. So Spencer had to hold down the rhythm, which is hard to do with a band that’s that loud. So he had quite the task"
The guitarist Jorma Kaukonen talked of their time with the Airplane:
"We struggled together - occasionally lived together - argued together - and made some great music together"
Mickey Hart of The Grateful Dead was impressed to say:
"Spencer had a flow, a way of going, an impulse power that was irresistible and unique. He was capable of creating a churning, loving rhythm machine for ecstatic dancing"