MEET THE TEAM: Christopher Smith

Who is Christopher Smith?

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written over the past few months and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about.

MEET THE TEAM: Christopher Smith

Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?!

Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…!

Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable.

I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

Take a look at my posts here.

If my life could have a theme song then this would be it.

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2 comments

  1. Hi Chris. Thanks for posting the piece about Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship.
    Just thought I’d mention a few inaccuracies.
    You wrote: “However, Kantner, Slick, Covington, Barbata and Casady, together with Craig Chaquico and Pete Sears formed a new group called Jefferson Starship”. This is inaccurate because my old friends Joey Covington and Jack Casady were in Jefferson Airplane (which broke up in 72), and had absolutely nothing to do with the formation of Jefferson Starship. I joined them for their first album, “Dragonfly” in 1974, after flying over from recording with Rod Stewart in England. I stayed with them through the hit JS RCA years 1974-1984. Then I carried on with “Starship” for a few years. I left Starship in 1987, right after playing on Knee Deep in the Hoopla, and Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now. Mickey Thomas didn’t join (to replace Marty who’d left) until after the 1978 riot in Germany when the sound changed drastically. In 84 Kantner left and we changed the name to just “Starship”. In all this time Jack Casady didn’t play a single note with the band. Jack and Jorma had left Airplane in 1972 to concentrate on Hot Tuna, which they did. Paul Kantner had written Jefferson Starship in small letters on the cover of his solo album “Blows Against The Empire” back in 1970, and although it had many cool guest musicians, it wasn’t the Jefferson Starship band which began with the first official release, “Dragonfly”. I later played keys with Jorma and jack in Hot Tuna and Jorma Kaukonen Trio for nine years from 1992. Jack’s a very good freind, and a fine bass player. During this time, Jack would sometimes play with Paul Kantner’s new Jefferson Starship for a few tours (we continued to go out as the Jorma Kaukonen Trio). This Jefferson Starship Next Generation which was made up of very good musicians, but only Paul, and occasionally Marty from the original hit RCA band of 1974-78. When Barbata and Marty left in 1978, and Thomas joined, the bands sound changed quite a bit, when Paul and David Freiberg left in 84 and the name was legally changed to just “Starship” it changed even further. As I mentioned before, I left in 1987 after Knee Deep In the Hoopla (Built This City), and recording “Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now” (great song) as a single, and for the terrible movie “Mannequin”, for which we made an MTV video. “Starship” continued for a few more years on RCA, as the original remaining members, Grace Slick, and Craig Chaquico left one by one. Then it’s my understating RCA dropped the band around 1990. Neither Paul Kantner’s later 1990’s Jefferson Starship (the one Paul’s old Airplane Band-mate Jack Casady played with for a bit), nor Mickey Thomas’s post RCA Starship (no other original members, good band though) ever got another major label deal…but did release some good albums. Thanks for all your support Chris, but this is the way it all went down. If you would like to check, you can look at the album credits for the hit years of Jefferson Starship, 1974-84, and then just Starship. Credits are all there because my old friend David & I would switch back n forth between bass and keys for recordings and shows, Starship I just played bass…so they wrote who played what on the album credits. But I expect you might have better things to do with your time Chris. Thanks again. All the best, Pete Sears.

    1. Hi there! Thanks for responding! All very confusing who was in and out over the years, but I will correct these errors as it’s a really popular post for us, particularly as NGSUN is used so much in commercials these days!. Thank you for even taking the time to read the article and write back. All best wishes from us all here.

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