New 4-CD box focuses on Jefferson Starship's appearance at the Roswell UFO Festival

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Gonzo MultiMedia is set to release Tales from the Mothership, a special four-CD box set focusing on the reunited Jefferson Starship’s 2009 appearance at the Roswell UFO Parade and Festival.

On July 3 of that year at Pearson Auditorium in Roswell, New Mexico, founder Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship (along with special guests that included original Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten) performed a one-of-a-kind sci-fi concert in honor of the town’s famed annual parade. The group was also bestowed the honor of being the parade’s ‘Grand Martians’ that year and rode atop a special float especially built for them.

The entire concert was filmed and recorded, with highlights that included such iconic hits as “White Rabbit,” “Somebody To Love,” “Volunteers” and “Wooden Ships” (each recorded by its forebear Jefferson Airplane, and the last two penned by Kantner), plus a special program of science fiction-themed compositions and select recordings — some of which were for the first time ever.

In 1971, the band’s first album (Paul Kantner’s first solo album actually), Blows Against The Empire was also the first rock music recording ever nominated for literary science fiction’s prestigious Hugo Award. In addition to Kantner, Blows featured a who’s who of Bay Area musicians — including David Freiberg from Quicksilver Messenger Service. Freiberg and Kantner, later launched the ongoing Jefferson Starship, eventually writing the hit “Jane.” David rejoined the band full time in 2005.

In 1991, the late rock impresario Bill Graham signed on to produce Blows from a “scripted stage play concept” co-written by Paul Kantner and his then-new manager Michael Gaiman, a lifelong fan. Sadly, Bill was killed in a helicopter crash and the idea was shelved until Sony Pictures pitched an option for a Blows motion picture in 1996. “That was a big year for sci-fi,” Gaiman says. Stemming from a shared interest in 1950s science fiction film and literature, Paul and Michael have worked together for nearly 25 years. In 2008 they co-produced (along with David Freiberg), Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty, Jefferson Starship’s first studio recording in a decade. A year later, Jefferson Starship headlined “The Heroes of Woodstock,” the authorized touring commemorative of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival.

“On July 3rd, 2009, thanks to the Roswell UFO Festival Committee and Cool 94.9 Radio, we got to scratch that itch and assuage a long time desire to stage a mosh of rock music and science fiction,” says Gaiman.

Along with Paul Kantner and David Frieberg, Jefferson Starship also features lead singer Cathy Richardson (who played Janis Joplin on Broadway in ‘Love, Janis’) and longtime band members Slick Aguilar, Chris Smith and Donny Baldwin. In addition to Grateful Dead’s Tom Constanten, special guests included Pete Sears (the band’s former bass and keyboard player on all their hits), Barry Sless (guitar & pedal steel with Phil Lesh and Friends), former lead vocalist Darby Gould and legendary folk artist Jack Taylor, one of Paul Kantner’s early musical influences.

Renegade Productions, the band’s frequent collaborator (Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty was the first album ever recorded in their new studio at the time) staged the production and provided custom sound, lighting and image projection. Karl Anderson of Global Recording Artists filmed the event dubbed Tales From The Mothership, a joint production of The Roswell UFO Festival Committee and Jefferson Starship.

“It’s not a documentary, not a ‘rockumentary’, not a ‘mockumentary’ … it’s a ‘Spockumentary,” Gaiman quipped.

Along with the entire concert from July 3, 2009, the 4-CD set also includes rehearsals from 6/27/2009 and the band’s sound check before the show. It’s set for release on July 2, 2012 through Gonzo MultiMedia: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15498

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