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Boomer Ballads: Comin’ Back to Me by Marty Balin (January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018)

“Whatever happened to wishes wished upon a star?”

As performed by Balin in the 75th year of his age. So long, Marty, see you a little further down the road.

As recorded by Balin with the Jefferson Airplane in 1966.

Jefferson Airplane vocalist-guitarist Marty Balin, who co-founded the San Francisco psychedelic rock band in 1965 and played a crucial role in the creation of all their 1960s albums, including Surrealistic Pillow and Volunteers, died Thursday at the age of 76. Balin’s rep confirmed the musician’s death to Rolling Stone, though the cause of death is currently unknown.

“At my age my world is starting to be surrounded by passing. I will miss my friends who rest on the banks of the River Of Time and I am reminded to make the most of every moment as I am swept downstream! Marty’s passing reaffirms the power of love, the power of family, the power of possibilities.

“So many of our brothers and sister from that time are gone. Skip Spence, Spencer Dryden, Joey Covington, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and now Marty have all joined the Heavenly Band as Rev. Davis would say.

“We were young together. I would like to think we made a difference. As for Grace Slick, Jack Casady and myself…

“Now we are three…”  — Jorma Kaukonen Cracks In The Finish

The summer had inhaled and held its breath too long
The winter looked the same, as if it never had gone
And through an open window where no curtain hung
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

One begins to read between the pages of a book
The shape of sleepy music, and suddenly you’re hooked
Through the rain upon the trees, the kisses on the run
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

You came to stay and live my way
Scatter my love like leaves in the wind
You always say you won’t go away
But I know what it always has been
It always has been

A transparent dream beneath an occasional sigh
Most of the time I just let it go by
Now I wish it hadn’t begun
I saw you, yes, I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Strolling the hills overlooking the shore
I realized I’ve been there before
The shadow in the mist could have been anyone
I saw you
I saw you
Comin’ back to me

Small things like reasons are put in a jar
Whatever happened to wishes wished upon a star?
Was it just something that I made up for fun?
I saw you, I saw you comin’ back to me

Alert the Authorities!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jwm September 29, 2018, 7:23 PM

    The Surrealistic Pillow album is a true classic. It holds up as well today as the day it was released. “Comin’ Back to Me”, and “DCBA25” can still put a lump in my throat.

    JWM

  • Haxo Angmark September 29, 2018, 7:53 PM

    (((Marty Balin))): “I’d like to think we made a difference…”

    sure did.

    (((they))) helped a clot of communists take over most of SE Asia and massacre millions of people.

    BTW, I was @ UC Berkeley, 1966-69. I saw (((them))) operate up close and personal. And you don’t have to take my word for it: read Red-morphed-into-NeoCon (((David Horowitz)))’ book RADICAL SON. (((Kaplan))) and (((Shapiro))), eds., RED DIAPERS: GROWING UP ON THE COMMUNIST LEFT is also enlightening.

  • ghostsniper September 30, 2018, 4:48 AM

    Nice, tight, cohesion between Grace and Marty on this’n, from Red Octopus:

    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)
    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)

    I might have to move heaven and earth to prove it to you, baby (baby)
    So we’re making love, you feel the power and I feel the power
    And there’s really nothing we can’t do
    (You know we could, you know we could)
    If we wanted to
    (You know we could, you know we could)
    We could exist on the stars, it was so easy.

    (Oh Baby)
    All we got to do is get a little faith in you.
    Woah, I’ve been so many places I’ve seen some things (yes I have)
    I know that love is the answer (yes it is)
    Keeps holding this world together (oh yeah)
    Ain’t nothing better? Ain’t nothing better?(Nothing’s better!)
    And all the answers to our prayers,
    Hell, it’s the same everywhere. (just the same now)
    Nothing ever breaks up the heart(love’s a game now)
    only your tears give you away (Ain’t it a shame now).

    When you’re right where I found you(oh baby)
    with my arms around you. (oh baby)
    Baby, baby.
    Love is a magic word if you ever find inner life
    But from that very first look in your eyes
    I see you and I have but one heart.
    Only our bodies were apart (it’s making me crazy)
    That was so easy, so easy
    I had a taste of the real world (Just a drop of it)
    When I went down on you, girl, oh

    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)
    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)

    I can hear windmills and rainbows whenever you talkin’ to me
    (Never say never)
    I feel like swirling and dancing whenever you walk in with me (whenever, whenever you walk with me)
    You ripple like the river when I touch you (let me touch you)
    Then I pluck your body like a string (show you what I mean)
    Then I start dancing inside you (oh baby, a love song)
    Oh baby in a love song, aw baby
    (love song) aw baby (love song) aw baby (love song)
    Oh yeah, yeah, alright
    Baby we’re sure doin’ it tonight (baby we’re sure doing it)

    Every time you come by let me try (come on by)
    Pretty please, with sugar on it, that’s how I like it, ugh.
    I can’t even believe it with you
    It’s like having every dream I ever wanted
    (Dream of a lifetime) come true.
    I picked up your vibes, you know (I’m having a fine time)
    It opened my mind but I’m still dreaming.
    Yeah (yeah eh eh oh)
    And you’re right where I found you, with my arms around you! (oh baby)

    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)
    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)
    So would I
    So would I

    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)
    If only you believe like I believe, baby, (If only you believe like I believe)
    We’d get by
    If only you believe in miracles, (If only you believed in miracles so would I)

  • Rob De Witt September 30, 2018, 6:18 AM

    Haxo Angmark –

    A-fuckin-men, brother.

  • ghostsniper September 30, 2018, 7:03 AM

    “Marty Balin helped a clot of communists take over most of SE Asia and massacre millions of people.”
    (snippage)
    I’d like to see that connection without reading reams of interlude.

    Marty: “I had a taste of the real world…when I went down on you girl.”
    Grace, gasping in the back ground: “Bay-ba, bay-ba.”
    Whoa….

  • Skorpion September 30, 2018, 10:56 AM

    @Ghostsniper: I was always amazed that that song not only got played on the radio, but went to #1 on the Billboard charts. Were parents/puritan-types *listening* to those lyrics? Or had they just given up on trying to censor or control sexual expression in those halcyon days after the Sixties cultural uprising, and before the rise of the Moral Majority and the misandrist/lunatic feminists?

  • Skorpion September 30, 2018, 10:57 AM

    @Haxo: Go back to Stormfront, jerkoff.

  • Vanderleun September 30, 2018, 10:59 AM

    Haxo: “BTW, I was @ UC Berkeley, 1966-69….”

    Hey there Haxo, me too. 1965-1968.

  • Uncle Jefe September 30, 2018, 11:02 AM

    Amazing…
    I finish reading the comments, get in my truck, and ‘Miracles’ starts playing.
    Listening to the last lyrics right now…

  • Terry September 30, 2018, 2:53 PM

    The most interesting bio of an Airplane member is yet to come. Grace was an interesting study to say the least.

    BTW I was at SF State 1966-69.

  • Haxo Angmark September 30, 2018, 4:23 PM

    just for Ghostsniper, here’s another (((Balin-Kantner-Slick))) lyric:

    “I’d rather have my country die for me…”

  • edaddy September 30, 2018, 5:28 PM

    Good grief, you people on this blog really are a bunch of old hippies just trying real hard to adjust. Next thing you’ll try to tell us that you “built this city.”

    I’d say this is your “Boomer Anthem” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzdvQOXxRD4

    Buncha old geezers … Sheesh!

    Now, Barry Gibbs and the Bee Gees? Now yer talkin’!

  • ghostsniper September 30, 2018, 5:56 PM

    I hope you’re talking 60’s Bee Gees and not 70’s.

  • jwm September 30, 2018, 6:40 PM

    Bee Gees? Oh holy cow, edaddy, you need to drop a couple hundred mics and go listen to some Airplane. Way better than a snoot full of coke in a crowded disco, trust me. Oh, and go ahead and give us the title to the song you were going rib us with. The yootoob link went straight to a commercial. Us old farts don’t watch commercials.

    JWM

  • steve walsh September 30, 2018, 6:41 PM

    He saw the world in a way I understood but couldn’t articulate as beautifully and clearly. This song and “Today” are long time favorites of mine.

  • Edaddy September 30, 2018, 7:50 PM

    LOL, 70’s Bee Gees … Hell, I was just a baby.

    Steve Walsch, at least you stick to your guns! The rest of these old hippies ought to be climbing down my throat and stomping my guts out. I suspect it’s the weed.

  • ghostsniper October 1, 2018, 6:38 AM

    @JWM, it was the Bellamy Brothers. Remember them? I barely do, but not that song.
    I think they were a one hit wonder back about 1975 or so with a song written by Neil Diamond – another oldie that’s still kickin it.

  • Mushroom October 1, 2018, 8:22 AM

    I was always more of a Hot Tuna man. Nevertheless, RIP.

  • ghostsniper October 1, 2018, 5:56 PM

    I got most of my music toonage ideas from the radio starting in the mid 60’s, and my cousin who was 4 years older. Prior to that I guess I just wasn’t very interested in that stuff. It was an AM station cause FM didn’t finally come to town until 1979, way after everybody else already had it. By the late 60’s I was leaning more to the harder stuff and heard it mostly at my cousins house and in the record stores. Yardbirds, Cream, etc. Early 70’s the conversion was mostly complete and my listening was Pink Floyd, King Crimson, then ELP, James Gang, etc. I had a cassette player in my rides so I rarely listened to the radio and the pop toons they played. In 74 I entered the army and now was exposed to a wide variety of stuff and gravitated even deeper in the harder stuff. Stationed in Germany from 74 to late 77 I had almost no idea what was being played stateside and my daily menu was stuff like RUSH, Supertramp, Eloy, and of course Skynyrd – gotta keep it goin on with my favorite southern rock! That’s the pattern that persisted for the next several decades with an occasional addition of some sort.

    Then, one day, maybe in the late 90’s, it occurred to me that I had finally grown up without even being aware of it and music was now an annoying distraction. I didn’t listen to it as much as I used to. I was trying to focus on other stuff, mostly business stuff, and when I listen to music I get into it fully or I don’t listen at all. So I couldn’t have it playing in the background. I kept getting older. And older.

    Now, at 63, I have $10k worth of vintage audio equipment from the super 70’s, mostly the BIG walnut and brushed aluminum Pioneer stuff with giant horsepower, several thousand albums, cassettes, 8 tracks and even 7.5″ and 10″ reels, 18k high grade mp3’s, and about 3k music videos, and I hardly ever do any of it. I even, at times, think about selling all that stuff, cept the mp3’s. But I haven’t thus far. Still got problems letting go. Same with my guitars. I don’t play much any more. Maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Last summer I gave 6 guitars, 3 amps, 2 keyboards, numerous processors and hook-ups, and a full set of Mapex drums to my son in Florida. I wasn’t using them any more. sigh Old people don’t so that stuff very much. Just every now and then.

    (When you beat a drum it beats you back – science. When I’d slam that 22″ zildian I could feel it all the way up to my shoulderblade and after about 15 mins it was intolerable. Recently was reading about the greatest drummer in all the world, Neil Peart, and how he retired 2 years ago at the age of 68 cause his body just couldn’t take it any more.)

    Same with drinkin’. I’ve had a 12 pak of tall Bud’s in the fridge since spring. Got another 12 pak out here in my office, and a case of Stella. Couple unopened bottles of black jack and 151 and even a bottle of El Toro (red sombrero), and a bottle of that cinnamon stuff and a 2 litr bottle of Jaegermeister someone gave me. Just sitting there. I’m hopin that as winter comes on and the temps drop and I gravitate to the firepit I’ll get back into the drinkin groove. But, gettin old’s a real hor idn’t it? And the worst part is, I gotta spend the whole rest of my life being old! Jayziss, there’s no lettin’ up. As BillH has said, “Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies.” Oh look, my wife just texted me another picture of the granbaby in her swimsuit in the pool in FL that our DIL texted to her. The 5th one today.

  • Jeffrey Wheaton October 3, 2018, 4:44 AM

    GhostSniper – what you are saying is ringing true to me – rock & roll, Army 74-77, don’t listen to music too much anymore as it’s become a distract and much less a pleasure. Oh, there is the once in a while youtube binge, but the songs are a few favorites, not much that is less than 15 years old; no rap, none.

  • Teri Pittman October 3, 2018, 6:02 PM

    I don’t really listen to anything except what would be considered folk music. I’m learning to play the dulcimer. It’s fun. I’ve always remembered something Michelle Shocked said, “Music is too important to be left to professionals.”

    I think Jefferson Airplane was at the festival I saw in 1966, the one I have no real memory of. Missed seeing Janis Joplin at that one too. Those were fun days, but I’m glad they are in the past.

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