Paul Kantner / Grace Slick / David Freiberg

Baron Von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun

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Credited to Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg, Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun was the first album made by these erstwhile members of Jefferson Airplane since the breakup of that group. Like such other spin-off projects as Blows Against the Empire and Sunfighter, this one featured a supporting cast of San Francisco Bay Area musicians including present and former members of a variety of groups, such as the Grateful Dead (lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, percussionist Mickey Hart, and lyricist Robert Hunter, who wrote the words to "Harp Tree Lament"), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (singer David Crosby), and the Flying Burrito Brothers (bassist Chris Ethridge), as well as other former members of the Airplane and future members of Jefferson Starship. The Pointer Sisters even guested on one track. Despite the co-billing, the album's guiding force was Slick, who sang on every track and wrote or co-wrote six of the ten songs, though there was still room for the unbilled Jack Traylor to write, play acoustic guitar, and sing lead vocals on the song "Flowers of the Night," a celebration of monarchial overthrows throughout history. Perhaps more outside songwriting should have been employed, since the compositions here were second-rate. The public was catching on, too: Kantner's Blows Against the Empire had reached the Top 20, but Baron von Tollbooth didn't come near the Top 100. The team would attempt one more splinter project, Slick's "solo" album Manhole, before reorganizing as Jefferson Starship in 1974 with the notable return of singer/songwriter Marty Balin.

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