CSX Classic Cuts

American rock group Jefferson Airplane performs on stage at the Central Park bandshell, New York City, August 1969. L-R: Guitarist Paul Kantner, drummer Spencer Dryden, singer Grace Slick, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady, singer Marty Balin. (Photo by RCA Records/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Jefferson Airplane: “White Rabbit”

The Hook: Its writer says the idea wasn’t to promote drug use, but to question things we were taught as children that might lead us to thinking it’s OK to take drugs.

Album: Surrealistic Pillow

Year: 1967

Writer: Grace Slick

Stats: Peaked at number-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick says she stole the idea for “White Rabbit” from two things she liked growing up, composer Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” and author Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland. However, she disagrees that she was promoting drug use with the song and insists it’s about questioning things we were taught as children that might have led us to think using drugs was OK.

Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick says “White Rabbit” wasn’t promoting drug use, but was questioning things we were taught as children. OC:…world possible. :28

“I was read to when I was a child. I was read Alice in Wonderland, which talks about getting high, literally, with some stuff out of a bottle; sitting on top of a mushroom with a caterpillar who is smoking opium out of a hookah — she takes a bit out of the mushroom and gets high, literally. You’ve been reading us this stuff when we’re little, you’re programming us to believe that a chemical of one kind or another is going to put you into the best world possible.”