Jefferson Starship Guitarist Sues Ex-Bandmates Over Name Use
The guitarist says the unauthorized use of the band’s name is tarnishing its legacy — and his own.
“To make matters worse, Defendants have repeatedly and systematically used images of the original Jefferson Starship lineup, which include images of Chaquico, to promote their band and their performances both in concert posters, on their Facebook page and on their website – a blatant attempt to pass off their current band as the original, world-renowned, Jefferson Starship and to trade off of Chaquico’s goodwill,” writes Swift.
The other current band members, Chris Smith, Jude Gold and Catherine Richardson, are also named as defendants in the suit. Chaquico is suing Freiberg and Baldwin for breach of contract, and all of the defendants for claims relating to his right of publicity and unfair business practices. He’s seeking an injunction to stop the band from using the Jefferson Starship name and his likeness, plus actual and punitive damages.
I was the first to consider allowing Paul to use ‘Jefferson’ only for his solo projects, that incuded a myriad of different, interchangeable musicians over the years, most of which were never in the original Jefferson Starship. After his death, one of his solo bands is calling itself Jefferson Starship with only one original member, and one of Jefferson Starship’s replacement drummers.They have been misleading the public by using my name and likeness, and original album artwork, on their Website, Facebook page, on tours and merchandise as if they recorded and wrote my hit songs for Jefferson Starship, as well as all of the other songs that I played on that they did not.
06.24.2017 – – CRAIG CHAQUICO with Special Guests, John Barbata and Pete Sears: Founding Members of Original Jefferson Starship
In 1973, Jefferson Starship recorded their first album, Dragon Fly, which hit gold within 6 months, followed by the best-selling album of their career, Red Octopus, and then the platinum-selling albums Spitfire and Earth. Chaquico, who was just a teenager in 1973, became a central figure in the band, playing lead guitar on all of Jefferson Starship and Starship’s hits from 1973 to 1990 including “Miracles,” “We Built This City,” “Sara” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” and developing into one of their main songwriters. At the time, Rolling Stone magazine remarked that “the emergence of guitarist Craig Chaquico [has] resulted in the finest music since the heyday of the Haight.” Craig wrote or cowrote some of the bands’ most memorable songs such as “Find Your Way Back,” “Jane,” “Layin’ it on the Line,” and “Fast Buck Freddie.”
After finding himself at the top of the national charts in each of three consecutive decades, Craig left the fast-paced pop world of arena rock and reinvented himself as a top-selling contemporary jazz guitarist. In 1993, he released his first solo album of contemporary instrumental music, Acoustic Highway, which hit #1 on the Billboard charts and was named by that publication as the “Independent New Age Album of the Year.”His next album, Acoustic Planet, was #1 on the Billboard charts and nominated for a Grammy award. In addition, he earned a spot on Jazziz Magazine‘s list of Top 100 Most Influential Jazz Guitarists of All Time. Craig has been on the top of the charts now for over 40 years, with the most recent release of his first blues album, Fire Red Moon, which debuted at #15 on Billboard’s National Blues Chart.
Tonight, Craig and his band will open the show with top hits from his contemporary jazz era such as “Cafe Carnival,” “Acoustic Highway,” and “Return of the Eagle.”
And then during the second set…for the first time since 1978, Craig will reunite with his fellow original founding members of Jefferson Starship, songwriter, bass and keyboard master, Pete Sears and the band’s original drummer, Johny Barbata (also of Jefferson Airplane, the Turtles and Crosby, Stills and Nash). This will be the first time this dynamic trio has played together since an audience riot erupted in Lorelei, Germany, during a European Tour of the band when Grace Slick was too ill to perform and the show was cancelled! You will be a witness to this historic reunion and the decades of combined musicianship that these brilliant artists have to offer both individually and collectively. They will be supported on vocals by powerfully talented, national touring artists, Jesse Bradman and Joan Burton.
For Show and Ticket Information, Call:
or go to: http://fenixlive.com/show/13257/
05.20.2017 – – JEFFERSON STATE CHORAL COALITION PRESENTS JEFFERSON STATE OF MIND with Special Guest Artist CRAIG CHAQUICO MAY 20, 2017 7:30pm at the SOU MUSIC RECITAL HALL ON MOUNTAIN AVENUE ASHALND, OREGON.
For Jefferson Starship guitarist and original founding member Craig Chaquico, “Find Your Way Back” has a whole new meaning some 35 years after writing, and performing on, the Billboard Top Ten single from the band’s 1981 album, Modern Times.
It was a year ago this month that Craig informed his worldwide fans about his quest to retrieve his beloved 1959 Les Paul Sunburst guitar (9-2180) that was thought to have been destroyed during a summer of ’78 fiery riot in Lorelei, Germany, right after it was announced that Jefferson Starship wouldn’t be taking the stage that day as a result of legendary singer Grace Slick not feeling well.
Fearing for their safety, the band members that were on site — Craig, David Frieberg, and John Barbata — quickly evacuated the area. Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin and Pete Sears were still at the hotel. Devout fans of the band know that their next show in Hamburg together would mark the last for this original line-up.
Almost all of the bands’ instruments and gear went missing during this riot, including Craig’s rare 1957 Les Paul Gold Top (still missing – Serial No. 7 8793 – played on the first two Jefferson Starship hit albums, Dragon Fly (1974) and Red Octopus (1975)), and this recently discovered ’59 Sunburst guitar that was near-and-dear to Craig’s heart, as he used it on the platinum-selling Jefferson Starship albums, Spitfire (1976) and Earth (1978), and can be heard on such classic hits as “With Your Love,” “Count on Me” and “Runaway” among others. Of course, it’s this rock and roll history that has added extreme value to the guitar.
Part of the successful identification process which, without the serial number, included Craig going through thousands of high-resolution photos in the vast archives of Roger Ressmeyer who was a key band photographer throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, including for both the Spitfire and Earth albums.
In what could be called “a feel good story,” the ’59 Sunburst has finally found its way back.
Three years after he was tipped off that the guitar might still be in existence, Craig’s difficult quest to get it back has ended after a meeting of the musical minds between Craig and the instrument’s current owner, a guitar aficionado, himself.
After more than a year of back-and-forth’s in the legal system, the two musicians sat down and talked about the history of the guitar (now known affectionately as “Lorelei”) and what it meant to each of them. And it was this discussion that led to a confidential settlement agreement and resolution between the parties…
“Seeing the guitar for the first time after so many years brought back so many memories for me,” states Chaquico. “One of my dreams from the outset was simply to perform or record with it again… and it looks like that dream just might come true.”
In a gesture of good will from one musician to another, the current owner of the ’59 Sunburst (who has now owned the instrument for almost a dozen years) would like Craig to continue making great music and providing further heritage to the instrument that already has an illustrious past thanks to Craig. This guitar went everywhere with him beginning in the mid-70’s until it vanished at the riot.
“I’m thoroughly excited about hitting the stage with it again sometime this year,” says Craig. “It’ll be a magical moment for me and I’m sure I’ll feel like a ‘kid’ in the mid-70’s all over again. ‘Lorelei’ truly is one of my favorite guitars of all-time.”
“What was most pleasing for me was seeing Craig and the current owner, both lovers of music and guitars, sit down for a day and talk amongst themselves to develop a trust,” says attorney Peter Koenig who represented Craig in his pursuit of the guitar. “While us lawyers discussed esoteric legal points as to
who, rightfully, would keep the guitar, Craig opened a dialogue with the current owner that ultimately allowed for both of them to share their feelings and realize their dream outcome. I look forward to the music Craig makes on ‘9-2180’.”
According to a Guitar Player magazine article in April 2016, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett purchased a 1959 Les Paul Standard that was previously owned by Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green and guitar great Gary Moore for a reported $2 million.
Craig looks forward to great things ahead, commenting, “What I’d really like to see is a reunion of Jefferson Starship original members who lost their instruments that day come together and perform with them again. Pete Sears got his bass back in 2013 and John Barbata got his cymbals back shortly after the riot.”
As the popular Jefferson Starship song, “Rock Music,” says, “Rock ‘n’ Roll is good time music… listen to it!”
And to quote yet another one of their hits, “Freedom at Point Zero,” ” ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll isn’t over!
If you’d like to interview Craig regarding the history of the guitar and his quest or need additional press materials, please contact Jeff Albright / The Albright Entertainment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a great selection of photos available!
Craig Chaquico Social Media
Official Website: www.craigchaquico.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CraigChaquico (@CraigChaquico)
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/CraigChaquicoVideo
For more detailed information on the riot, itself, please see – http://starship.lu/E78/E78.html
Dara Crockett / Pilot Rock Management – email@example.com
01.01.17 “From the State of Jefferson to star-spangled stages, my own band in lights, the 2016 concerts a warm afterglow following the mid-fall and early-winter twilights last gleaming, to the intimate bedsides of children still inside hospitals…
…to an anonymous gentleman’s surprise birthday party outdoors which included his very own exclusive private concert for family and friends alongside a spectacular spa/poolside fireplace, open bar, BBQ munchies galore and panoramic views of crystal-clear titanium-white snow-capped peaks, hazy cowboy maitinee movie mesas and tablerocks on the horizon, a majestic redtail hawk balancing in mid-air above the long shadows of the late afternoon trees whispering delicious secrets to the warm native breeze that inspires even more Live music upon these winds of change as the luxuriantly forested greens and emeralds of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains gently cradle the lush Rogue River valley whos distant white Aspen trees shimmer in the atumn sunlight from a western sky so deep and blue and infinite it can make your heart ache — if not actually stop all together for a beat or two…
From the grass on the 50-yard line again at the iconic Oakland Coliseum playing solo guitar Live before an exciting Oakland Raiders game for another thunderous 75,000 rockin’ NFL fans in the spectacular Black Hole, to the sandy oasis of Rancho Mirage, Thunder Valley, Mt. Shasta, Lassen, Crater Lake, the Redwoods, Tahoe and more with my own band…From Paul Kantner’s passing and now only playing my guitar again with Paul on the other side of the Milky Way, to fighting in court for another year to get my own stolen priceless original 1959 Gibson Sunburst Les Paul back from the dark side, that I recorded perhaps a few of the biggest hits and anthems of the 70’s with the original Jefferson Starship on, before the subssequent original Starship band rocked from those ashes again with two of my newest songs, Jane and Find Your Way Back that also introduced a brand new singer and style — one of the very same guitars that was thought destroyed during the last tour of the original 1978 multi-platinum Jefferson Starship line-up in Loreley, Germany — ‘attack ships on fire sparkling and glittering off the shoulders of Orion.’
The things I’ve seen with your smiles. It’s been an incredibly moving and rewarding 365 day lap around the sun. I say goodbye to 2016 with much joy and fondness…I do not wish to shut the door on it…but hope for an even better shining galaxy of promises and dreams still to come true for everybody as this brand new 2017 dawns on all of us! As in Music – So in Life. May our paths cross again soon this new year somewhere along the Acoustic Highway, the Acoustic Planets, and more than Once in a Blue Universe may happiness be yours forever and ever to the Fire Red Moons and back. Happy New Year everybody! Happy New Day all year long!” — Craig
04.30.16 SAN FRANCISCO MUSIC WALK OF FAME NEWS! Craig’s Bay Area music history has been honored with a brick on the San Francisco Music Walk of Fame!
“Thank you to everybody in the Bay Area who helped make all this happen and thought to include me plus two of myBay Area bands, the original Jefferson Starship and original Starship. I’m so honored now so many decades after I literally ‘hit the San Francisco bricks’ as a teen with my Sacramento band’s press photo, and reel-to-reel demo-tape of our Jack Traylor & Steelwind album in hand, to try and get Live gigs in SF. Not long after trucking to Altamonte, and being a roadie for Jimi in Sacramento for a day, who woulda thunkit? Jefferson Starship and Starship plus my own Bay Area inspired instrumental music. I’m still one of the lucky ones just to even be able to grow up near the same area code as all these folks.” – Craig http://fame.musiccitysf.org/
CRAIG CHAQUICO, ORIGINAL FOUNDING MEMBER OF JEFFERSON STARSHIP, STARSHIP AND GRAMMY NOMINATED GUITARIST, CONTINUES QUEST TO RETRIEVE BELOVED 1959 LES PAUL SUNBURST GUITAR STOLEN DURING RIOT AT JEFFERSON STARSHIP CONCERT IN LORELEI, GERMANY IN JUNE OF 1978 GUITAR USED TO RECORD MANY OF JEFFERSON STARSHIP’S BIGGEST HITS OF THE 70’S DISCOVERED IN HANDS OF COLLECTOR ALMOST FOUR DECADES AFTER INCIDENT.
It was the summer of 1978 in Lorelei, Germany when all hell broke loose after it was announced that Jefferson Starship would not be taking the stage after all, as a result of legendary singer Grace Slick not feeling well enough to perform.
This wasn’t the first time a band had canceled a show at the Lorelei Amphitheater and, as a result, a riot ensued shortly after the Jefferson Starship cancellation announcement.
Bottles and rocks were thrown at the stage and the band, fearing for their safety, quickly evacuated the area. By morning, the stage had been burned to the ground with many prized instruments lost, stolen or destroyed. All the members were devastated by the incident, including lead guitarist and hit songwriter Craig Chaquico, who returned the following morning to view the destruction. The only piece of equipment that he would recognize would be the charred metal corners of his Fender Bassman amplifiers.
All was lost… or, at least, that’s what Craig thought until some thirty-six years later when his beloved 1959 Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitar was discovered in the hands of a collector.
This is the story of what Craig has had to endure to get his guitar back…
Like all the other band members who lost their equipment, there was no indication that anything had survived the riot so there was nothing to do but to move on, only sadness and nostalgia when the songs were heard on the radio through the decades. All hope was lost until 2013 when Jefferson Starship bassist Pete Sears was reunited with one of his prized bass guitars, inspiring Craig to begin a personal search for his own guitars.
“This distinctive-sounding Les Paul was my voice on so many guitar solos, and I hope it finds its way back home soon,” states Craig, who purchased the guitar from Norman’s Rare Guitars in the mid-70s. “This quest isn’t only for me, but for all the musicians who have ever had their instruments lost or stolen over the years, then eventually found, that just want to get their babies back. For me, there’s a sentimental value involved and I’m still the rightful owner of this Sunburst.”
Craig used this particular guitar on both the 1976 Jefferson Starship album, Spitfire, as well as the following release, Earth, that came out in 1978. Hit songs you can hear the ’59 Sunburst on include “With Your Love,” “Count on Me” and “Runaway” among others.
And then it was gone…
After the riot on June 17, 1978, Jefferson Starship would immediately continue on their European tour, having to purchase, rent or borrow replacement equipment. Their next show in Hamburg, Germany would mark the last time that the original line-up of Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Craig Chaquico, David Frieberg, Pete Sears and John Barbata would ever perform together.
In the spring of 2014, out of the blue, Craig was contacted by a fan from Vermont who thought he might have a guitar that Craig used in the Star Wars Christmas Special that featured Jefferson Starship performing a song penned by Craig called, “Light the Sky on Fire.” After conducting extensive research about that particular guitar, the fan uncovered the serial numbers of the instruments used on the 1978 European Tour and informed him of the serial number of his thought-to-be-destroyed 1959 Les Paul Sunburst, along with those of the rest of the instruments that were thought to have been destroyed that day. He went on to tell Craig that he’d seen someone in Southern California chat on a blog about the Sunburst.
Extremely grateful for this information, Craig told the fan he could keep the Boogie Body, and quickly hired an attorney to find out the identity of the person on the blog. With the assistance of a private investigator, the attorney found the collector who had purchased the guitar from a dealer for an alleged $170,000 in February 2005.
With the help of his attorney, Craig was able to contact the collector and inform him that the guitar was stolen from him after the Lorelei riot in 1978. The initial response was one of condolence, with the owner expressing a desire to return the guitar to Craig if there was a way to recover his own initial investment. Craig suggested that they turn to the dealer who sold him the guitar and/or the dealer’s insurance company and offered to help with these efforts to ultimately get his guitar back. Unfortunately, after further thought, the collector, perhaps realizing the now-increased value of the guitar, decided to engage his own attorney, reconsidering the return of the guitar to Craig.
As the saying goes, “nothing’s easy,” and Craig decided at that point to let the legal process take its course… Backed by numerous photos taken by Jefferson Starship’s official photographer, Roger Ressmeyer, in the mid-70s, Craig was easily able to see that this was, indeed, “the guitar.”
After a meeting to view the guitar that included Craig, his attorney and Norman Harris (who sold Craig the guitar) along with the collector, his attorney and the attorney for the insurance company that represented the known guitar expert and national dealer who sold the guitar, it was determined by the attorneys for all parties that mediation might be the way to solve the issue. Unfortunately, that effort also proved to be fruitless and the matter continues to move through the courts, costing Craig tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours.
Craig, now represented by Peter Koenig of the San Francisco law firm, Walker, Hamilton & Koenig LLC, will have what is expected to be his final deposition in February. A trial to determine ownership is scheduled to commence on June 13 in San Francisco federal court.
“So far, no one seems to question that it is the same Sunburst,” states attorney Peter Koenig. “They seem to be arguing that Craig waited too long to search for the guitar so he’s lost his right to have it back. We shall see.”
Craig, as a member of Jefferson Starship from 1974 to 1990, was the only member of the band to appear in every recording, album, tour and music video over the course of the band’s tenure in the rock and roll scene.
Last year marked the 40thAnniversary of one of Jefferson Starship’s greatest albums, Red Octopus, and Craig was able to extensively reflect upon the Billboard chart-topping release in the September issue of Guitar Player magazine.
In addition to Craig’s efforts to recover his guitar, his plans for 2016 include touring throughout the world with a unique crowd-pleasing show where he performs the Jefferson Starship and Starship songs he helped make famous in addition to a selection of songs from his dozen solo efforts released over the past twenty-three years.
His first solo album in 1993, Acoustic Highway, helped create a genre of music and was Billboard’s #1 Independent New Age Album of the Year. His follow-up album, Acoustic Planet, garnered him a Grammy nomination in the category of Best New Age Album and also went to #1 on the Billboard charts.
From rock and roll and the blues to contemporary jazz and new age, Craig has had over forty years of success in a variety of genres.
Now that Craig has found his 1959 Sunburst, he’d like to find his 1957 Gold Top (Serial #7 8793 – only seventeen are known to exist of this particular model) played on the first two Jefferson Starship hit albums, Dragonfly and Red Octopus, that was also lost on that night in ’78. Yet another prized guitar played in major performances and on many hit recordings such as “Miracles,” “Play on Love” and “Ride the Tiger.”
“I would love to see the day where Pete and I perform on the same stage with our newly-discovered instruments,” comments Craig. “This would truly be another rock and roll dream come true.”
Time will tell. Stay tuned.
If you’d like to interview Craig Chaquico or need additional press materials (we have a great selection of photos available), please contact Jeff Albright / The Albright Entertainment Group at RockStarPR@aol.com.
Craig Chaquico performance video can be viewed at the following links:
The Blues –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lT7NRGIArw
Craig Chaquico Social Media:
Website – www.craigchaquico.com
Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/CraigChaquicoOfficalPage/?ref=hl (this includes Craig’s recent statement regarding the passing of Paul Kantner)
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CraigChaquico
Official YouTube Channel –https://www.youtube.com/user/CraigChaquicoVideo
LINKS TO 2015-16 WEB INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES:
Craig Chaquico Management:
Dara Crockett for Pilot Rock Management –firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit for both photos: Roger Ressmeyer / Corbis
Top photo: Craig with 1959 Les Paul Sunburst
Bottom photo: Craig with 1959 Les Paul Sunburst in recording studio with Jefferson Starship
WANTED! Craig’s ’57 Les Paul Goldtop (small “BB hole” in top) Serial # 7 8793 Last seen at concert in Lorelei, Germany, in 1978. This particular guitar was used to write, record, and perform songs from the first two Jefferson Starship hit albums, Dragonfly and Red Octopus. It’s greatly missed by Craig. Please Share.
RADIO INTERVIEW ALERT!: Thank you to Bo and Jim at Lone Star 92.5 KZPS-FM for a terrific Texas interview!
Riffing and Waxing Pauletically…by Craig Chaquico
Paul was either a really fun, if not slightly outlaw-ish older brother, or a really young cool stepdad.
There’s another Jefferson star in Heaven and another member of one hell of a band up there.
I’m thinking much about Paul’s lyrics and songwriting that I played on tour with him where he had titles like, “All Fly Away,” “I Want to See Another World,” “Have You Seen the Stars Tonight?” “St Charles,”… With such a celestial alignment of the planets at dawn now, it makes me want to go out and play my guitar under the Milky Way with Paul tonight.
He picked a cosmic time to “All Fly Away.” He definitely will “See Another World,” “…and don’t be late,” like Jimi said. He “will see the stars tonight,” and he can ask “Saint Charles” himself since we never heard anything back from Alice that I’m aware of? I can’t remember?
Memories of Paul? The first record I ever played on, the first time I ever had sushi, the first time I ever saw a Bruce Lee movie, the first time I ever took martial arts, the first time I went on tour, the first time I went overseas, the first time I took a legal drink on my 21st birthday when the band threw a party across from Golden Gate Park, and a girl jumped out of a cake, the first time I rode in a Porsche, the first time I played at Winterland and Radio City Music Hall, the first time I played in front of 100,000 people, the first time I played with the Grateful Dead, The first time I saw Bladerunner on the road. All the first time memories with Paul, and the original Jefferson Starship, that never all played together again since the riot in 1978. They say you always remember the first time? Well all the memories “glitter and sparkle like attack ships on fire off the shoulders of Orion.”
Paul let me borrow an exquisite, pristine, white Stratocaster with a maple neck when I was still in high school in Sacramento, and I was the only kid with a guitar case in his bedroom that had Jefferson Airplane stenciled on it, and it was authentic. The first time I was in a Star Wars Holiday Christmas Special, the first time I survived a full-on riot in Germany, the first time I was ever on a private jet, the first time I met Cheech and Chong, the first time I met Robin Williams, the first time I met Grace freaking Slick! That reminds me, it was also the first time I… Wait, let me check the statute of limitations.
The first gold album, the first platinum album, the first number one singles and albums, the first time I met Bill Graham, The first time I was on MTV, the first time I met Paul McCartney, the first time I met Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Jorma and Jack, The Pointer Sisters, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Marlon Brando, Tower of Power, The Doobie Brothers, Sammy Hagar, Jane Fonda, Abby Hoffman, Ted Kennedy, Father Guido Sarduchi, Geraldo Rivera…Paul was there, and the list goes on.
I learned how to be Paul-etically incorrect, which is to say I got to see the hippie ethic done with some style and class and a consciousness and with some integrity and caring. It was like being welcomed into a family, and now one of us has passed to join the ones that came before us, on the other side of the campfire, on the other side of the Milky Way.
Paul was with me after Red Octopus went to #1 4x one summer when I bought a brand-new Porsche off the showroom floor on Van Ness in San Francisco, and I wrote a check for the full amount. Kind of a Grace Slick thing. That was the only thing I owned, a Porsche and a bunch of guitars and amps.
Paul was there for everything Number One. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when Paul and Grace first invited me to form the original Jefferson Starship with them along with Pete Sears in 1973 as a teenager.
Plus everybody’s name was so Biblical in that band. Think about it. Paul. Marty. David. Peter. John. And of course the Grace of… Didn’t she name her kid God?
Paul is dead. Who IS the walrus? coo coo ca choo. I guess we’ll have to go ask Alice now? I think she’ll know?
(((•))) CAFE CARNIVAL
Craig headlined the 75th Anniversary Casselberry Latin Jazz Festival with his own Billboard #1, Grammy-nominated, million-selling hit smooth jazz songs like Cafe Carnival, Luminosa, Gathering of the Tribes, Lights Out San Francisco, Native Tongue, Return of the Eagle, Acoustic Highway, Sacred Ground, etc., as well as his own “iconic hits and anthems” from the original Jefferson Starship and Starship
multi-platinum albums that Craig recorded during both the ’70s and ’80s like Jane, Miracles, Fast Buck Freddie, Find Your Way Back, Rock Music, Stranger, Sara, We Built This City, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, etc., along with some favorite songs from Craig’s 1st blues CD, Fire Red Moon, like Crossroads and always a new version of Voodoo Child.
With a spectacular international superstar band on stage comprised of Jim Reitzel on Bass, Ron Reinhardt on Keys, Dave Reinhardt on Drums, Mike “The General” MacArthur on Sax, and the legendary Teri Cote on both Lead Vocals and Latin Percussion, Craig and his “Florida Band” performed Live beneath a full supermoon floating above the lake behind the stage in front of thousands of Florida Latin Jazz, Blues, Pop, and Classic Rock music fans. Plus it was Craig’s 61st birthday with a cake and a Harley birthday ride thrown in to boot!
The Mayor of Casselberry, Charlene Glancy, introduced Craig on stage to thousands of Latin Jazz and Classic Rock fans as well as during the city’s own media press conference. Latin-inspired arts, music and culture were all enjoyed and tasted in the most perfect Florida outdoor setting for this Portuguese guitarist and his own Latin inspired award-winning passionate musica!
Para el guitarrista californiano Craig Chaquico, los años 60 reviven al cumplir los 61 años, fecha que justamente celebrará sobre la tarima del concierto con que El Sentinel festeja su aniversario número 14 el 26 de septiembre en Casselberry.
El músico de origen portugués, conocido como una estrella del rock de los años 70 y 80 cuando era parte de los grupos Jefferson Starship y Starship, y luego como solista de jazz y “new age music”, dice que la celebración lo llevará de vuelta a sus orígenes musicales.
“Mi cumpleaños 61 será un saludo a mi herencia musical que comenzó en los sesenta y ahora regresa en mis sesenta”, dijo Chaquico a El Sentinel en conversación telefónica desde Oregon, en la costa oeste del país.
Entre esas influencias cita la música latinoamericana, y los fados que escuchaban sus padres, un género de canciones de amor típico de Portugal, que se caracteriza por su melancolía, la destreza vocal de sus intérpretes y sus conmovedoras líneas melodiosas.
“Mis influencias musicales comenzaron cuando yo era niño”, recuerda el músico, quien creció en Sacramento. “Entre la música latina y la americana. Mi madre y mi padre son portugueses y mi familia escuchaba fados, que entiendo los escribían las mujeres portuguesas que quedaban esperando cuando sus esposos se hacían a la mar en largas travesías. Entonces son canciones de emoción de estas mujeres y la aventura de sus hombres. Son sentimientos que todos tenemos en común independientemente del idioma que hablemos, todos escuchamos música porque es el lenguaje universal”, dijo.
Pero en su hogar la música también incluía las influencias con las que habían crecido sus padres: las composiciones de George Gershwin, canciones de los años 30 y 40 y luego el blues, que “fue creado en Estados Unidos pero viajó a Europa desde donde regresó y fue reinterpretado por Carlos Santana, los Rolling Stones o Jimmy Hendrix”, explicó Chaquico.
Es quizás por ello que el guitarrista se adapta a la diversidad: su música, de la que ha vendido millones de discos, recorre festivales de jazz en todo el país, transita por las carreteras de Estados Unidos como parte de Road Songs, una compilación hecha por la compañía de motocicletas Harley-Davidson y ha llegado nada menos que hasta el espacio, como parte del Ark Project de la NASA, de modo que hoy los acordes de su canción Just One World se encuentran orbitando el planeta Tierra.
Desde los 16 años comenzó a tocar profesionalmente con figuras como Carlos Santana , hasta que fue llamado para integrar un grupo de rock que hizo historia Jefferson Starship y luego Starship, una reedición del primero, con los que cosechó más de 20 discos de oro y platino.
Luego de recorrer dos décadas con la energía desbocada del rock, Chaquico decidió, ante la llegada de su primer hijo en 1990 y la disolución de la banda donde tocaba, cambiar la guitarra eléctrica por la acústica, un cambio que lo llevaría a ser nominado al Grammy con su disco Acoustic Planet (1994).
Desde entonces ha vendido más de un millón de discos, de los que suma una decena, con su música de solista.
Y es que el guitarrista ha sabido adaptarse a los cambios durante su vida sin renunciar a su instrumento, que recibió a los 10 años como regalo de su madre, quien al igual que su padre tocaba diferentes instrumentos musicales muchas veces después de cenar, como complemento de la rutina hogareña, según ha contado en publicaciones.
De esa época nace su afición por las causas benéficas que lo han llevado a recaudar fondos en sus conciertos para la American Music Therapy Association y a formar parte de organizaciones caritativas como Bikers for Charity, un esfuerzo liderado por Harley Davidson’s en apoyo a la Muscular Dystrophy Association.
No es la primera vez que Chaquico viene a tocar a nuestra área, pues además de haberse presentado en el parque Epcot, House of Blues y otros lugares en sus tiempos con las bandas de rock, fue en Florida donde algunas de sus composiciones fueron lanzadas al éxito. “Toqué para la emisora de jazz WLOQ, y esa fue una de las primeras estaciones que
tocó mi música para guitarra”, recordó el intérprete. “Siempre he pensado que Florida y la WLOQ tuvieron mucho que ver con darme a conocer como solista, por eso me encanta venir a Florida”.
Entre las canciones que interpretará en su concierto en Casselberry, el artista cita, además de varios números de su época con Jefferson Starship y Starship, canciones de gran influencia latina de su repertorio.“Mi canción Café carnaval,
(((•))) GATHERING OF THE TRIBES
que estuvo en el primer lugar en la radio, un poco que desafía la lógica, pues lleva guitarra eléctrica, y se piensa que el jazz no puede tocarse con guitarra eléctrica, pero yo le puse una”, explica como si se tratara de una travesura. “Esa canción tiene una instrumentación muy latina”.
También su pieza Luminosa, de la que afirma inventó la palabra para referirse “a la luz que brilla en todos nosotros. Algunos tienen esa luz más fuerte, nosotros iluminamos a los demás y los demás nos iluminan a nosotros, a veces sin siquiera darse cuenta”.
(((•))) FORBIDDEN LOVE
Otra de sus piezas con sonoridad latina es Forbiden Love, inspirada en una anécdota personal.
“Yo estaba tocando en un país donde no se hablaba inglés y me encontraba lejos en el Día de San Valentín”, relata el guitarrista. “No estaba tan triste como aquellos que compusieron los fados”, aclara riendo. “Pero echaba de menos a mi esposa. Entonces le compré una tarjeta muy bonita que tenía un corazón, pero estaba escrita en español. Pensé que a veces mi esposa y yo no entendíamos lo que decíamos, aunque los dos habláramos inglés, pero siempre entendíamos el idioma del amor”, recuerda el músico. Por cierto, que luego se enteró de que el mensaje de la tarjeta que envió a su esposa decía “Para el hombre que amo”.
También está inspirada por la experiencia de sus padres, quienes procedentes de dos regiones diferentes y antagónicas de Portugal: las islas en el caso de su madre, y tierra adentro en el de su padre, habían sido advertidos de que no debían unirse.
“Pero ellos escucharon a sus corazones y no las reglas de la cultura”, dijo Chaquico. “Y por eso estoy aquí”, concluyó
09.20.2015 – Craig Plays The National Anthem for Raiders and Ravens fans at O.Co Coliseum, The Black Hole, Oakland, California.
09.20.15 Craig beamed down to the Raider Nation mothership in Oakland, California, and played the National Anthem for 55,000 Raiders and Ravens fans at O.Co Coliseum Live and on the huge Jumbotron! Fantastic game between two tremendous teams! 37-33 RAIDERS. This was Craig’s first Live performance with the very first Kiesel/Carvin Aries A6 Model ever shipped. This one was made especially in time for the game to Craig’s own specifications and it came direct from the hands, heart and soul of the Kiesel family’s exquisite trademark guitar-building craftsmanship, tradition, herritage, modern inovation, intelligent design, and commitment to excellence. “MY NEW KIESEL ARIES A6 SURE SOUNDS GREAT PLUGGED STRAIGHT INTO A COLISEUM AND WHENEVER I PLAY IT LIVE AT AN NFL GAME FOR 55,000 FOOTBALL FANS THE RAIDERS ALWAYS WIN!” – Craig
Craig and Mark with Craig holding his Jimi Dunlop (Benicia, California/Raider Nation) special good luck Raiders guitar pick he used for the Anthem. Raiders won! Great contest between two incredible teams!
(((•))) Click Here for Raiderettes 2015
Some photos courtesy of the Oakland Raiders and the NFL
08.16.15 Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Red Octopus the September 2015 issue of Guitar Player magazine features an exclusive interview with Craig about recording this iconic, multi-platinum, best-selling Jefferson Starship album ever. Craig is the only original founding member and songwriter on all of the Jefferson Starship and Starship classic hits and anthems of both the ’70s and ’80s.
(((•))) MIRACLES from the #1 Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship
(((•)) FAST BUCK FREDDIE from the 4x #1 Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship
Craig and his national touring band will be celebrating Smooth Jazz and Craig’s 40th anniversary of Jefferson Starship’s best selling album, Red Octopus, at the legendary Hyatt Regency Newport Beach Summer Concert Series in California. Red Octopus, which included “Miracles” and “Fast Buck Freddy,” was released on June 13, 1975, exactly 40 years ago this summer! Besides his more recent Smooth Jazz hits, Craig is the only original founding member to actually appear on all the Jefferson Starship and Starship iconic hits and anthems during the glory years of the ’70s and ’80s.
Red Octopus in the 1970s included Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, Pete Sears, Craig, Papa John Creach, David Frieberg, and John Barbata, and in the ’80s, Mickey Thomas and Aynsley Dunbar joined the band. While other band members came and went throughout both decades, Craig was the last original founding member and hit songwriter to leave the original Starship in 1990, and it was then officially disbanded.
All the huge hits of the ’70s and ’80s were recorded entirely during Craig’s tenure which ended in 1990. Craig’s “Jane” and “Find Your Way Back” are still crowd favorites along with “Sara,” “We Built This City,” “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Stranger,” and “Rock Music,” which often appear in Craig’s Smooth Jazz/Concert sets (with a surprise guest or two) and during this special night under the Southern California stars…
Craig was on the cover of the very first issue of Smooth Jazz News and was also an original founding member of the very first iconic Guitars and Saxes Tour in the ’90s with Warren Hill, Peter White, Richard Eliott, and later moving forward with Rick Braun, Jeff Golub, Jeff Kashiwa, and other Smooth Jazz superstars in various G&S configurations. Craig still plays “Lights Out San Francisco” at almost every show.
Craig first invited Ozzie Ahlers (Jerry Garcia Band) to the studio to help co-write, co-produce, and record Craig’s first two #1 solo CDs in the ’90s with music most often inspired by nature, Native America, camping, UFOs, and motorcycles; Acoustic Highway(Bammy winner and Billboard #1 Indie New Age Album of the Year) and Acoustic Planet (Grammy-nominated, #1 on the Billboard National Charts, and Bammy winner).
More of Craig’s #1 hits on Smooth Jazz Radio launched the ’00s with his back-to-back “Cafe Carnival” and “Luminosa” topping the charts before the release of his first blues CD ever which debuted in the Top 15 on Billboard magazine’s National Blues Chart in 2012.
“To me it’s always been about the music and the joy factor created by playing together in a band. My touring band now is no different. My joy factor levels are through the roof! Redlining!” – Craig
In 1990 Craig embarked on his own Acoustic Highway and #1, million selling, Grammy nominated, Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Instrumental, New Age, acoustic guitar musical trekking. “Greetings and salutations to all, with great respect and much gratitude. I am honored. From the accordion to Accoladia; to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new chordalizations; to boldly go where no…”
06.13.15 The legendary Sweetwater Music Hall celebrates 40 years to the day Craig’s Jefferson Starship Red Octopus release, on June, 13, 1975, “…the greatest week of guitar players ever booked at Sweetwater” Thurs -SANTANA, Fri -MIKE CAMPBELLl (Tom Petty Heartbreaker) Sat -CRAIG CHAQUICO performs hits from all 5 decades of his chart topping guitar playing. (Click the Shows link above for more shows)
((•))Click link for video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJSNfXzdEEM
Touring as a Grammy-nominated solo artist earning his own Billboard #1s and awards, Craig is also the only original founding member, original lead guitarist and songwriter for Jefferson Starship and Starship – two of the most iconic bands from the ’70s and ’80s – who recorded on all of their original hits and biggest anthems including “Miracles,” “We Built This City,” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Sara,” “Jane,” “Find Your Way Back,” “Runaway,” “Count On Me,” “Fast Buck Freddie,” “Ride The Tiger,” “Stranger,” “With Your Love,” and more…
06.20.15 BOOK SIGNING AND MINI-PERFORMANCE AT D.G. WILLS BOOKS, LA JOLLA
Craig will be joining editor, Dara Crockett, at D.G. Wills Books on June, 20 in La Jolla, California, to read from and sign Guitar Player: The Inside Story. Craig was one of the guitar players and national artists who graced the cover of Guitar Player in the ’70s and ’80s and is also proud to be featured along with stellar artists such as George Benson, Joe Perry, Steve Vai, Johnny Winter, Lee Retinour, Pat Metheny, B.B. King and many others as part of this historic and insightfully entertaining new book about the first two decades of the most successful guitar magazine ever.
Craig with father and daughter editing team, Dara and Jim Crockett. Photo: John Sievert
06.06.15 Craig has joined the Guitars in the Classroom Artist Team! Check out his blog page on the GITC website:http://www.guitarsintheclassroom.org/2015/05/craig-chaquico-joins-gitc-artist-team/
05.29.15 BOOK SIGNING EVENT AT BANANAS AT LARGE IN SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA!
05.11.15 BOOK SIGNING AT BLOOMSBURY BOOKS IN ASHLAND, OREGON!
We really had a ter-RIFF-ic time at the very first booksigning at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland, Oregon! We were welcomed and made to feel at home by Susan and Greg and the gang. Thanks so much to them for hosting us at our own local, independent bookstore! And especially HUGE thank yous to everybody who came out to support the event on a rainy Oregon Monday evening.
We were told it was one of the best turnouts ever for a book signing there — if not THE best.
Craig played Live in-between readings and demonstrating how to manufacture a guitar pick from a recycled driver’s license (one of the things he was inspired to do as a youth from reading Guitar Player magazine!). On display during the evening, were some of Craig’s own rare, vintage issues of Guitar Player magazine dating from the ’60s to the ’80s.
5.11.15 Craig made an appearance at Bloomsbury Books, in Ashland, Oregon, as part of a tour for the new book, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever! Joined by Dara Crockett, who co-edited the book, Craig read from his own story, displayed his own personal collection of vintage issues of the magazine going back to the 60s, answered questions, signed books and played a little guitar for the guests. It was outrageous fun for all! His next appearance on this tour will be 05-29-13 at 6:30pm at Bananas At Large in San Rafael, California. See you there!
03.16.15 My new touring vocalist, Shaeny Celine Johnson, and I compare notes on my Jefferson Starship hit, JANE, in front of a packed house at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV., on March 7. Read More for photos and review by Tim Parsons http://www.tahoeonstage.com/chaquico-concert-review/
03.03.15 Jim Crockett, publisher of Guitar Player Magazine in the ’70s and ’80s, along with Craig Chaquico, are interviewed by Robert Kinsler at the 2015 NAMM Show about the new book, GUITAR PLAYER: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE FIRST TWO DECADES OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GUITAR MAGAZINE EVER.
03.03.15 Supplemental: The Ginormous Hal Leonard Display and Booth at the Grand Anaheim Convention Center / NAMM mothership.
02.03.15 Craig is interviewed during NAMM Show 2015 at Hal Leonard booth by Robert Kinsler about NAMM, the original legendary ’70s Jefferson Starship’s last show in 1978, original Rubbers strap lock system, CARVIN, Guitar Player Magazine, inventing and previewing state-of-the-art gear at NAMM since the ’70s
02.03.15 NAMM Supplemental .01: Craig’s original 1970s RUBBERS strap lock system (from back in the 70s), and FENDER’s current 2015 STRAP BLOCKS system that FENDER recently just claimed is now, “The most reliable and hassle free instrument strap lock system ever devised.” is so COOL too finally see! Who woulda thunkit? From the 1970s, to the cover of the January 1982 issue of Guitar Player, to right here and right now. Back to the future today. (AREA-51 space/time travel butterfly-effect and harmonic ripple effect experiment)
02.03.15 NAMM Supplemental .02: Craig signs and answers questions at CARVIN booth
01.12.15 Check out the Carvin CC275 Craig Chaquico Signature Model Guitar Pages 70-71 in VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE, FEB 2015 “14 Stellar Signature Guitars”
01.09.15 Craig’s Carvin CC275 Signature Model Guitar was featured in GUITAR PLAYER, JAN 2015 “Quick Guide to Signature Acoustics”
For the longer version of the whole interview as told to Del Hamilton for Musician’s Friend (Click Here) Jefferson State Vibes Jan 2015 issue Craig Chaquico
12.23.14 MUSICIAN’S FRIEND features a Live iPhone video of Craig playing VOODOO CHILD in concert with a his new lead singer along with Craig’s thoughts on the evolution of music video “The Changing Face of Videos“
Craig’s new touring band and their first show Live together on stage was the first of 2 nights in concert at the Sundance Film Festival’s Historic Egyptian Theater, Park City Utah, Jan, 2014, and was captured here Live with no studio tricks, backing tracks, samples, or overdubs whatsoever by using an Apple iPhone in the balcony at the back of the house. (…you can actually hear the excellent soundman adjusting the D.I. and mic balance on Craig’s Carvin Bolt guitar and dialing it all in just right on-the-fly!) “…This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing music in this century and I can’t wait to do more!” -Craig
Shae Celine’s wn CD is available from iTunes and was produced by Narada Michael Waldon, (Multi-platinum producer for Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Santana, etc., and producer of Starship’s #1 smash hit “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us Now” with Craig, Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJi9Wr9Ab3E Click link for Jefferson Stateship Laboratory Experiment #237, Reverse Engineered Alien Technology (code name: BEAMZ) State of Jefferson Area -51: Pilot Rock, Mt Shasta, Table Rocks sector.