"I can work with pretty near any blues singer there is, I don’t care what kind. As long as they play the blues, and, uh, rock and roll, I can work with them."
Not many blues players could make that kind of claim, but Otis Spann, whose piano playing was the driving force in the Muddy Waters band for nearly 20 years, could speak with authority. More than almost any other blues instrumentalist, he brought a unique combination of forcefulness and sensitivity to his playing, and whether he was accompanying Chuck Berry or Little Walter or Sonny Boy Williamson or Buddy Guy he always indicated his sympathy for their style by some subtle variation in his approach. He left his mark on every record on which he played, and when he died this month at the age of 40 there was no one to take his place.
Some friends of Otis Spann’s were recently asked, separately, to talk about him. They included Muddy Waters, bassist Willie Dixon, drummer Sam Lay and guitarist Mike Bloomfield.
San Francisco—It was such a moving ceremony that by afternoon’s end virtually every participant and spectator quite literally felt stoned. This was the wedding, January 26th in the Jefferson Airplane’s front parlor, of the former Miss Sally Mann and Mr. Spencer Dryden, drummer for the Airplane. They were joined in holy matrimony by the Rev. Scott Beach, who is director of the Committee Theater, and a minister in the American Humanist Institute. Rev. Beach was accorded a hearty round of applause for the gusto with which he performed his duties. Miss Grace Slick, the Airplane’s glacial contralto, was radiant as maid of honor. Some 50 friends and relatives attended, including many of the San Francisco rock and roll world’s most prominent swells, and they were radiant too. Refreshments were freely served, and in great quantity. The former Miss Mann, it will be recalled, was featured in the Rolling Stone special issue on The Groupies.