Grace Slick: Outside the Looking Glass
Photo by Henry Diltz
And she still relishes her near-encounter with President Richard Nixon in the 1970s. As a teen, Slick had attended Finch College, a New York finishing school that Nixon’s daughter Tricia also attended. “It was this dumb place that was easy to get into,” Slick chuckles. “You learn how to be a lady, how to put certain forks correctly around a table setting, how to get a Princeton man. I didn’t really want to go. But you can’t say to your parents, ‘Can I have $15,000 or $20,000 to go screw around in New York?’”
When Nixon was president, Tricia organized a tea at The White House for Finch alumnus and an invite arrived at Slick’s parents’ house under her maiden name, Grace Wing. The invitation also allowed for a guest, so Slick invited political activist Abbie Hoffman. The plan, says Slick, was to spike Nixon’s tea with LSD once inside.
“I had the powder in my pocket and I had a very long pinky finger for cocaine,” she explains. “When talking to Nixon, I was going to put my hand in my pocket, scoop it in my fingernail then wave my hand over his tea cup.”
It never happened. “While in line being checked by guards, one said we couldn’t go in because I was on a security list—FBI or something— apparently because of my lyrics. That turned out to be good for Nixon, bad for us.”
Surprisingly Slick, a rock sex symbol, never thought of herself as spectacular. “Most women are aware of their faults,” she says. “I am not a beautiful woman. I had kinky black hair, which looks odd on a white person, and blonde eyelashes and eyebrows. I had to put on makeup so my eyes matched my hair. I had no tits and, from the knee down, my legs are very, very short. How do you work that? Proportion. You wear boots that come up over your knees so it looks like the lower part is longer.”
For all of those guys who fantasized about her in the ‘60s, Slick’s take on geriatric dating is comically pessimistic. “If you’re taking your clothes off at 70 and some guy has to poke that, you’d better do it in the dark,’” she jokes. “Unfortunately, you can’t put a bag over your whole body. So, no, I don’t have a boyfriend. I wouldn’t want to offend anybody.”
Vintage Grace. Gotta love it.
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