"Third Week in the Chelsea" as written by and Jorma L. Jr. Kaukonen....
Sometimes I feel like I am leaving life behind
My hands are moving faster than the movement of my mind
Thoughts and generations of my dreams are yet unborn
I hope that I will find them 'fore my moving gets too worn
If only I could live to see the dawning of the dawn

So we go on moving trying to make this image real
Straining every nerve not knowing what we really feel
Straining every nerve ending and everybody sees
That what they read in the Rolling Stone has really come to be
And trying to avoid a taste of that reality

On an early New York mornin' a mirror in the hall
Showed to me a face I didn't know at all
Lines were drawn around a pair of eyes that opened wide
When I looked into the mouth there was nothing left inside

So I walked into the little room and whistled like a sigh
As dawn light closed around me now my head was still in gear
Thinking thoughts of playing more and singing loud and clear
Trying to reach a friend somewhere and make that person smile
Maybe pull myself away from that old lonesome mile

That often comes to haunt me in the morning
All my friends keep telling me that it would be a shame
To break up such a grand success and tear apart a name
But all I know is what I feel whenever I'm not playin'
Emptiness ain't where it's at and neither's feeling pain

Well now what is going to happen now is anybody's guess
If I can't spend my time with love I guess I need a rest
Time is getting late now and the sun is getting low
My body's getting tired of carryin' another's load
And sunshine's waiting for me a little further down the road

Lyrics submitted by Kzlic, edited by Mellow_Harsher, noowronglyrics

"Third Week in the Chelsea" as written by Jorma L. Jr. Kaukonen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Third Week in the Chelsea song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorite Jefferson Airplane songs.
    Kzlicon May 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. The song mentions Rolling Stone, and "To break up such a grand success and tear apart a name". Plus this song is on their last album, they had a live album and some Greatest Hits collections, but Bark was their last studio album. I think this song is talking about their breakup. Grace Slick had problems with alcohol and i think that it was a problem with the rest of the band. They we're frustrated with her messy show attitude. I don't know who's seen the segments of the show in Germany where she's stumbles through her songs and the crowd leaves. I think this became a problem for the band. "Straining every nerve not knowing what we really feel Straining every nerve ending and everybody sees...And trying to avoid a taste of that reality". I think this is a reference to her alcoholism.
    heworetuskson March 12, 2007   Link
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    General CommentDefinitely one of my favourite Airplane songs, it's got such a lovely, relaxing tune to it. This song and a few others have turned me onto the band, I'm currently finding how amazing they truly are. As for what this song is about, im not totally sure but I have a somehwat fague idea.

    I believe its just the band, or whoever may have composed this, looking back because they've realized this is the end. "If only I could live to see the dawning of the dawn", they're unfortunate because they realize that they cant go on forever; they'd love to see how the world revolves. Full circle.

    Amazing song. I encourage any of you to buy the album! Bark, their last studio album!
    TheAcidSoundon June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is such a great song
    I think this song is just about how all things have to end (if you want to generalize it)
    Or about the end of Jefferson Airplane
    I also think its about how if you dont change you will eventuall get burned out
    "But all I know is what I feel whenever I'm not playin'
    Emptiness ain't where it's at and neither's feeling pain"
    and it doesnt seem like they are sad about changing, because like I said they know that it has to happen eventually and now is the time
    _no_reality_on May 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is about contemplating the break up of Jefferson Airplane (not Starship) from the perspective of Jorma Kaukonen while staying at the Chelsea hotel in NYC. Jorma had thought about leaving JA since 1968 and by 1970, with HT going, he wanted to move on.

    "Straining every nerve" line refers to trying to keep up the image of a counter-culture rock band when that dream was fading fast.

    The line "So I walked into a little room that whistled like a sigh" is about walking into a room with one of those old steam radiators for heat that make a noise and that are found in older buildings like the Chelsea.
    brumuson November 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis morning I kept seeing someone who used to be such an amazingly cool and special friend to me. He and I fell in love a long time ago. It was magical. It was also tortuous and wrong, because we are both married to other people. (We never came close to having sex or doing anything inappropriate but love is way more traumatic anyhow.) Our draw to each other was genuine and intense. I think we both knew we couldn't stay friends because something bad was going to happen. We both knew our feelings for each other weren't "right". But we were so happy when we were together. We didn't want to separate. Instead, we found reasons to be together often. We knew we were being sort of bad, but we adored each other and it was too addicting to stop. We loved being together. The mere sight of this guy made me happy. From the moment I met him I knew he was going to be "big" in my life. Our friendship went on for years. So when I decided that I needed to tear myself away from him, it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Walking away from a man who meant the world to me was tragic.

    I knew he was in "advertising", but I never knew exactly what he did for a living. I never asked because I didn't care. We'd talk about every day things when we were together. Not his job. I loved him for the man he was to me. And he WAS a man to me. He was sweet, charming, hilarious, kind and he cared a great deal for me. I could see the love he had for me in his eyes, whenever we were lucky enough to be face to face.

    I was coping without him, but I was sad. Losing him was like losing a piece of myself (and one I liked a lot). He was on my mind often and he occupied a giant portion of my heart. I spent about 9 months away from him dealing with my pain. I wished I could have split myself in two and lived my peaceful, happy life with my family and also have an exciting life with him. As dense as I can be, I was smart enough to understand that reality does not allow this without big consequences. I also realized that he and I were not good for each other.

    I am no stranger to pain and struggle. I've lived through the death of my sister in our teens, abusive relationships, kicking drug addictions in college, several near death experiences and a divorce. Pain was not new to me. But, I had no idea of the world of hurt I was about to experience with the onset of "The Machine Phase".

    It started with an email. It was cryptic, but I had faith. I knew my friend (the self-proclaimed "word man") was up to something. I was fairly certain that he and I had communicated (anonymously) on a song web site for a brief stint. So when this email arrived and had a song listed at the end of it, I knew it had to be from him. I went to the song he mentioned and I asked him if he had sent it to me. The madness that ensued lasted well over a year.

    In the beginning, the contributors all pretended they were him and went on and on about how much he loved me. How maybe we could be together. How people get divorced over love all of the time. They were just "sprinkling seeds". Planting ideas. Seeing what would translate into "reality". Of course, I got sucked in (not because I was last in line when god handed out brains) but because I thought the world of my old friend. I wanted him to know how much he meant to me. Even though we couldn't be together in real life he was still important to me. The lovefest lasted a few months. Then came a pause. Idleness. Lots of chatter about how to proceed, etc. (All along I defended my own marriage by being clear that my word man and I loved each other, yes, but that those things happen in life and it is sad that we can't spend our lives with everyone we love, etc.) Then it was all about a break-up. By the time I received "the crucifixion notice", I had realized it was a game, designed to toy with my feelings and hurt me. I think that was last June. Still I'd go to the web site, because tragically, I did love him madly.

    The few involved who I knew from real life would sprinkle things I had said to their faces in their cyber comments. They knew bits and pieces of my life that only they would have known, because of specific experiences we had shared. One friend would even say things to my face that I had typed (anonymously) on the website, simply to let me know that he was behind the scheme. It didn't matter to me, or scare me, but it was painful. I was just going there to let my friend know how much I cared about him.

    Even though I wasn't scared, I was confused. Why would they do that to me? So many of them involved? And why was my new friend in the game? What had I ever done to him? What did they have to gain from wrecking my life? What kind of lunatic stalkers was I dealing with? Why would so many people- people I didn't even KNOW- be open to hurting me? Why were they so hell bent on getting me divorced and (continually looping me in there and) talking to me so much? I'd heard of sociopaths, but I'd never seen a group of people so determined to continue their vicious vendetta. It translated into my real life in odd ways, too. I received weird phone calls. Two times dead animals were delivered to my house in the middle of the night. I received unwanted products and magazine subscriptions in the mail. I received books and CDs from my new friend. These were strange days, indeed.

    Through my own sleuthing and the help of several friends, I discovered that they are "owned" by CBS, basically. They write hits for musicians. The Rolling Stones and Eminem, among others. Right now, many of the things I've said and the experiences I shared with my friend (some real, some from la-la land) are coming at me from my car stereo. How would you like The Rolling Stones (and many others) to sing songs about YOU? Even though I went through hell over it, it is pretty awesome to me. I'm okay with it even though it was about "creating art" while tormenting me. Yes, it was a game and they were in it for the money and yes, I just went there to say why I loved my old friend. If my love helped him make money, even if it was sad for me, I am happy for him.

    I talked to my lawyers about it simply because I wanted help figuring out what was going ON. One of them can't get over how forgiving I am. The other is a dear friend who knows that I am into doing "good deeds on the sly". Legal battles are just life battles and not only am I all "warred out", I am not into wanting money. Or fame. Being on Oprah or in the next issue of Rolling Stone is not something I would consider "fun". Besides, I think the kind things you do in life live on in other people. I want my friends to have great lives.

    I know I played a part in our destruction. It is not all his fault. It had to be this way. "The Machine Phase" did help me process a terrible loss. It helped me understand that he was sad about things, too. It helped me realize that even though we aren't "together" doesn't mean he is not with me every day. I love him enough to not intentionally put him through any wringer and he loves me enough to show how much I meant to him by writing songs for me. And I will always treasure most of them.

    Have I changed? If I have learned one thing through this experience it is that love is what is important in our time together on earth. I find beauty and strength in being forgiving and kind. I will always do what I can to create something good. My love for my friend is not about money to me. I would never want to do anything to brutally hurt him. If I could be with him now, standing face to face, looking into his beautiful eyes, I would tell him how sorry I am that things turned out the way they did. I would tell him how much he means to me. I would whisper in his ear, "I thought of you so much while you were gone." And as he knows, some of my favorite memories are of the beautiful times we spent together in real life.

    returneron July 19, 2010   Link

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