Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Crown of CreationReleased: 1968
This is about a ménage à trois, otherwise known as a three-way (we heard). Byrds guitarist/vocalist David Crosby wrote the song, but when The Byrds rejected it, he gave it to Jefferson Airplane. Crosby states in interviews that this is not merely "about" three-way relationships, but that the song "happened, several times." Crosby was involved for some time in the late 1990s-early 2000s with both Melissa Etheridge and her partner, Julie Cypher, and was the biological father of their two children.
David Crosby performed a solo acoustic version of this song in 1970-71 tours with Stills, Nash and Young. It appears on the double live album Four Way Street
In the UK, this was released as the B-side to "If You Feel Like China Breaking." It wasn't released as a single in the US.
This was just one of many envelope-pushing songs recorded by Jefferson Airplane. "White Rabbit" details drug use and "Volunteers" featured one of the first recorded utterings of the F-word.
Crown of Creation went to #6 in the US despite not having any major singles.
Crosby would later make a guest appearance on Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner's 1970 album Blows Against the Empire.
The Byrds did perform the song live during a September 1967 engagement at the Whisky a Go Go. They also recorded it, and their version can be heard on the 1987 Never Before compilation album.
Crosby admitted to Mojo magazine February 2014 that he did participate in a ménage à trois, "a number of times." He added: "It's not actually something that you can do in real life and sustain. Somebody always feels that they're the low man on the totem pole. It can be the guy feeling that the girls are ganging up on him or one of the girls. But it was a good song."