Album: Freedom at Point Zero (1979)
Charted: 21 14

Songfacts®:

  • Who is "Jane" in this song? In a Songfacts interview with Jefferson Starship bass player David Freiberg, who wrote the lyric, he said, "Let us say that it was loosely about an old girlfriend of mine whose name wasn't Jane."

    In the song, Jane is playing mind games, stepping out and fooling around. The singer is trying to reel her back in by telling her he knows what's best for her when it comes to love - good luck with that!

    Freiberg may have chosen the name Jane to protect the innocent, but it also scans well into lyrics like "you're playing a game," which helps show off the vocal range of lead singer Mickey Thomas.
  • "Jane" has lyrics written by David Freiberg and Jim McPherson, and music by Freiberg, McPherson, Paul Kantner and Craig Chaquico. All but McPherson - a professional singer-songwriter - were members of Jefferson Starship at the time. The group - first known as Jefferson Airplane - had an ever-shifting lineup, which at times was completely rebuilt.
  • The rocked-up arrangement on this song came courtesy of their guitarist, Craig Chaquico. When David Freiberg started writing it, he had a different musical direction in mind. "I was trying for the style of the Rolling Stones baroque period of the '60s," he told Songfacts. "It was Craig Chaquico who came up with the great hard rock arrangement, and thank goodness for that!"
  • This was the first single released from the Freedom at Point Zero album. The song has a polished sound that is far removed from the '60s version of the group, the very psychedelic Jefferson Airplane. Boarding the Starship and heading into the future, Mickey Thomas, famous for singing on "Fooled Around And Fell In Love," took over on lead vocals with the departure of Marty Balin and Grace Slick (who would return in February 1981). The album was produced by Ron Nevison, who was known for his work with Led Zeppelin and Bad Company. It marked the first time Jefferson Airplane/Starship brought in an outside producer.
  • Let's review the three variations of this band:

    Jefferson Airplane: Highly influential San Francisco group who were hallmarks of the hippie movement. They had just two US Top 40 hits ("White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love"), but were one of the most famous bands of the '60s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

    Jefferson Starship: A much more polished version of the Airplane, Grace Slick summed it up in a 1981 interview with Creem, when she said, "When I think about the Starship of the late '70s, I just remember what a mess it was. We had four platinum albums in a row, but there's nothing fulfilling about selling records that bore you to play. Music is very emotional, so how you feel really affects how you perform. If an accountant has problems, he can still come into work, add two and two, and it still comes out four. Musicians can't do that. Confusion, feeling down... it'll come out in the music."

    Starship: With everyone from Aretha Franklin to ZZ Top tweaking their sound to cash in on '80s success, Starship (they're forced to drop the "Jefferson" when Paul Kantner leaves), scores three #1 hits with a radio-friendly sound that some Airplane fans find quite disturbing.
  • This song was featured in the opening of the 2001 movie Wet Hot American Summer, which was set in 1981. It was also used in the 2015 TV series, which is based on the film.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 19th 1983, Jefferson Starship performed "Jane" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand...
    Three years earlier on January 13th, 1980 "Jane" had peaked at #14 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    On the same 'Bandstand' show they also performed "Winds of Change"; at the time the record was in its first of two weeks at #38, and that would also be its peak position on the Top 100...
    And exactly nine years earlier on March 19th, 1974 the group appeared in concert {in Chicago} for the first time under their new name of Jefferson Starship.
  • Jim from North Billerica, MaJim From West Palm Beach. Craig is a big Jazz artist now He has quite a body of work.
  • Jack from Mesa, AzThis sounds like a song from a stalker's point of view.
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlSo what ever happened to Craig in recent years? He had a playing style that went beyond what Starship was doing. Did he retire or get into producing?
  • Joe from Grants Pass, Orkudos on Craig, Bro
  • Rich from San Jose, CaCrasby, Nash and Garcia were never members of any incarnation of this band. They helped out on Blows Against the Empire, which was a Kantner solo album.
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxOne of the band members and writers of Jane, Craig Chaquico, has had a brilliant career post-Starship playing smooth jazz guitar. He was nominated for a Grammy with his album Acoustic Planet in 1994. Once you've seen Craig play acoustic guitar live, you can appreciate his talent as a guitarist with Jefferson Starship.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Michael Sweet of Stryper

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Dar Williams

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Prince

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?