The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra  

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The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (PERRO) is a nickname given to some artists who recorded together in the early 1970s. They were predominantly members of Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young . Their first album together was for Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship's Blows Against the Empire.

Starship founder Paul Kantner came up with the term "Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra", a label of reference to the San Francisco musicians that played on David Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name. During the sessions for Crosby's album at Wally Heider Studios, the musicians of each band (who were working in other rooms) dropped in to the sessions and improvised hours of music, and everything was recorded. Some of the basic tracks played during these recorded sessions in 1971 were used for Crosby's album. Engineer Stephen Barncard and David Crosby made rough mixes of some of the session tapes, and in 1991 Graham Nash sent a DAT tape to Paul Kantner which later showed up in the tape trading markets as a 'pristine' digital copy. Barncard came up with the PERRO abbreviation when he needed to identify the 2 inch wide tapes on sides, standing vertically.

The "PERRO Chorus" is credited on Crosby's song, "What Are Their Names") and several other solo albums after Crosby's (see discography). The name Jefferson Starship was later used for Paul Kantner and Grace Slick's new band formed in 1974. Paul Kantner recorded a solo album in 1983 as a tribute to this time, Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra.


Rehearsal Tapes Personnel


Year Title Chart positions Certification
1970 Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship 20 Gold (RIAA)
1971 If I Could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby 12 Gold (RIAA)
Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash 15 Gold (RIAA)
Sunfighter by Paul Kantner and Grace Slick 89
Papa John Creach by Papa John Creach 94
1972 Graham Nash David Crosby by Graham Nash and David Crosby 4 Gold (RIAA)
Rolling Thunder by Mickey Hart 190
1973 Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun by Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg 120
1983 Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra by Paul Kantner
"—" denotes release did not chart and/or not certified.



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