Don’t be surprised if Jefferson Starship lead singer Cathy Richardson sneaks into the fairgrounds to grab a quick ride in between her bands two Pima County Fair shows Monday.
“I used to go on all the roller coasters and all the flippy-spinny stuff when I was younger,” says the 49-year-old Richardson, who joined the band in 2008.
We caught up with her to chat about the April 23 show and her experience with the 1970s band that she grew up loving. Here are a few things we learned about her and the band.
What it’s like to perform at a fair: “It’s always great to play outside especially in a place as beautiful as Tucson.”
Songs that make longtime fans go nuts: “People always lose their minds for ‘White Rabbit,’ ‘We Built This City’ and ‘Jane,’” she says.
Fond fair memories: “I remember going to the carnival when I was in high school, and this would’ve been in the ’80s. I played some game, you know, where you throw darts at a balloon or something.” The prizes were mirror tiles silk screened with band logos; she won one with Jefferson Starship’s “Winds of Change.” “I still have it, and I had it hanging on my wall when I got the call from Jefferson Starship to join the band.”
Keeping the spirit alive: “I grew up listening to this music and loving this music. I always thought that I was born in the wrong era, but as it turns out I was born at the perfect time because the band is still going. We’re on a mission to keep this music alive, have the music reach new ears — young people — because it’s still very relevant today, and also to give people who lived through it a nostalgia trip back to some great memories.”
What’s next: Jefferson Starship is writing new music that remains very much in the vein of the band’s 1970s sound and message, including social issues. Richardson said the band has a single ready to drop. “We actually started playing it at our shows, so we might even play it in Tucson,” she said.