David Crosby – guitar, vocals
Graham Nash – guitar, vocals
Paul Kantner – guitar, banjo, vocal
Grace Slick – piano, vocal
Jorma Kaukonen – lead guitar
Jack Casady – bass
Jerry Garcia – guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh – bass
Bill Kreutzmann – drums
Mickey Hart – percussion
David Freiberg – viola, vocals
Wally Heider's studio, San Francisco, CA, Recorded 11/4/70 - 1/14/71
The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra is a nickname given to artists who recorded together in the early 1970s. They were predominantly members of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Their first album together was Blows Against the Empire, when they were known as Jefferson Starship. The name changed to Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra for the next album, 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 were invited to the sessions and rehearsed hours of material, and everything was recorded. Material played during these recorded sessions in 1971 was used for Crosby's album (the "PERRO Chorus" is credited on the 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.
Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra collaborations have resulted in many songs and formally in two releases; the first credited to Jefferson Starship was the album Blows Against The Empire; the second was David Crosby's solo debut If Only I Could Remember My Name.
The roots of PER&RO go back a lot further than 1971. 1 guess it had its inception in the early years of the '60s (prior to the Airplane, the Byrds et al) when Kantner, Crosby and Freiberg used to hang out, play music, get high and rap together around Venice Beach. That was the initial bond, the start of it all...
Later, when they were in bands of their own, there were occasional points of interaction - like Garcia sitting in on the 'Surrealistic Pillow' sessions, like Crosby giving "Triad" to the Airplane when he couldn't get the Byrds to record it, like Kantner, Crosby and Stills writing "Wooden Ships"....
As Grace recalls, "These sessions were like 'Uh, do you wanna play guitar on this one?' 'No, man, I have to go to the bathroom.' 'Okay, David, you wanna play?' 'Sure'. Whoever felt like doing something did it. Parts interchanged, people interchanged."