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Starship continues journey

Published Jul. 21, 1995
Updated Oct. 4, 2005

Mickey Thomas might have packed it in a few years ago when the majority of the members of what was then known as Starship voted to jump ship.

"There was just nothing happening" the singer told an interviewer recently. "It just gradually dwindled down to nothing."

But after the band (originally begun under Paul Kantner along with Grace Slick and Marty Balin as Jefferson Starship, which evolved from Jefferson Airplane) dissolved in the late 1980s, Thomas, who had signed on in 1978, gained the legal right to use the name.

Most fans of the group had an identity with Thomas, whose soaring voice graced the band's best-known tunes such as We Built this City, Sara, and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us.

Those songs, Thomas says, were powerful statements in the halls of rock music history.

"It never ceases to amaze me when little kids come up and say, "Hey, I know you, you sang We Built This City. That proves that music can be timeless."

However, many of Starship's fans aren't aware of Thomas' days in the mid-1970s with blues-rocker Elvin Bishop, with whom he recorded Fooled Around and Fell In Love.

"I guess blues and soul are the roots of my music anyway," Thomas said. "I've always loved it."

The new Starship is a continuation of Mickey Thomas' musical journey. Along with longtime members bassist Brett Bloomfield and singer Melissa Kary, Thomas and his Starship whistle-stops on Bishop's territory while keeping Starship fans happy with their favorites as well. He also weaves in new material he has been collecting.

"It's always been important to keep growing musically," Thomas said. "That's why I feel my best work is definitely ahead of me.'

AT A GLANCE

Mickey Thomas' Starship performs at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Tierra Verde Resort. Tickets are $22 through Ticketmaster or the resort, 867-8710.