Who or what was Jefferson Airplane's Pooneil?

Two of Jefferson Airplane’s finest songs namecheck Pooneil: The Ballad of You And Me And Pooneil from After Bathing at Baxters, and The House At Pooneil Corners from Crown Of Creation.

I have heard it said that it is a reference to Fred Neil, the folk singer. Is this correct? Why the Poo? Why two songs about it him/it?

And while I’m at it, where was Baxters?

From Winnie the Pooh. Both songs quote A.A. Milne: the “If you were a bird” verse in the first, and the “Cows are almost cooing” verse in the second.

Well, they’re not two entirely separate songs. They are musically and lyrically linked.

“Neil” was folksinger Fred Neil, who wrote “the Other Side of This Life”, which the Airplane frequently covered in concert (it appears on their live album “Bless It’s Pointed Little Head” and is the song they’re singing during their infamous altercation with the Hells Angels in the Altamont doc “Gimme Shelter.”)

He also was one of the more strident anti-authoritarian voices from the early 60s and originated the “Up Against the Wall, Motherfuckers!” slogan that the Airplane incorporated into their anthem “We Can Be Together.”

Winnie the Pooh and Neil were the heroes of Paul Kantner (composer of both “Pooneil” songs.) He seemed to consider the two yin-yang opposites - Pooh symbolizing childlike innocence and wonder, and Neil representing adult sophistication and angry attitude. The songs also reflect that duality - one song (Ballad) being about the joy of discovery & experiencing magic, the other song (House) being a bitter, misanthropic rant against mankind’s warlike nature.

Thanks, **Superman **- that’s a very interesting answer. It’s something that’s been puzzling me for decades.

You’re quite welcome. And just for the heck of it, here’s a video from Godard’s One P.M. film featuring the Airplane performing “House” as part of a hippie freakout - playing unannounced from a rooftop of a hotel in the downtown Manhattan to the surprise of many New Yorkers, and resulting in arrests of the band members. (This stunt pre-dates the Beatles’ own more famous rooftop concert by about two months.)