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  • Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane Has Died

    Fri, 29 Jan 2016 15:50:44

    Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane Has Died - Jefferson Airplane co-founder was 74

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    Paul Kantner, a founding member of one of the ‘60s most legendary rock acts, Jefferson Airplane, suffered a heart attack this week and has died, according to the musician's longtime friend and publicist, Cynthia Bowman. He was 74.

    The rocker was a long time fixture in San Francisco, where the group formed in 1965, when singer Marty Balin met Kantner at a Union Street bar called the Drinking Gourd.

    With Balin and the iconic vocals of Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane was renowned, writes the SF Gate, for the "the LSD-spiked, '60s-era revolutionary fervor of its lyrics."

    With songs like "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love," the paper's write up continues, "The group quickly became an integral part of the '60s rock scene, from the Matrix club to Golden Gate Park's "Human Be-In" to Monterey Pop. The Airplane's high point may have been its sterling early-morning performance at Woodstock, while its nadir may have come only months later, at the violence-plagued Altamont concert, when Balin was knocked unconscious by the rampaging Hells Angels."

    After multiple band feuds and a lawsuit, Kantner and Slick went on to form Jefferson Starship in 1974, which Kantner departed in 1985. Slick stayed on, and the re-named Starship released the ‘80s earworm "We Built This City," before the group folded near the end of that decade.

    According to SF Gate, Kantner was a "sometimes prickly, often sarcastic musician who kept his own counsel and routinely enraged his old bandmates," and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

    Further, it continues, "when not on the road with his band, Mr. Kantner was a fixture at Caffe Trieste in North Beach.

    'I've always loved San Francisco better than anywhere,' he said."

    Enjoy to a few songs Kantner wrote or co-wrote:

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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    Tags: Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Marty Balin, Grace Slick

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