Paul Kantner Dead At 74
Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship guitarist, singer and co-founder Paul Kantner has died at the age of 74. Kantner had suffered a heart attack earlier this week, his second in the past year, and died Thursday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. Kantner co-founded Jefferson Airplane with Marty Balin in 1965, adding singer Grace Slick to the lineup a year later. The Airplane quickly took off, becoming one of the leading bands of the counterculture scene of the '60s, with their signature songs "Somebody To Love" and the hallucinatory "White Rabbit." The band fell apart in the early '70s and Kantner and Slick went on to form Jefferson Starship, which Balin also briefly joined. Starship had a far more commercial sound than the Airplane, fitting nicely into the "mellow rock" vibe so prevalent on the radio in the late '70s.By 1984, Kantner felt the Starship's sound had become too commercial and quit, but he revived the band in 1992 and continued to tour and record with them until 2013.
In 1973, various members of Airplane and Starship recorded an album with the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Flying Burrito Brothers' bassist Chris Etheridge titled Baron von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun. Below is a key track from this great album. Rest in peace, Paul Kantner.