Paul Kantner, one of the founding members of 60s icons Jefferson Airplane, died on January 28, 2016 at the age of 74. On the same day, the band's original co-lead singer, Signe Anderson (later Ettlin), also died, also aged 74. That band's unique style was one of the defining factors in American psychedelic music, particularly the San Francisco version, and just recently was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-01-29
Kantner was born March 17, 1941 in San Francisco, and it was in 1965 that he and Marty Balin formed Jefferson Airplane, soon bringing lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and singer Signe Anderson, along with drummer Jerry Peloquin and bassist Bob Harvey. Their music was at first heavily folk based, though they expanded to include elements of blues and rock. Anderson, a Seattle native who had grown up in Portland, Oregon, got pregnant and left after the first album, to be replaced by Grace Slick.
Personnel changes ensued, with the lineup consisting of Kantner, Balin, Kaukonen, Jack Casady (bass), Spencer Dryden (drums), and Grace Slick (co-lead vocals) considered the classic configuration.
Tensions in the gourp always ran high, and after Kantner and Slick's 1970 offshoot album Blows against the Empire, a series of changes ensued that led to the dissolution of Jefferson Airplane and the birth of Jefferson Starship. Starship continued off and on up to 2015, with Kantner being the only constant member.
In 2015, Kantner's health took a turn for the worse, with multiple heart attacks and organ failure. Anderson's cause of death is listed as a heart condition.
Filed under: Obituaries
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more