Exposé Online banner

Paul Kantner & Signe Anderson RIP

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

Paul KantnerKantner 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

Related artist(s): Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane / Starship

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Imán, Califato Independiente - Camino del Águila – Here's another gem in the hidden treasure trove of Spanish progressive rock, an area I'm unabashedly a big fan of. Musea did well to release this, as it should appeal to just about anyone who has...  (1994) » Read more

Kenso - Kenso's Guide to Making Progressive Rock Music – Well, in all my years or reviewing things, this is really a first. The 2DVD set is part performances, part music theory lectures, part insights, and part interviews; this is basically the members of...  (2009) » Read more

Atila - The Beginning of the End – Atila dates back to 1973, when guitarist Eduardo Alvarez Niebla formed the band as a trio with two of his friends, Paco Ortega (keys) and Juan Punet (drums). This, their first album – so rare I...  (1994) » Read more

Xaal - Seconde Ere – Finally, the long overdue second Xaal disc that almost never materialized, and were it not for the persistence of Bernard Gueffier and others at Musea, it could have remained in the vaults forever....  (1995) » Read more

Various Artists - Strange Daze '97 – The inaugural event which was covered in Exposé issue 14 is captured here on 2 CDs. If you have any aversion to space rock at all, keep away. The Gaia Avatara, Red Giant, and Nucleon tracks...  (2000) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues