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
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more
Big Brother & the Holding Company - Live in San Francisco, 1966 – Live in San Francisco 1966 is an early recording by the band, from July 28th, only about six weeks after Janis joined the band. The fourteen songs presented here are loaded with energy, great playing... (2004) » Read more