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
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more