March 17, 1941 – January 28, 2016
2016 was not been kind to music fans. Of course, the reality is that the musical heroes who rose to fame in the 1960s are in or approaching their 7th decade and the tables are weighted against many or any decades more.
I prefer to recognize these people by remembering their birthday, not the day they left us.
Like John Sebastian, the other person whose birthday I noted today [John Sebastian entry], Paul Kantner didn't have to move to find himself in the middle of the musical revolution. John was in the Village. Paul was in San Francisco.
Paul Kantner formed the Jefferson Airplane with Marty Balin in 1965. In 1966 the Airplane released its debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. It did well locally, but the Airplane's success grew when Grace Slick became its vocalist.
Kanter's mother died when he was eight and his father, a traveling salesman, sent him to boarding school. The lonely motherless child discovered science fiction in the school library and that influence became a bedrock for the Airplane's and later the Starship's music.
By 1969, the Airplane was successful and popular enough to close out day two of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The Who played until dawn and the Airplane came on.
Kantner was the key to the Airplane evolution into the Starship. In fact, Paul Kantner had the longest continuous membership with the band; at times he was the only founding member still in the band from the original Jefferson Airplane lineup.
The Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Its performance at the induction ceremony was the first time original members Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden and Kantner had played together since 1970
From Wikipedia: Kantner died in San Francisco at the age of 74 on January 28, 2016 from multiple organ failure and septic shock after he suffered a heart attack days earlier. Shortly after Kantner's passing, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart reflected, "He was kind of the backbone of that band. It was always about Grace and Jack and Jorma (Kaukonen), I don’t think he got the credit he deserved." He died on the same day as Airplane co-founder Signe Toly Anderson.
- Related link >>> Rolling Stone magazine obit
- Related link >>> All Music bio
- Related link >>> All Music credits
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