Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin

Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin

Remembering Marty Balin
January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018
Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin
Marty Balin (photo from http://imgbuddy.com/marty-balin.asp)

Born Martyn Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 30, 1942, parents Joe and Jean Buchwald raised Marty in in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin

In 1962 Marty renamed himself Marty Balin and began recording with Challenge Records, releasing the singles “Nobody But You” and “I Specialize in Love.”

Balin was the lead for the folk music quartet called The Town Criers, followed by a brief stint with the Gateway Singers in 1965.

On July 25, 1965, Dylan famously “went electric” at the Newport Folk Festival.  Deciding to do the same but getting refusals from the folk clubs, Balin opened the San Francisco Matrix night club on August 13, 1965 featuring his new band Jefferson Airplane. The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Big Brother and the holding Company, and Steve Miller all performed there. The Airplane and the Matrix helped create the San Francisco scene.

In August 1969, the Airplane famously played their sunrise set at Woodstock.

Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin

For personal, personnel, and musical reasons, Marty left the Airplane in April 1971. In a 1993 interview with Jeff Tamarkin of Relix Balid said “I don’t know, just Janis’s death. That struck me. It was dark times. Everybody was doing so much drugs and I couldn’t even talk to the band. I was into yoga at the time. I’d given up drinking and I was into totally different area, health foods and getting back to the streets, working with the American Indians. It was getting strange for me. Cocaine was a big deal in those days and I wasn’t a cokie and I couldn’t talk with everybody who had an answer for every goddamn thing, rationalizing everything that happened. I thought it made the music really tight and constrictive and ruined it. So after Janis died, I thought, I’m not gonna go onstage and play that kind of music; I don’t like cocaine.” (click >>> Relix interview)

Balin joined Airplane’s reconstructed Jefferson Starship in 1975 and remained with them until 1978. Afterward, he returned to his solo career, though he did join the band for reunions in 1989 and 1996

He released 12 solo albums.

In 1996, Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Grace Slick was absent due to medical reasons). Most in jackets and ties, they performed “Volunteers” with Balin on lead vocals.

Rolling Stone storyMarty died on September 27, 2018. []

References: Marty Balin site
Jefferson Airplane Marty Balin
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Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Paul Williams Crawdaddy!

Remembering and appreciating Paul
May 19, 1948 – March 27, 2013
Rock journalism’s founding father
Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Paul Williams printed the first edition of his rock magazine Crawdaddy! in a Brooklyn basement on January 30, 1966. In it he wrote: You are looking at the first issue of a magazine of rock and roll criticism. Crawdaddy! will feature neither pin-ups nor news-briefs; the specialty of this magazine is intelligent writing about pop music….

Before Crawdaddy! if someone wanted to read a serious essay about the changing rock music scene, sources were difficult to find. Publishers catered to teens with the still-popular magazines like Seventeen.

Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Swarthmore College

Williams had begun writing rock and roll essays while a student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He wrote about Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, David Crosby, and Brian Wilson among others.

In 1968 he served as campaign manager for Timothy Leary’s run for the governorship of California. Williams , Williams and Leary joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Toronto “Bed-in For Peace”.  It was during that performance art piece that the song “Come Together” was written.  According to the Williams site: Paul’s voice can be heard mixed into the chorus on the original recording of “Give Peace A Chance.” Similarly, on The Doors “Unknown Soldier” he can be heard locking and loading a rifle.” 

Also according to the same site, “…he wasn’t only at Woodstock, he rode to the festival from New York City in the Grateful Dead’s limousine [click for more >>> Williams site]

By 1968 two new rock magazines had appeared: Rolling Stone and CREEM.

Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Parting ways

Williams and Crawdaddy! parted ways in 1968 and Crawdaddy! suspended publication in 1969, but returned as Crawdaddy in 1970.

In 1979 the magazine changed its title to Feature but after only three issues it ceased publication.

Paul Williams reclaimed and restored the exclamation-pointed title in 1993. In poor health after a 1995 head injury in a bike mishap, the magazine stopped publishing in 2003.

On June 28, 2009, various musicians held a benefit concert for him at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco.

Paul Williams Crawdaddy

Death

Williams died on March 27, 2013, at his home in California at age 64 from complications related that accident which had lead to early onset dementia.

 NPR article on Williams’s death; NYT obituary.

Paul Williams Crawdaddy
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