Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner Passes
January 28, 2016 at 4:52 PM (PT)
PAUL KANTNER, guitarist and founder member of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and JEFFERSON STARSHIP, has died of multiple organ failure, the SF GATE reports. KANTNER, 74, had suffered a heart attack earlier this week.
Born in SAN FRANCISCO, KANTNER was asked by MARTY BALIN -- they were both folk musicians at the time -- to start a band in the summer of 1965. KANTNER then recommended JORMA KAUKONEN to play guitar. After their first live performance in AUGUST of '65, the band weren't through some personnel changes, adding guitarist-bassist JACK CASADY, singer GRACE SLICK and drummer SPENCER DRYDEN.
The AIRPLANE would become a BAY AREA rock sensation with hits such as "Somebody To Love" and White Rabbit." Eventually, internal dissension led the breakup of the band, which would later resurface as JEFFERSON STARSHIP.
KANTNER started experiencing health issues in OCTOBER 1980, when he had a cerebral hemorrhage. He still came back and played with the STARSHIP -- even when he and the AIRPLANE were inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1996.
He suffered a heart attack on MARCH 25th, yet he returned to STARSHIP in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE with live performances.