may be available for your next special event!
Paul Kantner died January 28, 2016 in
San Francisco. He was 74.
Jefferson Starship, a collaboration of
celebrated musicians that plays from the rich songbook of its
legendary forefathers Jefferson Airplane and the original incarnation
of Jefferson Starship, prevails as one of the most critically
acclaimed touring acts today. Steeped in the fantastic realms of
science fiction and the contemporary American shadow land, Jefferson
Starship features a stellar cast of old and new players, including vocalist Marty Balin and
bassist Jack Casady, all of whom were crucial in developing the
renowned "San Francisco Sound" that changed the course of
pop music forever.
|Richard De La Font
with Jefferson Starship
In 1965, Paul Kantner and Balin formed Jefferson
Airplane, embarking from Balin's San Francisco nightclub The Matrix.
With Casady, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, vocalist Signe Anderson and
drummer Skip Spence, Jefferson Airplane became the first San Francisco
rock group to sign a recording contract with a major label. Their
first album on RCA, "Jefferson
Airplane Takes Off," was released in 1966. Vocalist Grace
Slick joined the Airplane in 1967, bringing with her the hits
"Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," anthems
that announced the Summer of Love and permanently altered the
perspective of an entire generation. Both songs hit the Top 10 that
year, making Jefferson Airplane the most successful rock band in
Born of the decade marked by civil rights activism,
the war in Vietnam and the counterculture Mecca of San Francisco's
Haight-Ashbury, Kantner's group defined the psychedelic nation with
their appearances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont music
festivals. Now icons in the reformation of American music and thought,
the LPs "Surrealistic
of Creation," "Bless
Its Pointed Little Head" and "Volunteers"
surpassed the limits of musical and lyrical expression previously
unexplored, introducing strident and striking political tracts, yet
capable of evoking the most tender emotions.
Jefferson Airplane disbanded in 1972, leaving in its
wake the canon of work that includes "It's No Secret,"
"My Best Friend," "Comin' Back To Me,"
"Plastic Fantastic Lover," "We Can Be Together,"
"Today," "Wooden Ships" (with
David Crosby and
Stephen Stills) and "Volunteers" (which, nearly 30 years
after its inception, was featured in the Oscar-winning film Forrest
Gump and the PBS documentary Baseball).
Earlier, in 1970, Kantner embodied his utopian
vision of music and community with the science fiction opus "Blows
Against the Empire." Recorded with Slick, Jerry Garcia,
Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann,
Graham Nash and David
Against the Empire" was nominated for science fiction
literature's prestigious Hugo Award. To date, the album is the only
recording in rock 'n' roll history to have been honored so.
Against the Empire" collaboration was the prototype for
Kantner's next ensemble, Jefferson Starship, which he formed in
1974. Joined by Balin, Slick, lead guitarist
Craig Chaquico, bassist
Pete Sears and drummer John Barbata, the first incarnation of Jefferson
Starship reigned as one of the most artistically and commercially
successful rock groups for a decade.
The band's initial release, "Dragonfly,"
spawned the rock radio staples "Ride the Tiger" and
"Caroline," both penned by Kantner. The band's breakthrough
album came a year later with "Red
Octopus," which featured the hit single "Miracles"
and catapulted the group to the top of Billboard's album chart four
separate times in 1975. The band's subsequent releases "Spitfire"
at Point Zero" (1979), "Winds
of Change" (1981), and "Nuclear Furniture" (1983),
generated the hits "With Your Love," "St.
Charles," "Count on Me," "Runaway" and
Balin left the group in 1979 to pursue a solo
career. His 1980 debut release, "Balin," yielded the hit
"Hearts." In 1983, Kantner released his second solo album,
"Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra," featuring
guitarist Ronnie Montrose, Slick and China Kantner, the daughter of
Kantner and Slick. The next year, Kantner departed from Jefferson
Starship to work on his own projects.
Kantner rejoined with Balin and Casady in 1985 to
form the KBC BAND which featured keyboardist Tim Gorman from
and guitarist Slick Aguilar from
David Crosby's band. In 1987, Kantner
embarked on a fact-finding tour of Nicaragua and the Sandinista
government. Upon his return to the U.S., he published his journals of
the trip in "Paul Kantner's Nicaragua Diary."
In 1989, Kantner briefly reunited with Jefferson
Airplane, a much-anticipated project that resulted in an album, "Jefferson
Airplane," and a summer tour. Two years later, Kantner was back
on the road with a stripped-down, acoustic ensemble called Paul
Kantner's Wooden Ships, a trio that included Aguilar and Gorman from
the KBC BAND. In addition to his classic songs, Kantner and his group
performed new material which received resounding praise. The success
of this project prompted Kantner to reinvent his electric band and Jefferson
Starship took off once again. In addition to Aguilar and Gorman,
Kantner recruited former collaborators Casady and the late blues
violin master Papa John Creach; former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince;
and former World Entertainment War vocalist Darby Gould. Shortly after
the band's rebirth, Marty Balin rejoined Jefferson Starship, ending a
15-year hiatus from the group.
Papa John died in early 1993, weeks after touring
Europe. Concurrently, a sensational young vocalist, Diana Mangano
joined the group with her debut at "Woodstock In Mexico,"
replacing Gould, and in 1996, 6-time Grammy nominated keyboardist T
Lavitz (Dixie Dregs,
Widespread Panic) replaced Gorman. In classic
Kantner style, the group expands at times to include family members
Slick and China, original Jefferson Airplane vocalist Signe Anderson,
drummers Trey Sabatelli and Dean Johnson, & keyboardist John
Ferensic (from Todd Rundgren Band).
In 1995, Jefferson Starship headlined a
tribute to the at Hollywood's House of Blues, broadcast nationally on
the CBS Radio Network Concert Series. With very special guest Grace
Slick (in her last live performance to date), they debuted new
material, together with timeless classics, comprising the 1995 release
In 1996 Kantner, Balin & Casady were inducted
into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame as part of Jefferson Airplane.
Since reforming, Jefferson Starship has performed more than 500
concerts in 16 countries.
Hit songs include --
- Find Your Way Back
- With Your Love
- Count On Me
- Can't Find Love
- Winds of Change
- No Way Out
- Be My Lady
- Layin' It On The Line
- Play On Love
- Save Your Love
- Crazy Feelin'
- Girl With Hungry Eyes
- St. Charles
- Light The Sky On Fire
- Ride The Tiger
Jefferson Starship may be available for your next special event!
Genre: Rock 1
.Classic Rock. / ClassicRock
.Album Rock. / AlbumRock
.Arena Rock. / ArenaRock
.Pop/Rock. / PopRock
.Contemporary Pop/Rock. / ContemporaryPopRock
.Hard Rock. / HardRock
x70s, x80s, x90s, x00s, x10s
Formed: in 1974
Based: ..in US
Based: ..in California / based nCalifornia