Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner dead at 74

Adjust Comment Print

Jefferson Airplane was the first band from the San Francisco scene to score mainstream success. The cause of death was multiple organ failure, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Kantner was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The concept album, about humans leaving Earth for outer space, was credited to Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship. Kantner has two sons, as well. Usually, we do stuff because more of the people want to do it than less.

Jefferson Airplane, which also comprised of Jack Casady, Grace Slick and Jorma Kaukonen, released seven albums, including 1967's "Surrealistic Pillow" and 1968's "Crown of Creation".

Kantner, born in San Francisco, was a lifelong cultural fixture in the famously left-leaning city whose philosophy, he liked to say, was to break all the rules. Marty Balin originally started the band, but Paul was the leader through its most successful period in the late 60's.

Amid fights with between bandmates in the early 1970s, Kantner recorded a solo album, Blows Against the Empire, with Airplane singer Grace Slick, which eventually to the Airplane's reinvention as Jefferson Starship.

Jefferson Airplane disintegrated by the early '70s, but returned in 1974 as Jefferson Starship, with Slick and Kantner at the helm.

A reunion of the Airplane, minus the drummer, Spencer Dryden, followed in 1989, with a tour and an album of new material, simply titled "Jefferson Airplane". Alongside the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and other select Bay Area bands, the Jefferson Airplane took the so-called San Francisco Sound and made it a phenomenon.

After flirting with college as the 1950s became the 1960s, he decided to enroll in San Francisco's folk scene instead, knocking around in bands.

Engler has a guitar autographed by Kantner that says "hey, thanks for the overtime"."I've never been called a "hero" before", he said in that interview.


He revived Jefferson Starship in 1992, and they remained a viable touring act.