Paul Kantner, guitarist, vocalist and founding member of the Jefferson Airplane passed away on Thursday January 28. He was 74.
Kantner succumbed to multiple organ failure, following a heart attack earlier in the week. Kantner is survived by three children: sons Gareth and Alexander and daughter China. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Kantner suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1980 and a heart attack in March 2015 during the band’s 50th anniversary tour. He recovered in time to join the last part of the tour. Kantner and Jefferson Airplane bandmates were inducted into the Rock
Kantner died on the same day as Airplane co-founder Signe Toly Anderson, also 74. She sang on the first Jefferson Airplane album but quit the band in 1966.
The Jefferson Airplane pioneered the so-called ‘San Francisco sound’ in the Bay Area between 1965 and 1972, also playing the Woodstock festival in 1969. The band also played Monterey Pop in 1967 and Altamont in 1969.
The group released its debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off in 1966 and the same year, they became the first band to headline concert promoter Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium. In 1967, the band’s second album, Surrealistic Pillow, yielded the hit singles ‘Somebody to Love’ and ‘White Rabbit.’
After the band broke up in the early ’70s Kantner went on to form the Jefferson Starship and enjoyed more success. In 1996, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.