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Jefferson Airplane: Somebody to Love

TDR-Remembers: PAUL KANTER. In the late 60's there was a lot going on in San Francisco, the streets were crawling with kids from all over the country that had migrated to Baghdad By The Bay to join the Hippy Movement. It was also the epicenter of the new Psychedelic and Hard Driving Rock and Roll Music. One of the most prominent of those groups was called: The Jefferson Airplane, and one of it's founders was the late Paul Kanter. I had missed Paul's death just before the beginning of 2017, he passed on January 28, 2016 at age 74, but we were preparing for our New Year's Eve party.

 

The Airplane was born after Paul met the multi-talented Marty Balin in 1965; what we called the "Classic lineup of "Jefferson Airplane" from 1965 to 1970 was: Marty Balin (Vocals), Paul Kantner (Guitar, Vocals), Grace Slick (Vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Jack Casady (Bass), and Spencer Dryden (Drums). It was an important band and considered the definers of "The San Francisco Sound," it was also the first to be successful commercially, opening the door, for The Dead, Big Brother and Janis, Santana and so many more.

 

" The Jefferson Airplane" made their bones headlining at the 3 Major Festivals (Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969) Altamont (1969)—and the first Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K. (1968). They had their break-out album in the "Summer of Love" (1967) and it threw off two Hit Singles, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," (Written by Grace's brother-in-law, Darby Slick) that she brought to the band when they bought out her contract from her former group, "The Great Society."

 

Flash forward to 1970, The Jefferson Airplane was on top of the world, but Paul Kanter had some other kinds of music he wanted to play and formed, "Paul Kanter/Jefferson Starship," which would eventually take on a life of it's own when the Airplane split into 2 Groups, "Hot Tuna" and "Jefferson Starship." Kanter was with the original "Airplane" for 19 years, and in "The Starship" for 24 years, touring and recording most of his life. Paul Kanter was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 with the rest of the original members of the "Jefferrson Airplane."

 

For the Paul Kanter Tribute Video Scott found a clip of the group freaked out in hippy drag, and playing Live on The Dick Cavett Show (check out Dick's Mod Clothes and couch built into the stage and the balding hipster dancing) in the late 70's doing their first hit, "Somebody To Love," with good audio and video. May Paul Kanter's Rock and Roll Soul continue to rest in the Cosmic Peace. @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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