Paul Kantner, founding member, guitarist and singer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship passed away at 74.
Paul Kantner was born on March 17th, 1941 in San Francisco. After his mother's death, his father sent him to military school. He found escape and inspiration in science fiction books and folk music. Mr. Kantner attended Santa Clara University and San Jose State, before dropping out of college to pursue music.
Formed in 1965 by Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane began as a folk-rock band but developed into so much more. The band was an innovator of psychedelic music and helped shape the "San Francisco sound." Their local following quickly grew, releasing their debut Jefferson Airplane Takes Off in 1966. That same year they headlined the Fillmore. By 1967, they were a sensation, with songs such as "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love." They went on to great success, with five of their first seven albums going gold.
In the early Seventies, Mr. Kantner recorded a solo album, Blows Against the Empire, with Grace Slick. This album, credited Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship, was nominated for a Hugo Award presented to the best science fiction and fantasy works. Later, formalizing the band Jefferson Starship, Mr. Kantner and crew became more successful (commercially) than Jefferson Airplane. Jefferson Starship scored gold and platinum records, including a double-platinum album in 1975 entitled Red Octopus.
Paul Kantner quit the band in 1984 but rejoined in 1992. He continued to play with them until his death. In 1996, Mr. Kantner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Jefferson Airplane.
Mr. Kantner is survived by his two sons, Gareth and Alexander, and his daughter China.
As a past guest at Dragon Con, Mr. Kantner was a gentleman as well as an inspiration. Paul Kantner, thank you for all that you did for music. You will truly be missed.