Jefferson Airplane

Paul KantnerGuitar, vocals1965-1984
Grace SlickVocals, keyboards1966-1978; 1981-1984
Marty BalinVocals1965-1971; 1975-1978
Jorma KaukonenGuitar, vocals1965-1972
Signe AndersonVocals1965-1966
Bob HarveyBass1965
Jack CasadyBass1965-1972
Skip SpenceDrums1965-1966
Spencer DrydenDrums1966-1970
Joey CovingtonDrums1970-1972
Papa John CreachFiddle1971-1975
John BarbataDrums1972-1979
David FreibergVocals, bass, guitar, keyboards1972-1984
Pete SearsBass1974-1984
Craig ChaquicoGuitar1974-1984
Aynsley DunbarDrums1979-1982

Jefferson Airplane Artistfacts

  • Jefferson Airplane formed in San Francisco during the summer of 1965. Balin and Kantner met at a club called the Drinking Gourd that year.
  • The Airplane's first gig was August 13, 1965 was at the Matrix Club, which later become a showcase for new San Francisco bands. They played the first-ever gig at the Fillmore West Auditorium.
  • Spence quit playing drums for this band to become the guitarist for Moby Grape. His replacement, Dryden was a former jazz drummer.
  • Slick was a former model, who had also sung in her (now ex) husband's band, the Great Society. Their LPs weren't released by Columbia until after Slick became a star. She replaced Anderson, who left to have a baby.
  • Tensions grew when Slick began stealing media attention away from founder Balin. He soon left and formed the unsuccessful Bodacious D.F.
  • Dryden left to replace Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart in New Riders of the Purple Sage.
  • The first time the Jefferson Starship name appeared was when the Airplane was forced to stop touring when Slick became pregnant with Kantner's child in 1970 (They named her China). The two recorded an album as Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Starship. The album featured guest appearances by Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, and Graham Nash, among others.
  • Kaukonen and Casady formed Hot S--t (later called Hot Tuna) when Kantner and Slick were recording. They would eventually leave the group to work on that band.
  • Barbata had been a member of the Turtles and Freiberg a member of Quicksilver Messenger Service.
  • Creach began as a member of Hot Tuna, who played with the Airplane when Kaukonen and Casady did. He decided to keep playing with the Airplane instead.
  • China Kantner grew up to an acting career (best known as Willow on Home Improvement). She was also a VJ on MTV from 1986-1988.
  • In February 1974, the Jefferson Airplane was changed to the Jefferson Starship. The new group featured Chaquico, at the time 19 years old, who had played in Steelwind with his high school English teacher. Kaukonen's brother, Peter, played bass with them for four months before being replaced by Sears, who had played with Rod Stewart.
  • In November 1976, Slick married lighting director Skip Johnson (13 years her junior).
  • Dunbar had been a member of Journey. He had also played with Frank Zappa, David Bowie, John Mayall, Jeff Beck, and Lou Reed.
  • After Kantner left in 1984, the group was simply known as Starship, but still enjoyed much commercial success.
  • Kaukonen, Casady, Slick, Balin, and Kantner reunited for one self-titled LP in 1989. It hit #85.
  • In 1977, the Airplane was stopped from playing in Golden Gate Park, because there was a ban on electric instruments. It was a free concert.
  • Some say they based their name (the first one) on Blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson. Others say they got it from the term for a match split apart to act as a clip for marijuana. They were the symbols of the Haight-Ashbury counterculture movement in the Sixties. What did you expect?
  • Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship's Blows Against the Empire was the first music ever nominated for science fiction's most prestigious award, the Hugo Award.
  • They personified Psychedelic Rock with their lyrics, wardrobes, stage sets and album cover art. Psychedelic Rock was often associated with drugs and probably peaked in the 1967 summer of love. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Elizabeth - Beverly Hills, CA
  • A "jefferson airplane" was a slang term in the '60s for a roachclip made by splitting the paper of a paper match in half lengthwise. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Cyberpope - Richmond, Canada
  • When Grace Slick was invited to the White House for a tea party in 1969, she planned to spike President Nixon's tea with 600 micrograms of LSD. The plan was thwarted by White House security.
  • Slick retired from the music business in the early '90s, telling VH1's Behind The Music, "All rock-and-rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire." Aside from a couple appearances with a new iteration of Jefferson Starship, Slick was true to her word and focused on other artistic endeavors like painting and drawing.

Comments: 10

  • Mike from Youngstown, OhAs far as Jefferson Airplane are concerned — in addition to Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady also appeared on all albums released under this artist name. Kantner was the only one who persisted through the later Jefferson Starship incarnation, and he too ultimately left that band, who then became simply Starship.
  • Robert from Houston, TxJefferson Airplane is not to be confused with televisions "The Jeffersons" - even though they too were movin' on the sky.
  • Nate from Lubbock, TxOh and if you're a fan of Airplane you should you look up Jefferson Airplane live at monetrey pop in 1967...High flying bird and Today preformed live...its amazing.
  • Nate from Lubbock, TxToday is a beautiful song, for some odd morbid reason I remember the song Today playing the background when I went to -veiw- my grandfather for the last time ever...even now for that reason somtimes this song still brings a tear to my eye as does Summers almost gone by The Doors.
    A great band indeed. R.I.P Jame's Roberts 1926-2008.
  • Alexandria from Preston, CtPlastic Fantastic Lover is my favorite Jefferson Airplane song.
  • Lester from New York City, Ny'Winds of Change' is a great song. 'Stranger' also.
  • Aisha from Regina, CanadaGreatest psychadellic rock band in history, they kicked ass before Grace Slick and kicked even more ass when she joined. I would recommend checking out their '68 album "Takes Off" and also watching their woodstock performances, it'll blow you away. "Today" is by far their greatest love song, it makes me want to jump my boyfriend.
  • Kevin Quinn from Cmch, NjGreat Band. Somebody to Love, good song, Volunteers, great song.
  • Mike from GermantownThe only person who was with them the whole time was Paul Kantner
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScOf course Jefferson Airplane rocks!!
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