San Francisco Rock Legend Paul Kantner Dies

Paul Kantner, March 17, 1941 – January 28, 2016
Publish date:
Updated on

San Francisco psychedelic-rock legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Paul Kantner has passed away at 74 years old of a heart attack.

The sometimes-cranky singer-songwriter-guitarist had weathered a series of health problems in recent years, but always managed to beat them off and return to perform with the current version of Jefferson Starship, of which Guitar Player Los Angeles editor Jude Gold is a member.

Kantner co-founded Jefferson Airplane with vocalist Marty Balin in the early 1960s, and the band performed its first show at Balin's own club, the Matrix in San Francisco on August 13, 1965. The group gained national attention with the release of Surrealistic Pillow in 1967, propelled by then co-vocalist Grace Slick's stirring performance on the hits "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love." 

We'll add to this report with archival interviews and other content in the coming days.

For now, here are some videos to enjoy...

Kantner and Jude Gold jamming with Jefferson Starship

Jefferson Airplane on American Bandstand, 1967