Paul Kantner

Paul Kantner

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Paul Kantner

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Paul Lorin Kantner
Alias =
Born = Birth date and age|1941|3|17|df=y
San Francisco, United States
Died =
Instrument = Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Glass harmonica
Genre = Psychedelic rock, Folk rock, Acid rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1965–present
Label = RCA, Grunt, Arista
Associated_acts = Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, KBC Band
Notable_instruments = Rickenbacker 360/12 Fireglo & Mapleglo

Paul Lorin Kantner (born 17 March 1941 in San Francisco, California) is an American rock musician, most noted for co-founding the psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane.


Paul Kantner captained the band through various successor incarnations of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. In all incarnations of the band, his primary instrument was the rhythm guitar, though he did sing lead or backup vocals on most songs. During the summer of 1965 singer Marty Balin recruited folk musician Kantner as part of the original Jefferson Airplane. During the transitional period of the early 1970s, as the band started to disintegrate, Kantner recorded "Blows Against The Empire", a concept album featuring an ad-hoc group of musicians whom he dubbed Jefferson Starship, marking the first-ever use of that name. This edition of Jefferson Starship (such as it was) included members of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby and Graham Nash) and members of the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart), as well as some of the remaining members of Jefferson Airplane (Grace Slick, Joey Covington, and Jack Casady). In "Blows Against the Empire", Kantner (and Slick) sang about a group of people escaping earth in a hijacked starship and the album was nominated in 1971 for a prestigious science fiction prize, the Hugo Award, a rare honor for a musical recording. It was while that album was made that Kantner sealed his love affair with Grace Slick; their daughter China Kantner (who made a name for herself as an MTV veejay in the 1980s) was born shortly thereafter. Kantner and Slick (with a similar group of musicians, but without a "Jefferson Starship" artist credit) released two follow-up albums: "Sunfighter", an environmentalism-tinged album released in 1971 to celebrate China's birth, and 1973's "Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun", titled after the nicknames David Crosby had given to the couple. The artist credit on "Baron von Tollboth" gave ex-Quicksilver Messenger Service bassist-keyboard player-vocalist David Freiberg equal billing with Kantner and Slick. (Freiberg, who had also appeared on "Blows Against the Empire", had joined Jefferson Airplane in time to appear on "Thirty Seconds over Winterland".) Kantner is also credited with discovering teen-age guitarist Craig Chaquico during this time, who first appeared on "Sunfighter" and would play with Kantner, Slick, and their bands and then with Starship through 1991. He later embarked on a successful solo career as a smooth jazz artist. By 1973, with Kaukonen and Casady now devoting their full attention to Hot Tuna, the musicians on "Baron von Tollbooth" formed the core of a new Airplane lineup that was formally reborn as "Jefferson Starship" in 1974. Kantner, Slick, and Freiberg were charter members along with late-Airplane holdovers drummer John Barbata, and fiddler Papa John Creach (who also played with Hot Tuna), along with Pete Sears (who, like Freiberg, played bass and keyboards), and twenty-year-old guitarist Craig Chaquico. Although Balin was originally not among the re-christened Jefferson Starship, he joined the band while their first album, "Dragonfly", was still in the works. In 1984, Kantner (the last founding member of Jefferson Airplane remaining) left the group, but not before taking legal action against his former bandmates over the Jefferson name (the rest of the band wanted to continue as Jefferson Starship). Kantner won his suit, and the group name was reduced to simply "Starship," marking the third incarnation of the band. In 1985, following his departure from Jefferson Starship, Paul Kantner rejoined with Balin and Jack Casady to form the KBC Band, releasing their only album, "KBC Band" (which included Kantner's hit, "America"), in 1987 on Arista Records.

With Kantner reunited with Balin and Casady, the KBC Band opened the door to a full-blown Jefferson Airplane reunion. In 1988, during a San Francisco Hot Tuna gig, Paul Kantner found himself joined by former bandmate (and lover) Grace Slick and two other ex-Airplane members (Jorma Kaukonen and Casady) for a cameo appearance. This led to a formal reunion of the original Jefferson Airplane (featuring nearly all the main members, including founder Marty Balin, but without Spencer Dryden, who had been kicked out of the band years earlier). A self-titled album was released by Columbia Records. The accompanying tour was a success, but their revival was short-lived, and thus Jefferson Airplane was officially disbanded for good. In 1991 Kantner and Balin reformed Jefferson Starship and Kantner continues to tour and record with the band as of 2008. Former Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship bassist/vocalist David Frieberg rejoined the group in 2005 and former Jefferson Starship/Starship drummer Donny Baldwin rejoined the group in 2008.Jefferson Starship will release their first studio album in a decade which will be titled Jefferson's Tree of Liberty in September, 2008.

Albums discography

Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship, and Jefferson Starship-TNG

Jefferson Airplane

* "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off" (1966) - US position: # 128
* "Surrealistic Pillow" (1967) - US position: # 3 "(Breakthrough album featuring "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit.")"
* "After Bathing at Baxter's" (1967) - US position: # 17
* "Bless Its Pointed Little Head" (1969) Live
* "Crown of Creation" (1968) - US position: # 6
* "Volunteers" (1969) - US position: # 13
* "The Worst of Jefferson Airplane" (1970) - US position: # 12 "(First greatest hits collection.)"
* "Bark (album)" (1971) - US position: # 11
* "Long John Silver" (1972) - US position: # 20
* "Thirty Seconds Over Winterland" (1973) Live
* "Early Flight" (1974) "(A collection of singles, B-sides, and other non-LP tracks.)"
* "Flight Log, 1966–1976" (1977) "(Compilation album, also includes tracks by Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, as well as solo tracks.)"
* "Time Machine" (1984) "(Compilation album.)"
* "2400 Fulton Street|" (1987) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Jefferson Airplane" (1989) "(1989 "reunion" album.)"
* "White Rabbit & Other Hits" (1990) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Jefferson Airplane Loves You" (1991) "(Three-disc boxed set.)"
* "The Best of Jefferson Airplane" (1993) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Live at the Monterey Festival" (1995) "(Live recording, British release of Jefferson Airplane's performance at the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.")
* "" (1996) "(British compilation album.)"
* "Live at the Fillmore East" (1998) "(Live recording of 1968 performance at the Fillmore East in New York City.)"
* "The Roar of Jefferson Airplane" (2001) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Platinium & Gold Collection" (2003) "(Compilation album.)"
* "The Essential Jefferson Airplane" (2005) "(Compilation album.)"

Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship

* "Blows Against The Empire" (1970)

Jefferson Starship

* "Dragon Fly" (1974)
* "Red Octopus" (1975) "(Best-selling album for any incarnation of the Airplane/Starship.)"
* "Spitfire" (1976)
* "Earth" (1978) "(Last album w/ Marty Balin until 1995.)"
* "Gold" (1979) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Freedom at Point Zero" (1979)
* "Modern Times" (1981)
* "Winds of Change" (1982)
* "Nuclear Furniture" (1984)
* "Jefferson Starship at Their Best" (1993) "(Compilation album.)"
* "Deep Space / Virgin Sky" (1995) "(Live album.)"
* "Miracles (album)" (1995) "(Live album.)"
* "Windows of Heaven" (1999)
* "" (1999) "(Live album.)"
* "Extended Versions" (2000) "(Live album.)"
* "Across the Sea of Suns" (2001) "(Live album)"
* "Jefferson's Tree of Liberty" (2008)

Compilation albums credited to "Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship"

* "Hits" (1998)
* "VH1 Behind the Music" (2000)
* "Love Songs" (2000)

elected solo, duo and trio efforts

Paul Kantner/Grace Slick

* "Sunfighter" (1971)
* "Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun" (1973) "(By Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Freiberg.)"

Paul Kantner

* "Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra" (1983; remastered and reissued 2005)

The KBC Band

Includes Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, and Jack Casady.

* "KBC Band" (1986)

External links

* [ Official website for Jefferson Starship]
* [ Official website for Jefferson Airplane] .
* [ 'Got A Revolution': Biography of Jefferson Airplane by Jeff Tamarkin]
* [ Jefferson Airplane biography] at "Rolling Stone".
* [ Jefferson Airplane profile, NNDB] .
* [ "Surrealistic fellow: Kantner still rocks the Starship"] article in the Hook weekly

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