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Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner dies at 74


Jefferson Airplane. White Rabbit. Live Woodstock 1969. Original video


Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love (Live at Woodstock Music & Art Fair, 1969)



The musician had been in ill health in recent years, with Kantner suffering a heart attack in March 2015, according to the paper.

 With Jefferson Airplane, Kantner helped pioneer the oft-imitated psychedelic sound: simple, fuzzy guitar lines steeped in dreamlike reverb. The group formed in 1965 and, within a few years, scored hits with “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” In their first run, five of the band’s seven albums went gold, including 1967’s Surrealistic Pillow and 1968’s Crown of Creation.

Verging on a breakup in the early Seventies, Kantner recorded a solo album, Blows Against the Empire, with Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick, crediting it to Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship. The album was nominated for a Hugo Award presented to the best science-fiction and fantasy works. After formalizing the band Jefferson Starship, the band went on to greater commercial success than Jefferson Airplane, scoring platinum and gold records, including the double-platinum 1975 record Red Octopus. Kantner quit the group in 1984, but would rejoin in 1992 and continue to play with them until his death.

“Our condolences go out to the friends, family and fans of Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane on the news of his passing,” members of the Doors wrote on their Facebook page. “Music would not be the same without the sounds of The Doors and Jefferson Airplane, which both contributed so heavily to the signature sound of the Sixties and Seventies.”

Paul Lorin Kantner was born on March 17th, 1941 in San Francisco. His father was a traveling salesman, according to the Chronicle, and he was sent to military school after his mother’s death. He found inspiration in science-fiction books and folk music, dropping out of college to pursue music.

Jefferson Airplane came together after Kantner began playing in a folk group with former actor turned singer and guitarist Marty Balin and vocalist Signe Toly Anderson. The group subsequently brought in guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady. Balin plucked Skip Spence, a guitarist, for drums because he “looked like a drummer,” and with the first lineup complete they commenced playing rock reminiscent of early Beatles, folk, blues and ballads. The year they formed, they became the first San Francisco band to sign to a major label.

The group’s 1966 debut, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was a modest hit, charting in the lower half of the Top 200, but their fortune would change when lineup changes would welcome model-turned-singer Grace Slick, who’d been playing with the Great Society, into the fold.

With her powerful voice, the band recorded their breakthrough hits and became one of the defining bands of acid rock’s free-love movement, printing bumper stickers that read “Jefferson Airplane Loves You.” Their 1967 album, Surrealistic Pillow – which marked a turn toward more understated guitar playing with overtones of jazz and even Indian sensibility – brought the “San Francisco sound” to the mainstream. Later that year, they’d score a lesser hit with “The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil,” a harder-rocking song that Kantner wrote that would become the lead track on their After Bathing at Baxter’s album.

Kantner’s writing would become more politicized toward the end of the Sixties, and as Jefferson Airplane became falling apart – with Kaukonen and Casady forming Hot Tuna – and Balin leaving, the guitarist stepped into a larger role. He and Slick collaborated with several other San Francisco musicians.

After putting out Blows Against the Empire, which featured members of Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Grateful Dead, Kantner and Slick formed Jefferson Starship. Balin returned to the fold in time for Red Octopus, a Number One album, and the group’s mainstream rock ambitions came into focus. The album’s lush “Miracles” earned them a Number Three hit, and their next two albums – 1976’s Spitfire and 1978’s Earth – would also earn them Top 10 singles. By 1980, though, Kantner was the only original Jefferson Airplane member left in the lineup. He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that year but recovered and continued with the band.

In 1984, he left the group and formed a legal agreement with the other members that they could not use the “Jefferson” name without the approval of all respective members. Slick kept her band’s momentum with Starship, which earned a big hit with “We Built This City,” without Kantner.

Kantner and Jefferson Airplane would reform in 1989, when they put out a self-titled album, and again in 1996, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kantner put together Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation in 1992, which led to a trademark infringement suit with his former bandmates. He would continue to play with them, eventually dropping the Star Trek-y part of their name and putting out two albums, until his death.

Outside of his main bands, Kantner recorded two albums with Slick and a 1983 solo record, Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra. He also recorded with the KBC Band, which featured fellow Airplane members Balin and Casady.

In 1970, Rolling Stone asked Kantner why it was important for him to play live. “[We’re] trying to make consciousness,” he said. “Pointing things out. Just make people enjoy themselves. We didn’t even know what we were doing when we started doing it. Looking back, all we were saying was, ‘Look, we’re having a good time.’ And nothing else. Just sitting around having a good time with all this shit going on around us. Pretty soon people start filtering in, saying, ‘Hey, they’re having a good time.'”

Kantner is survived by three children: Gareth, Alexander and China.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/jefferson-airplane-guitarist-paul-kantner-dead-at-74-20160128#ixzz3yqGgsrwT
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The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government

The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government




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The American Counterculture refers to the period between 1964-1972 when the norms of the 1950s were rejected by youth.
Key Points

◾Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, sexual mores, women’s rights, and materialism.

◾Hippies were the largest countercultural classification comprising mostly white members of the middle class.

The counterculture movement divided the country.

◾The movement died in the early 1970s because most of their goals had become mainstream, and because of rising economic troubles.


To defeat forcibly.


Inflation accompanied by stagnant growth, unemployment or recession.


Any culture whose values and lifestyles are opposed to those of the established mainstream culture, especially to western culture.

A counterculture developed in the United States in late 1960s. This movement lasted from approximately 1964 to 1972, and it coincided with America’s involvement in Vietnam. A counterculture is the rejection of conventional social norms – in this case the norms of the 1950s . The counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, specifically racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.

Woodstock Youth

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This photo was taken near the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969. The counterculture in the 1960s was characterized by young people breaking away from the traditional culture of the 1950s.

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam , race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialist interpretation of the American Dream. White, middle class youth, who made up the bulk of the counterculture, had sufficient leisure time to turn their attention to social issues, thanks to widespread economic prosperity.

Vietnam War Protest

The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government
, which included anti-war protests like this.
Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States . The counterculture reached its peak in the 1967 “Summer of Love,” when thousands of young people flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, and mysticism. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.

The Peace Sign
The peace sign became a major symbol of the counterculture of the 1960s.

Rejection of mainstream culture was best embodied in the new genres of psychedelic rock music, pop-art, and new explorations in spirituality. Musicians who exemplified this era include The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Pink Floyd.

New forms of musical presentation also played a key role in spreading the counterculture, mainly large outdoor rock festivals. The climactic live statement of this occurred from August 15–18, 1969, with the Woodstock Music Festival held in Bethel, New York. During this festival, 32 of rock and psychedelic rock’s most popular acts performing live outdoors over the course of a weekend to an audience of half a million people.

Countercultural sentiments were expressed in song lyrics and popular sayings of the period, such as “do your own thing,” “turn on, tune in, drop out,” “whatever turns you on,” “eight miles high,” “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll,” and “light my fire. ” Spiritually, the counterculture included interest in astrology, the term “Age of Aquarius,” and knowing people’s signs.

The counterculture movement divided the country. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness. To others, the counterculture movement reflected a self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive assault on America’s traditional moral order.

In an effort to quash the movement, authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. In the end, the counterculture collapsed on its own around 1973.

Two main reasons are cited for the collapse. First, the most popular of the movement’s political goals—civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War—were accomplished (to at least a significant degree), and its most popular social attributes, particularly a “live and let live” mentality in personal lifestyles (the “sexual revolution”)—were co-opted by mainstream society. Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occured as many notable counterculture figures died and the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families.

The “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s, the latter costing many middle-class Americans the luxury of being able to live outside conventional social institutions. The counterculture, however, continues to influence social movements, art, music, and society in general, and the post-1973 mainstream society has been in many ways a hybrid of the 1960s establishment and counterculture—seen as the best (or the worst) of both worlds.