Jefferson Airplane Guitarist Paul Kantner Dead at 74

Paul Kantner
Paul Kantner in 1973 Michael Putland/Getty Images

Another legend lost. Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner has passed away at the age of 74. Cynthia Bowman, his longtime publicist, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the musician died on Thursday, January 28, of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He also had a heart attack earlier this week.

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According to the paper, Kantner suffered a heart attack in March 2015 as well, and had been battling ill health.

The musician cofounded the psychedelic rock band in 1965 along with Marty Balin, Jack Casady, Spencer Dryden, Jorma Kaukonen and Grace Slick. Jefferson Airplane is known for what became recognized as the San Francisco sound, and is known for hits “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” 

Kantner and bandmate Slick later went on to form the Jefferson Airplane spinoff group Jefferson Starship in 1974. 

Paul Kantner
Paul Kantner performing in 1985 Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

“Our condolences go out to the friends, family and fans of Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane on the news of his passing,” a post on the Doors’ Facebook page read on Thursday. “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.”

Kantner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and is survived by his three children Gareth, Alexander and China.

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