Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane Dead At 74

Paul Kantner was one of the many early architects of rock and roll. With his passing, we are deeply moved by his contributions to our favorite songs.

By , Columnist
With January of 2016 already having delivered a brutality of deaths among noted celebrities, it's equally disheartening to have another of the rock legends find an abrupt end to this short, short game we call life. 

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On January 28, 2016, Paul Kantner, passed away due to multiple organ failure. Kantner is best known for his iconic role and part in Jefferson Airplane, and later, Jefferson Starship. During the early years of rock and roll, just as the style of music was once again changing, Paul Kantner and his partners formed Jefferson Airplane. Their music helped to define the closeness of the young generation who had collectively formed a vision for the world. That audience was a gathering that held high ideals often passed around or initiated by music that bands like Jefferson Airplane created. Because of the prevalence of drug usage to "tune in" to a higher consciousness, the music from Kantner's band, as well as a popular host of others, became known as psychedelic rock. today, that style is still celebrated by popular current bands like The Black Angels.

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Paul Kantner's passing comes after an already too-extensive list that includes David Bowie, Glenn Frey (Eagles), Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), Dale "Buffin" Griffin (Mott the Hoople), Gary Loizzo (vocalist for The American Breed, who had a hit with "Bend Me, Shape Me"), Jimmy Bain (bassist for Rainbow, and Dio), and others. 

On the same day that Paul Kantner passed away, Jefferson Airplane's original lead vocalist Signe Anderson (she preceded Grace Slick) also died. Anderson, who later sang with Carl Smith and the Natural Gas Company, was 74.

While it's inevitable we cannot avoid the trap called death in this fragile existence, we can only hope an avalanche doesn't hit us full force as the rock stars many of us grew up with (or are, at the very least, acquainted with) begin to cross dangerous time lines.

Paul Kantner, like the many that have preceded him in death, will be missed and mourned.

May you Rest In Peace, Mr. Paul Kantner.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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