Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane whose signature sound provided the soundtrack for a generation of Flower Children and hippies in the Bay Area and beyond, died Thursday, of multiple organ failure.
He was 74.
Kantner, who was fond of San Francisco’s cafe life and lived it there, talking with strangers about his music and the times that defined him and so many others without affectation. He suffered from a number of health issues in recent years.
With the high-flying Jefferson Airplane, Kantner patented and put his stamp on the music known as “The San Francisco Sound” in the mid-60s, with the band putting out generational mainstays such as “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.”
The Airplane, which Kantner helped organize and popularize, was known for a string of signature singers Marty Balin and Grace Slick. Kantner rounded out the now-legendary band with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass player Jack Casady.