Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder, Dies At 76
Vocalist-guitarist Marty Balin, co-founder of the 1960s psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, has died at 76.
Balin’s representative confirmed his death to Rolling Stone but didn’t give a cause. Balin’s wife, Susan Joy Balin was at his side when he died Thursday, according to CNN.
“RIP Marty Balin, fellow bandmate and music traveler passed last night,” Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady said in a statement. “A great songwriter and singer who loved life and music. We shared some wonderful times together. We will all miss you!!!!”
“Marty and I were young together in a time that defined our lives,” Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen wrote on his blog. “Had it not been for him, my life would have taken an alternate path I cannot imagine. He and Paul Kantner came together and like plutonium halves in a reactor started a chain reaction that still affects many of us today. It was a moment of powerful synchronicity. I was part of it to be sure, but I was not a prime mover. Marty always reached for the stars and he took us along with him.”
Balin was a struggling folk guitarist in San Fransico when he started Jefferson Airplane with Paul Kanter. The band established it’s sound when Gace Slick joined the band two years later and sang their hit song “White Rabbit.”
Balin co-wrote five songs on their breakthrough album Surrealistic Pillow, including “Comin’ Back to Me” and album opener “She Has Funny Cars.”