In this March 8, 1968 file photo, members of the rock group Jefferson Airplane pose for a photograph in San Francisco. From left, Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady. (AP Photo)
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Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal San Francisco band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship, has died at age 74 .Besides Kantner, who played rhythm guitar and added backing vocals, the Airplane's best-known lineup included singers Grace Slick and Marty Balin; lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen; bassist Jack Casady; and drummer Spencer Dryden, who died in 2005 .Kantner, Crosby and Stephen Stills would collaborate on the escapist, post-apocalypse fantasy "Wooden Ships," which Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills and Nash each recorded and performed at Woodstock.With perfect timing for a '60s band, the Airplane began splitting apart at the end of the decade. But by the mid-1980s, when Slick and Mickey Thomas were lead vocalists, Kantner thought the music so "mundane" that he left the Jefferson Starship and successfully forced the remaining members not to use the name "Jefferson". Over the past 30 years, Kantner, Balin and Casady occasionally performed as the KBC Band and a reunited Airplane briefly toured and recorded.
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