Four Sue /Southland
Fri Jul 11
Doors: 6:00 PM / Show: 8:00 PM
American rock band, Jefferson Starship, formed in the early 1970s by several members of the former psychedelic rock group Jefferson Airplane. The band has undergone several major changes in personnel and genres through the years while retaining the same Jefferson Starship name.
The current Jefferson Starship, led by co-founder Paul Kantner, more closely resembles its original mix of psychedelic and electric folk music than the pop-driven tunes it was widely known for in the early to mid-1980s. It is not to be confused with Starship, a spin-off of the group featuring former co-lead singer Mickey Thomas that also periodically tours. The latter group is most frequently identified with the 1980s pop tunes of the Jefferson Starship.
During the transitional period of the early 1970s, when Jefferson Airplane was in the process of disbanding, singer-guitarist Paul Kantner recorded Blows Against the Empire. This was a concept album featuring an ad hoc group of musicians (centered around Kantner, Grace Slick, Joey Covington, and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane; Crosby & Nash; and members of the Grateful Dead & Santana) credited on the LP as "Jefferson Starship", marking the first use of that name. This agglomeration was informally known as the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra, a moniker later used on a Kantner album in the early 1980s.
By 1973, with Kaukonen and Casady now devoting their full attention to Hot Tuna, the musicians on Baron von Tollbooth & the Chrome Nun formed the core of a new lineup that was formally reborn as "Jefferson Starship" in 1974. Kantner, Slick, and Freiberg were charter members. The line-up also included late-Airplane holdovers drummer John Barbata and fiddler Papa John Creach (who also played with Hot Tuna), Jorma Kaukonen's brother Peter, who, after the group's 1974 spring tour, was replaced by Pete Sears (who, like Freiberg, played bass and keyboards) and twenty-year-old guitarist Craig Chaquico.
Marty Balin contributed the haunting ballad "Caroline" to their first album Dragon Fly, but did not join the band again until January 1975. Balin stayed with the group for nearly the remainder of the decade. This line-up proved to be the band's most commercially successful so far. Balin's ballad "Miracles" helped 1975's Red Octopus reach multiple-platinum status and No. 1 in the Billboard charts. Creach left the band in August 1975 to pursue a solo career.
In 2009, they toured as part of the Heroes of Woodstock tour with Jeff Pevar (Jazz Is Dead, Crosby, Pevar & Raymond) on bass. Other musicians included in this tour were Canned Heat, Ten Years After, Country Joe McDonald, Tom Constanten, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Melanie, John Sebastian, Mountain, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Levon Helm Band, although not all artists appeared at every show.
As of 2012, Jefferson Starship continues to tour with a lineup of Paul Kantner (vocals, guitar), David Freiberg (vocals, guitar), Cathy Richardson (vocals), Slick Aguilar (lead guitar), Chris Smith (keyboards) and Donny Baldwin (drums). The band sometimes features guest musicians such as Balin, Gould, Gorman, and original Jefferson Starship bassist and Keyboardist Pete Sears.
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