The group subsequently brought in guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady. Verging on a breakup in the early Seventies, Kantner recorded a solo album, Blows Against the Empire, with Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick, crediting it to Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship. He was a man-about-town, rock royalty among “the people.”. Let's take a look at some of the gear and equipment that has been seen in Paul's guitar rig. Paul Kantner, founding member, guitarist and singer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, died Thursday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. 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His undeniable magnum opus, the 1970 album Blows Against the Empire, which featured Kantner and Grace Slick joined by a who’s who of San Francisco musicians (and others), was a sprawling, ambitious work, dominated by a stoned, sci-fi fantasy suite of songs that were propelled by Kantner’s insistent acoustic strumming, and surrounded by a dreamy universe of electric instruments drifting in and out of the songs like amorphous gaseous clouds in deep space. Add gear to Paul Kantner! Looking back, all we were saying was, ‘Look, we’re having a good time.’ And nothing else. Can't play "Today"? That was part of the lefty folk tradition, too, and also a big part of the early San Francisco rock scene. 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Jefferson Airplane, Obituary. The musician had been in ill health in recent years, with Kantner suffering a heart attack in March 2015, according to the paper. He and Slick collaborated with several other San Francisco musicians. The irony of his life in that era is that he lived very comfortably in a beautiful house perched over the blue Pacific in the ritzy Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco, even as he wrote stirring anthems about the poor and the young rising up together in rebellion against the status quo. Even though he helped form one of San Francisco’s great pyschedelic bands, Paul Kantner was always a folkie at heart. Much of its enduring appeal resides in the contributions of rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner and lead guitarist Craig Chaquico. Improve your playing via easy step-by-step video lessons! Find and submit the guitar rig, amplifier setup, effects pedalboard, and other instruments used by Paul Kantner in the studio and live setup. Pledge your support and get bonus lessons! I remember him being a fixture at punk and new wave shows in San Francisco at a time when the mohawk-and-safety-pin crowd was condemning him and his ilk as irrelevant dinosaurs. Paul Kantner's gear and equipment including the Rickenbacker 360/12 Electric 12-String Guitar and 1963 Gibson ES-345 Black. Inspired by Freddie King’s regal use of a Goldtop LP, Clapton bought his own Les Paul second-hand in 1965 from the Lew Davis guitar shop in London. With Jefferson Airplane, Kantner helped pioneer the oft-imitated psychedelic sound: simple, fuzzy guitar lines steeped in dreamlike reverb. In our rough survey of the guitars put to use at the festival, there are a few outliers beyond the Gibsons and Martins and Guilds and Fenders. In doing so, he mirrored a lot of the turmoil, passion, and strangeness of the times through his songs; his own electric folk music. Kantner wrote many of his songs on acoustic guitar, and truth be told, even his electric playing (he loved that Rickenbacker sound, and also played other electric axes) always seemed rooted in folk strum-and-sing. John Fogerty played a Rickenbacker 325 (in addition to his Les Paul Custom) with Creedence on Saturday, and early the next morning Paul Kantner used his Rick 360/12 with Jefferson Airplane. Sign up for our newsletter. The Airplane’s 1966 debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was folk-rock; the same could be said for the group’s 1967 breakthrough smash, Surrealistic Pillow, which beneath the jangling electric guitars sometimes had layers of acoustic guitar played by Kantner, Kaukonen, and even their friend Jerry Garcia. He was a tremendous admirer of Woody Guthrie, The Weavers, Pete Seeger, and other titans of the ’50s “folk scare,” because he appreciated the outward simplicity of the songs—this was truly “people’s music” almost anyone could play—and the directness of the lyrics, so many of them dealing with social and political issues, and the travails of the downtrodden. The group’s 1966 debut, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was a modest hit, charting in the lower half of the Top 200, but their fortune would change when lineup changes would welcome model-turned-singer Grace Slick, who’d been playing with the Great Society, into the fold. His father was a traveling salesman, according to the Chronicle, and he was sent to military school after his mother’s death. Paul Kantner, founding member, guitarist and singer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, died Thursday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. From that point on in the Airplane, however, things got more electric— in every sense of the word—though occasionally there would be nods back to the group’s folk roots. And he was everywhere. The band has had a song in the Guitar Hero game and is really well known as the opening act for AC/DC's tour. He was truly one of the good guys, another irreplaceable character in rock’s weird tapestry. We didn’t even know what we were doing when we started doing it. Paul Mahon is the guitar player in the Irish hard rock band The Answer. Kantner quit the group in 1984, but would rejoin in 1992 and continue to play with them until his death. Just sitting around having a good time with all this shit going on around us. Pretty soon people start filtering in, saying, ‘Hey, they’re having a good time.'”. Help discover the music gear and equipment Paul Kantner uses. Click the gear images for more info and specs at Guitar Center and Amazon After putting out Blows Against the Empire, which featured members of Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Grateful Dead, Kantner and Slick formed Jefferson Starship. We want to hear from you! He also recorded with the KBC Band, which featured fellow Airplane members Balin and Casady. That’s where his roots were; same with original Jefferson Airplane members Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, and Signe Anderson. Rickenbacker 360/12 Electric 12-String Guitar. Balin returned to the fold in time for Red Octopus, a Number One album, and the group’s mainstream rock ambitions came into focus. What kind of Effects Pedals does Paul Kantner use? Later that year, they’d score a lesser hit with “The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil,” a harder-rocking song that Kantner wrote that would become the lead track on their After Bathing at Baxter’s album. “[We’re] trying to make consciousness,” he said. Save gear to your wishlist and see the best price. Balin plucked Skip Spence, a guitarist, for drums because he “looked like a drummer,” and with the first lineup complete they commenced playing rock reminiscent of early Beatles, folk, blues and ballads. He would continue to play with them, eventually dropping the Star Trek-y part of their name and putting out two albums, until his death. The album’s lush “Miracles” earned them a Number Three hit, and their next two albums – 1976’s Spitfire and 1978’s Earth – would also earn them Top 10 singles. The album was nominated for a Hugo Award presented to the best science-fiction and fantasy works. With her powerful voice, the band recorded their breakthrough hits and became one of the defining bands of acid rock’s free-love movement, printing bumper stickers that read “Jefferson Airplane Loves You.” Their 1967 album, Surrealistic Pillow – which marked a turn toward more understated guitar playing with overtones of jazz and even Indian sensibility – brought the “San Francisco sound” to the mainstream.
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