Friday, January 29, 2016

Today's Special: Paul Kantner, R.I.P.



What the hell is going on?

They say once you move your refrigerator, it will never work properly again. Since the death of David Bowie, we have lost Giorgio Gomelsky, Clarence "Blowfly" Reid, Jimmy Bain, Otis Clay, Dale "Buffin"Griffin, Nicholas Caldwell, Gary Loizzo, Mic Gillette, Glenn Frey and now the great Paul Kantner. It's still January, for heaven's sake.

Let's not forget ending 2015 with loss of Allen Toussaint, Lemmy, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wright, Scott Weiland, Cynthia Robinson and P.F. Sloan, all within the last two months of that year.

I repeat, what the hell is going on?

Peace out, Paul.

And to the rest of you, please cut it out.




15 comments:

rick said...

What a bright, brief star they were as Jefferson Airplane! This loss hit me hard, and I actually shed a few tears last night. Maybe simply because it was another intimation of mortality; but maybe also because I discovered them at just the right age and so they meant something to me. And still do. In that well of memory, I was listening to them at the same time I was reading 'Steal This Book', and both showed me that irreverence and questioning authority could be a light-hearted process, even at times a hilarious one ("We are forces of chaos and anarchy/everything they say we are, we are/and we are very proud of ourselves"). . .I still listen to them and still love their music. RIP, Paul Kantner. As for the rest of us, crank it up.

Signtopia said...

I don't know that I remember a barrage of deaths like this. Maybe I was too young and busy too really notice. I suppose the problem is that we are older now. When Bowie died I said to my wife "It's a damn shame."......and my wife (a nurse) responded with "It's not a shame, he was in his late sixties. He had a decent run."

I was a bit stunned at not only Bowie's passing but even more stunned at my wife's comment. I happen to be sixty years old. Life suddenly has gotten shorter. In the past, I suppose it wasn't very shocking to hear when Sinatra, Dean Martin, and many others passed away........you kind of expected these things to happen. The problem now is that those were from an older generation. They were my father's "Bowie".

Bowie, Frey, and most of the latest barrage are from MY GENERATION and that's what is stunning about this. Gee....how much time is really left at this point. For Christmas, my daughter gave me tickets to see the Todd Rundgren "hits" show in Annapolis on Feb 2nd. I was very happy with the gift, of course, but now that gift has taken on a much deeper meaning for me. Time is shorter now and life is as well.

Oh well......I am off to my cardiologist for another nuclear stress test.......and this time it's a whole different world I am in.

Mr. Baez said...

Now Paul Kantner. I do not like this trend. The Jefferson Airplane, man what a great band. Such good songs. I remember playing "Surrealistic Pillow" over and over when it came out and just staring at that cover. I still play it and I'm still enchanted by that cover. "Comin' Back To Me", what a beautiful song. A band like Jefferson Airplane was filled with so much spirit, energy, and youthful independence. Its so upsetting to be losing these musical heroes and watching these purveyors of inventiveness pass away. Thank you Paul Kantner for your sparkle.

Gene Oberto said...

The Airplane were my SFO band in the late 60s. It was the Jefferson Airplane that had just enough irreverence while thumbing their nose at authority. Grace was my psychedelic queen and, while Marty wrote the love songs, Paul was my counter culture heart and soul. Wherever the youth movement careened, Paul was at the forefront.

Paul wore his emotions on his sleeve and kept his head in the clouds of the future. In the 60s it was peace and love and then it was the rallying cry of Volunteers. When that crashed and burned at Altamonte, he turned to his first love, SciFi, and saw he and his friends assemble and escape on a Starship to other worlds, refugees from a society in collapse. As Paul said, "The starship thing is really political action and reaction, the natural outgrowth of Volunteers."

Kantner was the only member of the Airplane/Starship family to remain through all their mutations. He had a good run at doing what he loved. "We're sort of too old to die young now, ... so you have to sort of carry on with what you've got. And you're surprising yourself still. I think that part of the process is the surprises.”

Now, like Bowie, Paul is part of the stars he wanted to see at night. Wherever Paul travels, he will always be questioning the establishment.

Shriner said...

Damn -- this one hurts me more personally than Bowie did. Kantner was the heart and soul of the Jeffersons. Strictly rhythm, cool song writer, and a voice that cut through the more polished vocals of Slick, Balin, Thomas, etc... yet fit right in the pocket.

He spoke to me as a guitar player because of how he seemed to be content and happy (and fiercely protective) of the band.

Even on terrible JS albums (and I'm looking at you "Nuclear Furniture"), his songs were always the best and were the ones to make my JS mixtapes.

I'm spinning the "Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra" album now -- because it is overlooked, joyous and just awesome beyond belief. And I'm very sad today...

Noam Sane said...

As he said himself, "Old singers gone away - whatcha gonna do about it?"

Fuck it. He did what he wanted.


Anonymous said...

The summer of love is realy over and we become frightened who's the next.

Charlie Carr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Carr said...

Nicely played. (Even without Edgar Froese the founder of Tangerine Dream!) Easy to miss one or two this month - unfortunately . . . Never liked that "If there's a rock and roll heaven . . ." deal, but they got a pretty cool band this month alone.
I liked that "bright, brief star" comment by rick. They were not here for the long haul but they left a damn fine catalog.
This one hit me hard. Mourning an era or a thing, I guess - more than a man. Those were ecstatic times. Hijack a spaceship? And just hightail it on out of here? Could we? Seemed, for a minute, that we could. More Arthur C. Clarke than Arthur Crudup, that's for sure but it hit me right between the eyes. An idea. With a hook. I think Kantner was a visionary who just happened to play guitar.
They're getting the Lifetime Grammy in a couple of weeks? Cool enough. Maybe it'll bounce the Lionel Ritchie tribute . . .
"Have you seen the stars tonight?"

Anonymous said...

Get used to it, sadly. All of our 1960s heroes, the ones who made us drop out, smoke grass, play guitar, THINK, form bands or whatever are now reaching 'that age' where they don't, sadly, go on forever. Their legacy is that they informed, entertained and educated us. The best we can do is pass their legacy onto generations subsequent to ours, because I'm damned sure those born in the 80s and 90s won't have people like Bowie, Kantner, Lemmy, Toussaint to soundtrack their lives, make the shit times better and present ideas and great music.

Jim

Heather Taylor said...

Sal, I teach a history of rock and roll to two periods of high schoolers and I officially declared the year over before I get to the Springsteen unit...these last two months have been the roughest I've experienced in memory...ugh!!! RIP to all of our fallen music heroes.

Anonymous said...

Original Jefferson Airplane singer Signe Anderson died the same day as Paul. She was also 74. How strange is that!!

dogbreath said...

January was a bit of a shocker for musician deaths, wasn't it? I can't pretend to be a huge Airplane or Kantner fan, although a lot of their stuff formed a seminal molecule or two of my young musical tastes. As today is 1st Feb I have already shouted out "White Rabbits" which is appropriate to the Airplane connection (it's a British superstition that if a person repeats the words "white rabbits" out loud upon waking on the first day of the month, it's meant to bring good luck for the rest of that month), so hopefully February will be kinder to our musical idols.

musicyoucan said...

Signe Toly Anderson who passed on the same day as Paul Kantner. Tolly was this lady fronted the airplabe before the arrival of Grace Slick. RIP Toly

philo said...

Signe and Marty's version of High Flyin' Bird is just beautiful. It blows Marty and Grace's version out of the water. It went unreleased until their Early Tracks LP came out in '74.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzfnnkr8ZEU