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article imageLongtime San Francisco musician Paul Kantner dies at 74

By Nathan Salant     Jan 29, 2016 in Music
San Francisco - Longtime San Francisco musician Paul Kantner, a founding member of the legendary Jefferson Airplane rock group, died Thursday, three days after suffering a heart attack.
Kantner, 74, is considered the creator of the San Francisco sound in the 1960s that featured hits such as "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit."
Kantner's death was confirmed Thursday by his longtime publicist and friend, Cynthia Bowman, who said he died of organ failure and septic shock, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
Kantner was performing folk music at a bar on Union Street in San Francisco in 1965 when he was approached by Marty Balin, already an established musician, and agreed to join forces to create a folk-rock band that became Jefferson Airplane.
The band developed a sizable local following and was tapped to open the new Fillmore Auditorium at the corner of Fillmore and Geary by a then-unknown promoter, Bill Graham.
Jefferson Airplane went on to perform at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont festivals before reorganizing and changing its name to Jefferson Starship.
Kantner stayed in San Francisco and became a fixture at famed Caffe Trieste in North Beach.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
““I’ve always loved San Francisco better than anywhere,” Kantner once said.
“It’s always had its problems, but . . . this corner alone has proved so nourishing," he said.
Mr. Kantner is survived by three children; sons Gareth and Alexander, and daughter China.
Funeral arrangements are still pending, the newspaper said.
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