Psychedelic Rock

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Jefferson Starship
United States

Years: 1974 - 1984 - present
Styles: Acid Rock, Classic Rock, Folk Rock, Hard Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Soft Rock


Peter Kaukonen - Guitar (in band: 1970; 1974; 1994 - 1995)
Papa John Creach - Violin (in band: 1974 - 1975; 1992 - 1994)
Grace Slick - Backing vocals, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1974 - 1978; 1981 - 1984)
John Barbata - Congas, Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1974 - 1979)
Paul Kantner - 12 string acoustic guitar, 12 string guitar, Banjo, Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1974 - 1984; 1992 - present)
David Freiberg - Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1974 - 1984; 2005 - present)


Gary Cambra - Keyboards, Synthesizer
Chris Smith - Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer (in band: (1998 - present)
Cathy Richardson - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals (in band: (2008 - present)
Marty Balin - Acoustic guitar , Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1974 - 1978; 1993 - 2008)
Pete Sears - Backing vocals, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Rhythm guitar, Synthesizer (in band: 1974 - 1984)
Craig Chaquico - Backing vocals, Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, Synthesizer (in band: 1974 - 1984)
Steve Schuster - Saxophone (in band: 1978 - 1979)
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums, Percussion, Synthesizer (in band: 1979 - 1982)
Mickey Thomas - Vocals (in band: 1979 - 1984)
Donny Baldwin - Drums, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1982 - 1984; 2005; 2008 - present)
Peter Wolf - Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1984)
Darby Gould - Vocals (in band: 1992 - 1993; 1994 - 1995; 2005)
Tim Gorman - Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1992 - 1995)
Jack Casady - Bass Guitar (in band: 1992 - 2000)
Prairie Prince - Bodhrán, Drums, Percussion (in band: 1992 - 2008)
Slick Aguilar - Guitar, Lead guitar (in band: 1992 - 2012)
Signe Toly Anderson - Vocals (in band: 1993 - 1994)
Diana Mangano - Vocals (in band: 1993 - 2008)
Barry Flast - Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1995)
Trey Sabatelli - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1995)
T Lavitz - Hammond organ, Keyboards, Synthesizer (in band: 1995 - 1998)
Bobby Vega - Bass Guitar (in band: 1998 - 2000)
Chico Huff - Bass Guitar (in band: 1998 - 2000)
Tom Lilly - Bass Guitar (in band: 2000)
Jude Gold - Lead guitar (in band: 2012 - present)

Biography Picture    Jefferson Starship is an American rock band 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.[1]  

    With their 1974 metamorphois into the Jefferson Starship, the group once known as the Jefferson Airplane underwent radical facelift wich resulted not only in a change of name but also a new lineup and new musical identify. Formely torch-bearers of the Haigh-Ashbury counterculture, famed for psychedelic-era landmarks, including “Surrealistic Pillow” and “Volunteers” as the Jefferson Starship the group reached even greater heights of success, forging a more mainstrrem sound and attitude which established them aso ne of predominant hard rock units of their era.[2]

     1975’s “Red Octopus”, became the Jefferson Starship’s most successful effort, topping the charts off and on throughout the year on the strength of Top Three ballad “Miracles.”  Despite singer Grace Slick’s protests that the music was growing to commercial, the band continued to hone a more mainstreem identity on 1976’s “Spitfire,” their first platiniam-selling release, while 1978’s Earth” spawned the Top Ten hit “Count on Me.[2]

     However, in the wake of the record’s release Slick’s long standing drinking problems spun out of control, and she left the group durring a European tour. Vocalist Marty Balin exited later in 1978, leaving the Jefferson Starship without a lead singer: finally, in 1979 the remaining members recruited vocalist Mickey Thomas. Slick rejoined the group for 1982’s “Winds of Change[2]

     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". his was a concept album featuring an ad hoc group of musicians credited on the LP as "Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship", marking the first use of that name,[1] 

     The album was recorded at Pacific High Recording Studios and Wally Heider Recording Studios in San Francisco by Kantner and Slick with a collection of musician friends that included members of Jefferson Airplane (Jack Casady and Joey Covington), The Grateful Dead (Jerry GarciaBill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (David Crosby and Graham Nash), David Freiberg of Quicksilver Messenger Service and Harvey Brooks of Electric Flag. Also appearing was Jorma Kaukonen's brother Peter Kaukonen.[1] Picture

     "Dragon Fly" credited by "Grace Slick/Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship." "Dragon Fly" was the transitional album between the various shifting aggregations Slick and Kantner had been recording with Jefferson Airplane dissolved in the early 1970s and the new Jefferson Starship {which essentially was the Airplane with new guitarist and bassist- Craig Chaquico and Pete Sears).[3] 

      Tehnically speaking "Red Octopus" was the first album credited to Jefferson Starship, though practically the same lineup made "Dragon Fly", credited to "Grace Slick/Paul Kantner/Jefferson Starship." The difference,however, was crucial: Marty Balin was once again a fully integrated band member, writting and co-writting five of the tracks. And there can be little doubt that it was Balin's irresistible ballad "Miracles", the biggest hit single in the Jefferson Whatever catalog, that propelled "Red Octopus" to top of the charts, the only Jefferson album to chart that high and the best-selling album in their collective life.[3]

      The next album, "Spitfire", was released in June 1976 and while it went platinum, reached No. 3, and included the hit song "With Your Love" (#12), the band considered the album's sales to be relatively disappointing compared to its predecessor and requested an audit from RCA Records, distributor of their Grunt label. RCA subsequently put a reported $500,000 into the next Jefferson Starship project. "Earth" was released in March 1978, and included the hit songs "Count on Me" (#8) and "Runaway" (#12). Tours of the U.S. and Europe would soon follow.[1]

     "Freedom at Poin Zero" is not a great Jefferson Starship album: the woner is that it is as good as it is. Since the band's previous album, the Top Ten, million-selling "Earth" group had lost its two lead singers, Grace Slick and Marty Balin, and they had been replaced by Mickey Thomas. "Jane", released as single in advance of the album, displayed the result-even before Thomas' soaring tenor entered, it sounded like Foreigner. But it also made the Top 20, which helped the album into Top Ten and gold record award.[3] 

     In early 1981 Grace Slick returned to the band, rejoining in time to sing on one song, written by Pete and Jeannette Sears, "Stranger", on the group's next album, "Modern Times". "Modern Times" also included the hit song "Find Your Way Back" (#29), as well as the humorous "Stairway to Cleveland", in which the band defended the numerous changes it had undergone in its musical style, personnel, and even name. Slick remained in the band for Jefferson Starship's next two albums, "Winds of Change"  and "Nuclear Furniture". One noted personnel change in the group between the two albums was Dunbar leaving in August 1982, replaced by Donny Baldwin, who had performed with Thomas in the Elvin Bishop Group.[1]  

     After the release of "Nuclear Furniture", Kantner left the band due to disputes over the group's artistic direction. He took legal action preventing the remaining members from using the name Jefferson Starship. As a result, they renamed themselves Starship, and continued to tour and record music until 1990, after which the group became "Starship featuring Mickey Thomas", a vehicle for Mickey Thomas.[1]

   In 1992, Kantner reestablished the group as "Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation," a nod to the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation." This version of the band would, at times, include various former Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship members, to tour and perform. After the first couple of years, the band dropped the use of "The Next Generation", and began to perform as Jefferson Starship. The revived band grew out of Paul Kantner’s decision, following the "Unplugged" trend, to hit the road in 1991 with an acoustic ensemble called Paul Kantner’s Wooden Ships, a trio that included Slick Aguilar and Tim Gorman from the KBC Band, a previous group centered on former Jefferson Airplane/Starship members.[1]

   The success of this project prompted Kantner to reinvent his electric band, and Jefferson Starship took off once again. In addition to PictureAguilar and Gorman, Kantner recruited former collaborators Jack Casady and blues violinist Papa John Creach; former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince; and former World Entertainment War vocalist Darby Gould.[1]

    In 1993 Marty Balin rejoined Jefferson Starship, ending a 15-year hiatus from the group. Papa John died in February 1994, weeks after touring Europe. Concurrently a young vocalist, Diana Mangano, joined the group as Gould's replacement after a brief spell by original Jefferson Airplane singer Signe Toly Anderson.[1]

    Balin continued as a full-time member of the reunited band until 2003 and still occasionally joins them in concert. Casady remained a member until 2000 and has also (since 1983) played with Jorma Kaukonen in a reunited Hot Tuna. Gorman left in 1995 and was replaced by Gary Cambra (from The Tubes), Barry Flast and then T Lavitz, who stayed with the band for the recording of "Windows of Heaven" but was replaced by former Supremes keyboardist Chris Smith before the album's release. In 2005, twenty years after leaving, David Freiberg rejoined the group. Mangano was replaced by vocalist Cathy Richardson in early 2008, and Prince was replaced by the reinstated Baldwin.[1]

    In March and May 2008, tracks were recorded for the new studio album released on September 2, 2008, "Jefferson's Tree of Liberty". In addition to the current members, Grace Slick made contributions to the bonus track on the album, and Marty Balin and Jack Casady appear on a recording originally made for "Windows of Heaven".[1]

1. Source:
2. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 584 - Jason Ankeny
3. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Published by Backbeat Books, page 585 - William Ruhlmann


Blows Against The Empire (Oct, 1970)
Dragon Fly (Sep, 1974)
Red Octopus (Jun 13, 1975)
Spitfire (Jun, 1976)
Earth (Feb 6, 1978)
Freedom at Point Zero (Nov 1, 1979)
Modern Times (Apr 2, 1981)
Winds of Change (Oct 4, 1982)
Nuclear Furniture (May 30, 1984)
Windows of Heaven (Jun, 1998)
Jefferson's Tree of Liberty (Sep 2, 2008)

Singles & EPs

Ride The Tiger (Oct, 1974)
Caroline (Feb, 1975)
Miracles (Aug, 1975)
Play On Love (Dec, 1975)
With Your Love (Jul, 1976)
St. Charles (Nov, 1976)
Miracles / With Your Love (Apr, 1977)
Count On Me (Mar, 1978)
Runaway (May, 1978)
Crazy Feelin' (Sep, 1978)
Light The Sky On Fire (Nov, 1978)
Count On Me / Runaway (1979)
Jane (Oct, 1979)
Girl With The Hungry Eyes (Feb, 1980)
Find Your Way Back (Mar, 1981)
Stranger (Jun, 1981)
Save Your Love (Aug, 1981)
Be My Lady (Sep, 1982)
Winds Of Change (Jan, 1983)
Can't Find Love (May, 1983)
No Way Out (Apr, 1984)
Layin' It On The Line (Aug, 1984)

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