Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reads for Thursday

The Flint, Michigan, crisis is little more than attempted murder.

Ditto for what has been occurring in Detroit for the past several years.

The more Donald Trump yaps about Fox's Megyn Kelly, the worse he looks.

More reason for charter schools to not exist.

Yet another well-known rock musician has died. Paul Kantner, 74, a founding member of the 1960s band Jefferson Airplane (and later Jefferson Starship), has died. He died of multiple organ failure and septic shock after having suffered a heart attack early in the week.

Younger people may not know his name, but to millions of us of a certain age, we remember him and the band very well.

He had a relationship with lead singer Grace Slick, who gave a statement after learning about his death. A daughter, China, resulted from that union. It was a big story way back then. He had two other children.


Mr. Kantner suffered from a string of health problems in recent years, including a heart attack in March 2015.

With Jefferson Airplane, Mr. Kantner pioneered what became known as the San Francisco sound in the mid-1960s, with such hits as “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.”

The Airplane was renowned for thrilling vocal gymnastics by singers Marty Balin, Grace Slick and Mr. Kantner, the psychedelic blues-rock sound developed by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass player Jack Casady and the LSD-spiked, ‘60s-era revolutionary fervor of its lyrics.

The band was formed in a Union Street bar called the Drinking Gourd, when Balin met Mr. Kantner and expressed his interest in forming a “folk-rock” band. It didn’t take long for the Airplane to attract a sizable local following, enough so that when fledgling promoter Bill Graham opened his legendary Fillmore Auditorium, the Jefferson Airplane served as the first headliner.

It is interesting to note that Kantner was the first original member of the band to pass away. Surprising to yours truly since the band was known for drug excess in the 1960s.

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