Paul Kantner, an innovative guitarist and songwriter instrumental in being at the forefront of the San Francisco sound of the late 1960s with Jefferson Airplane, died yesterday of multiple organ failure and septic shock. He was 74.
The news was confirmed by the late musician’s ex girlfriend and publicist, according to the BBC, which added that Kantner had suffered a heart attack several days earlier.
The San Francisco native co-founded the psychedelic rock outfit best remembered for classic songs like “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit,” sung by the dynamic Grace Slick. Jefferson Airplane, with Kantner, frontwoman Slick, frontman Marty Balin, and masterful guitarist Yorma Kaukonen, was part of a musical brotherhood that also included bands like The Grateful Dead and others and had a musical swagger that spoke about sex, freedom, rebellion, and the anti-establishment. Airplane records like Surrealistic Pillow and Crown of Creation still stand as benchmarks in the genre of the times, classic records which perfectly capture the zeitgeist.
For those who celebrate Wookiee Life Day as opposed to all of the other end-of-year holidays, we have a treat for you… the Star Wars Holiday Special in 5 minutes, specially edited to only focus on the “live-action” stuff. Watch it here below.
If you haven’t seen the Holiday Special before, it’s certainly a gem from its time. If you thought Expanded Universe debates and Originals vs. Prequels debates turn out to divide fans, wait until you get in the middle of an argument about this thing.
Complete with Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship, The Star Wars Holiday Special first aired in November 1978 and also featured Han and Chewie, Luke Skywalker with the WORST possible haircut ever, and Princess Leia singing a song that is sure to induce brain hemorrhages.
The original full special also marked a few firsts: one of which was the very first appearance of Boba Fett (before his debut in The Empire Strikes Back) in a short animated story involving Luke, Han, Chewie, the Droids, and some weird beast of burden Fett rides.