In Memoriam 2016: Film, Television, Music, Sports, Literature, the Arts”¦
With 2017 upon us, let’s take one final look back at the luminaries and personalities of the entertainment world who left us in 2016, during a year that seemed more turbulent and taxing than any other in recent memory.
Challenges in the past and challenges ahead, it’s a tough time to live in the world right now with so many changes like a whirling dervish to the senses. While there is much sadness in recognizing and accepting the passing of so many great figures in 2016, it’s the endearing, endless, never-ending fanbase and legacy that will keep each and every one of these names mentioned here (and some are of only cult status, but still enjoy a rabid passionate following as equal as any global figure) alive and well in the consciousness and beyond. In no particular order and apologies in advance if some of your favorites were left off. This was a huge list to go through and what was more painful than compiling this list was the fact that these incredibly talented people are all no longer with us.
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.