Jefferson Starship, a collaboration of celebrated musicians that plays from the rich songbook of its legendary forefathers Jefferson Airplane and the original incarnation of Jefferson Starship, prevails as one of the most critically acclaimed touring acts today. Steeped in the fantastic realms of science fiction and the contemporary American shadow land, Jefferson Starship features a stellar cast of old and new players, including songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Paul Kantner, vocalist Marty Balin and bassist Jack Casady, all of whom were crucial in developing the renowned "San Francisco Sound" that changed the course of pop music forever.
In 1965, Kantner and Balin formed Jefferson Airplane, embarking from Balin's San Francisco nightclub The Matrix. With Casady, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, vocalist Signe Anderson and drummer Skip Spence, Jefferson Airplane became the first San Francisco rock group to sign a recording contract with a major label. Their first album on RCA, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was released in 1966. Vocalist Grace Slick joined the Airplane in 1967, bringing with her the hits "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," anthems that announced the "Summer of Love" and permanently altered the perspective of an entire generation. Both songs hit the Top 10 that year, making Jefferson Airplane the most successful rock band in America.
Born of the decade marked by civil rights activism, the war in Vietnam and the counterculture Mecca of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, Kantner's group defined the psychedelic nation with their appearances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Altamont music festivals. Now icons in the reformation of American music and thought, the LPs Surrealistic Pillow, Crown of Creation, Bless its Pointed Little Head and Volunteers surpassed the limits of musical and lyrical expression previously unexplored, introducing strident and striking political tracts, yet capable of evoking the most tender emotions.