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Jefferson Airplane facts for kids

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Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane photo 1967.JPG
Jefferson Airplane in 1967
Background information
Also known as The Airplane
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Psychedelic rock, acid rock, folk rock, hard rock
Years active 1965 – 1974
Labels RCA, Grunt, Epic
Associated acts Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, KBC Band, Jefferson Starship - The Next Generation

Jefferson Airplane, a rock band based in San Francisco, California, was one of the pioneering bands of psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the Bay Area to achieve international commercial success. They were headliners at the three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s—Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969) and Altamont (1969)—and the first Isle of Wight Festival (1968) in England.

Jefferson airplane fillmore poster 1966
Jefferson Airplane Fillmore poster, February 1966

Their 1967 break-out album Surrealistic Pillow ranks on the short list of the most significant recordings of the "Summer of Love". Two songs from that album, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit", are among Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

The "classic" lineup of Jefferson Airplane, from October 1966 to February 1970, was Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Marty Balin left the band in 1971. After 1972, Jefferson Airplane effectively split into two groups.

Kaukonen and Casady moved on full time to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick, Kantner, and the remaining members of Jefferson Airplane recruited new members and regrouped as Jefferson Starship in 1974, with Marty Balin eventually joining them. Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.


A-side label of "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airplane
White rabbit
Ad for Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit single
  • Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966)
  • Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
  • After Bathing at Baxter's (1967)
  • Crown of Creation (1968)
  • Volunteers (1969)
  • Bark (1971)
  • Long John Silver (1972)
  • Jefferson Airplane (1989)


  • Paul Kantnerrhythm guitar, vocals (1965–1972, 1989, 1996)
  • Jorma Kaukonenlead guitar, vocals (1965–1972, 1989, 1996)
  • Marty Balin – vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion (1965–1971, 1989, 1996)
  • Signe Toly Anderson – vocals (1965–1966)
  • Bob Harvey – double bass (1965)
  • Jerry Peloquin – drums (1965)
  • Skip Spence – drums, percussion (1965–1966)
  • Jack Casadybass, rhythm guitar (1965–1972, 1989, 1996)
  • Grace Slick – vocals, piano, keyboards (1966–1972, 1989)
  • Spencer Dryden – drums, percussion (1966–1970, 1996)
  • Joey Covington – drums, percussion (1970–1972)
  • Papa John Creachviolin, vocals (1970–1972)
  • John Barbata – drums, percussion (1972)
  • David Freiberg – vocals, rhythm guitar (1972)
  • Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion (1989)
  • Tim Gorman – keyboards (touring, 1989)
  • Randy Jackson – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (touring, 1989)
  • Peter Kaukonen – rhythm guitar (touring, 1989)

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