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Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane

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Joe Offer 28 Sep 18 - 10:08 PM
CupOfTea 28 Sep 18 - 11:51 PM
gillymor 29 Sep 18 - 09:46 AM
keberoxu 29 Sep 18 - 12:56 PM
StephenH 29 Sep 18 - 01:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Sep 18 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 29 Sep 18 - 03:40 PM
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Subject: Obit: Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 18 - 10:08 PM

There was a time when I listened to Jefferson Airplane constantly. I couldn't get enough of the voices of Grace Slick and Marty Balin. Now Marty Balin is dead. May he rest in peace.
Here's the obituary from Rolling Stone:

Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder Marty Balin Dead at 76

Hall of Famer and co-vocalist of San Francisco psychedelic rock band also founded Jefferson Starship


Jefferson Airplane vocalist-guitarist Marty Balin, who co-founded the San Francisco psychedelic rock band in 1965 and played a crucial role in the creation of all their 1960s albums, including Surrealistic Pillow and Volunteers, died Thursday at the age of 76. Balin’s rep confirmed the musician’s death to Rolling Stone, though the cause of death is currently unknown.

Born Martyn Jerel Buchwald, Balin was a struggling folk guitarist on the San Francisco scene when he formed a band with Paul Kantner after meeting the 12-string guitarist at a hootenanny. They met up with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady, drummer Skip Spence and singer Signe Toly Anderson and cut their 1966 debut LP Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. They developed a strong following around the budding San Francisco rock scene, but became nationwide superstars in 1967 when Anderson left the group and was replaced by Grace Slick.

Balin co-wrote five songs on their breakthrough LP Surrealistic Pillow , including “Comin’ Back to Me” and album opener “She Has Funny Cars,” and his tenor voice became a key component of their signature sound. He played with the group at all of their most famous gigs, including the 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont. At the latter gig, Balin was brutally beaten by the Hells Angels after he dove into the audience to help an audience member in distress. “I woke up with all these boot marks all over my body,” he told Relix in 1993. “I just walked out there. I remember Jorma saying, ‘Hey, you’re a crazy son of a bitch.'”

A little over a year later, Balin quit the group. “I thought everybody [was] kind of an asshole,” he said earlier this year. “It was a period of cocaine then…everybody took cocaine. And people I would work with, they would yell at you and it got intense. The Airplane was on that kind of trip. You know, I personally just drank alcohol. But some of the chemicals made people crazy and very selfish, and it just wasn’t any fun to be around for me. So I bailed.”

Balin spent a few years managing rock bands in San Francisco, but was pulled back into the group’s orbit by Kantner in 1974, though by this point Casady and Kaukonen had defected and the remaining members were billing themselves as Jefferson Starship. The offshoot band was incredibly successful and scored more hits than the original Airplane, including the Balin-penned “Miracles” from Red Octopus, hitting Number Three in 1975. But by 1978, Balin grew tired of touring, especially since Slick’s alcohol issues caused many uneven performances, and he left the group for a solo career. In 1989, he participated in the short-lived Jefferson Airplane reunion tour and returned four years later to Jefferson Starship, finally leaving for good in 2008.

In 2016, Balin underwent open-heart surgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. He later sued them for medical malpractice, claiming they caused him a myriad of injuries, including a paralyzed vocal cord, bedsores, kidney damage and the loss of his left thumb and half of his tongue.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: CupOfTea
Date: 28 Sep 18 - 11:51 PM

Ah, there goes another bit of my youth with him! Airplane & Starship were such a huge part of my musical life in the 60s and 70s. Only saw Judy Collins live more times in that period - at least 7 or 8 times. Hope he passed easy, he gave so much pleasure.

Joanne in Cleveland.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: gillymor
Date: 29 Sep 18 - 09:46 AM

I loved those wailing harmonies that Marty was a part of on the Airplane's "Volunteers". It still gives me chills, particularly "We Can be Together".

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Sep 18 - 12:56 PM

I grew up listening to Surrealistic Pillow,
and I was partial to
Marty Balin's ballad, Today.

He and Grace Slick were always at loggerheads in that group.
I guess Kantner in many ways was the linchpin,
since he and Balin went back such a long way together,
and at the same time,
Kantner and Slick raised a daughter together.

Nobody has mentioned Skip Spence, have they?
Marty felt personally accountable for Skip Spence,
he confessed in an interview.
It ended badly for Spence. An acid casualty, wasn't he?

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: StephenH
Date: 29 Sep 18 - 01:20 PM

The comments of Joe Offer and CupOfTea pretty much sum up my feelings.
Jefferson Airplane loomed large in my teenage years though I must confess they lost me later on with Starship.
Thanks for all the music. RIP Marty B

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Sep 18 - 02:18 PM

White Rabbit is one of my favourite tracks of all time.

RIP Mr Balin. Condolences to his family and friends.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Marty Balin (1942-2018) - Jefferson Airplane
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 29 Sep 18 - 03:40 PM

“Sailing ships on the water very free, and easy.
Easy, y'know the way it's supposed to be.
Silver people on the shoreline leave us be,
very free and... gone....

Go, ride the music.
No, c'mon.
Go, ride the music.
C'mon, ride it chile'.”
(Coda sound familiar, no?)

Jefferson Airplane - Wooden Ships (Crosby, Stills, Kantner)

RIP: Embryonic Journey (Kaukonen)

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