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 Kanter left the band for a spell when the 1970s began to dawn and returned around mid decade when the band was then known as Jefferson Starship.
Paul’s great-grandfather Charles was the son of John Franklin Kantner and Sarah Double, and had German, distant Swiss-German, and possibly some English, ancestry (his own mother may have been of English descent).
Mary Susan was the daughter of Abraham Christian Schell and Anna Maria Lehmer.
The Recording Academy remembered Kantner as one of the true icons of the 20th century in a statement released after Kantner’s death.
Kantner leaves behind his daughter with Slick, China Wing Kantner, who is a semi-personality in her own right (and who was on MTV for a while); his sons Gareth and Alexander; and a legacy and body of work with the Airplane, much of which remains in the pantheon of American classics, and which have a body of sound, influence, curiosity, and creativity that thrives to this very day.
The guitarist left again a few years later at which point the band was now called simply Starship after Kantner took legal action on preventing them from using the name Jefferson Starship after his departure and who, post-Kantner, had their most biggest hits to date — the ridiculously 1980s in every way anthems “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” During that time and for decades after, Kantner would tour using various versions of the Airplane and under different names.
Kantner and Jefferson Airplane are due to receive a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award later this year.
Paul was the son of Cora Leigh/Lee (Pendergast) and Paul Schell Kantner.
In Jeff Tamarkin’s book , he wrote that Paul’s father was of German descent and that his mother “came from mixed German and French stock”. Paul’s father did have a significant amount of German ancestry, but he also had English, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and distant Scottish, Swiss-German, and French, ancestry.
If Marty Balin was the soul of the band, and Grace Slick its public persona, then Paul Kantner could be considered its brain.
The only native San Franciscan among the Airplane/Starship principles, Paul Lorin Kantner was born March 17, 1941, to Paul S. Paul had a much older half brother and half sister.
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. 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.