Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner, Dead at 74

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Paul Kantner, Photo: Jefferson Starship
Paul Kantner, Photo: Jefferson Starship

The music world lost a great today. Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane, passed away today at the age of 74. Kantner suffered a string of health setbacks over the last few years, including a 2015 heart attack. His publicist and friend, Cynthia Bowman, reported the musician died of multiple organ failure and septic shock.

Kantner was said to have been introduced to marijuana in the late 50s. He was arrested for possession of it in 1969 in Hawaii. He was open about his cannabis use throughout his life, and said in an interview just last year that he still enjoyed smoking a joint.

Paul Kantner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 for his work with Jefferson Airplane, a band that will forever be a part of the history of rock roll for pioneering the 1960s “San Francisco sound.” With hits like White Rabbit and Somebody to Love, Jefferson Airplane will forever be identified as a pivotal force in psychedelic rock.

Kantner, along with Grace Slick, transformed the band into Jefferson Starship in 1974. He left the band in 1985, but started his own version of it in 1991. He maintained an active touring schedule throughout his life, usually touring under some form of the Starship name.

Mr. Kantner is survived by three children. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Senior Stoner Paul Kantner, dead at 74. RIP


About the author 

Cheri Sicard

Cheri Sicard is the editor of, the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women (2015, Seal Press) and The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook (2012, Z-Dog Media). Her blog is

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