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Jefferson Starship

The name "Jefferson Starship" first appeared in 1970 in the credits of Blows Against the Empire, the first solo release by Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner. A longtime science fiction aficionado, Kantner brought together friends including other Airplane members, as well as Jerry Garcia, David Crosby and Graham Nash. After the Airplane broke up, members Grace Slick, David Freiberg, Papa John Creach and John Barbata joined Kantner in the first official version of Jefferson Starship. The band's roster became something of a revolving door in the following years, with stints by such musicians as Pete Sears, Ainsley Dunbar and Craig Chaquico. During the period in which Airplane founder Marty Balin returned to the fold, Jefferson Starship had a number of hits, most notably the album Red Octopus and Balin's single "Miracles." Personality conflicts, Slick's drinking problems, Kantner's near-fatal stroke and other adversities beset the band even as the Jefferson Starship (or, in some incarnations, just "Starship") evolved in an increasingly pop direction. Various configurations of the group reunite occasionally for tours and recording.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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