Jefferson Starship

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Jefferson Starship is an American rock band that was formed in the early 1970s. Although its recording career and popularity peaked in the early '80s, Jefferson Starship continues to tour as of 2010. The group is a spinoff from Jefferson Airplane and evolved from a 1970 science fiction-themed concept album by then-Airplane member Paul Kantner entitled Blows Against the Empire.




Paul Kantner's debut solo album Blows Against the Empire was issued in 1970, a time of personnel changes for Jefferson Airplane that culminated in their eventual dissolution. The album featured an ad-hoc group of all-star musicians who called themselves Jefferson Starship; initially the name was considered a one-off. However, with the breakup of Jefferson Airplane, Kantner revived the Jefferson Starship name in 1974. Charter members included former Airplane members Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg, John Barbata and Papa John Creach, along with newcomers Craig Chaquiço and Peter Kaukonen (brother of Jefferson Airplane's Jorma Kaukonen), both of whom had guested on Kantner/Slick solo work in the early '70s.

After the band's initial tour, Kaukonen was replaced by Pete Sears for the first studio album Dragon Fly. Having guested on one track ("Caroline"), Marty Balin subsequently rejoined the Airplane/Starship family as a full-time member in 1975. With the exception of Creach, who dropped out after Red Octopus, this lineup lasted until late 1978 when Grace Slick left the band, followed by Marty Balin. Meanwhile, John Barbata had been seriously injured in a car accident. The remaining members were determined to continue, so added former Journey drummer Aynsley Dunbar and vocalist Mickey Thomas. Paul Kantner left the band in 1984, forming KBC Band with former bandmates Balin and Casady. The remaining members renamed the band Starship, releasing three pop-oriented albums before manager Bill Thompson dissolved the band in 1990. Meanwhile, Kantner began performing again in 1991 with Tim Gorman and Slick Aguilar of the KBC Band as Paul Kantner's Wooden Ships. With the addition of drummer Prairie Prince, vocalist Darby Gould, bassist Casady and Papa John Creach, the band again became Jefferson Starship: The Next Generation. In September 2008, the band released its latest album, Jefferson's Tree of Liberty.

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