Paul Kantner, Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder and Guitarist, Dies at 74

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Paul Kantner

Kantner also was a founding member of the group's spinoff band, Jefferson Starship.

Jefferson Airplane guitarist and founding member Paul Kantner has died. He was 74.

Kantner died Thursday of multiple organ failure. He had suffered a heart attack earlier in the week. Kantner's publicist confirmed the news with the San Francisco Chronicle.

From 1965-1972, Jefferson Airplane was a pioneer in the Bay Area counterculture psychedelic rock scene, first defining what became known as the "San Francisco sound."

The band's second album, 1967's Surrealistic Pillow, hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with the help of singles "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit." The band performed at the 1960s' three most famous American rock festivals — Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock and Altamont in 1969.

Kantner is the first of Jefferson Airplane's founding members to have passed away. He also was a founding member of the group's spinoff band, Jefferson Starship, which took off in 1974.

This article first appeared on Billboard.com.

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