Paul Kantner, one of the founding members of 1960s San Francisco psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, died on Thursday aged 74.  He died from multiple organ failure and septic shock after suffering a heart attack earlier this week, according to the band’s publicist, Cynthia Bowman.

Kantner and singer Marty Balin formed Jefferson Airplane in the mid-1960s with musicians including Grace Slick and Jorma Kaukonen, scoring hits such as “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.” The band split in 1972 and Kantner formed a spin-off group, Jefferson Starship.

Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and will receive a Grammy lifetime achievement award at next month’s Grammy Awards ceremony.  Most recently he has toured with various incarnations of Jefferson Starship, with “Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty” released to great acclaim in 2008.


Left to right: Bob Harvey, Signe Anderson, Marty Balin (seated), Jerry Peloquin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen