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Marty Balin (1942 – 2018), Jefferson Airplane co-founder

Getty Images / Michael Putland

Vocalist and songwriter for the iconic psychedelic rock band.

Marty Balin (1942 – 2018) co-founded the band Jefferson Airplane after meeting guitarist Paul Kantner at a hootenanny in 1966. The legendary San Francisco psychedelic rock band was known for 1960s classics such as “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.” Balin wrote the song “Comin’ Back to Me” and co-wrote “Today” with Paul Kantner. He was co-lead vocalist with Grace Slick.

Balin left the group for a while and then came back to join the Jefferson Starship in the mid-1970s with Kantner and Slick. He wrote the top ten hit song “Miracles” for the Starship.

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Died: Thursday, September 27, 2018 (Who else died on September 27?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 76, according to his rep.

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Notable quote: “We were backstage with Pete Townshend and we’re arguing over who goes on last. B.B. King was there and he said ‘I don’t care who goes last, I go first.’ He had his whole band there and he was super amazing.” —Balin on Jefferson Airplane touring in 1969 with The Who and B.B. King

What people said about him: “Back in those days Marty was quite the businessman. He was the leader of the band on that level. He was the one who pushed us to do all the business stuff, orchestrating, thinking ahead, looking for managers and club opportunities. He was very good at it.” —Paul Kantner

Full obituary: Washington Post

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