The singer died on Thursday (September 27) with his wife by his side
Marty Balin, singer and co-founder of US psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, has died. He was 76-years-old.
The guitarist and singer, who founded the group in San Fransisco in 1965 died on Thursday (September 27) with his wife – Susan Joy Balin – by his side, spokesperson Ryan Romenesko said.
“We have lost a true legend,” a statement on the band’s Facebook page read. “Marty Balin helped start a revolution that still lives on today. He will be greatly missed – our hearts go out to his family, friends and music fans everywhere – Team Jefferson Airplane.”
You can read some of the many tributes to Balin here:
Jefferson Starship, a spin-off band Balin also played for a number of years also released a statement online. “With heavy hearts, we learn today of the passing of Marty Balin. He was a true talent and inspiration to many. We send his family and friends our deepest condolences.”
Balin co-founded Jefferson Airplane with the late guitarist Paul Kanter in 1965. The band launched it’s debut album, ‘Jefferson Airplane Takes Off’ in 1966. A month after the release, singer Grace Slick joined the band. She wrote ‘White Rabbit’ and proved crucial to their early commercial success.
Their pro-drug stance and psychedelic leanings made them a band central to San Francisco’s sub-culture scene in the 1960’s. The band went on to play Woodstock Festival in 1969 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Balin left Jefferson Airplane in 1971, blaming the band’s excessive drug use for his departure. He later teamed up again with Kautner in the Jefferson Airplane spin-off Jefferson Starship. With Balin on lead, the band had a series of hits including ‘Miracles’, ‘With Your Love’ and ‘Count on Me.’
Balin left Jefferson Starship in 1978 to focus on a solo career but once again reunited with Kautner to form KBC. This eventually led to a Jefferson Airplane reunion album and tour in 1989.
Balin had reportedly undergone heart surgery in 2016 and filed a civil lawsuit this year for alleged malpractice against a hospital in New York City.
His wife also released a statement: “Marty and I shared the deepest of love, he often called it Nirvana and it was. But really, we were all touched by his love. His presence will be my entire being forever.”