One of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner, died from multiple organ failure after he suffered a heart attack the past week, confirmed his publicist, Cynthia Bowman. He died after it was announced that Jefferson Airplane would receive a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in the spring.

Kantner was involved with two classics bands, Jefferson Airplane, that gain popularity in the 1960’s and the follow-up group called Jefferson Starship, that included some members of the original band.

Paul Kantner, co-founder of Jefferson Airplane, died at age 74. Credit:

Jefferson Airplane was formed in San Francisco and made its debut show on August 13, 1965, at the Matrix nightclub in the same city. In the band’s website, they said that even though he never wrote or sang on a hit single, Kantner had the greatest impact on the band.

“If Marty Balin was the soul of the band, and Grace Slick its public persona, then Paul Kantner could be considered its brain,” added the website.

Jefferson Airplane performed at three of the legendary music festivals at the time, which included the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and the ill-fated- Altamont. They had hit singles like White Rabbit and Somebody to Love, from the album Surrealistic Pillow.

Paul Kantner was the only native from San Francisco in the original band. He was sent to live in a Jesuit military boarding school as a child, where many thought he learned the military-like discipline and determination that served him through his career’s ups and downs. The founder member had three children, two sons and one daughter with an ex-band member.

He also had some troubles before, around 1960 he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left a permanent hole in the left side of his skull. The hole later saved his life when he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and the wound allowed the pressure to escape.

Source: Jefferson Airplane