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Thread: R.I.P. Airplane/Starship vocalist Marty Balin

  1. #1
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    R.I.P. Airplane/Starship vocalist Marty Balin

    Sad to hear this - was 76. RIP Marty.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...ead-76-730912/

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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    This one really hurts here. I saw JA 8 times over the years and even talked to Marty outside the Cafe A Go Go in 1967. I even covered both "Today" and "It's No Secret" acoustically as a folkie.

    RIP to one of my favorites (until Miracles).
    Last edited by progeezer; 09-28-2018 at 10:04 PM.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

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  3. #3
    Wasn't he actually the guy formed Jefferson Airplane in the first place? I remember reading an article where he said he walked up to Skip Spence and said "You're going to be my drummer", and Spence said to him "I'm not a drummer, I'm a guitarist!" and Marty said "No, man! I got a vibe about you, you're gonna be my drummer", which is how Skip ended up in the first Airplane lineup (before joining Moby Grape).

  4. #4
    RIP. A big one.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Damn. RIP Marty. Without Marty Balin there is no Airplane. Damn. RIP.

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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Wasn't he actually the guy formed Jefferson Airplane in the first place? I remember reading an article where he said he walked up to Skip Spence and said "You're going to be my drummer", and Spence said to him "I'm not a drummer, I'm a guitarist!" and Marty said "No, man! I got a vibe about you, you're gonna be my drummer", which is how Skip ended up in the first Airplane lineup (before joining Moby Grape).
    YUP!
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Rest in peace, Marty. Man, this makes me sad. The visionary who put together the Airplane, and a truly great singer. His songwriting specialty was love songs, and he was one of the best. Glad I got to see him in concert once.

  8. #8
    RIP.

    He and Kantner are having a nice big musical argument in heaven, now.

  9. #9
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Never been a huge fan of the Jefferson Airplane, or any of those San Francisco bands (except Blue Cheer, and Santana). But, my brother had their albums along with Dead and Quicksilver albums. So I heard all that stuff growing up. RIP Mr. Balin. Plastic Fantastic ...........

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by profusion View Post
    RIP.

    He and Kantner are having a nice big musical argument in heaven, now.
    Maybe they're jamming with Jerry, Pigpen, Dryden, and Cippolina

  11. #11
    Listened to a lot of Airplane in my teen/college years, loved their anti-establishment and war protest views. Balin had such a pure clear voice and a good contrast to Grace's. After Red Octopus, kind of lost interest in the Starship years. Always surprised Balin didn't have a more commercially successful solo career with that voice.
    Today and Volunteers are probably my 2 favs that I most remember him by.
    Last edited by DocProgger; 09-29-2018 at 12:48 AM.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Tough to see, but sadly, not a great surprise.

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    Rest In Peace for certain. I was just talking to a guy a day or two ago who worked on album art for Marty's album "Freedom Flight". He was telling me the album had another name (which I don't recall) similar to "No Return Flight" but he thought better of it in case he might be working with the Airplane/Starship folks again so he softened it to "Freedom Flight".

  14. #14
    I hope you find the better world that you and your mates dreamed of.

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    Another great one gone. I'm a big fan of Marty's voice and Surrealistic Pillow is probably the first SF recording I ever bought back in the 80s on cassette...I'm not as old as some are here.

    RIP Marty Balin.

  16. #16
    While his voice was always a question of hit-or-miss with me, much of his overall contribution to those classic first five JA albums were absolutely seminal to the end outcome. He wrote some of their finest 'songs proper' - like "It's No Secret", "Today", "Come Up the Years" and the unsung evergreen of "Comin' Back to Me" - yet he was probably unfairly thought of as the 'cheesier' part of the band. But man, that New York performance of "House at Pooneil Corners" atop the RCA-building which J-L Godard caught on camera - it firmly suggests that those were mer rumours. I also believe it was actually him who took on the Angels at Altamont when they started fucking up the place - and that's no small treat.

    JA will be remembered as an anarchic voice in rock, when that was exactly what contemporary culture needed. In a sense they were as rebellious as The Doors or the MC5, but even more to the heart of things given their geographical outset. I loved them when I was 17 (and believe me, back in '88 there were no 17 YOs into JA), and I still do.

    So long, Marty.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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    Nice tribute from Jorma Kaukonen:

    "I was more than saddened yesterday to hear of Marty Balin’s passing. Jack and I were in Northampton, Mass. at the Academy Of Music and we were just getting ready to do our sound check. I knew that Marty had been sick and I knew in a general way that he had grievous issues but I did not really know what they were. Marty always kept a lot of shade on himself. I stood there in the little room in the wings, stage left… struck dumb. What can you say? We always say and hear, ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ but what does that really mean? We say it. We have to say it and then in the confines of our hearts we try to process the sorrow and search for the words that really convey what we feel. It is an imperfect process.

    Marty and I were young together in a time that defined our lives. Had it not been for him, my life would have taken an alternate path I cannot imagine. He and Paul Kantner came together and like plutonium halves in a reactor started a chain reaction that still affects many of us today. It was a moment of powerful synchronicity. I was part of it to be sure, but I was not a prime mover. Marty always reached for the stars and he took us along with him.

    I always felt that he was somewhat guarded… the quiet one. Perhaps that’s because I was one of the noisy ones… I don’t know. It’s probably not for me to say. His commitment to his visions never flagged. He was always relentless in the pursuit of his goals. He wrapped those he loved in sheltering arms. He loved his family. Times come and go but his passion for his music and his art was never diminished. He was the most consummate of artists in a most renaissance way. I always felt that he perceived that each day was a blank canvas waiting to be filled.

    It was fortuitous that we were able to stay connected in a loose way over the years. He and his friends graced our stage at the Fur Peace Station in Ohio and he was able to join us at the Beacon Theater in NYC the year we celebrated Jack’s 70th birthday.

    Very good stuff!

    Coming to grips with reality is a process that starts at birth. I am always stunned when one of my friends passes and yet, it would seem that at some point we will all take that journey. It’s almost like, ‘How can this be? There are things I need to say.’ There were indeed things I needed to say and the fault for that lack lies on me and me alone. I don’t think any of us really think that we will live forever yet often that thought lies dormant in the back of our minds. At my age my world is starting to be surrounded by passing. I will miss my friends who rest on the banks of the River Of Time and I am reminded to make the most of every moment as I am swept downstream! Marty’s passing reaffirms the power of love, the power of family, the power of possibilities.

    So many of our brothers and sister from that time are gone. Skip Spence, Spencer Dryden, Joey Covington, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and now Marty have all joined the Heavenly Band as Rev. Davis would say.

    We were young together. I would like to think we made a difference. As for Grace Slick, Jack Casady and myself…

    Now we are three…"

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    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Thanks for that beautiful eulogy from Jorma Kaukonen. RIP Marty

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    The Woodstock era is leaving us piece by piece, but the music will always live on. RIP Marty you left behind a lot of great music and memories.

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    Balin's was truly a unique voice. The range, the richness, the pitch-perfect clarity. And he could write. I'm a fan of almost everything he's done with the various Jeffersons. Time and time again I would look at the songwriting credits of my favorite Jefferson songs and he would be a writer. I am not familiar with the solo material, but it really is surprising he never "made it" as a solo.

    I was just surfing through wiki's Jefferson pages and I was surprised that he played with Kantner and Freiberg in the reconstituted JS until 2008! I remember seeing several announcements for their shows in the early 00s but I never bothered. Had I known Balin was a part of that I would have checked them out. Well, too late now. RIP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    I am not familiar with the solo material, but it really is surprising he never "made it" as a solo.
    "Hearts" was a pretty big solo hit for him (Top 10, I believe) - I always enjoyed this one:


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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. An impressive live act in their day, as their Monterey set shows. (Some other 'name' acts were decidedly ropey.)

    Took quite a beating at the hands of the Hell's Angels 'security' at Altamont...upon hearing that The Grateful Dead decided not to play. All captured in the Gimme Shelter film.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorma Kaukonen
    So many of our brothers and sister from that time are gone. Skip Spence, Spencer Dryden, Joey Covington, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and now Marty have all joined the Heavenly Band as Rev. Davis would say.

    We were young together. I would like to think we made a difference. As for Grace Slick, Jack Casady and myself…

    Now we are three…"[/I]
    Sad.

  25. #25
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Sad news indeed. RIP and thanks for those wonderful songs and performances. It's seems the spirit of the 60s is fading into the mist with each passing day in this transient veil of tears. Fly Jefferson Airplane gets you there on time...
    There are more stars in the visible universe than there are grains of sand on planet earth.

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