Jack Casady

Apr 13, 1944

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From Wikipedia:

John William “Jack” Casady (born April 13, 1944) is an American bass guitarist, best known as a member of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Jefferson Airplane became the first successful exponent of the San Francisco Sound. Singles including “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” charted in 1967 and 1968. Casady, along with the other members of Jefferson Airplane, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. […]

Jefferson Airplane years 1965–1972

Casady became the bass player for Jefferson Airplane when lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, a high school friend and former Triumphs rhythm guitarist, invited him to join in late September 1965. He replaced original Jefferson Airplane bassist Bob Harvey the following month.

Casady stepped beyond the conventional rhythmic and chord-supporting role of rock & roll, in order to explore other possible melodic ideas offered by the rhythm and chord progressions. His impact is immediately evident on Airplane debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966) on tracks such as “Let Me In” and “Run Around”.

The Takes Off LP quotes Marty Balin as saying “He carries it. He’s been with James Brown and other groups and he knows.” There is, however, no evidence Casady had ever played with James Brown. The live Airplane album Bless Its Pointed Little Head, recorded in 1968, demonstrates Casady’s unique walking line style to the fullest, as his Guild Starfire bass signal was delivered through a Versatone amplifier which gave his instrument a distinctive growling sound when played in the higher register. The Fred Neil track “The Other Side of This Life” remains the quintessential example of his style. On later Airplane albums, such as Bark, Long John Silver and the live Thirty Seconds Over Winterland, Casady switched over to a $4,000 custom-made Alembic bass (No. 001, the first made by the company). The extraordinarily grand sound Casady produced during his 1968–1971 heyday—nowhere better heard than in his multi-tracked playing on “Sunrise”, a song from Paul Kantner’s 1970 solo album Blows Against the Empire—inspired fans to assign him the affectionate nickname of “God”. […]

On April 4, 1967, Paul McCartney and Mal Evans visited the Fillmore Auditorium where Jefferson Airplane was rehearsing. Following the visit, they accompanied Marty Balin and Jack Casady (from Jefferson Airplane) to the Oak Street apartment they shared with the band’s road manager Bill Thompson. There, Paul played them an acetate of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, and they also attempted to jam. However, Paul struggled with playing the band’s right-handed guitars. He can be seen in a photo playing a Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar, which possibly belonged to Paul Kantner. At the end of the evening, Jack Casady escorted them back to their hotel.

The Jefferson Airplane was practicing at the original Filmore in San Fransisco in the afternoon when in walked the Beatles assistant Mal. He was in a suit and tie and very British when he said “Master Paul McCartney would like to visit with you”. I said “show him in”. He went out and came back with Paul McCartney leading the two of them back in. He sat right down with us and talked a bit. Then we invited him to Jack and my apartment in the Haight Ashbury. So we went to our apartment and Jack and Jorma kept trying to get Paul to jam with them but he didn’t really want to. So he came over to my side of the apartment and we sat and started to talk. I said “so what’s up with the Beatles?”. Paul casually pulled a cassette from his pocket and said ” I happen to have a track from the new album”. I pulled out my cassette player and popped it in. Out came A DAY IN THE LIFE. Imagine the first time hearing that song……and I was sitting there with Paul McCartney hearing it….I was stunned and knocked off the universe. I just praised the heck out of it…and him…and the Beatles and knew that it was part of a magnificent wave of new music led by the Beatles.

Marty Balin – From Marty Balin on Facebook, April 2019

From 3 April 1967: Paul McCartney flies to Los Angeles | The Beatles Bible


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