Marty Balin

Jan 30, 1942
Sep 27, 2018

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From Wikipedia:

Martyn Jerel Buchwald (January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018), known as Marty Balin (/ˈbælɪn/), was an American singer, songwriter, and musician best known as the founder/leader and one of the lead singers and songwriters of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship. […]

Jefferson Airplane

Balin was the primary founder of Jefferson Airplane, which he “launched” from a restaurant-turned-club he created and named The Matrix, and was also one of its lead vocalists and songwriters from 1965 to 1971. Balin was one of three Jewish members of the band, including guitarists Paul Kantner and Jorma Kaukonen. In the group’s 1966–1971 iteration, Balin served as co-lead vocalist alongside Grace Slick. Balin’s songwriting output diminished after Surrealistic Pillow (1967) as Slick, Kantner and Kaukonen matured as songwriters, a process compounded by personality clashes. Balin’s most enduring songwriting contributions were often imbued with a romantic, pop-oriented lilt that was atypical of the band’s characteristic forays into psychedelic rock. Among Balin’s most notable songs were “Comin’ Back to Me” (a folk rock ballad later covered by Ritchie Havens and Rickie Lee Jones), “Today” (a collaboration with Kantner initially written on spec for Tony Bennett that was prominently covered by Tom Scott), and, again with Kantner, the topical 1969 top-100 hit “Volunteers”. Although uncharacteristic of his oeuvre, the uptempo “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover” (both written for Surrealistic Pillow) remained integral components of the Airplane’s live set throughout the late 1960s.

Balin played with Jefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. […]

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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