[[caption-width-right:300:The classic line-up of Jefferson Airplane. Clockwise from bottom-left: Jorma Kaukonen, Spencer Dryden, [[Music/JeffersonStarship Jack Casady]], [[Music/JeffersonStarship Marty Balin]], [[Music/JeffersonStarship Paul Kantner]] and [[Music/{{Starship}} Grace Slick]].]]

->''"Don't you want somebody to love?"''

Jefferson Airplane was an American PsychedelicRock and FolkRock band with a sound comparable to Music/TheByrds and the Lovin' Spoonful. According to Jorma Kaukonen, the name came from a friend, Steve Talbot, who jokingly nicknamed him "Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane" as a parody of the sort of nicknames {{Blues}} singers usually adopted (and possibly had Blind Lemon Jefferson in mind), and when nobody else could think of a band name, Kaukonen remembered Talbot's joke and shortened it appropriately. This didn't stop rumours that the original name referred to an impromptu method of holding a too-short marijuana joint.

When they first formed in 1965, Jefferson Airplane consisted of Marty Balin and Signe Anderson on lead vocals, Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner on guitar, Bob Harvey on bass and Jerry Peloquin on drums. Harvey and Peloquin didn't last long, and were quickly replaced by Jack Casady and Alexander "Skip" Spence on bass and drums respectively. Airplane would release one album (''Music/JeffersonAirplaneTakesOff'', 1966) with that line-up before Spence moved on to form Moby Grape (and subsequently suffered from mental illness, dying in 1999), and Anderson left to raise a family.

They were replaced by Spencer Dryden (the nephew of Creator/CharlieChaplin) and iconic front-woman Grace Slick. Now the classic line-up was set, and with the release of their 1967 album, ''Music/SurrealisticPillow'', they established themselves as a leading PsychedelicRock band. They enjoyed Top 10 hit singles in America with "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit", are the only band that played at the three most famous rock and roll festivals of TheSixties (Woodstock, Monterey and Altamont) and headlined the first Isle of Wight Festival. Unfortunately, the group seemed to run out of steam with the onset of TheSeventies; Dryden was fired in early 1970 (Replaced first by Joey Covington, then by former drummer of Music/TheTurtles, John Barbata), and Balin, disillusioned with the psychedelic scene after the death of his close friend Music/JanisJoplin, and with the gradual decline of his influence and involvement, quit his band. After a series of revolving members (Including violinist Papa John Creach and vocalist David Freiberg), they finally called it a day in 1972. Kaukonen and Casady went on to further success with Hot Tuna, and the remaining members went on to form Music/JeffersonStarship.

However, in 1989, the classic line-up of Jefferson Airplane reunited for one last album. However, Spencer Dryden was excluded as Kantner still held a grudge against him for his role in firing one of their managers in 1968. The album was not very well-received, but the tour supporting it was a big success. By then at the age of 50, Slick chose to retire from the music industry, saying that 'All rock-and-rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire'. Papa John Creach died from heart failure in 1994, and the Airplane reunited once more in 1996 for the induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This time Dryden participated and Slick was absent. Skip Spence died from lung cancer in 1999, Spencer Dryden died in 2005 from colon cancer, Joey Covington died in a tragic car accident in 2013, Paul Kantner died from multiple organ failure and septic shock following a heart attack in 2016 and Signe Anderson died from COPD - dying on the same day as Kantner.

!!Principal Members (Founding members in '''bold'''):

* '''[[Music/JeffersonStarship Signe Toly Anderson]]''' - backing and lead vocals, percussion (1965-1966, died 2016)
* '''[[Music/JeffersonStarship Marty Balin]]''' - lead vocals, guitar, bass, percussion (19651971, 1989, 1996)
* [[Music/TheTurtles John Barbata]] - drums, tambourine, percussion (1972)
* [[Music/JeffersonStarship Jack Casady]] - bass, guitar (19651972, 1989, 1996)
* Joey Covington - drums, percussion, backing and lead vocals, congas, tambourine (1970-1972, died 2013)
* [[Music/JeffersonStarship Papa John Creach]] - violin, vocals (19701972, died 1994)
* Spencer Dryden - drums, percussion, piano, organ, steel balls, vocals (19661970, 1996, died 2005)
* David Freiberg - vocals, tambourine, guitar (1972)
* '''Bob Harvey''' - bass (1965)
* '''[[Music/JeffersonStarship Paul Kantner]]''' - guitar, backing and lead vocals (19651972, 1989, 1996, died 2016)
* '''Jorma Kaukonen''' - guitar, backing and lead vocals, sitar (19651972, 1989, 1996)
* '''Jerry Peloquin''' - drums (1965)
* [[Music/{{Starship}} Grace Slick]] - lead vocals, piano, organ, recorder, keyboard (19661972, 1989)
* Alexander "Skip" Spence - drums (1965-1966, died 1999)

!!Studio Discography:

* 1966 - ''Music/JeffersonAirplaneTakesOff''
* 1967 - ''Music/SurrealisticPillow''
* 1967 - ''After Bathing At Baxter's''
* 1968 - ''Music/CrownOfCreation''
* 1969 - ''Volunteers''
* 1971 - ''Bark''
* 1972 - ''Long John Silver''
* 1989 - ''Jefferson Airplane''

!!Live Discography:

* 1969 - ''Bless Its Pointed Little Head''
* 1973 - ''Thirty Seconds Over Winterland''
* 1991 - ''Live At The Monterey Festival''
* 1996 - ''Feed Your Head: Live '67'69''
* 1998 - ''Live At The Fillmore East''
* 1999 - ''Through The Looking Glass''
* 2006 - ''At Golden Gate Park''
* 2007 - ''Last Flight''
* 2007 - ''Sweeping Up The Spotlight: Live At The Fillmore East 1969''
* 2007 - ''At The Family Dog Ballroom''
* 2009 - ''The Woodstock Experience'' [[note]]Also features Music/{{Santana}}, Music/JanisJoplin, Music/SlyAndTheFamilyStone and Johnny Winter[[/note]]
* 2010 - ''Live At The Fillmore Auditorium 10/15/66: Late Show: Signe's Farewell''
* 2010 - ''Live At The Fillmore Auditorium 10/16/66: Early & Late Shows: Grace's Debut''
* 2010 - ''Live At The Fillmore Auditorium 11/25/66 & 11/27/66: We Have Ignition''
* 2010 - ''Return To The Matrix 2/1/68''

!!Non-album singles:

* 1966 - "It's No Secret" [[note]]Otherwise available on their 1966 album ''Jefferson Airplane Takes Off''[[/note]] / "Runnin' Round This World"
* 1970 - "Mexico" / "Have You Seen The Saucers?"

!! "Feed your tropes!":

* AfterTheEnd: "Wooden Ships" (written by SF Fan Paul Kantner, in collaboration with members of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and a hit for both groups) depicts ocean-dwelling survivors of an unspecified apocalyptic event.
* AliceAllusion: All over the place in "White Rabbit".
* CoverVersion: [[Music/TheByrds David Crosby]]'s polyamory-themed "Triad" is covered on ''Music/CrownOfCreation''. Notably, Crosby brought the song to the band after it was originally rejected by The Byrds, but The Byrds later changed their mind and recorded a version as well.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: The first album, ''Music/JeffersonAirplaneTakesOff'' is basically a straight-ahead folk-rock album with little hint of the tripped-out weirdness that would follow. It's also worth noting that there is quite a bit more straight-ahead folk-rock on ''Music/SurrealisticPillow'' than a lot of people seem to remember there being, though the group's penchant for chemical experimentation definitely affected even the folk-rock songs on that album.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: Sarcastically titled ''The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane''.
* IAmTheBand: Marty Balin in the early days of Jefferson Airplane, though Grace Slick and Paul Kantner quickly took over.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Somebody To Love".
* MushroomSamba: "White Rabbit".
* OppressiveStatesOfAmerica: In "Volunteers", this is the basis for the call for revolution.
* {{Polyamory}}: The subject of "Triad".
* PrecisionFStrike: "Up against the wall, motherfucker!" in "We Can Be Together". On the same album, "You call it rain/But the human name/Doesn't mean shit to a tree" on "Eskimo Blue Day".
* PsychedelicRock: One of the most influential groups in the genre, the 1967 album ''Music/SurrealisticPillow'' is one of several albums that helped to define the sound of the Summer of Love.
* TheRainman: Marty Balin, one of the founding members, has a mild form of autism, but still led (or co-led) both this band and Music/JeffersonStarship prior to taking a solo career in the early 1980s.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVillified: "Volunteers" paints a rosy picture of armed rebellion.
* {{Rockumentary}}: Jefferson Airplane was one of the acts at the infamous Altamont Free Concert, documented in the 1970 film ''Film/GimmeShelter''. Lead singer Marty Balin was knocked unconscious by a club-wielding Hell's Angel biker.
* RooftopConcert: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLRX7bZH41g In New York]], about seven weeks before Music/TheBeatles did their more famous concert.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere:
** Marty Balin quit Jefferson Airplane in 1971 after realising he was the odd one out.
** Grace Slick did so as soon as the reunion was over, deciding that [[GrowingUpSucks she was getting too old for this]].
* {{Sexbot}}: Marty Balin ''claims'' that "Plastic Fantastic Lover" was a paean to his new stereo system (or maybe TV--the story varies), but the description of it as a lover with "chrome-colored clothes", and the references to "Data Control and IBM" make it clear that he was trying to imply a little more--possibly influenced by some of Kantner's SF collection.
* ShoutOut: Paul Kantner was a science fiction fan, and several of his songs contain references to SF works:
** The lyrics of eponymous title track of the album ''Music/CrownOfCreation'' were taken (with permission) entirely from the novel ''Literature/TheChrysalids'' by British SF author Creator/JohnWyndham.
** "Rejoyce" on ''After Bathing At Baxter's'' was about Creator/JamesJoyce's ''Literature/{{Ulysses}}''.
** "Triad" contains a couple of references to Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'', but it was actually written by David Crosby.
** "White Rabbit" is devoted to making ''Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland'' even trippier.
* TheSixties: Odds are good that, if you're watching a program about or set in the Sixties, you'll hear [[NothingButHits a Jefferson Airplane song on the soundtrack]]. [[AnachronismStew Even if it's the very early Sixties]].
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Is it "Jefferson Airplane" or "'''The''' Jefferson Airplane"? Averted by the band's successors.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Music/JeffersonStarship, followed by Music/{{Starship}}.
* VocalTagTeam