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

An American rock band that formed in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco in 1965, Jefferson Airplane has gone through significant stages in its long and storied career.

!Jefferson Airplane (1965-1972)

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/j_airplane_sm_1241.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:The classic line-up of Jefferson Airplane. Clockwise from bottom-left: Jorma Kaukonen, Spencer Dryden, Jack Casady, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner and Grace Slick.]]

The original band, '''Jefferson Airplane''', was a Bay Area FolkMusic group 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 Skip Spence on bass and drums respectively. Airplane would release one album with that line-up before Spence moved on to create 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 frontwoman Grace Slick. Now the classic line-up was set, and with the release of their 1967 album, ''Surrealistic Pillow'', they established themselves as a leading PsychedelicRock band. They enjoyed Top 10 hit singles in America with "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit", 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, 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, they finally called it a day in 1972.

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

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

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!!Studio Discography:

* 1966 - ''Jefferson Airplane Takes Off''
* 1967 - ''Surrealistic Pillow''
* 1967 - ''After Bathing At Baxter's''
* 1968 - ''Crown Of Creation''
* 1969 - ''Volunteers''
* 1971 - ''Bark''
* 1972 - ''Long John Silver''

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!!Live Discography:

* 1969 - ''Bless Its Pointed Little Head''
* 1973 - ''Thirty Seconds Over Winterland''
* 1998 - ''Live At The Fillmore East''
* 2007 - ''Sweeping Up The Spotlight: Live At The Fillmore East 1969''
* 2009 - ''The Woodstock Experience'' [[note]]Also features Music/{{Santana}}, Music/JanisJoplin, Music/SlyAndTheFamilyStone and Johnny Winter[[/note]]

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!Jefferson Starship (1974-1984)

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/j_starship_sm_8769.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Jefferson Starship.]]

However, the band reformed in 1974 under the name '''Jefferson Starship''' (named after the ad-hoc supergroup that played on Paul Kantner's {{Hugo|Award}}-nominated science-fiction concept album ''Music/BlowsAgainstTheEmpire''), including members of the original group as well as new musicians drawn from Kantner's solo album, such as lead guitarist Craig Chaquico and Peter Kaukonen, brother of Jorma. Most importantly was the addition of lead singer Mickey Thomas, who joined after the exit of Marty Balin in the late seventies and subsequently became the effective leader of the band in the eighties. This iteration of the group did produce some good melodic rock music and had several successful albums, but they're probably best remembered today as, "That band that showed up in ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial''." The band soon started to bleed members, and with Paul Kantner's departure in 1984, none of the original Airplane[=/=]Starship members except for Grace Slick were left.

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!!Principal Members (Founding members in '''bold''', current members in ''italic''):

* ''Donny Baldwin'' - drums, percussion, vocals (1982-1984)
* Marty Balin - lead vocals, guitar (1974-1978)
* '''John Barbata''' - drums, percussion, backing and lead vocals, congas (1974-1979)
* '''Craig Chaquico''' - guitar, vocals, synthesizer, drums (1974-1984)
* '''Papa John Creach''' - violin (1974-1975, died 1994)
* Aynsley Dunbar - drums, percussion, marimba, synthesizer (1979-1982)
* '''''David Freiberg''''' - vocals, keyboard, organ, piano, bass, synthesizer (1974-1984)
* '''''Paul Kantner''''' - vocals, guitar, banjo, keyboard, synthesizer (1974-1984)
* '''Peter Kaukonen''' - bass, guitar (1974)
* Steve Schuster - saxophone (1978-1979)
* Pete Sears - bass, piano, harpsichord, organ, synthesizer, clavinet, celeste, guitar, vocals (1974-1984)
* '''Grace Slick''' - lead vocals, piano (1974-1978, 1981-1984)
* Mickey Thomas - lead vocals (1979-1984)

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!!Studio and Live Discography:

* 1974 - ''Dragon Fly''
* 1975 - ''Red Octopus''
* 1976 - ''Spitfire''
* 1978 - ''Earth''
* 1979 - ''Freedom At Point Zero''
* 1981 - ''Modern Times''
* 1982 - ''Winds Of Change''
* 1984 - ''Nuclear Furniture''
* 2013 - ''Live In Central Park NYC May 12, 1975''

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!Starship (1985-1990) and the Jefferson Airplane reunions (1989, 1996)

[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/starship_sm_4135.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Starship with Grace Slick in the 1980's.]]

To avoid legal action from Kantner, the remaining members of Jefferson Starship shortened their name to '''Starship''', a straight-ahead pop-rock group that released three somewhat synth-heavy albums in the late 1980s and had three number one singles with "We Built This City", "Sara" and "[[Film/{{Mannequin}} Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now]]". Though critically reviled, they were quite successful commercially nonetheless. As it turned, this group turned out to have the least staying power, and Slick left in 1988. With Mickey Thomas as the sole lead singer, they gradually disintegrated until they broke up in [[TheNineties 1990]]. Notably, in 1989 Donny Baldwin was sacked after assaulting Thomas to the point where Thomas had to have facial reconstruction surgery and plates implanted into his skull.

Meanwhile, 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'. 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. Spencer Dryden died in 2005 from colon cancer.

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!!Principal Members (* = Jefferson Airplane):

* '''Donny Baldwin''' - drums, vocals (1984-1989)
* '''Marty Balin''' - lead vocals (1989, 1996)*
* Brett Bloomfield - bass, vocals (1988-1990)
* Jack Casady - bass (1989, 1996)*
* '''Craig Chaquico''' - guitar (1984-1990)
* Spencer Dryden - drums (1996, died 2005)*
* '''David Freiberg''' - keyboard, synthesizer, bass, vocals (1984)
* '''Paul Kantner''' - guitar, vocals (1989, 1996)*
* '''Jorma Kaukonen''' - guitar, vocals (1989, 1996)*
* Mark Morgan - keyboard (1988-1990)
* '''Pete Sears''' - bass, keyboard (1984-1987)
* '''Grace Slick''' - lead vocals, keyboard (1984-1988), (1989)*
* '''''Mickey Thomas''''' - lead vocals (1984-1990)

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!!Studio Discography (* = Jefferson Airplane):

* 1985 - ''Knee Deep In The Hoopla''
* 1987 - ''No Protection''
* 1989 - ''Love Among The Cannibals''
* 1989 - ''Jefferson Airplane''*

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!! Works with a page on this wiki:

* ''Music/BlowsAgainstTheEmpire''

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!!! "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".
* ControlFreak: Mickey Thomas by all accounts.
* CoverVersion: [[Music/TheByrds David Crosby]]'s polyamory-themed "Triad" is covered on ''Crown of Creation''. 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, ''Takes Off'' 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 ''Surrealistic Pillow'' 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''.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Miracles".
** The lines [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "I got a taste of the real world (oh baby)/When I went down on you girl"]] can still be heard on the radio today.
* LyricalColdOpen: "Somebody To Love".
* MushroomSamba: "White Rabbit".
* NightmareFuel: "The House At Pooneil Corners" due to it's menacing intro melody, chaotic sound, lyrics about nuclear war and Jorma Kaukonen's air raid siren like guitar line.
* OneWomanSong: "Jane," "Sara"
* OppressiveStatesOfAmerica: In "Volunteers", this is the basis for the call for revolution.
* ThePeteBest: Bob Harvey (the original bassist), and Jerry Peloquin (the original drummer). Also Signe Toly Anderson, the original female lead vocalist, and Skip Spence, the second drummer, who played on the band's first album, ''Takes Off'', and left afterwards. Spence went on to be a founding member of Music/MobyGrape.
* {{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 ''Surrealistic Pillow'' 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 the group through its first two incarnations prior to taking a solo career in the early 1980s.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVillified: "Volunteers" paints a rosy picture of armed rebellion.
* RooftopConcert: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLRX7bZH41g In New York]], about seven weeks before Music/TheBeatles did their more famous concert.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Grace Slick quit Starship after "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" when she realized just how much they had sold out. She reformed Jefferson Airplane at that time, only to quit them after one tour when she decided [[GrowingUpSucks she was getting too old for this]].
** Marty Balin pulled this- twice.
* {{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 ''Crown of Creation'' were taken (with permission) entirely from the novel ''Literature/TheChrysalids'' by British SF author Creator/JohnWyndham.
** The album ''Blows Against the Empire'' was inspired by, and referenced, another Heinlein novel, ''Literature/MethuselahsChildren'', again with permission. (Heinlein commented that his plots had been used by others many times, but this was the first time someone had ''asked'' first.)
** "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.
* 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.]]
** TheSeventies: Jefferson Starship successfully morphed into an ArenaRock group along the lines of {{Music/Toto}} (as a matter of fact, their hit song "Jane" was accused of aping Toto's single "Hold the Line", right down to the piano triplets).
** TheEighties: Starship became pretty much the poster band for the so-called "corporate rock" movement mid-decade.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Is it "Jefferson Airplane" or "'''The''' Jefferson Airplane"? Averted by later incarnations of the band.
* VocalTagTeam
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