Psychedelia star Marty Balin dies
By James Stewart
Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane guitarist and co-founder has died, aged 76.
The San Francisco psychedelic rock band was founded in 1965 and Marty helped create their 1960s albums, including Surrealistic Pillow and Volunteers. Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady said: “He was a great songwriter and singer who loved life and music. We shared some wonderful times together.”
Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen said Marty always reached for the stars “and he took us along with him.”
Balin co-wrote five songs on their breakthrough LP Surrealistic Pillow, including “Comin Back to Me” and album opener “She Has Funny Cars,” and his tenor voice became a key component of their signature sound. He played with the group at all of their most famous gigs, including the 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Altamont.
At the Altamont gig, Balin was brutally beaten by Hells Angels after he dove into the audience to help an audience member in distress.
“I woke up with all these boot marks all over my body,” he told Relix in 1993. “I just walked out there. I remember Jorma saying, ‘Hey, you’re a crazy son of a bitch.’”