See the Last Surviving Members of Jefferson Airplane Now
Grace Slick, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jack Casady recently reunited for a special reason.
In the 1960s, Jefferson Airplane was one of the biggest bands in rock music, thanks to their psychedelic sound and involvement in cultural events such as Woodstock and the Summer of Love. In 1996, the lineup of members during the height of Jefferson Airplane's career were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Today, three of those six members are still alive: singer Grace Slick, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, and bassist Jack Casady.
Kaukonen was a founding member of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, while his childhood friend Casady joined early on (prior to the band's first album release) when he replaced Bob Harvey. As for Slick, in 1966, she replaced singer Signe Toly Anderson, who recorded with the band on their first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off.
Read on to find out about the remaining three members today and where their lives and careers took them over 50 years later.
Jefferson Airplane was at its height in the late '60s.
The Jefferson Airplane lineup that was around from 1966 to 1970 was the one that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band stopped performing together around 1972, the same year they released the album Long John Silver. They then reunited in 1989 for the album Jefferson Airplane.
That said, some of the members continued performing together, forming the group Jefferson Starship (later known as just Starship) in 1974. One of these was Slick. As for Kaukonen and Casady, they formed their own band, Hot Tuna, during their time in Jefferson Airplane and have continued on with the group to the present day.
In October 2022, Kaukonen, Casady, and Slick came together again to unveil Jefferson Airplane's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Jorma Kaukonen told his life story.
Following Jefferson Airplane, Kaukonen started his band Hot Tuna with Casady and also launched a solo career. Hot Tuna has released seven studio albums—the latest in 2011—as well as a number of live albums. Kaukonen has also released 13 solo studio albums. The latest was 2020's The River Flows.
The 81-year-old musician is currently on tour, performing both solo and with Hot Tuna. In 2018, he released his autobiography, Been So Long: My Life and Music.
Kaukonen is currently married to his second wife, Vanessa Kaukonen, with whom he started Fur Peace Ranch, a music workshop camp in Ohio. The musician has two children, Zach and Izze, who he sometimes posts about on his blog.
Jack Casady has been in other bands, too.
Casady and Kaukonen are longtime friends and collaborators, from playing music together as teenagers in Washington, D.C., to Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Like Kaukonen, Casady, now 78, has also performed music outside of the two groups. He was in the bands SVT and The Yanks, joined a reformed Jefferson Starship in the '90s, and released one solo album, 2003's Dream Factor. Additionally, Casady sometimes teaches at Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch, and he designed his own bass for the brand Epiphone.
Casady was married to his wife, Diana Casady, until she passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer.
Grace Slick is a visual artist.
Slick, 82, is remembered for her time in Jefferson Airplane, thanks to her memorable vocals on songs including "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love." After the group disbanded, she joined Jefferson Starship, which then became Starship. With Starship, she sang on the hits "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and "We Built This City". During the '70s and '80s, she released four solo albums.
Now retired from music, Slick is also a visual artist, and she painted Casady and Kaukonen's portraits on the cover of their album The Best of Hot Tuna. Her memoir, Somebody to Love?, was published in 1998.
Slick was married twice: to Jerry Slick from 1961 to 1971 and to Skip Johnson from 1976 to 1994. She has a daughter, China Kanter, with late Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship bandmate Paul Kanter.