For decades, founding Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin had been an integral member of the legendary San Francisco rock act’s spinoff group, Jefferson Starship. However, in recent years, the 71-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has stopped performing with the band. Balin recently told ABC News Radio that the reason he isn’t playing with Jefferson Starship stems from rift with the group’s management.
“Well, their manager told me they didn’t need me, that it’s just a brand name,” says Marty. “So they’re just selling the brand name. They don’t need us guys who started it and put all them songs down. They just have people imitate us and that’s good enough.”
Jefferson Starship currently does feature two founding members, singer/guitarist Paul Kantner and singer/bassist David Freiberg, while the rest of the lineup has had varying tenures in the group.
Balin didn’t elaborate further about the conflict, but insists that he’s content focusing on his solo career. To that end, Marty reports that he’s very excited about a new album that he’s preparing for release.
“Wait ’til you hear this new album of mine,” he gushes to ABC News Radio. “I got some songs even knocked me out…and I wrote them.”
Regarding the process of getting the recording together, he notes, “It’s amazing when you go in the studio and start puttin’ [the tracks] down. They sound pretty good to start with, and then they just get better and better… That’s the fun of going in the studio with neat new kernels of ideas… I always look forward to that.”
Marty adds, “I’m looking forward to puttin’ [the album] out,” although no release date has been set.
Balin also is working on another interesting project, a DVD featuring candid footage of Jefferson Airplane and some of their musical friends. The singer says the video was shot in 1968 and ’69 at the famed mansion that the band’s members shared in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco.
Marty reveals that the footage was captured with “an early video camera” the band owned, and includes “crazy stuff and fun stuff” that went on at various parties and jam sessions at the mansion.
“[There's] The Grateful Dead and Janis [Joplin] and people playing pool,” he explains. “You know, just hanging out, havin’ fun and playin’ music downstairs.”
Balin says the video also captures David Crosby showing the Airplane members “Wooden Ships,” a song he co-wrote with Kantner and Stephen Stills. Marty adds that the DVD “should be out this summer.” Visit MartyBalin.net to find out the latest news on the singer.
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