Bill... in a younger time...

Bill... in a younger time...

Bill Thompson
Monday, January 12, 2015

I was driving to Lexington, Kentucky Monday morning for a gig, when I received a sad call. My old colleague, Bill Thompson, passed away this morning in California. At seventy four years of age, I have spent most of my life since my twenties on the road and in the beginning when Jefferson Airplane was starting to fly, our constant companion was Bill Thompson. He was with us when we started and wound up being our manager in the years before Jack and I left and the Airplane was retired to the hanger. Because of the way we did business back then, Bill was like a band member… his instrument were his phone, his desk and his voice. He was one of us.

As the years slid by, we lost Spencer and Joey to mortality… and now another one of us is gone. I remember that little sneer he would have when he laughed… that curling of the upper lip, accompanied by something utterly inappropriate.

My heart goes out to his surviving family… Bill was younger than I and that makes it much, much too soon. Here’s to those and those like us… damn few left.

Fair wind and following seas brother…



  1. Comment made on January 27, 2015 by Steve Goldston

    May his Memory Be A Blessing!

  2. Comment made on January 15, 2015 by Jim T

    Death don’t have no mercy in our land …..

  3. Comment made on January 15, 2015 by mutt

    Condolences to you, the surviving family and those left in the JA hanger. Hard to let a person go, but the spiritual bonds stitched in the fabric of time are forever.

    Peace and Love Fur All


  4. Comment made on January 14, 2015 by carlo pagliano

    Back in the haze of the seminal days, way back in the 60s, for us not living in America, to read abt Bill Thompson in the credits, and without knowing anything abt nothing, meant to feel home, moving onward every album without losing parts. It is strange, but you can feel & love a person so far in the world just ‘cause his name is recurrent on the covers with the right story or adjective or photo or task on the side, it was an instant biography in real time that had to be added up to the record whilst turning, and in this case you could be sure that name would appear forever, that’s why I perceived I felt home, lots of harmony, lots of taking care, lots of wise thinking inside young musicians, our Rock was safe and in the best hands of the best bands. That’s why my love for Bill grew ever since. We always search in someone a bit of someone else, so in my fantasy my Bill Thompson here at mine was a friend I met in the army and who contributed to change my life in so many better ways, he even had almost the same spects as Bill. The only difference was the provenience, Old Europe and The United States of America, but souls and the aims were runnin’ parallel. Heart’s proposals are wondrous offers. In my imagination Bill kept the titanic band tight together which thing sounded totally different from all the other bands, thus giving that sense of family remarked by The Captain, enhancing his contribute to the stellar success of the most admirable Rock Bands ever, Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.

  5. Comment made on January 14, 2015 by George Massouris

    Dear Jorma

    My condolences. I have grown up hearing stories of Bill Thompson’s legendary role in the Airplane and beyond. I am grateful tha he was such a dedicated member of the bands and we got to enjoy the music.

  6. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by charles newman

    Jorma, sorry to hear about Bill.

  7. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by DennisK

    Sorry to hear about your Airplane compatriot moving on too soon.

    This morning I heard In My Dreams off the new album, on my local radio (WNTI 91.9). The lyrics seem to fit this sad news. Be well. See you in Newton, NJ.

  8. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by Jim Mckeon


  9. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by ellen zee

    life swims so fast our memories of those that touched our journey
    keep us together, RIP Bill , thank you for all you gave.

  10. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by Andriy

    So sad about this loss of a good man.

  11. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by johno

    Jorma – so sad to hear about the loss of your friend.

  12. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by cyndy consentino

    Dear Jorma,

    Sad news indeed!

    RIP to a great guy who took car of everybody really well

    Be well,


  13. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by Paul

    Sorry for your loss Brother….

    Requiescant in pace.

  14. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by John B

    ‘ Look around one of your family will be gone……’ Sorry for the loss of one of your friends Jorma.

  15. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by Hamneggs

    Sorry for your loss.
    The Jefferson Family is a little smaller today.
    May you all be blessed with good memories and good grief.
    Love All Ways

  16. Comment made on January 13, 2015 by eaglesteve

    Gone, never forgotten. Condolences to all he touched. RIP Bill.

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