Window in time...

Window in time...

Thanks to Bob Sarles for these fotos…

Now We Are Three
Requiem For A Friend
Marty Balin
30 Jan. 1942/27 Sept. 2018

Life is a thin thread
It’s a thin little hand on a hospital bed
It’s all the things you’ve left unsaid
Life is a thin thread

It’s a fine line between loving and not
Between holding it back or giving all that you’ve got
Feeling you’re free, thinking you’re caught
It’s a fine line

(Thin Thread by Connie Kaldor)

I was more than saddened yesterday to hear of Marty Balin’s passing. Jack and I were in Northampton, Mass. at the Academy Of Music and we were just getting ready to do our sound check. I knew that Marty had been sick and I knew in a general way that he had grievous issues but I did not really know what they were. Marty always kept a lot of shade on himself. I stood there in the little room in the wings, stage left… struck dumb. What can you say? We always say and hear, ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ but what does that really mean? We say it. We have to say it and then in the confines of our hearts we try to process the sorrow and search for the words that really convey what we feel. It is an imperfect process.

Marty and I were young together in a time that defined our lives. Had it not been for him, my life would have taken an alternate path I cannot imagine. He and Paul Kantner came together and like plutonium halves in a reactor started a chain reaction that still affects many of us today. It was a moment of powerful synchronicity. I was part of it to be sure, but I was not a prime mover. Marty always reached for the stars and he took us along with him.

I always felt that he was somewhat guarded… the quiet one. Perhaps that’s because I was one of the noisy ones… I don’t know. It’s probably not for me to say. His commitment to his visions never flagged. He was always relentless in the pursuit of his goals. He wrapped those he loved in sheltering arms. He loved his family. Times come and go but his passion for his music and his art was never diminished. He was the most consummate of artists in a most renaissance way. I always felt that he perceived that each day was a blank canvas waiting to be filled.

It was fortuitous that we were able to stay connected in a loose way over the years. He and his friends graced our stage at the Fur Peace Station in Ohio and he was able to join us at the Beacon Theater in NYC the year we celebrated Jack’s 70th birthday.

Very good stuff!

Coming to grips with reality is a process that starts at birth. I am always stunned when one of my friends passes and yet, it would seem that at some point we will all take that journey. It’s almost like, ‘How can this be? There are things I need to say.’ There were indeed things I needed to say and the fault for that lack lies on me and me alone. I don’t think any of us really think that we will live forever yet often that thought lies dormant in the back of our minds. At my age my world is starting to be surrounded by passing. I will miss my friends who rest on the banks of the River Of Time and I am reminded to make the most of every moment as I am swept downstream! Marty’s passing reaffirms the power of love, the power of family, the power of possibilities.

So many of our brothers and sister from that time are gone. Skip Spence, Spencer Dryden, Joey Covington, Papa John Creach, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and now Marty have all joined the Heavenly Band as Rev. Davis would say.

We were young together. I would like to think we made a difference. As for Grace Slick, Jack Casady and myself…

Now we are three…


  1. Comment made on February 19, 2020 by Lachlan MacLearn

    Every generation – every cohort makes its own statement in its own way. Now 69, I have seen, as many of you have, such monumental cultural tectonic plate shifts over the last 60 years as to render encapsulating it all in any meaningful way both exhausting, and possibly pointless – as it always recalls the admonition “If you weren’t there, nothing I say is going to be adequate to make you understand what it was like…” That said, even as I continue to make my own music, I go back to JA well regularly. I met the band upon two occasions, looked after their concert dressing rooms, listened to their green room warm up, pre-show jams. I still remember and can play one of Jack and Jorma’s jam riffs – that I’ve never heard anywhere else. What a wealth of great memories. All six JA members I found personable, open, positive. As for Paul, Marty and Spencer’s gifts – I’ll never forget them. Supremely lucky to have been there at all.

  2. Comment made on September 13, 2019 by Rob Smith III

    Hi Jorma,

    This is an odd question/request. I am 36 so was not around for the San Francisco music scene in the 60s, but I got into it by way of Moby Grape whom I heard of through Robert Plant talking about the group and Skip Spence in interviews. It piqued my curiosity, and through that I ended up hearing about the Airplane, heard Embryonic Journey, and felt my heart burst open for the music. My wife, eight month old son, and I went camping up and down the Pacific Coast Highway from Big Sur to Oregon for two weeks in November and stopped in Soquel to visit Skip Spence at his final resting place.

    There is some information on the internet about him — mainly from his time with Moby Grape through OAR — but not a lot about his early years in San Francisco music or what he was like. Do you have any stories to share about him in the early years of Airplane or in general around town? Anything that can expound upon him as a person? Does Jack have any stories? I would like to hear something about him along these lines. Even though he had some troubles, I would like to hear personal memories of him as a person and as a musician.

    Thank you and blessings while you are on the road and off the road. I am in Richmond, Virginia — I hope to catch you and Jack at LOCKN — did not get to go in ‘15. Also hoping to make some time to sign up for a lesson and go out to the Ranch next year — it would be an honor.


    • Comment made on September 16, 2019 by Jorma

      There is a lot written about Skip… a wonderfully talented human being and artist. I never really hung with him after he left the Airplane in ’66 or thereabouts. His story is fractured and tragic. It did not look like a happy ending to me. Very sad to say.

  3. Comment made on October 26, 2018 by Gary Dion

    Oh, BTW. My friends, John and Tom, and I were in the audience at the Northampton concert. Thank you, Jorma, and Jack, for the gift of a wonderful performance that evening as you both were dealing with the news about Marty. I’m sure you both were playing through considerable emotion while on stage. The news about Marty stunned us as well. But your words and music that evening helped to make some sense of things, and helped to ease the feelings of loss.
    – Thanks again, Gary

  4. Comment made on October 26, 2018 by Gary Dion

    Thank you, Jorma, for your wonderful words about Marty. Marty’s voice and lyrics were instrumental in drawing me in to the Airplane’s music.
    I also thank you again, Jorma, for your music and thoughts over all these years. You’ve made my life much, much richer.
    – Gary

  5. Comment made on October 24, 2018 by Patrick Filacchione

    My experience with Marty began at 8 years old when I discovered my older brothers records and listened to them. I fell in love with Volunteers and have been a life long fan of Jefferson Airplane and subsequently Hot Tuna, ever since. His voice will live on in all of us. I’ve been priveledged to see hundreds of Hot Tuna Shows and loved the birthday bash at the Beacon. RIP Marty and Jorma, Ill see you and Jack in Ridgefield CT. 11/25

  6. Comment made on October 17, 2018 by Christine Terbrock

    I loved Marty = still do. My favorite song is still We Built This City on Rock And Roll – his eyes and expression I will never forget. When I was young, I always felt he was singing to me! I know he is at rest with the Lord. I just turned 70 and still love his music! So sorry to his family. Please accept my condolences. My prayers are with you – please take care.
    Chris Terbrock

  7. Comment made on October 12, 2018 by Rinaldo

    The fact that all the members of the Jefferson Airplane stayed in touch with each other over the years was truly amazing. It’s discouraging when old friends no longer see eye-to-eye and leave each other behind. But with all their differences, love and friendship seemed to endure among members of the band. And the beautiful words expressed by Jorma regarding Marty and his bandmates were heartfelt and inspirational. In a song called “Hold Me”, written by David Evan and Gene Heart, Marty sings the line: “There must be something wrong, because you and I still get along.” May the memory of the kinship they had for each other carry on.

  8. Comment made on October 7, 2018 by Hash Brown

    Favorite band, great voice. Comin’ home to you

  9. Comment made on October 7, 2018 by Mark

    God speed, to all of the JA. I loved you guys since the first album. I had to take the bus from the East Bay to the ball rooms, and sometimes be told I was too young. It seemed the JA would always be there.. you were our anthem. Best wishes to you all, here and those gone.

  10. Comment made on October 6, 2018 by Howard Wade

    I’ve been trying to find the words to say what Marty (and you guys in general) meant to me and my friends way back then. We are younger than you all and, as musicians, looked up to you. His clear tenor was one of the most powerful voices i’ve heard. His ability to convey feelings in song was unparalleled. I think of songs like Coming Back to Me and tears almost come to this day. Back then we were searching for a way to be in a world that seemed to have no place for us. When Marty, Paul and Grace sang “We can be together my friend, oh you and me” it gave us something to hang on to. I feel it’s power still as i remember it. So safe journeys to brother Marty. And, for my part, you guys did make a difference and still do.

  11. Comment made on October 5, 2018 by Jim

    Glad I was able to experience a bit his magic at the Beacon for Jack’s 70th –

  12. Comment made on October 4, 2018 by George Anthony

    A long way from Friday the 13th, Aug 1965…

    Marty in NY 1984:

    We got to interview Marty for CW Post – LI College radio in 1984 Marty was accommodating and charming. Marty gave us two Comp ticket to Lone Star, 13th St. and 5th Ave, hanging by the front revolving door with hid Dad Joe. Marty’s band was pre-KBC days and included Slick Aguilar and Keith Crossan on sax. We plugged in, got a fine board tape. In retrospect, Marty was so young and vibrant.

    I’ve been playing ‘Jefferson Airplane Loves You’ 3 CD Box Set this week. It’s helped with the mourning. The JA Box Set has many rarities, including the first time hearing “Things Are Better in the East”. Marty, wonderful poet. We all get a lift from certain songs, that song does it for me. Jorma, thanks for playing Boulton Center in Bayshore and for your Book. Be well Brother.

  13. Comment made on October 4, 2018 by Jeff Roth

    I knew it then, but feel it even more now, that was a privilege to see and hear Marty Balin perform at the most glorious weekend I spent at FPR. Thank you Jorma and Marty for your part in making the soundtrack of our lives!

  14. Comment made on October 4, 2018 by Peter Stone

    Very thoughtful Jorma……totally agree with your reflections. Been listening a lot lately to Crown of Creation 50 years after it’s release. Was thinking mainly of Paul but then this……..

  15. Comment made on October 3, 2018 by JeffersonCampervan

    Thank you Marty for being the Prime Mover in 1965; I’ve been dwelling in the expanding musical universe that you ignited ever since. R.I.P. Frank in Toronto

  16. Comment made on October 3, 2018 by bruce kelso

    its so nice to see all the love and true feelings being written here. my wish is for the remaining three, jack ,jorma and grace to reunite and celebrate the music spirt and life of what once was. that being jefferson airplane flight log 2018.

  17. Comment made on October 3, 2018 by Marla Bloch

    Beautifully stated as always Jorma. So grateful you and Jack are still around, sharing your insights and your lovely music. Thank you.

    RIP Marty Balin.

  18. Thank You for your kind words, Jorma. We will all miss Marty but will keep him close in our hearts. I was fortunate to see him with Jefferson Starship at my first concert evah when I was 15 years young. The show was on the Great Lawn in Central Park, NYC on July 7, 1976. It was a beautiful day of music full of Miracles, Rabbits and Revolution…RIP Mr. Balin !!

  19. Comment made on October 2, 2018 by Sian Steed

    R.I.P. Marty Balin. “Miracles” is my favourite song. Beyond beautiful.

  20. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Wyatt

    Marty was a hero of mine from the end of the Airplane through Bodacious DF (my favorite of his solo projects) and his chart busters with the starship. He seemed irreverent, quirky, and he wrote and sang music I loved. His Crawdaddy article was so narcissistic…I was confused. I admired Grace’s non-judgmental response (something to the effect that “I don’t think that was helpful…”). Then, as his solo recordings dropped – I couldn’t put them together with the recordings I loved. Then: the internet. More info, more testimony. The published author who wrote (in a personal email) that Marty didn’t tell the truth; that private side where irony and reality is unclear? Who knows? I read about the early Tuna in which Marty was in the studio when Jorma and Jack weren’t, and he “caught them in the lie…” Then, a few years later, I read one lone line about autism. Really?! Hmm. I detoured music when my ex wanted a child and I needed a steady income, went for a psychology BA and a Social Work MSW, and come to understand what diagnoses can (and often don’t) mean – but something clicked. Then Marty said in an interview that his co-musicians didn’t like him when KBC split. (What does that mean?
    What on earth?) Then, much later, the (cheap, almost embarrassing) public service video in which Marty was by a swimming pool talking about autism… I wondered why his solo career didn’t soar, and felt, “oh……” So, what to make of all this? Everything I admired is still admirable. Everything that was difficult – well, I don’t know the details, but was able to get a sense, we were able to see the indications. He sang Volunteers at Fur Peace – and in the video, it appears that Jorma was impatient with Marty’s continuing, not letting go, when the song could be over. Marty was interviewed in the portrait tower, and one could experience the difficulty of being WITH him. I felt sad. There are many more examples on the web. But what I’m left with is the wonder of the music I love, what he created, what he organized and what all that led to. He was an odd wonder. For example: when Crown of Creation was released, I had no idea what “Share His Little Joke with the World” was about – but now it’s clear – and so real and insightful! From a man who lacked some social skills – that are probably essential for sustaining a career in the unforgivable, ever changing, music world. I had always wished Marty could have worked more successfully with Hot Tuna, but it wasn’t meant to be. I wouldn’t have to live through the ongoing, cooperative (and conflictual) relationships that would entail. No matter. What Marty did accomplish was wonderful, and what I didn’t love, well, I don’t have to purchase. What a world! We are so complex – our relationships, what we have to give… Plastic Fantastic Lover hasn’t aged a minute since it’s conception. It’s a long time ago, but it still lives. …and he WAS exciting. I came to SF from PDX when KBC had a free concert in Golden Gate Park. It was wonderful. Children wandering around the stage, excellent performances, great community feel…and Marty running toward the front of the stage, repeatedly pretending, over and over, to fall down. I couldn’t explain what was so wonderful and funny about it, but it was. Wonderful, and funny. Without diminishing “America,” or the classics they were (powerfully) playing. Marty could be bitter, judgmental, sarcastic, repetitious, but also – really, really (exceptionally) wonderful. I saw him perform in Seattle not long before his medical conditions overwhelmed. He didn’t have that Olympian high range anymore, but his voice still sounded rich and beautiful. He didn’t need to strain for the high notes. He didn’t need to as for the audience to help him with “Call On Me,” He could have accepted his range and made it work. Some of his new material had choruses that repeated over and over…and over again. …which I now imagine to be the insistence that comes from Autism and a certain social disconnect with others that is the essence of the disorder. Now, of course, I’m grateful I went. I wish he had a full band, I wish many things, but he was who he was, and his shining moments were just that – bright, shining, and amazing. he’s a part of our history. He’s a part of me… Goodbye!

  21. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Sian Steed

    “Miracles” is my favourite song. I hardly know what to say. I saw Jefferson Starship in 1978 at Knebworth Park in England. I lived in the next village. It must have been bad timing for me and for the band. “Miracles” was not on the set list… I understand that things had gone wrong for the band… How I wish that I’d known Marty… R.I.P. to the guy who sang my favourite song.

  22. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Jim

    …Into the future we must cross, must cross. I’d like to go with you…

  23. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Carole Reiss

    My tribute to Mr. Balin is my ever lasting love of his music and and the Jefferson Airolane that I adored when I was 14. Now at 65, I appreciate him even in more.

  24. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Martin Hill-Wilson

    I experienced the music in a far away universe – Oxford UK. It transported our spirit across the stars. We tasted immortality. Still tt’s the best we can do as mortal beings. Thank you all who have passed in that tribe for bringing something new and wonderful to so many

  25. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Susan

    A beautiful tribute from Jorma…I read one online from Jack as well, and so many beautiful tributes written, and great memories shared, in here on the blog. My condolences to Jorma, Jack , Grace and to Marty’s family and friends. I hope that they see the remembrances and tributes shared here and take comfort in knowing how much joy Marty brought to so many with his music.

  26. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    It’s like the full impact of Marty’s death hasn’t been expressed and, like Jorma said, it is hard to put into words…It seems like the Airplane tried to amplify what was best about the 60’s by playing its gilded machine’s form of music even more intensely and catalyzing the vibe…Marty might have gotten fatigued by the “political” end of things but there’s no doubt the band was at its fullest when it was playing as an organ of that movement…There’s a certain palpable illumination the band takes on when it is playing to the freedoms it helped create…Maybe Marty felt like they became secondary to and defined by that…But what doesn’t get expressed is prime mover Marty was such a big part in creating that temporary utopia that was the sparkling magic 60’s that Jefferson Airplane was such a warm and heartfelt integral part of, putting musical infusion to it and becoming one of its freakier annexes…Once you came that close to heaven on Earth as a kid in your twenties in hip clothes it is just as hard to go back as it is to lose to eternity…

  27. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Brian

    Thank you Jorma for this beautiful reflection.. keep pushing on through.. we love you and jack in Philly.. please come back to the Keswick!

  28. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by GEORGE MARKULIS

    I was not around (born in’71) when the Airplane was in its prime, but I have always felt a deep spiritual connection to the group’s bonding music and its message. I am deeply saddened to hear of Marty’s passing. His voice along with Grace’s will eternally provide the vocal soundtrack to the most important and relevant music in my life. My sympathies go to you on the loss of your friend. And thank you for the continued sharing of your musical gifts with your fans today.

  29. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by John Adams

    Godspeed Marty!

  30. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by HOGAN


  31. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by Betty Durnin

    Beautifully expressed. Saddens me that yet another of my musical heroes is gone. RIP Marty-you will never be forgotten. ❤️

  32. Comment made on October 1, 2018 by wolf h

    a wise saying by a wise man, sorry for your loss of a good friend.

  33. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Daniel Mulloy

    That was beautiful. Music is powerful, music can heal. I was walking down the Haight, under an October sky… My mind went back to the year of my birth. I wondered what it must have been like to have been there at the height of it all… All the songs, the people, the energy (Good and bad.) I knew Marty like most of us did, through the art, the music, the songs… he touched the world that way….

    “Miracles” reminds me of my mother, the 1970s and being a little boy… I hear that song and it takes me back to a place in time… I can see my mother’s face and hear her tender voice… That’s the power of music, the beautiful, terrible, healing sound of music.,. R.I.P Marty God bless your soul.

  34. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Robert Burke

    Gasolin was the opening act for my 1st Hot Tuna show. Cherry Hill. Jan Hammer group was between the two.

  35. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Tom Steinberg

    Thanks, Jorma. Well said.

  36. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Tom Fabry

    Jesus Christ, my Jewish Boss, Brother and Savior please bless the soul of Marty Balin (Martyn Jerel Buchwald born in Cincinnati, Ohio) and all our deceased loved ones.

    GREAT you had him around FUR PEACE and elsewhere Jorma. As he transitioned out of this world toward eternity, he went “With Your Love.”

    Saw him in Central Park w the Starship free concert 1975 or 1976.
    Saw him w the Dinosaurs in 1985 in Marin County.
    Was he at the Radio City shows w The Airplane get together?

    PRIME MOVER may be now saying to Martin, ‘Coming Back To Me.”

    Now Marty may have a better understanding of “Miracles”, and from where and how they come.

    I believe brother Marty would advise us now that Christ said many words to the effect of “You Count On Me.

    Oh Yeah, All Right


    Somewhere Singing in Glory…. Say Amen.

    May Brother Marty intercede for us as we pray for him.

    All will be well… The time has come for us to pause….and then press on. PRESSING ON

    Pressing On. *** 🙂 +++

  37. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Steven Meilleur

    Wonderful words to your friend, Jorma … well said. For me, I heard Marty as the vocal soul of the band … at times his voice would just stop me in my tracks. I wish you Godspeed on the next leg of your journey, Marty … 3/5ths of a mile in 10 seconds.

  38. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Ant

    So sad to hear that Marty has passed away,such a great singer,Jorma your tribute was beautiful,i am just giving thanks for everything that you all created,and all the lives including mine that you all changed.

  39. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Ormond Otvos

    Hi, Jorma…
    Didn’t know you had a blog.
    Very nice tribute to Marty, indeed.
    Advantages of classical education.
    Hope to reminisce at some future time.
    Ormond Otvos
    SF bay.

  40. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Greg martelli

    My first live Airplane show was at Woodstock,I was 16 and one of the purported 10% that we’re not blitzed .
    As a stoned sober lifeguard ,I walked up to the white picket fence 35’ from the stage and watched all the bands after a Leslie west’s mountain from that vantage.After the Airplanes early Sunday morning show ,I hitchhiked back to Ct,as I had to guard Monday morning on the Sound,it was unfortunate as I really wanted to see the Band &CSNY.But the realization that the Saturday show ended Sunday morning at 9:30 +~ suggested that the schedule was extended( blown),and I decided to hitchhike home.
    In the spring of 1970( April or May ), I cannot recall ,I was previewing colleges and the Airplane played a Saturday night show while I visited Mount St Marys college in Emmitsburg Md.
    That catalyzed my decision to attend the school.
    I was on the mall in DC ,to watch the Airplane show there.
    Started attending Hot Tuna shows in 71,in DC area.
    John Hurlbut was kind enough to extend season tickets to Fur Peace ,and we got season tickets for three seasons ,but we had to let them go as it’s a 3-1/2 drive from Lex .Ky
    One of the best shows was Marty’s show,Wendy had been to many Tuna shows that we attended,Jamaica,Beacon,Waanee,Lock-in,Capitol on and on.
    But she had never seen Marty.
    We would gladly drive cross country to see him.
    He had a rare presence and authenticity,how could one contest his songwriting muse and his great voice.
    I come at this from a different angle,In the DVD,ride the music ,Marty talks prophetically about his disdain for the direction the tenor of the band was going,he emphatically says he was fatigued with the harangue of political revolution that was being espoused and reinforced his affinity for the revolution of love and pursuit of freedom as an ideal.
    That’s the reason ,I started listening to JA,and it was that freedom notion that kept me coming back .
    The energy of the band ,Embodied by Marty ,was infectious.
    I believe Jorma &Jack left to pursue a more authentic musical experience (HT), I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong .
    I had to fold the tent at Bark ,with Lawman.
    At that point ,I decided that I couldn’t indulge the harangue,I was into the music for its lyrical sound,the exclamation of freedom,and to be entertained by the likes of inspired musicians .
    Marty ,Jack and Jorma kept that message alive.Now there are three.Thanks Jorma and Jack for keeping the music alive.
    Thanks Marty for Riding the music
    There were many nights where we rode along.Rest in eternal peace.

  41. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Abba W

    Touching tribute
    Was fortunate to have heard Marty with the starship and at Jacks

  42. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Skorpion

    Lovely elegy, Jorma. You’re one of my favorite rock lead guitarists, and you’re as eloquent on the keyboard, as you are on the six-strings.

    Marty had a lovely voice and stage presence — he will be missed. Requiem en Pace.

  43. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by chuck n

    It is for Marty a last trip home. To be with friends and lovers. It is, for those of us remaining, a chance to remember to cherish friends and lovers. I still believe in the difference that Marty,Paul,Jorma,Jack,Signe,Skip,Spencer and Grace and all the rest have made in this world. I always will. The three remaining still make a difference every day. They always will.

  44. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by The Airplaner

    A friend of mine asked me
    Where has he been
    Where is he now?
    I said he’d been set free
    Shares a little joke with the world somehow

    Sounded like he’d make a halo
    When I heard his laughter floating
    It’s all for fun you know
    He said he just let go
    Shares a little joke with the world

  45. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Steve Rosen

    I too turned 63 last Wednesday and have reflected since Friday on Marty Balin’s life and his influence (along with yours.) Thank you for your heartfelt thoughts, your touching remembrance. Wishing you good health and many days to share your talent and soul with us all.

  46. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Randy M

    Beautiful tribute for your friend. It warms my heart to see you and Jack still playing together after all these years. Thanks for the music. It makes the world a better place.

  47. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by billyjinsa

    Beautiful tribute. If I may submit, a gentle and heartfelt comment about ‘So many of our brothers and sister from that time are gone. Skip Spence, Spencer Dryden, Joey Covington, Paul Kantner, Signe Anderson and now Marty have all joined the Heavenly Band as Rev. Davis would say.’ One more to add: ‘Papa John’ Creach. May they all rest in peace… Deepest sympathies, Jorma. A life long fan, billyjinsa

  48. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Snarne

    RIP Kim Larsen, the singer from the great Danish band Gasolin.

  49. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Douglas

    This is my first time reading this blog. Found it as I searched for reactions to Marty Balin’s passing. I’m a child of the 60’s. (63 years old) my childhood was monstrous in a dysfunctional family and extreme physical violence experienced by me. Fear of being drafted and shipped to Vietnam was omnipresent. The music of the Jefferson Airplane was an island of sanity and hope I clung to for dear life. “We can be together”, “Good shepherd” and “Volunteers” gave me reasons to live for a better time. Marty Balin’s voice became synonymous with my own inner voice, prayers and attempts to reason out the insanity around my life. He and the artistic creations of Jefferson Airplane/Starship have had a profound effect on people they will never meet or become aware of. I am one of those. Thank you and Marty for being a light in a dark struggling life. I still need and am greatful for the sounds of joy, hope and fun you have brought into my existence.

  50. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Bill Picha

    That hollow feeling from January, 2016 when NPR announced that Paul Kantner had passed and, later that day, the news spreading that Signe Anderson had also left has returned this weekend like a gut punch to the psyche. One can only imagine what family & friends are feeling when, as a ‘fan,’ it hurts to think there will be no more new music, no more interviews on latest art works, no possibility of a tour stop.
    Thank you, Jorma, Jack and Grace for the many musical gifts you created with your comrades Creach, Spence, Dreyden, Covington, Kantner, Anderson & Balin.

  51. Comment made on September 30, 2018 by Sally

    Thanks Jorma; your words are always full of solace.

  52. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by richu

    Thinking of you jorma Thanks for embry journey.

  53. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Don Gehre

    A great voice and presence has passed . The SF scene has lost one of its guiding lights and many people are lessened by Marty’s passing. May he find peace in the Light.

  54. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Greg martelli

    Seeing Marty was always a joy,seeing him at Fur Pesce and than at the Beacon,the spirit ,voice and enthusiasm was indiniminished.3/5 the at Woodstock was memorable ,many other airplane and a few starship shows.
    The sentiment and your expression of appreciation for knowing the man ,rival great prose.
    A great story of friendship
    Keep on

  55. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Robert O Kelley

    Beautifully spoken, Jorma. Simply beautiful.

  56. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Debby Hanoka

    Beautifully said, Jorma. Thank you.

  57. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by mark k

    I have a good memory to share about Marty. It was the early 2000’s and I found myself on the couch with Marty in the dressing room just before a Jefferson Starship show. Someone brought up the subject of Altamont and how he was knocked out by Hells Angels. Knowing I was a Hot Tuna fan he turned to me and with genuine affection in his voice he stated ” Where has Jorma with all his Guns and Knives when I needed him”. In all that in all our interactions he was a Gentleman and in my estimation a great talent. I know where all getting older and loss goes with the territory but he will be missed at least by me.

  58. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by mikie

    Marty at the Fur Peace Station and the Silo. m

  59. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Ham Neggs

    To Mr Balin’s wife , family, friends,fans, Mr Kaukonen, Mr Casady , Ms.Slick,
    Good Grief
    I was fortunate to see Marty many times over the years. May you all find peace and joy in your good memories.
    Go ride the music
    Love All Ways

  60. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by carl jansen

    was with you guys from the many of us with heavy strong be safe be smart.PEACE TO YOU ALL

  61. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Keith

    Jorma such nice words for your friend. I feel like you all made such magic that helped us make it thru so many years. Good times bad times you all where there for us, thru the magical music. Thanks

  62. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Kevin falvey

    Sorry for your loss, Jorma. Hi

  63. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Bill Lloyd

    Hello Jorma
    We met briefly through Byron House when you came down to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum when I worked down there. Someone sent me a link to your post on Marty Balins’ passing and it moved me. I woke up today and listened to The Worst of Jefferson Airplane from front to back. I know it’s not one of the “albums” but it was the first one I had at 15 and is still a great listen and artfully produced compilation. That collective you all had was a special one and it still works it’s magic. Sorry you lost your friend and bandmate but, while there’s still time, thank you for all the music.

  64. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Mitch

    I was fortunate enough to be at that show celebrating Jack’s birthday and seeing the boys reunited with Marty. It was a great show!

  65. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Zebra

    He was truly one of my all time favorite singers.I would hear his voice in my head even when it’s not playing.”OH GOOD MEMORIES FEED MY HEAD” Rest in peace Love Zebra

  66. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Nick Ritrovato

    An incalculable loss. My condolences to you and Jack Casady.

  67. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Tom

    Was at your show in Noho last night and was as shocked as everyone else to hear the sad news. You made a lovely tribute to Marty in your music, and at the same time, this was one of my favorite shows you and Jack have done in my recent memory. I believe Marty’s passing certainly was a factor, but it just seemed like all the music came so easily and beautifully. After all these decades of seeing you guys perform, this was the first time that it felt like those traditionals were written by you… you weren’t performing someone else’s tunes but your own (aside from your own of course). In any case, thank you for your gift to us, and for sharing your lovely thoughts of Marty. Love you guys!

  68. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Rich L

    i never heard that saying – perfect….

  69. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Rick R

    Thank you Jorma. Beautiful tribute to Marty.

  70. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by mikie

    If this Interview on the Vicki Lawrence show doesn’t make you grin, what will? m

  71. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Michael Paradise

    The Rabbis say that life never dies. The death of life is an oxymoron and an impossibility. Marty still lives; only his existence has terminated. His life is infused in those who who have absorbed his sweet sounds, his persona and the history he has indelibly left us. May all who have any connection to Marty and his brethren and sisterhood that have departed for the upper world. Stand solemnly in God’s garden and carry the torch of life that he has passed to us, to share with all and leave each day, brighter than the day before.

  72. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Valerie

    When Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson died on January 28, 2016, Marty imagined they woke up in Heaven together, looked at each other, and said, “Hey, wanna start a band?” Now Marty is harmonizing with them. Rest in peace, love, and music.

    Thanks for the beautiful remembrance, Jorma. It’s too sad and too soon for you, Jack, and Grace to be the only ones left.

  73. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by George Kerby

    My condolences to you, Jack, Grace, and of course Marty’s family. Thank you for these heartfelt words. The news hit me particularly hard as I am halfway through reading your book which is an amazing story. The Airplane were an amazing collective with so much talent converging to rise to a level never seen before. But above it all, Marty’s voice soared.

  74. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Petri

    RIP Marty. Wonderful words Jorma. The music you made together has always moved me, today to tears. But it’s a joy that lives on. Thank you.

  75. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Robert D. Cocke

    Jorma—- Thank you for your touching and beautiful tribute. I was 19 years old in 1969 and the Jefferson Airplane were such a HUGE part of that time for me. I still listen to the music regularly. Marty’s voice and his songs, like “Today” truly touched my heart in a way that is rare. He was a real poet, among other things. Thank you Jorma, and thanks to all your bandmates, for the incredible MUSIC.

  76. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by MC Malthus

    Great post, Jorma. RIP, Marty. Sadly, I only saw Marty once. It was in the late 90’s when he rejoined Kantner’s ongoing incarnation of the JS. He was phenomenal and I was able to get his autograph. Sadly, he rarely came to Denver. I don’t recall him coming for the “Hearts” tour, for instance. So, I feel very lucky to have seen him. I know he’s now jamming with Jimi, Janis, Jerry, Pigpen, “Skippy” Spence, Spencer Dryden, Papa John Creach, Joe E. Covington, John Cipollina, Nicky Hopkins, Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, Bob “The Bear” Hite, Henry “The Snake” Vestine, Mama Cass, Timmy Hardin, Papa John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Phil Oches, Levon Helm, Richie Havens, James Gurley, Sam Andrew, Dino Valente, Bloomfield and Butterfield. What a band!!! What a lineup!!! When I get to the other side, I hope I can catch one of those shows. “He’s a high flyin’ bird, way up in the sky, yeah!!!”

  77. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    Let’s gather together on the bank and give Marty a gentle goodbye on a raft of flowers as he drifts down the river…When all the noise filters out his life stands as a memory as beautiful as the psychedelic age he helped create…

  78. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Louis

    Thank you, Jorma. It is sad to hear the news of Marty’s passing. Airplane’s music was a big part of my life.

    RIP Marty

  79. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Ken

    I have been watching for your post since I heard of Marty’s passing.

    You have a wonderful gift for expressing your feelings, especially where friends or loved ones are concerned. Sharing your thoughts so generously with us here makes it hard for me to believe that you have left many things unsaid.

    Being one of the guarded ones myself, I would like to take the opportunity to say that you, Jack, Grace and all the extraordinary people you walked through that time with have indeed made a difference to me.

  80. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by John B

    Beautifully written Jorma.

  81. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Edward Jennings

    Dear Jorma,

    I share in your sorrow of Marty Balin’s passing. His unique voice and songwriting talent are forever etched in the music of our heart.

    I have come to value your voice as a writer and a fellow music blogger. Having just listened to your book in my recent road journeys I take comfort in the friendship you have with Marty.

    He goes to prepare a place for us as you so eloquently stated on the River of Time.

    God Bless Marty and his family
    and God Bless you Three

  82. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Jim

    Sad. He had a beautiful voice. St Charles was always a favorite song of mine from High School and still enjoy it on a regular basis.

    We are glad that YOU are still around Jorma. #1 for your music and #2 because you are a good person who feels and cares enough to write something like this. We need as many people like that on the planet at one time as we can get.

  83. Marty changed your life, as you all collectively (and individually) changed so many of ours…and really, truly enriched our American culture and helped define an era, cleared a path, pointed a way. Those intense records, that sound, the look and style, the implications of an alternate choice apart from what television was telling us to believe — was so significant to this kid in Queens, NY trying to learn the guitar in 1967. It was a very big deal to so many people whose lives you all touched. If not for Marty’s band, I for one would never have fortuitously encountered Ian Buchanan for guitar lessons in 1978, which was a tremendous branch of personal growth. For me it circles back to Surrealistic Pillow. I would figure you’d get tired of hearing such flowery fan tributes after awhile, but if you’re going to comment on things left unsaid, well I’ve said my piece yet again. So thanks.

  84. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by johno

    So glad I saw him at the Beacon. He was having a great time – he gave it his all. Great version of “Volunteers”. RIP Marty.

  85. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Larry

    Beautiful words, Jorma. With all due respect to anyone’s individual songwriting contributions, I always thought that the best Airplane (and JS) songs were those written together by Marty and Paul (Come Up the Years, Today, Young Girl Sunday Blues, House at Pooneil Corners, Volunteers, Caroline, There Will Be Love, St. Charles, and America). They had sort of a Lennon/McCartney thing going. His voice was among the most distinctive of his peers and like Grace’s vocals, your guitar, and Jack’s bass, it was part of JA’s defining sound. Glad I got to see the 3 of you together at the Beacon a few years back. Think I’ll listen to Bless Its Pointed Little Head and the Woodstock set today in tribute. Peace to all.

  86. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by carey georgas

    Sorrow offers two paths to follow. One is despair, the other hope. Giving pause to reaffirm the importance of the present moment in a time of loss is to choose the path of hope. What better memorial to the departed? RIP, Mr. Balin.

  87. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Rick from Vermont

    May his memory be a blessing for us all

  88. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by John R.

    Thank you, Jorma, for putting into such beautiful words some of the things that many of us are feeling right now.

  89. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by bruce kelso

    this hit me hard. when marty left the airplane most of me did to. it wasnt the same. now marty is with paul signe skippy spencer and gonna cry all day. very nice words from jorma. peace ,bruce

  90. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Joey

    A life well lived, a sad day.
    Heavenly band. His friends are waiting for him.
    Carry on Jorma & Jack.
    He would like that, I’m sure. ❤

  91. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Jim Barr

    Beautiful words and so very true, collectively you left an indelible mark on my my appreciation of music, since first encountering 30 Seconds over Winterland in my teens.

  92. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Phil Zisook

    Beautiful words Jorma. In the early Airplane days, Marty’s songs had particularly unique qualities, some had a supercharged energy and urgency (3/5’s/Funny Cars) and at the same time, others, like “Today”/”Comin’ Back”, a quiet introspection and artfulness that were not the stuff usually heard from rock, much less psychedelic bands. And a voice that was like no other; it could be sweet and beautiful or defiantly in your face. One of the truly special things about the Airplane ’89 shows was experiencing years later the way he and Grace commanded the stage when they sung together; it was amazing and remains fresh in my mind. A sad day.

  93. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by mikie

    Jorma, that was a beautiful tribute. I was so blessed to see you three- Marty, Jorma, Jack – all on stage at the Station for a fantastic night of music. Marty brought a whole wagon load that night, and an unbelievable band! His was and remains one of the finest voices in rock music. We are truly blessed by what he left us.
    I hope your heart finds peace in his passing. m

  94. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Richard

    So sorry to hear of Marty passing. I was lucky to have seen him at the Beacon show. He was so great. He seemed to really enjoy performing for us. My prayers are with him and his family. May he Rest In Peace..

  95. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Bake

    As much as I try to live in the moment, I still look too far ahead. I am sorry for your loss. It is a loss we all are affected, and even united by. I am at an age where i am beginning to experience loss of friends and family far too often, and it isn’t easy. None of it. But, feelings shared make the difference, and I thank you for sharing yours. Time flies by, and yet these are the reminders I need to understand how important “the moment” is.
    An old Indian saying, When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. This certainly describes your good friend! After hearing of Marty’s passing, I was looking forward to your entry, thanks again for putting pen to paper. Hoping your next moment is a good one!

  96. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Rick Quinn

    We are all 20 yrs old in our soul. We are all grateful that that reaction occurred. I am grateful that I heard that song bird voice. Thanks

  97. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Cyndy

    Dear Jorma,
    A tremendous loss…
    My Airplane family is hurting
    You are all in my prayers
    I love you

  98. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Tim from Philly

    RIP Marty.

  99. Comment made on September 29, 2018 by Maureen R

    Well said and thank you. Came to this site and knew you would contribute a nice eulogy.

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