Passing of an Era
Two of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner and Signe Toly Anderson, passed on Jan 28th. Both were born in 1941.
Live performance from 1966. JA, with Signe backing up Marty on an early favorite of mine. I still have the 33LP of JA, “Takes Off”. Signe’s voice was a bit deeper than Grace’s and, I think, a little more powerful. Signe was the “Den Mother’ to the group and when she left ( due to motherhood), the dynamics changed, a lawsuit ensued with their manager at the time, Matthew Katz, that lasted two decades. Signe was not involved in the lawsuit as she was the only member who would not sign a contract with Katz, stating that he would own all of her creative endeavors ad infinitum. She tried to convince the ‘boys’ that signing with Katz and his special contract was not a good idea, but they didn’t listen/heed her warning and so the lawyers got rich for the next 20 years litigating something out of a Dickens novel.
Signe was originally from Seattle, which is why I have always been interested in her personal history; someone in the right place at the right time, on the cusp of great success in creating a new ‘sound’ in music, only to make the choice and walk away. Her life, since that decision, was pretty bumpy. Enjoy this glimpse into 1966 San Francisco, on the cusp of making a profound cultural impact that was too short and bittersweet, in my opinion.