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Jefferson Starship to Land on Santa Monica Pier Thursday

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Lookout Staff

August 26, 2015 -- Take a trip back to the “Summer of Love” when Jefferson Airplane’s offspring, Jefferson Starship, brings the sounds of that drug-hazed year to the Santa Monica Pier.

Co-founded by Paul Kantner a decade after he founded the Airplane in 1965, Jefferson Starship sports a new lineup, but the playlist still features iconic songs that became the soundtrack to the summer of ’67.

In that year, hits from the Airplane’s second album, “Surrealistic Pillow,” which included “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love,” became staples on popular FM rock stations across the country.

The first San Francisco band to sign a major record deal, Jefferson Airplane helped pave the way for the psychedelic sounds of the bay city – from the Grateful Dead to Janis Joplin.

The band, like the Beatles, broke up after seven years in 1971, and four years later, Kantner created the Starship with David Freiberg, founder of the legendary sixties band Quicksilver Messenger Service.

The band’s 1975 debut album, “Red Octopus,” topped the charts, and Jefferson Starship would become one of the most successful arena rock bands of the seventies and early-eighties.

The band would become simply Starship and find some success with pop-driven tunes in the late eighties, before assuming the full name again and revisiting their psychedelic and folk roots in recent years.

In addition to Kantner and Freiberg, the band that will take the pier stage during Thursday night’s Twilight Concert Series performance is composed of  Donny Balwin, a member of the Starship in the eighties; Chris Smith who took over on keyboards for the Jefferson Starship in 1998, and acclaimed lead guitarist Jude Gold.

Fronting the band is Cathy Richardson, who joined the band in 2008 and “anchors the historic ‘role’ made famous by Grace Slick,” according to the concert promoters.

Opening the show is Purple Mountains Majesties, a four-piece band from Westminster, California that counts among its influences The Beatles, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Talking Heads, Father John Misty, Aaron Embry, Neil Young, The Band and The Beach Boys.

The free Twilight Concert Series shows are from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit

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