I was always a huge fan of Jefferson Airplane. But to me, Paul Kantner was just another one of the guys in the band. Because for me, it was always about Grace Slick who I had a huge crush on from the time I was fourteen.
I learned more about Paul when he and Grace got together in 1971 to make an album called Sunfighter and create a baby named China Wing Kanter. For someone only fourteen, Sunfighter seemed epic, indeed a wondrous trip through rock, folk, history, animal instinct, overtones of imaginedÂ cannibalism, almost a whole other very strange world.
As for Signe Anderson, I wouldn’t have even known who she was had she not died on the same day as Kantner. I have since learned that she was the original singer for the Airplane but made the decision to leave when she learned she was pregnant. She continued to sing for the rest of her life, but never regained her chance at significant fame.
We should celebrate both Paul and Signe for being extremely brave people.
Paul just kept exploring, he kept pushing his music further, he tended to stay constructive, he saw the problems with the world, but yet believed that humanity would rise above it. He believed that one day we would ascend to the stars.
Signe for her part probably couldn’t see into the future any better than most of us, but she had the foresight to know what was most important. She had the wisdom to know that being a mother was more important than chasing after fame. That having a home was better for the child than being on the road. The strength to give up so much in favor of a simpler path, makes Signe seem to me as the braver of the two. And I think Paul was extremely brave.
The dead are never that far away. Thank you for your brave spirits. R.I.P. Signe and Paul!