Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane co-founder and guitarist, dies aged 76

Grace Slick and Marty Balin with Jefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival, June 17 1967.

Grace Slick and Marty Balin with Jefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival, June 17 1967.

(Image: © Steve Granitz)

Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane co-founder and guitarist, has died age 76, his representatives confirmed on Friday. 

His wife, Susan Joy Balin, was at his side, and said in a statement “Marty and I shared the deepest of love, he often called it Nirvana and it was. But really, we were all touched by his love. His presence will be within my entire being forever".

Balin rose to fame at the height of 60s psychedelia, co-founding San Fransisco freak out specialists Jefferson Airplane in 1965 alongside fellow guitarist Paul Kantner, who died in 2016. 

Their debut album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, was released in 1966 and began their ascent to a central role in the exploding US West Coast psych-rock scene, where hits like the disorientating White Rabbit and Somebody to Love found a rapturous audience. Woodstock in 1969 was arguably the group - and the scene's - zenith, and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1996.

Balin went on to enjoy considerable success with splinter group Jefferson Starship, before embarking on a solo career in 2008.

(Image: © Michael Ochs Archives)