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Jack Casady

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Jack Casady (born John William Casady, April 13, 1944 in Washington D.C), is an American musician considered one of the foremost bass guitarists of the rock music era. First playing as a lead guitarist with the Washington D.C. area rhythm and blues band “The Triumphs”, he switched to bass during his high school years and while still underage, played the Washington D.C club scene, backing artists such as Little Anthony and the Imperials. He became the bass player for the Jefferson Airplane (replacing original bassist Bob Harvey) when lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, a high school friend and former Triumphs rhythm guitarist, invited him to join in the summer of 1965. Jefferson Airplane became the first successful exponent of the San Francisco sound, characterised as loud, raw, unpolished powerful rock and roll with plenty of feeling and an improvisatory dimension. Their singles, including “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit,” had a more polished style and successfully charted in 1967 and 1968. They are one of the best remembered bands of the “psychedelic Sixties,” inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Casady adjusted his bass and amplifier for a bigger and more luxurious tone, and as a song’s performance developed, stepped beyond the conventional rhythmic and chord-supporting role of rock & roll, in order to explore other possible melodic ideas offered by the rhythm and chord progressions. His impact is immediately evident on Airplane debut album Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966) on tracks such as “Let Me In” and “Run Around.

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