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Legendary Jefferson Starship drummer John Barbata dies aged 79-Brooke Ivey Johnson-Entertainment – Metro

He’ll be remembered as one of the greatest of all time

Legendary Jefferson Starship drummer John Barbata dies aged 79-Brooke Ivey Johnson-Entertainment – Metro

John Barbata has died at 79 (Picture: Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS/VCG via Getty Images)

Drummer John Barbata, who played in legendary bands like Jefferson Starship, Jefferson Airplane, The Turtles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has died at 79.

Jefferson Starship’s official Facebook page confirmed the news, writing: ‘We are saddened to hear of the passing of the great John Barbata, Jefferson Starship’s original drummer. Our thoughts go our to his family, friends and fans. Rock in peace, Johnny!’

In a career spanning decades, the drummer left an indelible mark on the world of rock music.

Beginning with his tenure in the surf-rock ensemble The Sentinels, Barbata’s first found mainstream successwhen he joined The Turtles in 1966.

During his time with The Turtles, Barbata contributed his rhythmic talents to several chart-topping hits, including the iconic 1967 single Happy Together, as well as the late-’60s classics Elenore and You Showed Me.

In 1969, Barbata embarked on a new chapter, joining forces with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on tour and the band’s 1974 live album, 4 Way Street.

Barbata continued to play drums for David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young, throughout his life participating in various incarnations of the group and the various member’s solo endeavors.

By the 1970s, Barbata was one of the most sought after drummers in the world, performing and recording with acts like Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Leon Russell, and the Everly Brothers.

Remarkably, despite tempting offers, Barbata opted against joining the ranks of Elvis Presley and The Eagles, preferring to carve his own unique path in the industry.

Barbata’s journey continued with Jefferson Airplane, where he contributed to the band’s final studio album, 1972’s Long John Silver, and the electrifying 1973 live record, Thirty Seconds over Winterland.

As Jefferson Airplane morphed into Jefferson Starship, Barbata remained a foundational part of the band’s sound, collaborating with Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, and others on several acclaimed albums spanning from 1974 to 1979.

John Barbata will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most accomplished rock drummers of all time.

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