Jack Casady – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
John William “Jack” Casady (born April 13, 1944) is an American musician considered one of the foremost bass guitarists of the rock music era and best known as a member of Jefferson Airplane. 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 (and with a forged I.D.), played the Washington D.C club scene, backing artists such as Little Anthony and the Imperials and Ray Charles. He became the bass player for Jefferson Airplane when lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, a high school friend and former Triumphs rhythm guitarist, invited him to join in late September 1965. Jefferson Airplane became the first successful exponent of the San Francisco Sound. Their singles, including “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit,” had a more polished style and successfully charted in 1967 and 1968. Casady, along with the other members of Jefferson Airplane, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Casady and Kaukonen formed Hot Tuna in 1969, and they still perform to the present day. The group has morphed over the years from an acoustic blues unit to an electric boogie band to a rampaging metal act and back again. Casady is equally comfortable accompanying an acoustic Kaukonen (“Mann’s Fate”, 1970) or electric jamming (“John’s Other”, 1971). Casady’s solo on “Candy Man” (Hot Tuna’s First Pull Up, Then Pull Down, 1971) also shows his ability at carrying the melody rather than just playing rhythmic scales, a key characteristic of his bass solo work. Some exquisitely intricate playing is evident on the 1972 album Burgers, particularly the sparkling instrumental track “Water Song,” which Casady has described as featuring “lead bass.” Another Burgers track, ” Sunny Day Strut”, has Casady’s bass dueling with Kaukonen’s lead guitar. When Tuna became a power trio in the mid 70’s, Casady’s Guild Flying V custom bass became his trademark. Later works, especially Live in Japan (1997), still testify to his creativity as evidenced by the continually evolving bass solos on “Candy Man”, “Good Shepherd” and “99 Year Blues”.