January 30, 2016
My Friend Paul Kantner
I once asked Paul Kantner how he felt about mortality. In his broad baritone, he replied, "Death doesn't impress me much."
John Wayne couldn't have said anything more badass.
I loved Paul's words—and his mighty 12-string. "We were folk players who discovered Fender Twin Reverb amplifiers and LSD in the same week," he said.
You do the math on that one.
And I love the fact that Paul gigged right up until the very end. Kept his band going for 50 years. Wow.
In all likelihood, Paul was packing his bags for this weekend's three-concert Midwest run when he felt that first tremor in his chest on Tuesday night.
Basically, Paul died with a pick in his hands, which is the best way for a guitarist to go.
Paul's music and spirit were indomitable. He may have been 74, but he died a young man. I will forever be inspired by Paul Kantner.