Jefferson Starship and Turtles drummer John Barbata dies aged 79 | Music | Entertainment


John Barbata, the legendary drummer known for his work with iconic bands The Turtles and Jefferson Starship, has sadly died at the age of 79.

The news of Barbata’s death was confirmed by reliable sources in Ada, Oklahoma, where he resided, although the cause of the rock veteran’s death remains undisclosed.

Following the tragic announcement, a heartfelt tribute was shared on the official Jefferson Starship Facebook page: „We are saddened to hear of the passing of the great John Barbata, Jefferson Starship’s original drummer.

„Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. Rock in peace, Johnny!“

Sister band Jefferson Airplane also paid their respects, stating: „Rest in Peace, John Barbata, a legendary drummer for Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.

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„Known for his exceptional talent, John left his mark on the music world by playing with bands such as The Turtles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jefferson Airplane, and Jefferson Starship.“

The touching homage continued: „Back in ’72, during a hiatus for CSNandY, David Crosby introduced John to the Airplane, who hired John instantly.

„You can hear John’s drumming skills on the band’s final studio album, LONG JOHN SILVER, as well as the live album THIRTY SECONDS OVER WINTERLAND. Rest in Peace, John.“

Devastated fans have flooded social media with messages of love and respect for Barbata’s influential work.

One admirer posted: „He was an outstanding drummer and added great percussion to the Jefferson Airplane, and anybody else that he played with, may he Rest In Peace.“

Another shared: „What an amazing career! John helped launch Jefferson Starship. RIP.“

A third fan remarked: „Played a big part in a lot of the music l love.“

Barbata’s rise to fame began in the 60s when he joined the iconic rock band The Turtles. For three years, his exceptional drumming featured on some of their biggest hits such as She’d Rather Be With Me, You Showed Me, Elenore, and more.

In the 70s, Barbata joined the iconic Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, lending his drumming skills to their live album 4 Way Street in 1971 and their hit single Ohio. In 1972, he became part of the legendary rock band Jefferson Airplane during their final album and tour.

Following this, the band underwent a transformation, rebranding themselves as Jefferson Starship and releasing their debut album in 1974, with Barbata as a founding member and contributor to all their albums.

However, in 1978, Barbata’s illustrious music career was abruptly halted following a car accident that resulted in a broken neck, jaw, and arm, forcing him to step away from Jefferson Starship. Post his departure from the band, Barbata established a recording studio in Comptche, California, and continued to play locally for the remainder of his life.

An AI tool was used to bring an extra layer to this story. 



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