February 22, 1994 – Papa John Creach (Jefferson Airplane) was born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania on May 28th 1917.
He began playing violin in Chicago bars when the family moved there in 1935, and eventually joined a local cabaret band, the Chocolate Music Bars. Moving to L.A. in 1945, he played in the Chi Chi Club, spent time working on an ocean liner, appeared in “a couple of pictures”, and performed as a duo with Nina Russell.
In 1967, Creach met and befriended drummer Joey Covington. When Covington joined the Jefferson Airplane in 1970, he introduced Creach to them, and they invited him to join Hot Tuna. Though regarded as a session musician, he remained with the band for four years, before leaving in 1974 to join Jefferson Starship and record on their first album, Dragon Fly. Creach toured with Jefferson Starship and played on the band’s hit album Red Octopus in 1975. Around 1976, Creach left to pursue a solo career. Despite this, he was a guest musician on the spring 1978 Jefferson Starship tour.
A year later, Creach renewed his working relationship with Covington as a member of the San Francisco All-Stars, as well as with Covington’s Airplane predecessor, Spencer Dryden, as a member of The Dinosaurs. He also continued occasional guest appearances with Hot Tuna, and was on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1988 when Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna reunited with Paul Kantner and Grace Slick for the first time since Jefferson Airplane disbanded.
In 1992, he became one of the original members of Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation and performed with them until he succumbed to congestive heart failure on February 22, 1994.
Papa John sadly suffered a heart attack during the ’94 Northridge California earthquake on January 17th. This led to him contracting pneumonia, from which he died a month later) He was 76 years old when he died on 22 February 1994.