Aged 74 Somebody to Love White Rabbit, Built This City. Rolling Stone Aged 80 We Aged 93 A West Indian who served in the RAF and remained Aged 95 Colonial News
Paul Kantner Musician who, as the co-founder and leader of Jefferson Airplane, was one of the principal architects of the “psychedelic” music scene of San Francisco in the late 1960s. Formed in 1965, the Airplane, as they were known, became central to the burgeoning counterculture scene around the city’s Haight Ashbury district. The band forged a sound characterised by ragged harmonies, shapeshifting melodies and an early embrace of electronic effects. In 1967 their hits and written by vocalist Grace Slick became anthems of the “Summer of Love”. Airplane were the only group to appear at the three great hippie gatherings of the Sixties – the Monterey Festival, Woodstock and Altamont. Kantner became embroiled in a relationship with Slick, which resulted in the birth of a daughter, China, in 1971. But drug use and constant bickering, aided by Kantner’s prickly nature, and Slick’s descent into alcoholism, led to an endless cycle of personnel changes. Kantner, Slick and a shifting group of musicians continued to record as Jefferson Starship, developing a stadium-friendly sound. In 1984, disillusioned with the group’s commercial sound, Kantner left, prompting a lengthy lawsuit culminating in him promising not to use the names “Jefferson” or “Airplane” without Slick’s consent. In that same year, Starship had their biggest hit ever with Readers of voted it the worst record of the 1980s. In March last year Kantner suffered a heart attack, followed by another one recently. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. Lord Roper A low-profile Labour frontbencher and academic who switched to the SDP, eventually becoming Liberal Democrat chief whip in the Lords. Previously a Labour defence spokesman, John Roper had substantial input into the fledgling party’s defence policy. Laurie Phillpotts in Britain to make a major contribution to ex-servicemen’s organisations. He enlisted into the RAF in 1943 and sailed for England. After being demobbed in 1947, he moved into printing. When the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in 1948 carrying many West Indians, he provided help for the new arrivals and formed welfare organisations and sports clubs. He moved to London and joined the Mirror Newspaper Group. With others he set up the West Indian ex-Servicemen’s Association (later renamed the West Indian Association of Service Personnel). With his printing experience Phillpotts created in 1956, the UK’s first black weekly newspaper. He was a prominent campaigner for the erection of the Memorial Gates in London, which commemorate the millions of black Commonwealth servicemen and women who served in the British forces. He, with his English-born wife Marion, helped pioneer the West Indian Carib Cricket Club, the Caribbean Centre and the Association of Jamaicans. Gen Sir Peter Whiteley Officer of the Royal Marines who probably fired some of the last shots of the Second World War, and held three key appointments at the height of the Cold War. From 1972 to 1975 he was chief of staff at Headquarters Allied Forces Northern Europe (AFNORTH), based at Kolsås outside Oslo. Whiteley returned to Britain to be commandant general, Royal Marines (1975–77); and upon the death in office of General Sir John Sharp, he was a unanimous choice by the countries concerned to be the commander-inchief Allied Forces Northern Europe. Earlier, his war service included time on the light cruiser Gambia deployed with the British Pacific Fleet. Whiteley, as the gun direction officer in Gambia, was at the controls when she was attacked by Japanese aircraft just as news of a ceasefire was received, and he could claim to have fired some of the last shots of the war.