1965


January - Marty Balin becomes roommate with Bill Thompson, who eventually becomes the band manager. They live in an apartment at 16th and Clement in San Francisco, CA.  Marty starts auditioning people for the band.

July - Balin has persuaded three investors to contribute $3,000 each, with his newly-formed group to retain a 25% interest, to purchase and renovate a failing pizza restaurant. His first recruit is guitarist Paul Kantner, whom Balin meets at local club the Drinking Gourd.  Kantner, in turn, recommends Jorma Kaukonen, whom he has met at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, and who is about to head for Europe when he is approached.

Upright bass player Bob Harvey and drummer Jerry Peloquin round out the new band’s rhythm section. Signe Anderson, who had sung in Portland, WA, as the girl of Two Guys & A Girl, is heard by Balin at the Drinking  Gourd, where her brother is tending bar, and completes the line-up. They adopt their moniker after local blues musician Steve Talbot gives Kaukonen the name of a fictitious blues singer, Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane, a parody of Blind Lemon Jefferson.

August – The group makes its debut on the opening night of the Matrix club, a gig reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Wasserman, which along with a later review from Ralph Gleason (who is convinced to see the band by Thompson, who worked as a copy boy at the Chronicle), leads to Airplane receiving contract offers from several major companies. Thompson, who worked as a copy boy at the San Francisco Chronicle, convinces Gleason to see the show at the Matrix. Peloquin is soon replaced by Skip Spence, who Balin thinks looks right for the part despite the fact that he has had little experience playing drums.

October – A Tribute to Dr. Strange — an evening of music, dance and light shows — is organized by the Family Dog, a pioneering group of hippie promoters. Performing at the event are Jefferson Airplane, the Great Society’s singer. Kantner is much taken with Grace Slick, who is singing with another band on the bill, the Great Society.

November - Also, in October, Harvey is replaced by Jack Casady, with whom Kaukonen played in Washington rock ‘n’ roll band, the Triumphs, in the late ’50s. He is about to start a new term at Montgomery Junior College in Maryland, when he receives the call from Kaukonen to join.  The band participates in the first San Francisco Mime Troupe benefit, organized by Bill Graham, also featuring Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg and John Handy.

December - Jefferson Airplane performs at the inaugural concert held at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium with the Great Society, the John Handy Quintet, the Mystery Trend and Sam Thomas & the Gentlemen’s band.

With a $25,000 deal signed by newly-appointed manager Matthew Katz and RCA’s West Coast A&R man Neely Plumb, the group cuts its first tracks (It’s No Secret, Runnin’ Round The World, High Flyin’ Bird, It’s Alright and Run Around) for the label in Los Angeles, with Tommy Oliver producing.