February – Dryden parts with the band and joins New Riders of the Purple Sage in 1971. He is replaced by Joey Covington, who has been drumming with Hot Tuna.

March – Volunteers reaches #34 in the UK.

May – Balin is arrested for drug possession in a Bloomington, IN hotel room. He will be sentenced to one year’s hard labor and a $100 fine, reduced on appeal to just the fine.

June – The group co-headlines the “Bath Festival of Blues & Progressive Music” at the Royal Country Fairgrounds, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England, with Led Zeppelin.

October – Slick, now pregnant by Kantner, is unable to make live appearances.
Casady and Kaukonen, who have, for some time been playing occasional support gigs to Jefferson Airplane as Hot Tuna, either with other musicians or an acoustic duo, formalize the offshoot group. They recruit violinist Papa John Creach, who also becomes a member of Jefferson Airplane, making his debut with the band at Winterland on October 5th (Balin refuses to play the show in a tribute to Janis Joplin, who had died the previous day).
A Hot Tuna gig at the New Orleans House, Berkeley, is recorded and given a low-key album release.

December – Hot Tuna plays US dates with Covington as drummer and Papa John Creach on violin.