Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady Recalls Copying Musicians To Find His Sound

Legendary bassist Jack Casady, known for his incredible work with iconic bands Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, recently shared some insight into his early days in the music industry and how he found his unique sound. In an exclusive interview with Goldmine, Casady discussed the ten essential albums that changed his life and helped shape the musician he would become.

Casady’s love for music blossomed when he discovered jazz, blues, and rock and roll in his teenage years. He started collecting albums, many of which remain part of his personal collection in his Los Angeles home today. These albums, treasured for their influence, became the foundation for his journey into the world of music.

In his statement to Goldmine, Casady delved into how he eventually stopped emulating others and focused on creating his own music. His influence up to that point mostly revolved around his jazz collection, which he narrowed down to his top 50, and sent the rest of the collection to be stored at his library.

Jack Casady’s words about copying other musicians to find his sound read:

“At a certain point, my listening period was done because now I was going to be on my own. I had cut the cord. Somewhere along the line, you have to stop copying everybody else. So when I found myself immersed in trying to write all my bass stuff and write great music for the band, I wasn’t interested as much in how somebody else played.

There are only so many hours in the day, so a lot of my influence is up to a point, mostly revolving around my jazz collection. I took about 2,000 albums I had and saved about 50 records for myself that I really liked. Then I sent the rest off to San Quentin to put in their library. It’s a great story because occasionally, someone comes to our show and says thank you.”

Casady’s dedication to discovering his sound on his terms is an inspiring tale for musicians everywhere. As a testament to his innovative spirit and talent, his work with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna remains a touchstone in the annals of modern music.