Jefferson Airplane drummer dies

2013-06-07 10:48
Los Angeles - Joey Covington, former drummer with 1960s US psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, has died in a car crash in California, officials say. He was 67.

Covington, who lived in Palm Springs, was driving alone when his car veered off a curve and smashed head-on into a wall on Tuesday, said the Riverside County Coroner's office east of Los Angeles.

He was a member of Jefferson Airplane, led by charismatic vocalist Grace Slick, from 1969 to 1972, as well as of blues-rock band Hot Tuna, formed with Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassady.

A stroke or a heart attack

The drummer subsequently launched a solo career, and played in the the 1980s and 1990s on the San Francisco Allstars. He was known for playing locally around Palm Springs in later years.

Jefferson Airplane, which debuted in 1965, had hit singles with White Rabbit and Somebody to Love from the album Surrealistic Pillow and played at such celebrated 1960s festivals as Woodstock and Altamont in 1969.

A friend of Covington, Keith McCormick, told the Desert Sun newspaper that the drummer's wife suspected that a stroke or a heart attack had led to the crash. Police said they did not believe drugs or alcohol were involved.