Jefferson Starship, The Turtles Drummer John Barbata Dead At 79

John Barbata, the renowned drummer known for his contributions to The Turtles, Jefferson Starship, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young has passed away. He was 79.

Barbata death was confirmed by Rolling Stone. Best Classic Bands reported he passed on May 8. However, Barbata’s cause of death remains unknown at the time of the report.

Jefferson Starship paid tribute to Barbata on social media, writing, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of the great John Barbata, Jefferson Starship’s original drummer. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. Rock in peace, Johnny!”

Jefferson Airplane also honored Barbata on Facebook, writing, “Known for his exceptional talent, John left his mark on the music world by playing with bands such as The Turtles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, and Jefferson Starship.”

“Back in ’72, during a hiatus for CSN&Y, David Crosby introduced John to the Airplane, who hired him instantly,” the band added. “You can hear John’s drumming skills on the band’s final studio album, Long Live John Silver, as well as the live album Thirty Seconds Over Winterland.”

Barbata joined The Turtles in 1966 as a replacement for founding drummer Don Murray.

He became popular after recording their hit songs “Happy Together” and “She’d Rather Be With Me,” along with their subsequent three albums Happy Together, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, and Turtle Soup.

After The Turtles were dissolved, Barbata joined Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and then Jefferson Airplane.

His legendary music career was chronicled in his 2005 memoir, The Legendary Life of a Rock Star Drummer.

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