On a 1967 visit to the Parisian Room, drummer Joey Covington happened upon an extraordinary 50-year-old violinist named John Henry Creach, AKA Papa John. Covington struck up a friendship with the veteran musician, and when he joined the Jefferson Ai… Read more
On a 1967 visit to the Parisian Room, drummer Joey Covington happened upon an extraordinary 50-year-old violinist named John Henry Creach, AKA Papa John. Covington struck up a friendship with the veteran musician, and when he joined the Jefferson Airplane in 1970, Covington introduced Creach to the band members. Creach was immediately recruited by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady to augment the Hot Tuna sets they were incorporating into the Airplane's performances at the time.
Due to the immediate and incredibly enthusiastic response from audiences, Creach was soon recruited into the Airplane as well. Creach's appearance (a somewhat frail looking black man in his 50s) and bubbly appreciative personality certainly provided a novelty element, but more importantly, Creach's ability to improvise and his distinctive technique and tone helped fuel many inspired performances by both group's. Creach's work within the Airplane soon led to the release of his own album on the Airplane's Grunt label, where he was joined by the cream of the San Francisco music elite, who were all eager to play with him.
Creach would continue releasing periodic solo albums and would survive the transition of the Jefferson Airplane into the Jefferson Starship, where he would soon receive his most high profile exposure to date, playing on the group's most popular albums and dazzling audiences with his boundless energy. After amassing a wealth of material on his own projects, midway through the 1970s Creach formed a band of his own and began touring the college and club circuit as he was entering his 60s!
Performing a wide range of material primarily sourced from his solo albums, Creach and his band of much younger musicians were adept at everything from blues, jazz, funk, rock, to standards, all fueled with Papa John Creach's highly distinctive violin technique and relentless enthusiasm for the power of music.