Papa John Creach first came to the notice of rock fans when he joined Jefferson Airplane and its spin-off group, Hot Tuna, in 1970. By that time, he was already in his early fifties, a veteran of jazz and blues associations, while his fellow bandmembers were still approaching 30. Nevertheless, using an electrified violin, Creach added a new psychedelic edge to the Airplane in its final days. The band split in 1972, by which time Creach had begun to release solo albums on its custom label, Grunt. The Airplane was reorganized and relaunched as Jefferson Starship, and Creach was with it through its million-selling Red Octopus album in 1975. He continued to make solo albums through 1992, when he released Papa Blues. Papa John Creach died of heart failure in 1994 at the age of 76.