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Papa John Creach

Papa John Creach

Born in 1917 in Beaver Falls, PA, Papa John Creach began playing violin in Chicago bars when the family moved there in 1935, and eventually joined a local cabaret band, the Chocolate Music Bars. Moving to L.A. in 1945, he played in the Chi Chi Club, spent time working on an ocean liner, appeared in a couple of pictures and performed as a duo with NINA RUSSELL.

In 1967, while playing at the Parisian Room, he was discovered by drummer JOEY COVINGTON. When Covington joined the Airplane in 1970, he introduced them to Creach, who was invited to join the band. The audience reaction to his tune-up alone convinced the rest of the Airplane that he was a worthwhile addition to the bands line-up. In addition to playing with the Airplane, Creach also joined HOT TUNA and THE JEFFERSON STARSHIP, before leaving in August 1976 to concentrate on his solo career. Despite this, he returned as a guest performer on the spring 1978 JEFFERSON STARSHIP tour. A year later, he renewed his working relationship with JOEY COVINGTON as a member of the SAN FRANCISCO ALL-STARS (1979-84), and also Covington's Airplane predecessor, SPENCER DRYDEN, as a member of THE DINOSAURS (1982-89). He also continued with occasional guest appearances with HOT TUNA and was on stage at the Fillmore West that night in 1988 when Casady and Kaukonen were reunited with Kantner and Slick for the first time since the end of the Airplane. Papa John Creach died in February 1994 at the age of 76.

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