The group's contemporaries included the Grateful Dead, Santana and the Janis Joplin-led Big Brother & the Holding Company.
The Airplane, which also featured vocalist Grace Slick, hit the Top 40 with the psychedelic hits "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love," was one of the headliners of the original Woodstock festival in 1969.
Three years later, the band crashed and burned.
However, Kantner and his Airplane cohorts Balin and Slick regrouped as Jefferson Starship in 1974.
Since then, the band has seen its fair share of peaks, valleys and lineup changes, but it has continued making music thanks to Kantner, the captain who has kept the band's name alive.
Park City will get a chance to see Jefferson Starship when the band plays two nights — Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at the Egyptian Theatre.
While it's true the band wouldn't have survived without Kantner, he said during a telephone interview with The Park Record on Tuesday, the music is the thing that keeps him going.
"When we're on stage, it's one of those sweeps that takes us to that great place that is beyond comprehension, really," he said, calling from his North Beach home in San Francisco. "I've never figured out why music affects us the way it does or much more why it affects the audience.
"I mean why that combination of elements that include notes and melodies that goes into the brain and creates this emotional response has eluded me to this day, which is probably one of the reasons why I still want to play," Kantner gleefully said. "I get swept away and I'm swept away, generally, by everything we do musically."
Still, the emotions the guitarist feels when he plays music is nothing new.
"Music swept me away early in my life when I was turned onto a band called the Weavers, which was Pete Seeger's band," he said. "After I first heard them, I thought, 'Gee, can I do that?'"
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO