Deal & Marty Balin
Marty Balin, founder of the legendary Jefferson
Airplane, finally landed in Tampa in 1989 after marrying local
keyboardist Karen Deal. Karen met Marty at The Pier in St. Petersburg
when the popular local band she founded, Mod Squad, opened for
Marty put together the Jefferson Airplane in
1965 in San Francisco to play in a nightclub he opened, The Matrix.
The band quickly became one of the top five bands in the world
in the sixties, the very first to get the psychedelic movement
off the ground with such hits as "Volunteers," which
was revived in the 1994 hit movie Forrest Gump, and "Revolution."
His later million sellers were "Hearts" and "Miracles."
Karen grew up in Tampa, often jamming in area
parks and later starting Sweet Smoke, a Latino band that played
local clubs throughout the bay area. Such luminaries as Emerson,
Lake & Palmer, Mike Pinera, Greg Allman, Joe Walsch, and many
other greats came to hear her and her bandmates perform.
After her marriage to Marty, Karen toured with
him all over the world eventually settling in Tampa after the
birth of their beautiful daughter, Delany, now 7.