Where Are They Now?

Karen 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's group.

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.

Copyright © 2002 By TEDD WEBB • All Rights Reserved