Burbank, CA, Susan Joy Balin in partnership with EAM, Planet Z, and Pixel Lime, present the NFT collection from the authenticated personal archive of Marty Balin, the legendary founder, lead vocalist of Jefferson Airplane, Hit Song Maker of Jefferson Starship, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Award recipient, Platinum and Gold Status Solo Artist, and multiple BMI awards winner, known for pioneering the San Francisco Sound when he founded the Matrix Night Club and formed Jefferson Airplane as the Matrix “house band” playing its first gig on opening night, August 13, 1965. The Matrix is credited for having introduced the Warlocks who became The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Steve Miller and many other 1960’s iconic musicians to the world. Balin’s profound contributions to the San Francisco Sound and philosophy would come to define a generation and change the world. The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Balin was a prime mover in the flowering of psychedelic rock in mid-1960s San Francisco, not only as the founding member of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, but also as an original owner of the Matrix, a club that opened that year and nurtured bands and artists like the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Santana, and Steppenwolf.” As Marty’s friend, former Jefferson Airplane bandmate, and guitarist extraordinaire, Jorma Kaukonen, summed it up, “Marty always reached for the stars and he took us along with him.” Come join us in the Metaverse for a trip to the stars: a journey into the mind, heart and spirit of Marty Balin, the Soul of the San Francisco Sound.
This limited-edition NFT Collection will consist of authentic items from Marty’s personal archives some including Balin’s voice telling the story behind the item with his vocal being incorporated as a part of the NFT. The collection will include interactive Conversational AI that will enable you to interact with Marty in a voice dialogue.
You can wear Marty’s leather jacket in the Metaverse, or visit the Matrix with Marty, or play the tambourine that Marty played on stage at Woodstock.
This limited-edition NFT Collection will consist of seven installments including NFTs related to the following subject matters:
- The Matrix Nightclub and the birth of the San Francisco Sound.
In Marty’s words, “The Matrix was my lab, and I was a musical scientist I began searching for a house band to play at the club” Balin’s house band, known as Jefferson Airplane, played its first concert at the Matrix’s opening on October 13, 1965. The fact that the Matrix predated Bill Graham’s fabled Fillmore underscores how much Balin is widely acknowledged as a founder of the San Francisco rock scene of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The Matrix was run by Marty, a musician, for musicians and there was a four-track tape machine installed into the house mixing deck as part of the sound system. Many of the iconic bands that played at the Matrix early in their careers like the Grateful Dead, The Sparrow (before they changed their name to Steppenwolf), The Doors, The Chambers Brothers, Steve Miller Band, Big Brother and The Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Ten Years After, Quicksilver Messenger Service were often given tapes of some of their performances. Robby Kreiger of the doors was quoted in an interview with Goldmine Magazine as saying, “What would happen was, whenever a band like us from out of town would come to San Francisco to play on the weekends at the Fillmore, we’d hang around and during the week play at the Matrix,” he explains. “It was kind of cool. We treated (playing there) more like a rehearsal because usually there weren’t many people — around 50 or 60. It was kind of relaxing and something to do during the week.” The Doors played more than a dozen sets over five nights at the Matrix. On one of the recordings of the Grateful Dead the band calls for “Marty” in the audience (Phil says, “Doesn’t sound at all like you remember it, does it Marty?”) the Marty he is referring to is the club owner Marty Balin. The Matrix helped shape the worldwide course of popular music and culture from 1965 to the present. The creator of the popular film series “The Matrix” explained why she chose to use ‘White Rabbit’ for the trailer. Speaking at the International Literature Festival Berlin as part of a panel titled The Art of Screenwriting, Wachowski was asked about the use of the song in the trailer and the other references to Alice in Wonderland. The director said that the reason for the use of the song is much deeper than just a mere reference and pointed out that Jefferson Airplane was created to be the house band for a club called The Matrix: “It goes much deeper than that. The actual Grace Slick performed White Rabbit for this club that was open. Jefferson [Airplane] was basically created to be the house band of this club. And that club was called Matrix. Are we living in a simulation? I think it’s pretty obvious” (from an article by Craig Elvy for “Screenrant”).
- Balin’s legendary career as hit singer and/or songwriter of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship and as a Solo Artist:
Balin was the founder of Jefferson Airplane and the driving force in the band. Balin wrote five songs on Jefferson Airplane’s breakthrough album Surrealistic Pillow. He also wrote some of the group’s biggest tunes such as “It’s No Secret,” “Today,” “Comin’ Back to Me,” “Plastic Fantastic Lover,” “Share a Little Joke” and “Volunteers. Balin’s Jefferson Starship hits as a singer and/or songwriter include the classics “Miracles”, “Count on Me”, “Runaway” and “With Your Love” and, finally, his solo smash hit performance, “Hearts”.
Widely acknowledged as a founder of the San Francisco rock scene of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Balin and his fellow musicians helped shape the worldwide course of popular music and culture. NFT’s related to Marty’s memories, and memorabilia of performing at the most famous concerts of the era, including the 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, and Altamont where Balin dived into the audience to help an audience member in distress and was knocked unconscious by the Hell’s Angels. NFTs will include photos, tickets, journal entries, video clips, musical instruments, letters,
Other experiences from Balin’s time with Jefferson Airplane, told in his own voice, will include memories from their first major tour of Europe in August–September 1968, playing alongside the Doors in an incident at a concert in Amsterdam, while the Airplane was performing “Plastic Fantastic Lover”, Doors singer Jim Morrison, under the influence of a combination of drugs fans had given him, appeared on stage and began dancing “like a pinwheel”. As the group played faster and faster, Morrison spun around wildly until he finally fell on the stage at Marty Balin’s feet.
- NFTs of Marty Balin’s Artwork: Balin was a painter, collager and sculptor. In Balin’s words, “One of the reasons I started Jefferson Airplane was to get money together to go to Italy to continue to study painting, marble, and sculpture.” Balin managed to capture on canvas many of the people he shared the stage with and admired during his days with Jefferson Airplane and beyond and he painted vibrant, large-scale portraits of many of his good friends and fellow artists. NFTs of Marty Balin’s Paintings of his good friends and fellow artists he admired including Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, BB King and more. Balin also designed album covers for Jefferson Airplane including the Album Design for “Surrealistic Pillow”. He was also involved with the poster artwork created for his Matrix club’s shows along with his father, Joseph Buchwald who was a master pressman and lithographer at Tea Lautrec co-creating the look of the posters of the San Francisco Sound era by adding new colors and color combinations to the artwork and printing the highly regarded posters for music shows at the Matrix and other venues. Buchwald worked closely with the best rock-poster artists of the 20th century. These artists held Buchwald’s ability to coax their visions out of Tea Lautrec’s printing presses in high esteem and was seen as a co-creator of the artwork.
- Rare Music and Recordings: Including unreleased music, original live performances, and various versions of lyrics.
- Photos and video footage: “Home movies” created by Balin of his friends and family.
Each NFT comes with a redeemable Jpeg download of the image and can be displayed with ease in NFT art frames. *Not sold with NFT frames.
Three additional works unseen will be revealed on the day Jefferson Airplane receives their Star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony in October 2022. Also, as a bonus, this collection will be one of the first NFT Collections that will be interactive and each NFT will unlock special giveaways to holders. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the NFTs will be donated to one of Marty Balin favorite charities.