Joey Covington of Jefferson Airplane & Hot Tuna Killed in Accident

Drummer Joey Covington.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Joey Covington, former drummer for the groups Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, has died on June 4, 2013 in Palm Springs, California.

Joey Covington's sedan slammed into a retaining wall on the side of the road and despite attempts to revive the musician, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Covington was the only passenger in the car at the time of the crash, and police reported he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

A self-taught drummer since the age of 10, Covington (also known in his childhood as Joey Michno) helped found Blues-rock group Hot Tuna in 1969, alongside Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, while the latter band was still in its beginnings.

However, the recordings he did for Tuna were unreleased and he eventually rejoined Casady and Kaukonen at the Airplane and featured on three studio albums, the first being Volunteers, as he replaced Spencer Dryden midway through the recording process. He co-wrote and sang the last hit for Jefferson Airplane, 1971's "Pretty As You Feel", featured on the Bark album, a single that peaked at No. 12 on the Cashbox Charts.

Covington left Jefferson Airplane in mid-1972 to pursue a solo career, starting with Fat Fandango. He subsequently faded from view, only resurfacing sporadically, like in 1976's Spitfire by Jefferson Starship, where he co-wrote the hit single "With Your Love." Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he toured with various configurations as the San Francisco All Stars.

Covington was well-known around the Palm Springs area as a talented musician who delighted his audience by playing free gigs whenever possible. His last performance was for a Marilyn Monroe celebration in Palm Springs June 1, 2013. Covington thrilled his audience and signed autographs following the performance.