Jefferson Airplane Manager Thompson Dies

Bill Thompson, 70, longtime manager of Jefferson Airplane and its various offsprings, died of a heart attack in Mill Valley, Calif., Jan. 12.


Thompson managed Airplane since 1968. Thompson was considered a loved character of the Bay Area. He was a roommate of Marty Balin before the singer formed Airplane.

Thompson, a copy boy at the San Francisco Chronicle, was initially a press agent, with Matthew Katz acting as manager but that changed after Katz and Airplane got into a 22-year legal battle, as noted on

Thompson took over management duties after a brief transitional period when the act was repped by Bill Graham. After Airplane split up in 1972, Thompson managed their subsequent spinoffs – Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship.