Spencer Dryden benefit concert on Saturday

May 21, 2004 at 4:05 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, May 21 (UPI) -- A musical icon of the 1960s, Spencer Dryden, the drummer for Jefferson Starship, is hoping a benefit concert in San Francisco will help him get heart surgery.

Last fall Dryden, who joined the fabled band in 1966 when vocalist Grace Slick signed up, escaped unhurt from a house fire that consumed all his possessions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Among the treasures lost were his gold albums, his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award, vintage posters and Super 8 home movies of the Airplane's early days.

Without any insurance Dryden, 66, was broke, and now gets by on Social Security, disability payments and an occasional royalty check.

Not only that, but doctors recently put Dryden in the hospital for a heart valve discovered to be pumping backward. Surgery is essential.

Friends have rented Slims for a benefit Saturday. They're calling it a Barn Raiser, and it will include Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead; Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule, appearing with the Flying Other Brothers; Nick Gravenites and Friends; and David Nelson and Friends (Nelson used to play with Dryden in the New Riders of the Purple Sage after the drummer left the Airplane in 1970).

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