The Music's Over

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RIP, Joey Covington (June 4, 2013) Drummer For Hot Tuna & Jefferson Airplane

Posted by themusicsover on June 4, 2013

Joey Covington
June 27, 1945 – June 4, 2013

joey-covingtonJoey Covington was a journeyman drummer who is perhaps best remembered for his tenure with both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.  Playing since the age of 10, Covington found his influence in jazz drummers of the day.  He also took a shine to the playing of the great Sandy Nelson.  By the time he was 14, he had already been playing with local polka groups for a couple of years, often chaperoned by his parents.  He soon gave his parents the slip and found work playing in strip club bands, which was fairly common for up-and-coming rock drummers during the ’50s and early ’60s.  During high school, Covington started playing with fellow students in rock bands.  When he turned 20, he went to New York City where he found work playing in back-up bands for such visiting acts as the Supremes, the Fenways, and the Shangri-Las.  He also played in the band for a Dick Clark cavalcade-of-stars type roadshow.  By the late ’60s, Covington found himself in Los Angeles and playing around with violin great and Jefferson Airplane member, Papa John Creach which lead to his relationship with the band and other musicians in their inner circle.  In 1969, Covington helped form Hot Tuna, a side project for Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady who needed something to do during a break while singer, Grace Slick recovered from a surgery.  The Hot Tuna recordings that featured Covington were not released at the time.  In 1969, Jefferson Airplane hired Covington to replace Spencer Dryden. He played on Volunteers, Bark, and Long John Silver and wrote or co-wrote a number of the band’s songs including the hit, “With Your Love.”  After leaving the band in 1972, Covington formed Fat Fandango.  In later years, he participated in various Jefferson Airplane/Starship configurations called the San Francisco All-Stars.  On June 4, 2013, Joey Covington was reportedly killed when his car crashed into a wall in Palm Springs, California.  Details of the accident were not immediately released.  Covington was 67.

Thanks to Ben Anderson for the assist.

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4 Responses to “RIP, Joey Covington (June 4, 2013) Drummer For Hot Tuna & Jefferson Airplane”

  1. “He also took a shine to the playing of the great Sandy Dennis.” Don’t you mean Sandy Nelson, the drummer, here?

  2. englishsunset said

    …thanks for the memories Joey. we had a time didn’t we.

  3. RIP Joey Covington, drummer for Jefferson Airplane. "(You're Only) Pretty As You Feel." Thanks for the music.

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