Jefferson Starship’s Craig Chaquico Sues Ex-Bandmates

Jefferson Starship Guitarist Sues Ex-Bandmates Over Name Use

Craig Chaquico says the right to perform as Jefferson Starship died with Paul Kantner.
Jefferson Starship’s lead guitarist says his former bandmates and their new colleagues have been using the group’s name and his likeness without permission.Craig Chaquico says that when Paul Kantner left the band in 1985 the remaining members signed an agreement to retire the Jefferson Starship name. Decades later, he says David Frieberg and Donny Baldwin have breached that deal and are performing with other musicians and selling merchandise that bears the band’s original name.Back in the 90s, Kantner toured with various musicians under the name Jefferson Starship and Chaquico objected. They ultimately settled and the guitarist gave Kantner, and only Kantner, permission to use the name. Chaquico says he believes Kantner received similar permission from some of the others who signed the 1985 agreement.Freiberg joined Kantner in 2005 and Baldwin was added in 2008. Until Kantner’s death in 2016, the group toured under the name Jefferson Starship.”Because Chaquico only granted Kantner permission to use the Jefferson Starship name, Chaquico’s permission terminated upon Kantner’s death,” writes attorney David Swift of Kinsella Weitzman. “Chaquico has repeatedly informed Freiberg and Baldwin that they do not have his permission to continue performing as Jefferson Starship or to sell merchandise using the name, and that they are doing so in violation of the 1985 Agreement.”

The guitarist says the unauthorized use of the band’s name is tarnishing its legacy — and his own.

“To make matters worse, Defendants have repeatedly and systematically used images of the original Jefferson Starship lineup, which include images of Chaquico, to promote their band and their performances both in concert posters, on their Facebook page and on their website – a blatant attempt to pass off their current band as the original, world-renowned, Jefferson Starship and to trade off of Chaquico’s goodwill,” writes Swift.

The other current band members, Chris Smith, Jude Gold and Catherine Richardson, are also named as defendants in the suit. Chaquico is suing Freiberg and Baldwin for breach of contract, and all of the defendants for claims relating to his right of publicity and unfair business practices. He’s seeking an injunction to stop the band from using the Jefferson Starship name and his likeness, plus actual and punitive damages.

Tom Hill/WireImage
Craig Chaquico
A Statement from Craig to His Facebook Fans: “As the only lead guitar player and founding member/hit songwriter on every Jefferson Starship and Starship song, album, tour and video, after the entire band officially and legally retired the name, ‘Jefferson’ in 1985, I felt that only the original band members should ever use it again as a reunion someday.
I was the first to consider allowing Paul to use ‘Jefferson’ only for his solo projects, that incuded a myriad of different, interchangeable musicians over the years, most of which were never in the original Jefferson Starship. After his death, one of his solo bands is calling itself Jefferson Starship with only one original member, and one of Jefferson Starship’s replacement drummers.They have been misleading the public by using my name and likeness, and original album artwork, on their Website, Facebook page, on tours and merchandise as if they recorded and wrote my hit songs for Jefferson Starship, as well as all of the other songs that I played on that they did not.

As a tribute band, I applaud their efforts, and I am not saying that they should cease performing together, but they have to be honest with the public about what they are and are not, and stop taking credit and profiting from work they did not do, and tarnishing the legacy of those that did. Not only are they breaching the 1985 contract agreement by doing so, but they need to stop using the name as if they are the classic band instead of a tribute band.”

The former lead guitarist of Jefferson Starship is furious at other members for jacking the name and tarnishing the rock band’s legacy … according to a new suit.

Craig Chaquico claims 2 of this former bandmates and several other musicians are using the Jefferson Starship name, without permission, to land gigs and sell merch. Chaquico says the founding JS members all agreed to retire the name in 1985 … and move on simply as Starship.

But according to docs … David Freiberg and Donny Baldwin have assumed the Jefferson Starship name with a ragtag group who have no connection to the OG rockers.

Chaquico says he did give another founding member, Paul Kantner, the right to use the name for shows, and he did while touring with Freiberg and Baldwin. However, Paul died in 2016, and Craig says the right to use JS died with him.

Chaquico wants Freiberg and Baldwin cut off from the name immediately.

FYI, Jefferson Starship — or whatever name they end up with — has concerts next month in Minnesota and California. Who knew??


Fans should please BEWARE OF MISLEADING MARKETING AND LICENSING! Beware of any fake bands, any fraudulent misleading marketing or FAKE recordings and false advertising of the original hits being done by lesser cover bands. This confuses the true legacy of the original world-famous Jefferson Starship and Starship with other lesser artists who are using the name, that are clearly trying to recreate the hit-making songs and styles of both the original Jefferson Starship and original Starship during their most relevant, well-known, influential, successful and ONLY true hit-making / touring GLORY YEARS, from 1974 through 1990. (exactly the Craig Chaquico years)

We sincerely apologize to all the fans who may have already been duped by misleading marketing and false advertising thinking they were hearing and buying the actual original hit recordings done by both the original bands during the years from 1974 through 1990, along with all the world-class songwriters, producers, mixers, engineers and real multi-instrumentalists, who actually made all the orignal hit songs. Craig is especially concerned for all the fans of the real recordings as he is the only one key original founding member, hit songwriter, and lead guitarist listed on everything.  Only the actual Jefferson Starship and Starship did ALL the actual hits and tours and only Craig Chaquico played all the actual lead guitar and lead guitar solos on everything. He should know… 

Craig Chaquico STARSHIP w Mickey and Grace
How many hard-drinking lead singers does it take to change…

Red Octopus Back Cover ChaquicoJefferson-Starship-Freedom-at-Point-Zero-Grace1IMG_19272013-09-15 08.33.41

Craig Chaquico What if I told you...

BEWARE! Mickey claimed he knew nothing about any of the confusing, misleading re-recordings either, or how they happened to be re-recorded and then later passed-off again and again for years as the actual Jefferson Starship and Starship.  That is actually what Mickey said after releases were investigated that may include all this bogus material. He said he had no idea or any control over any of this either!  So BUYER BEWARE!  Spread the word!  Perhaps these products are another Chinese, Russian, Egyptian or Cairo hack.


CraigChaquicoRedOctopusLabel1Rolling Stone cover


Jefferson StarshipSpitfireBackCover Don and Dave band

Craig Chaquico and fellow ’90s BAM Awards Winners.


Craig Chaquico- Rolling Stone- Best of 1975Album-DiscBMI Craig Chaquico articleCraig 12string1331976-12-Chaquico-tie-Guitar-Player-Winner-Best-New-GuitaristJefferson-Starship-1st-Tour2013-09-14 11.08.33Jefferson StarshipRedOctopusLabelJefferson Starship Earth Side AEarth Jefferson Starship LabelJefferson Starship GoldJefferson Starship SpitfireCraig Chaquico is the only one original founding member, and the only lead guitarist and hit songwriter, to appear on every hit recording ever done by the original Jefferson Starship and Starship bands who actually recorded the hits and anthems of the ’70s and ’80s. After Craig left there were no more hits so both world-famous bands officially DISBANDED. The Starship name was officially RETIRED, and in 1985 everybody legally agreed to never use “JEFFERSON” again.

In 1993 Craig was the first one to reconsider to allow only Paul Kantner to use “Jefferson” and only for Paul Kantner’s personal solo projects. Craig Chaquico and Paul KantnerIMG_1657Craig Chaquico Jefferson Starship in RollingstoneOriginal Jefferson Starship 1975Rolling Stone '80IMG_1756

Paul and everybody else had agreed that nobody else could ever use the “Jefferson” name for anything if it didn’t include both Grace and Paul. Craig is only one on all the hitsJefferson Starship introducing Mickey ThomasIMG_2813Then in 2007 Grace Slick sued Paul IMG_1812over the use of the Jefferson name without key band members and with the reduced quality of  the newer musicians performing the original songs.

Years after Starship offically disbanded in 1991, Mickey Thomas’ various solo projects and tribute band lineups also started using “STARSHIP: featuring Mickey Thomas.”
This is obviously confusing the actual legacy of both original bands and all the music that they authored, recorded and performed.  There seems to be more and more of these misleading products that often claim to be done by the original world-famous Jefferson Starship and Starship artists during the Craig Chaquico years. (1974-1990).

Paul Kantner (RIP) was the only one allowed to use the Jefferson name for his own various Paul Kantner post-hits “Jefferson” projects.  Some of those various different line-ups with Paul are below:

Paul Kantner and another Post Jefferson Starship versionPaul Kantner 'Jefferson solo projectsJefferson Starship - Paul Kantner, Jude Gold Jefferson Starship in concert at The Howard Theatre, Washington, D.C., America - 21 Mar 2013 (Rex Features via AP Images)Paul Kantner solo project and another jefferson lineupJefferson Starship 2015IMG_1803IMG_1804Paul Kantner Jefferson solo projectsIMG_1800IMG_5067 2FullSizeRender 231NO PAUL KANTNER (RIP) SIGNATURE1997-Guitar-Player-Readers-Poll-Number-1-Winner

Fans of the original music of Starship note that there is no Grace Slick or Marty Balin in any  current line-ups either. Now touring is only one of the great former singers, with his own various cover-band musicians and singers without any of the other original STARSHIP hit singers or band members, who actually wrote and recorded the hits of the ’70s and the ’80s.  Craig is the only person to actually perform on every original hit ever made by both the JEFFERSON STARSHIP and STARSHIP bands during the ’70s and the ’80s.  Shop & Compare… 

STARSHIP '80s iHeart Party 1.28.17
IMG_1897Note: This current MT version is NOT the actual original rock band from the eighties that recorded several of the decade’s biggest anthems including “We Built This City”, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, and “Sara” who is now on tour. It’s really only one of the STARSHIP singers with a tribute band consisting  of various people who never played on,  or wrote,  any of the original hits.

Introducing Mickey Thomas to Jefferson Starship, Craig saw Mickey in a club and after the forst audition Mickey was set to sing all the next Craig rock guitar hits like Jane, Find Your Way Back, Rock Music, Layin it on the Line
Introducing former Elvin Bishop singer, Mickey Thomas, to the world-famous Jefferson Starship.

FAKE starship adSTARSHIP tribute band/cover band featuring only ONE of the former original STARSHIP lead singers.True fans of the actual original Jefferson Starship and Starship (1974-1990) should please BEWARE of any new fake misleading or “look-alike” advertising. Shop and compare to find the actual original STARSHIP.

The David Band featuring Cathy Richardson?

After brother Paul Kantner’s death in 2016 these performers are still using the “Jefferson Starship” name without him. They still perform, record, and sell Craig’s Jefferson Starship and Starship hits, logos, and merchandise around the world without any accounting to Craig,  yet Craig is the only original founding member,  hit songwriter,  lead guitarist of both the Jefferson Starship and Starship who is actually featured on all the actual hits, records, tours, and videos.
Craig was the last original member to leave after never missing a show, recording session or rehearsal. This is the most recent 2017 version of a “Jefferson Starship” without Paul Kantner (1941-2016) performing Craig’s own hits including Find Your Way Back, Jane, Fast Buck Freddie, and other hits these individuals never played on like Craig did, including Sara, We Built This City, Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now, etc…

2017 JEFFERSON STARSHIP NOTDon and Dave bandIMG_3576 2KATHY RICHARDSON JEFFERSON STARSHIP 20172017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico - Laugh while you can2017 Jefferson Starship with Kathy, David and David's son-in-law on keys and bass2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico 1IMG_2108 52017 Jefferson Starship Fast Buck FreddieThis is 2017 Jefferson Starship? Wait... Who?Jefferson Starship 2017?2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico 2JEFFERSON STARSHIP?Don & Dave Band Happy Days!2017 Jefferson Starship? Wait... What...Who???Pasadena Jefferson Starship 2017

Fake Jefferson Starship2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico - be afraidJefferson Starship Find Your Way Back Audience Netwrok2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig ChaquicoKathy and David band perform Live in front of an original Jefferson Starship backdrop featuring one of Craig’s hit songs, Find Your Way Back.Fake Jefferson StarshipJEFFERSON STARSHIP WITHOUT PAUL KANTNER?IMG_7497 22017 Jefferson Starship without Paul Kantner? R.I.P.

The Mickey Thomas Band featuring Mickey Thomas
Former singer with MT Starship tribute band lineup.
STARSHIP last ORIGINAL  lineup that actually recorded the hits.

10 STarship Knee Deep in the Hoopla

BEWARE misleading band advertisingNot STARSHIP in ConcertAnother FAKE Starship Greatest Hits of the 80s re-recorded by a cover band.FAKE STARSHIP WE BUILT THIS CITYIMG_2505 FAKE STARSHIP HITSFAKE STARSHIP FOREVER GOLDFake Starship Greatest HitsFAKE STARSHIP GREATEST HITSNOT ORIGINAL STARSHIPSTARSHIP FAKEIMG_1758 2FAKE STARSHIP copyAnother fake STARSHIP and Mickey ThomasM

Not any of the Starship
x Maybe more of a MT STARSHIP TRIBUTE BAND with just one of the former original starship singers  now on tour.

IMG_2515IMG_2516IMG_2517IMG_9386 4FAKE BEST OF STARSHIP not original artist!

IMG_3689Starship, Knee Deep in the HooplaIMG_3686 (1)SARA Craig ChaquicoNothing's Gonna Stop Us NowThe actual original band that recorded ALL the original STARSHIP hits.

Jefferson Starship introducing Grace SlickAfter Craig’s guitar-riff heavy “Jane” was Mickey Thomas’ first huge Jefferson Starship hit on the platinum Freedom At Point Zero album,  Jefferson Starship re-introduces GRACE SLICK on the platinum Modern Times album with another huge Craig Chaquico Classic Rock  hit, “Find Your Way Back”, which was Grace’s first recording since the the cancelled show caused a riot in Germany. IMG_1972 3We Buit This City Craig Chaquico

Besides Rolling Stone naming Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen as Artists of the Year in 1975, and Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” as single of the year, Rolling Stone proclaimed Jefferson Starship’s Red Octopus as an Album of the Year with this comment, “Red Octopus – The return to Jefferson Starship of Marty Balin as songwriter and singer and the emergence of guitarist Craig Chaquico resulted in the finest San Francisco music since the heyday of the Haight”

Jefferson StarshipIMG_4418

Rolling Stone coverSpitfireBackCoverIMG_1807Jefferson Starship BAM 70sIMG_101380s Starship Europe cover WeBuiltThisCityPass 2379 Elvin-Starship-1

Chaquico, Kantner, Slick, Barbata, Sears (Freiberg off stage)
Kantner, Slick, Balin, Freiberg, Barbata,Sears, Chaquico

5-Jefferson-Starship-70s-Craig-ChaquicoIMG_1973 3Original Jefferso Starship Marty eyes a German beerOriginal Jefferson Starship Marty spills German beer

Paul Kantner (RIP) and his very last JEFFERSON solo project
The Don and Dave Band featuring Kathy RichardsonTA-DAH! Jefferson Starship 2017

Don and Dave band

2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico -David and Chris
2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico 4David’s band perform Live under the original Jefferson Starship EARTH backdrop

2017 Jefferson Starship without Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, or the only original founding member and hit songwriter:lead guitarist on everything, Craig Chaquico - Donald and Dave Band

(T) Grace, Marty, Paul (RIP), Chaquico, Sears (B) Barbata, Freiberg

“Hey China, what if I were to tell you that someday…” – craig

1995-Chaquico-Bay-Area-Music-Awards-WinnerSAN FRANCISCO MUSIC WALK OF FAME CRAIG CHAQUICOsmCraig Chaquico BiographyOriginal Jefferson Starship first Tour and albumSan Francisco Music Walk of FameNew York Times '75IMG_1770IMG_1793Straight Out Of SacramentoJefferson Starship Craig only one on every hitModern Recording cover '70sjeffersonStarship2014-03-25-00.26.341IMG_1598IMG_3002IMG_1901FullSizeRender 176STARSHIPIMG_3696IMG_3338get-attachment.aspx

Craig Chaquico Spotlight HerosIMG_4571Nov 1975Jefferson StarshipJefferson Starship Guitarist Craig ChaquicoCraig Chaquico Golden Gate ParkIMG_4058Starwars Holiday Special Addcraig signing JSIMG_1412IMG_4354Song Hits cover '83aGrace Slick Craig ChaquicoCraig Chaquico Capt EO7IMG_370212 Jefferson-Starship-Greatest-Video-HitsIMG_3319OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACraig-Chaquico-Jefferson-Starship-Starship-YearsaaGOLDJefferson Starship Greatest HiysJS-Review-Selvin-741993-Billboard-Acoustic-Highway-Number-1-indie-album-of-the-year1994-11-12-Billboard-Number-1-Acoustic-Planet-ChaquicoJuke box CRAIG CHAQUICO 3Juke Box CRAIG CHAQUICO 2Juke box CRAIG CHAQUICO 1IMG_0178

Grace Slick, lead singer of rock groups "Jefferson Airplane," "Jefferson Starship," and "Starship," poses with her daughter China Kantner (L) after Slick's induction into Hollywood's Rock Walk, October 22, 2002 in Hollywood. Slick, best known for her song "White Rabbit," was one of the first female rock stars in the 1960's and 1970's and currently devotes her time to painting. REUTERS/Fred Prouser FSP/HB
Prouser Grace Slick, lead singer of rock groups “Jefferson Airplane,”
“Jefferson Starship,” and “Starship,” poses with her daughter China
Kantner (L) after Slick’s induction into Hollywood’s Rock Walk, October
22, 2002 in Hollywood. Slick, best known for her song “White Rabbit,”
was one of the first female rock stars in the 1960’s and 1970’s and
currently devotes her time to painting. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Starwars Holiday Special Jefferson Starship
Light the Sky on Fire
“Welcome to the 60s” -Grace Slick

         “Welcome to the 60s” – Grace Slick. In a galaxy a long tome ago and far far away..

(photo is a screenshot from 1984’s “Super Night of Rock ‘n’ Roll”)

CRAIG’S TRIBUTE TO CHUCK BERRY: “It was an honor to share the stage and the universe with Chuck Berry. (RIP) He made the world of rock ‘n’ roll what it is today and beyond. The NASA Voyager Interstellar Mission included a disc of music from Earth of which ‘Johnny B. Goode’ was Chuck Berry’s own musical greetings-and-salutations to other-worlders. As that cosmic message in a bottle continues on its journey now beyond our solar system toward galaxies far far away, maybe aliens will someday hear all that Earth music, art and information and trace it back to our third stone from the sun. No one is more surprised than I to also have one of my own songs ‘Just One World’ launched into space as part of the Space Arc Project which also included music from Earth. That communications satellite is in a permanent geosynchronous orbit right here for millions of years. So maybe someday the same ET’s who hear Chuck’s music on Voyager could trace it back to Earth and maybe they will hear my music on the orbiting Space Arc Project satellite along with all the other music, art and information from Earth. I can almost hear them making communications with our species from light-years away and saying, “…please send more Chuck Berry.”
It’s hard not to hear the “Chuck sound” in every rock ‘n’ roll guitar player, but the “chuck” sound is even in my own last name. — Craig Cha-KEE-so