Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Marty Balin

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Getting to know Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Marty Balin, a founding member and lead vocalist for Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, is like getting to know rock and roll history from the inside.

I am privileged to have been able to develop a friendship with Marty while developing a fine art line featuring his paintings.  His insights are remarkable.

I was a little young to attend the historic Woodstock Festival, the Monterey Pop Festival or the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, so I felt especially fortunate when Marty—the man with the “voice of an angel”—shared his firsthand stories and personal insights from these iconic times with me.

“First of all, I was diagnosed with autism as a child and struggled with it while growing up,” he shared.  “I loved music, but my biggest obstacle was people telling me that I did not have what it takes to be a successful musician.

“What helps keep me focused is creating a to-do list in my mind. I always need to accomplish things. I like the fact that I deliver. I take pride in delivering what I promise.

“God gave us all certain talents; use them and you will be happy. If you don’t, it’s likely you won’t be happy. You might fail—and that’s OK. But if you pursue your dream, it can come true.

“Michelangelo claimed that he did not create a sculpture. Rather, the form was contained within the block of marble; he merely removed the excess, revealing the work of art.  I feel the same way about music, and about all the projects I’m involved in. The projects do themselves; the music comes through me.

“People need to have self-confidence and take chances. I always believed in myself. I love to sing and dance—make a fool of myself. My advice is to be willing to reveal yourself. Put it out there, follow your intuition and stay focused. – Marty Balin

Believe in Miracles!

Copyright 2014 Jerry Gladstone