Joey Covington, a drummer who played with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, died yesterday in a car accident in Palm Springs, California. He was 67.
According to a local CBS news station, Covington's sedan slammed into a wall on the side of the road, shutting down traffic for several hours. Police reported that he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene following attempts to revive him. He was the only passenger.
A self-taught drummer, Covington helped found Hot Tuna in 1969 with Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen and Paul Kantner while Airplane singer Grace Slick was recovering from surgery. That same year, he provided percussion for Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers album; he took over full-time drumming duties in 1970 when Spencer Dryden quit the group.
Covington later played on the albums Bark, for which he co-wrote "Pretty as You Feel," and Long John Silver, though he quit halfway through the recording sessions. In 1976, he co-wrote Jefferson Starship's "With Your Love," a single that peaked at No. 12 on the charts.