Pete Sears, who played with Barbata in Jefferson Starship between 1974 and 1978, shared a statement with Rolling Stone, calling the drummer “one of the greats,” who “consistently hit the snare at just that right moment compelling people to move, dance, nod their head, or tap a foot” (just like Charlie Watts, Jim Keltner, and Micky Waller, Sears noted).

Sears continued: “Drummers like John have an almost telepathic connection with the bass player, the other half of the rhythm section, on a good night moving together as one. We’d sometimes look at each other and smile after playing a particularly cool unrehearsed, spontaneous fill together as one. John had some tough breaks in his life, but he always found a way to move on. He was the ultimate rock n roll drummer, incorporating other musical elements into his style of playing to create his own unique sound. Transparent when needed, but explosive and skillful when taking a drum solo. John was a loyal friend with a lively sense of humor, and he was adept at navigating the ups and downs of an often unforgiving music business. He was a good man.”

Full article in Rolling Stone: www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/john-barbata