Michigan Memorial Funeral Home, Inc.

Funeral Home Park Crematory
These Companies are Separately Owned and Operated

John Barbata, drummer for the Turtles and C.S.N.Y., has died at the age of 79

Barbata was part of famous bands of the late '60s and '70s, playing drums on hits such as "Happy Together", the first song he recorded with the Turtles.

John Barbata, drummer for the bands Turtles, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who retired from rock music at the peak of his career, has died. He was 79.

His death was announced by Jefferson Airplane on social media Monday. No cause of death was given, and a list of survivors was not immediately released.

Mr. Barbata joined the Turtles after leaving his high school band and had almost immediate success, becoming the drummer on the band's most famous composition, "Happy Together", released in 1967.

"I heard the Turtles were looking for a drummer, they called me into the studio to try out session work, and the first song we recorded was 'Happy Together,'" Mr. Barbata wrote on his now-defunct website, archived at web.archive.org.

"We did it in one take", he said.

The song stayed at number one for three weeks and became a pop classic. It has been performed by artists as diverse as Mel Tormé, Weezer, Miley Cyrus and the punk band Simple Plan.

View All