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What A Day For A Ride

May 1st, 2016 Jorma 13 comments

Well, it’s been raining like we should think about building an ark. That said, there was a window of sun today and Vanessa lent me her Street Bob for a ride. Three great hours later… I’m back.

Really… good times!

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A Big Thanks To David Neely And Some Grammy Thoughts

April 30th, 2016 Jorma 31 comments
The scene of the crime

The scene of the crime

My new ES-345 needed a little bit of tweaking and Myron didn’t have his tools with him. He found David Neely Guitars who spiffed it up in the blink of an eye!..Thanks David!

Now, Vanessa is part of, or whatever the right word is, a Jefferson Airplane fan site and there has been some discussion about the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony and the selection of songs. I was accused of trying to ‘rewrite’ Jefferson Airplane history in terms of Jorma and Jack Hot Tuna World. Because I have a proclivity for being a wise ass… my first thought was, “What’s it to you?’ But since over the years I have learned to try to exercise restraint of tongue and pen… when given a moment of quiet reflection I do understand how deep people’s feelings may run where good old Jefferson Airplane is concerned. First of all, obviously the JA part of the show was the most important part for us. In the total scheme of things we were just one of the many. That’s all right. My pals and I have been traditionally outsiders for all of our professional life. That I was actually able to garner a Grammy nomination in 2003 in the now defunct Traditional Folk category was a fluke of confluence and will probably never be repeated. Anyway, to be honored by one’s peers is an honor I could have never imagined and I think my Airplane brothers and sisters feel the same way… although I would never deign to speak for anyone other than myself.

We were given eight minutes of music and ninety seconds of acceptance speech for everyone including Spencer and Paul’s surviving children. We obviously needed a Grace song so we picked Somebody To Love. That song and White Rabbit were instrumental in our getting into the R & R Hall Of Fame. The second song we picked was Marty singing Volunteers. It’s an Airplane anthem… and we could jam out on it. At the very last minute… and I mean the very last minute… Marty informed us that he would not be able to make it. I later found out it was doctors orders. Now as the surviving members of the almost original band, we spoke to Don Was who was in contact with the shows producers and we all agreed on Embryonic Journey (all two minutes of it) and Come Back Baby. Embryonic Journey was on Surrealistic Pillow and Come Back Baby which was written by blues pianist Walter Davis in 1940 can be found on a couple JA albums. Well… Jack and Grace and I all agreed that under the circumstances a living member (me) who still played and sang should do one of their own tunes… hence the choice.

Now this is all going to be a PBS Special… and the performances will live, if not forever, for a very long time. I wasn’t going to do Feel So Good… I would play it in concert but not for posterity… I can’t hit those high notes anymore. So be it. Well… it was our award and that’s what we did.

I know some fans like Paul, some like Marty, some Grace… well you get what I’m saying. That’s all good. We all appreciate that. Remember though that we were all band members. Jack and Spencer and I were not side men… I repeat… we were all equal members. That was one of our enduring strengths. Regardless of how the ‘public’ perceived us there were no ‘front’ men. A little tough for the industry to understand but, oh well.

I was so fortunate to be able to rekindle my friendship with Paul Kantner last year. We enjoyed each other’s company… and at the end of the day, were old and dear friends. As Connie Caldor said in her great song Chinatown, ‘Life is a thin thread, it’s a thin little hand on a hospital bed… it’s all the things you left unsaid… life is a thin thread.’

We left little unsaid.

So… speaking for myself, I appreciate being appreciated on any level. If you like us, or me on any level… bless you. If not, oh well.

Last but not least… we did the best we could with what we had and that’s all we got.

Driving on…

Jorma

Categories: Diary, Set Lists, Thoughts Tags:

Almost Like A Dream

April 27th, 2016 Jorma 50 comments
Where did it start?

Where did it start?

Yeah… the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award! Sorry Paul Kantner and Spencer Dryden couldn’t be there. It’s not up to us to decide when our ticket gets pulled, and sad to say, they caught an early train out. Signe too… may all their memories be a blessing!

With all this Jefferson Airplane stuff going on, when I think back… it was almost like a dream. I certainly hadn’t planned my participation. I’m not sure what, if anything, I had planned. I could have worked in a music store as I had worked at the Benner Music Company on Stevens Creek in San Jose… I could have hung out my own shingle… I could have moved to Europe. I could have done all these things, but I didn’t. I was decreed that I go to San Francisco at Paul’s behest… it was decreed that my next schooling would be with my brothers and sisters of Jefferson Airplane. I would grow with the band… I would make choices, some good… some not so good. I would survive all of this and life would carry me in its embrace.

The things we endured together when we were young would forge us in its fire. Some of would be consumed and some of us would survive the daily tests of life. Youth is not wasted on the young. It is not only the privilege but the duty of the young to fly towards the sun. The earth is always waiting for us, always.

My ex wife, Margareta, is gone. Her life choices were indeed, too hot to handle. We spent twenty years together and yet that time is a distant memory. The good times, the bad times… youth would help us endure it all, and then one day… I was no longer young and each moment would become more precious than the one before.

A Lifetime Achievement award is a momentous thing indeed and we are honored by our peers. As a member of the human family, we should all be honored that we have made it this far.

I am so grateful.

Yet, what was that moment all about? What did it mean, if anything? At the end of life will I say as Marlon Brando did, ‘What just happened?’ Perhaps. For today, the needs of my family swirl about me and mine about them. I have been gifted by being allowed to be an artist. I have traveled around the world more than once and seen more than some and less than others. I have today… and it is a good day.

As for the rest… it is indeed almost like a dream.

So be it...

So be it...

Then… and now…

Nessa and I in the Company Store at the Fur Peace Ranch

Nessa and I in the Company Store at the Fur Peace Ranch

Indeed…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

To The Grammy’s… And Beyond!

April 25th, 2016 Jorma 31 comments
How good does it have to get?

How good does it have to get?

Last night my Airplane pals and I were honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Recording Academy. An honor beyond words…

Living at Loew's... This is LA

Living at Loew's... This is LA

One moment Jack and I were in Cincinnati and the next… well… we’re in LA.

Cathy and me...

Cathy and me...

Cathy knocked it out of the park with her rendition of Somebody To Love. Coolness…

That's right... the Oscars are here too...

That's right... the Oscars are here too...

Rehearsal... me and the Gibby

Rehearsal... me and the Gibby

China and me...

China and me...

The big stage...

The big stage...

Kenny Aranoff and me...

Kenny Aranoff and me...

Jack, Grace & Jorma

Jack, Grace & Jorma

Don Was, Jack and Jorma

Don Was, Jack and Jorma

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

Wow... who would have thought?

Wow... who would have thought?

Jorma and Al Schmitt

Jorma and Al Schmitt

Al is one of the greatest producers of all time and a great guy. We worked with him for years.

By the bye… a very special thanks to Doug Pettibone who took a few moments off from Don Was’ band to play rhythm guitar with us. Thanks Doug.

Then it was to bed… early call for the Q and A with Jack and me at the Grammy Museum.

Lay it on us...

Lay it on us...

After the interview with Scott Goldman, which was really cool, by the way… Jack and I threw down a little set.

Doing what we do...

Doing what we do...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I will write more about the actual experience when I get home… it was deeply moving, suffice it to say!

Night at the Loews complex

Night at the Loews complex

Early flight tomorrow…

What a blessing this has all been…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

A Hearty Thanks To My Friends At Gibson, U.S.A.

April 23rd, 2016 Jorma 16 comments

So, today is the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Show at the Dolby Theater here in Los Angeles! Who would have thought that you would hear Run DMC and Jefferson Airplane in the same sentence? Anyway, the taping of the show is tonight so I’ll talk about that more tonight or tomorrow but first I need to thank and honor my friends at Gibson.

Wowzy...

Wowzy...

So I’ve been playing Gibson guitars all my life and I’ve loved them all. I bought my 1958 Gibson J-50 in Dayton, Ohio at Pop’s Music Store in 1959. It cost a hundred bucks, and worth every penny. I learned to finger pick on that guitar… it’s the guitar I played Embryonic Journey on. Learned to pick, sing and write on that guitar. It was the musical story of my life for… well, a long time. When I’m gone it will belong to my son Zach.

IN 1965 or ‘66, I bought a Red ES-345 Stereo at Sherman and Clay in San Francisco for about $400. I bought it on time… it seemed like a lot of money back then. That guitar became the guitar I developed my sound in the JA on. I owned a number of ES-345’s and ES-355’s back in that day, but that first red one was always the one. I gave it to my friend Maj when I was flush with cash and buying a lot of guitars. It was stolen from him in London and has been gone for over forty years.

When this Grammy Lifetime Award came up, I contacted my old friend Ron Moe down at Gibson Guitars in Nashville. I wondered what the chances were that there was an ES-345 around that I could use for the ceremony since we’re playing some live songs on the show. He said he’d run it up the flagpole to see if there were any salutes.

Enter his friend Mike Volz the director of Research And Product Development at Gibson, Memphis. Mike saw to it that his team hand crafted a replica of that 1964 Gibby, including the original wiring harness and matched caps and pots. The paint is off the charts… the hardware is lightly stressed and it plays like a dream. I’ll be using it a lot in upcoming shows.

Mike Volz, Jorma, The Guitar and Ron Moe

Mike Volz, Jorma, The Guitar and Ron Moe

This was totally unexpected… it is such a blessing! Many thanks to Mike and his team of craftspeople. And Ron… well, you know how I feel.

ES-345 and replica period case!

ES-345 and replica period case!

It is true that we’re missing Passover being here in LA like this, but it is a mitzvah of another sort.

Zeissen Pesach…

…and let’s rock!

Categories: Diary, trips and journeys Tags:

Nashville To Covington, Kentucky

April 22nd, 2016 Jorma 3 comments
Live in Music City

Live in Music City

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 5, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The City Winery
Nashville, Tennessee
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

First Set:
1. Dime For Beer
2. Ain’t In No Hurry
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Come Back Baby
5. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
8. I See The Light
9. Sea Child
10. Sleep Song
11. San Francisco Bay Blues
Second Set:
1. Too Many Years
2. Second Chances
3. That’ll Never Happen No More
4. Barbeque King
5. The Terrible Operation
6. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
7. Been So Long
8. Living In The Moment
9. Watch The North Wind Rise
10. Good Shepherd
11. Bar Room Crystal Ball
12. Water Song
13. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
14. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Howdy neighbor...

Howdy neighbor...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 6, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Madison Theater
Covington, Kentucky
Thursday, April 21, 2016

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Ain’t In No Hurry
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Been So Long
5. Barbeque King
6. Nobody Know You When You’re Down Out
7. How Long Blues
8. Sea Child
9. Sleep Song
10. Candy Man
11. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
12. San Francisco Bay Blues
Second Set:
1. Second Chances
2. Keep On Trucking Mama
3. Come Back Baby
4. I See The Light
5. Things That Might Have Been
6. 99 Year Blues
7. Dime For Beer
8. Watch The North Wind Rise
9. Good Shepherd
10. Bar Room Crystal Ball
11. Water Song
12. Encore: I Know You Rider

Good to go...

Good to go...

I’ve got a lot to talk about my friends from Gibson… but I’ll do that at length when I get into L.A.

Onward

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

24 Hours In Asheville…

April 20th, 2016 Jorma 16 comments
Great pawn shop

Great pawn shop

Next to the Wasabi Restaurant… also great…

Where's that mint Les Paul?

Where's that mint Les Paul?

Looking for breakfast… finally got into Over Easy. Perfect breakfast… worth the wait!

Waiting for Over Easy...

Waiting for Over Easy...

Treats and treasures...

Treats and treasures...

Jimmy Rodgers was here too!

Who knew?

Who knew?

Foto by Phil Jacobs

The scene of the crime...

The scene of the crime...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Hot Tuna 4, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
The Orange Peel
Asheville, North Carolina
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

First set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Been So Long
5. I’ll Be All Right Someday
6. Barbeque King
7. Candy Man
8. Sea Child
9. Sleep Song
10. San Francisco Bay Blues
11. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. True Religion
2. Second Chances
3. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
4. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
5. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. In My Dreams
8. 99 Year Blues
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy…. whoops… minus this one…
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Good Shepherd
12. How Long Blues
13. Bar Room Crystal Ball
14. Water Song
15. Encore: Embryonic Journey

After show… drive to Nashville where tonight we are at the City Winery.

Hot Tuna drives on…

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

A Night In Atlanta…

April 18th, 2016 Jorma 6 comments
We ain't in Kansas anymore...

We ain't in Kansas anymore...

We buzzed into Atlanta after a quick drive from Live Oak, Florida… up in the morning, looking for breakfast and finding tall buildings.

Wow...

Wow...

From the hotel to the Variety Theater is only 7 miles… but it took a while.

Our name in lights...

Our name in lights...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

A good time at the Variety Theater as always…

Hot Tuna 3, 2016
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
The Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, Georgia
Sunday, April 17, 2016

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Things That Might Have Been
3. Hesitation Blues
4. I See The Light
5. The Terrible Operation
6. Barbeque King
7. Sea Child
8. Sleep Song
9. 99 Year Blues
10. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning

Second St:
1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
2. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
3. Candy Man
4. Too Many Years
5. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
6. Come Back Baby
7. San Francisco Bay Blues
8. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
9. Watch The North Wind Rise
10. Good Shepherd
11. Bar Room Crystal Ball
12. Water Song
13. Encore: Genesis

Giving the gift of song....

Giving the gift of song....

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Meanwhile, back at the Fur Peace Ranch

The blues... backstage at the Ranch

The blues... backstage at the Ranch

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Bob Margolin, G.E.Smith and friends.

Tomorrow, good old Hot Tuna plays The Orange Peel in Asheville.

Down the road…

With Friends At Wanee 2016

April 17th, 2016 Jorma 11 comments
Me, Bruce Hornsby and Steve Kimock

Me, Bruce Hornsby and Steve Kimock

Foto by Myron Hart

Yeah, it’s Wanee time again and who’s bus should be next to ours but Mr. Hornsby himself.

Steve checks his gear on the Peach Stage

Steve checks his gear on the Peach Stage

Yeah… old friends everywhere and the weather was beautiful for us!

Jack... the man!

Jack... the man!

Foto by Myron Hart

The boys... rocking

The boys... rocking

Foto by Myron Hart

Justin kicks some butt

Justin kicks some butt

Foto by Myron Hart

Hot Tuna 2, 2016
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Justin Guip & Special Guest
Steve Kimock
Wanee Festival
Live Oak, Florida
Saturday, April 16, 2016

1. Been So Long
2. Ain’t In No Hurry
3. Hesitation Blues
4. I See The Light
5. 99 Year Blues
6. Watch The North Wind Rise
7. Water Song
8. Good Shepherd…….. with Steve Kimock
9. Rock Me Baby with Steve Kimock
10. Bowlegged Woman with Steve Kimock
11. Hit Single # I with Steve Kimock
12. Funky # 7 with Steve Kimock

twang...

twang...

Foto by Myron Hart

Git'er Done

Git'er Done

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Yeah… what a blast…

Kimock, Trucks & Hart

Kimock, Trucks & Hart

Schools, Trucks & Casady

Schools, Trucks & Casady

Warren and Jack

Warren and Jack

Foto by Phil Jacobs

The Boys

The Boys

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then it was time to get ready to go.

Our Rig

Our Rig

Beautiful Rig

Beautiful Rig

Wanee over with Tuna bid Justin and Steve goodbye and drove up the road to Atlanta where we will play the Variety Playhouse.

And now… to bed!

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

Spring… Winter? What The……….

April 12th, 2016 Jorma 11 comments

First of all, my Ultra went to a new home, and a fine one at that.

Steve gets ready to head out on his new FLHTCU

Steve gets ready to head out on his new FLHTCU

Yeah, the weather was looking good Friday morning… but wait… there’s more!

Good morning FPR

Good morning FPR

Friday morning was blue skies… Saturday morning was… just blue.

The morning road to the A-Frame

The morning road to the A-Frame

Yeah… a hard freeze warning. It was nippy indeed!

Maverick checks his turf

Maverick checks his turf

The Mav’ is about ninety pounds now. What a dog!

The Murray Mitterhoff Windsong Bird Trail

The Murray Mitterhoff Windsong Bird Trail

Larry and Teresa’s concert was magnificent Saturday night. Love them and all their pals. Glad I could be one too!

Monday came too soon and my class and I took a class picture.

Good friends make good music together!

Good friends make good music together!

A little warmer today… but another freeze coming tonight.

We’ll be complaining about the heat before you know it.

Smiles' tractor... vintage, like me

Smiles' tractor... vintage, like me

It’s all good folks… onward indeed!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags: