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Osaka, Kyoto & Nagoya

April 30th, 2014 Jorma 31 comments
You can't make this up...

You can't make this up...

Well, it’s been a hectic three days. Haven’t had a chance to do any updating until this morning. What a great series of concerts we just had. This little entry started in Osaka.

The boys and girl at FM802

The boys and girl at FM802

We were on the radio with Kamasami Kong and his fearless sidekick. We got to chew the fat and play some tunes.

Live in the studio

Live in the studio

We sure enjoyed talking with the folks at the Cocolo scene… and then it was off to Janus for the show here in Osaka.

Onstage at Janus

Onstage at Janus

Foto by Doug Allsopp

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 39, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Janus
Osaka, Japan
Monday, April 28, 2014

First Set:
1. That’ll Never Happen No More
2. Children Of Zion
3. Prohibition Blues
4. Trial By Fire
5. Full Go Round
6. Come Back Baby
7. I See The Light
8. How Long Blues
9. Mama Let Me Lay it On You
10. Things That Might h\Have Been
11. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. Second Chances
3. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
4. Sea Child
5. Good Shepherd
6. San Francisco Bay Blues
7. River Of Time
8. Barbeque King
9. I Am The Light Of This World
10. I Know You Rider
11. Encore: Candy Man

Pickin' in Osaka

Pickin' in Osaka

Foto by Doug Allsopp

Great solo, Jack!

Great solo, Jack!

Foto by Doug Allsopp

Signing a few items for our Japanese friends

Signing a few items for our Japanese friends

Great time in Osaka, and then it was off to Kyoto.

Hello Kyoto

Hello Kyoto

I love this town too!

I love this town too!

Soba... my personal favorite!

Soba... my personal favorite!

I’m a big noodle freak, as you may have guessed… and I love them all, but I think Soba is my favorite. I always go to the Mifune when I’m San Francisco. I’ve been eating Tanin soba there for almost 30 years.

Doug and Myron

Doug and Myron

A man’s gotta eat!

That's my boy!

That's my boy!

After our noodle delight, we walked around a little bit before heading over to Tako Tako.

Shopping, shopping!

Shopping, shopping!

Now Taku Taku is a legendary Japanese venue. It is venerable and respected. It celebrates its 40th year in operation and it was an honor to play there.

Jack and I with the Big Dog of Taku Taku

Jack and I with the Big Dog of Tako Tako

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 40, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Taku Taku
Kyoto, Japan
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First set:
1. True Religion
2. Re-Enlistment Blues
3. Izze’s Lullaby
4. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
5. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
6. Living In The Moment
7. Trial By Fire
8. Hesitation Blues
9. Come Back Baby
10. S.F. Bay Blues
11. How Long Blues
Second set:
1. Candy Man
2. Goodbye To The Blues
3. Whining Boy Blues
4. Good Shepherd
5. That’ll never Happen No More
6. Water Song
7. Dime For Beer
8. Keep On Trucking Mama
9. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
10. Uncle Sam Blues
11. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
12. Encore: Embryonic Journey

As I look around this great hundred year old building that used to b a saki warehouse, I see the names of so many greats who played not only here, but also at the Fur Peace Ranch.

Gate... may he rest in peace!

Gate... may he rest in peace!

Yeah… Gatemouth graced our stage at the Ranch. What a guy!

Go Bo

Go Bo

Bo Diddly never played the FPR, but Jack and I saw him at the National Guard Armory in Silver Springs, Maryland in 1958.

Happy 40th Anniversary Taku Taku!

Happy 40th Anniversary Taku Taku!

Our name in lights... sort of...

Our name in lights... sort of...

Then it was off to Nagoya and Tokuzo.

Always Springtime at the bar...

Always Springtime at the bar...

Here is our set List:

Hot Tuna 39, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Janus
Osaka, Japan
Monday, April 28, 2014

First Set:
1. That’ll Never Happen No More
2. Children Of Zion
3. Prohibition Blues
4. Trial By Fire
5. Full Go Round
6. Come Back Baby
7. I See The Light
8. How Long Blues
9. Mama Let Me Lay it On You
10. Things That Might h\Have Been
11. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Hesitation Blues
2. Second Chances
3. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
4. Sea Child
5. Good Shepherd
6. San Francisco Bay Blues
7. River Of Time
8. Barbeque King
9. I Am The Light Of This World
10. I Know You Rider
11. Encore: Candy Man

Another thoroughly enjoyable night for the Tuna Guys!

Jack holds court...

Jack holds court...

Now we’re off to Tokyo again and our discussion and concert at Tokyo Women’s Plaza Hall in Shibuya and then a final show at Thumbs Up in Yokohama.

Onward. What’s for dinner?

Shizuoka To Osaka

April 27th, 2014 Jorma 32 comments

Oddly enough, in some ways Shizuoka reminded me of Santa Cruz, California. Not visually, but the head space. Lovely place to visit and play!

Freaky Show rocks!

Freaky Show rocks!

Jack with the great folks whose child Freaky Show is

Jack with the great folks whose child Freaky Show is

His name in 'lights'

His name in 'lights'

We walked up the street to get something to eat at the Pimpers Paradise. Some of the best pizza I’ve had, and I’ve had plenty!

Mmmmm.... Pizza

Mmmmm.... Pizza

The boys take the stage

The boys take the stage

Foto by Doug Allsopp

Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 38, 2014
The Acoustic Duo

Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Club Freakyshow
Shizuoka, Japan
Saturday, April 26, 2014

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Know You When You’re Down & Out
3. Children Of Zion
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. Been So Long
6. Keep On Trucking Mama
7. Sea Child
8. Full Go Round
9. Hesitation Blues
10. How Long Blues
11. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Prohibition Blues
3. I’ll Be All Right Someday
4. Watch The Northwind Rise
5. Good Shepherd
6. River Of Time
7. Goodbye To The Blues
8. Come Back Baby
9. Candy Man
10. Serpent Of Dreams
11. San Francisco Bay Blues
12. Encore: Embryonic Journey

Telling the story

Telling the story

Foto by Doug Allsopp

Casady on fire!

Casady on fire!

Foto by Doug Allsopp

This was a great gig in a small, but very intense house. We’ll come back anytime.

Walking back to the hotel after the gig

Walking back to the hotel after the gig

My palatial estate

My palatial estate

In the morning… it’s up and getting ready for the trip to Osaka.

All this and parking too?

All this and parking too?

Well, we packed the van and headed out for Osaka. On the way we stopped at a rest area that had a farmer’s market and all kinds of good stuff.

Good times... good food!

Good times... good food!

Jack pauses for a Starbucks

Jack pauses for a Starbucks

Finally we arrived in Osaka… in time for a walk and dinner.

Golden Dragon Ramen Joint... yeah buddy

Golden Dragon Ramen Joint... yeah buddy

You don't have sights like this in Pomeroy, Ohio

You don't have sights like this in Pomeroy, Ohio

Osaka by night

Osaka by night

Today we have a radio show at noon and tonight we play Janus around the corner from the hotel.

So far so good… more anon…

Quattro And Onwards

April 25th, 2014 Jorma 4 comments
The scene of the crime

The scene of the crime

Last night we played the Club Quattro in Shibuya. I also got a chance to do an interview with the folks from Acoustic Guitar Magazine. A really good chat with really good folks!

Acousrtic Guitar rules

Acoustic Guitar rules

Acoustic Guitar rules

Acoustic Guitar rules

Before we started out for Shibuya, we had to eat… at the Ramen Place again!

Come on in...

Come on in...

Myron buys hot sauce

Myron buys hot sauce

Jack is full to repletion

Jack is full to repletion



Quattro is a great club!

…and here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 37, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Club Quattro
Shibuya, Japan
Friday, April 25, 2014

First Set:
1. Re-Enlistment Blues
2. Dime For Beer
3. Been So Long
4. Come Back Baby
5. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
6. Watch The North Wind Rise
7. Goodbye To The Blues
8. How Long Blues
9. Candy Man
10. Hear Temporary
11. I Am The Light Of This World
12. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. Serpent Of Dreams
2. Waiting For A Train
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Full Go Round
5. Good Shepherd
6. Barbeque King
7. Second Chances
8. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
10. San Francisco Bay Blues
11. Nine Pound Hammer
12. Encore: Genesis

After show... heading for home... in Yokohama

After show... heading for home... in Yokohama

Now we’re off to Shizuoka and Freakyshow!

Onward…

Thumbs Up In Yokohama

April 24th, 2014 Jorma 8 comments

At 0800 yesterday morning we hit the train from Yokohama to Tokyo for an interview with .Peter Barakan and his pals

The Gang at the studio

The Gang at the studio

Foto by Doug Allsopp

The boys in the studio

The boys in the studio

Foto by Myron Hart

This program was a place for music aficionados and it was a pleasure to play for them and their collective audience.

Pick it Jorm'

Pick it Jorm'

Foto by Myron Hart

After the show, it was back to Yokohama but this time, the station was almost empty.

Somewhere in Tokyo

Somewhere in Tokyo

There’s no way I can help my American readers to actually visualize how much rush there is to rush hour here. New York is starting to look relaxing to me.

Waiting for a train.

Waiting for a train.

Around 1630 we walked on over to Thumbs Up to set up for our first show here in Japan.

Myron got it done!

Myron got it done!

It was a grand first show from our standpoint. Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 36, 2014
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
Thumbs Up
Yokohama, Japan
Thursday, April 24, 2014

First Set:
1. True Religion
2. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
3. Children Of Zion
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. Sea Child
6. Trial By Fire
7. Barbeque King
8. Hesitation Blues
9. 99 Year Blues
10. I Know You Rider
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Izze’s Lullaby
3. Come Back Baby
4. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
5. In My Dreams
6. How Long Blues
7. Candy Man
8. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
9. Bar Room Crystal Ball
10. Water Song
11. Genesis
12. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
13. Encore: Embryonic Journey

After the show, we hung for a bit with the owner and his family.

Good times!

Good times!

Foto by Doug Allsopp

More about these wonderful folks later…

Now for coffee and tonight we play Club Quattro in Shibuya.

As always… more shall be revealed!

A Day Off In Yokohama

April 23rd, 2014 Jorma 12 comments
Outside the hotel

Outside the hotel

There’s a little coffee shop in the lobby of the hotel, so after a cappuccino and a croissant it was out into the streets to see what was going on.

Out for a fine walk

Out for a fine walk

The streets in this town range from wide boulevards to ones that you can barely fit bicycles on. I chose to walk the narrow streets for the most part.

What is this thing anyway?

What is this thing anyway?

Everybody walks or bikes so the pedestrian is right at home here… unlike most cities and roads in the U.S.

Yet one more game store

Yet one more game store

Gaming is even bigger here than it is at home… there are multi-level game stores everywhere!

The kids

The kids

This reminded me of a book my Mom used to read to me as a kid, ‘Make Way For Ducklings.’ You gotta love this! The book was written in 1941 by Robert McCloskey. My time for sure.

The scen of the crime in 1997

The scene of the crime in 1997

Myron and I dropped by Stove’s, where Tuna recorded Live In Japan. Cool beans. Took a couple of snapshots and walked on.

Now that's miso!

Now that's miso!

Dinner time rolled around and we picked one of the many sushi joints surrounding us.

Unagi an tamago

Unagi and tamago

Yeah, this was delicious and good food is the best bang for your buck in Japan.

Night street

Night street

Back to the hotel and now to try to get to sleep.

One more thing. Wally Pfister got in touch with me. A great cinematographer, Wally is directing his first movie, Transcendence. Now I’m japan so I won’t get to see it until I get home but the movie looks great and I was flattered to have one of my songs included in it. Check this out:

http://wareham.wickedlocal.com/article/20140419/NEWS/140415595

Look forward to seeing this flick as soon as I get home. Thanks Wally!

I also look forward to Hot Tuna’s gig at Thumbs Up tomorrow night.

Onward

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, trips and journeys Tags:

A Yokohama Landing

April 22nd, 2014 Jorma 14 comments

In 1945 and ‘46 my Father, Jorma Sr., found himself a young Naval officer attached to an Army military intelligence unit with General MacArthur’s staff. As a first generation American born in this country, Dad was already something of a linguist. His first language was Finnish, then English taught at the Carnegie Library in Ironwood, Michigan. As a thirteen year old, the Kaukonen family moved to East L.A., Lincoln Heights to be exact… so his next language was Spanish. His younger brothers were combat vets, Tarmo in North Africa and Italy and Pentti in the Pacific, winding up in the Philippines. Dad was a little older and he had to jump through hoops in order to enlist. they sent him to the Navy Language School in Ann Arbor an he learned Japanese. (Before Dad went home for the last time, he would master Urdu, Tagalog and Swedish.)

After the fire bombing of Tokyo, there was little left standing save plumbing and iron safes. Dad and his buds would sift through the ashes of the city and crack safes to see if there were any relevant documents inside and at night they were billeted with Douglas MacArthur’s guys at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama. (Interestingly enough, still standing.) When I was here with Hot Tuna in 1997, that’s where we stayed.

Evening in Yokohama

Evening in Yokohama

After an eleven an a half hour flight from Denver, we arrived in Narita welcomed by a gentle Spring rain. A couple hours later after checking into the hotel in Yokohama, we took a walk to find an eatery.

A ramen shop... yeah buddy!

A ramen shop... yeah buddy!

A simply delicious bowl of Ramen an some Gyoza! A man’s gotta eat.

Jack, Douglas our promoter, myself and Myron Hart... yummy!

Jack, Douglas our promoter, myelf an Myron Hart... yummy

Floto by unknown waitress.

It’s 0100 here in Japan… thirteen hours and a day off from Ohio time. I’m awake… obviously. Hmm. how did that happen? I figured I’d answer some emails, update my blog and see if I can get back to sleep. Today is a bona fide day off so I’m going to walk around the port. Tomorrow we play Thumbs Up here in Yokohama. In 1997 Hot Tuna did a live recording here (Hot Tuna, Live In Japan) at a little club called Stoves which is owned by the guy who also owns Thumbs Up.

We’re looking forward to a great couple of weeks here, and we’re going to keep all of you in the loop.

Sayonara

The Spring Of Many Cultures… Spring Has Sprung

April 20th, 2014 Jorma 23 comments
Mmmm... and Kosher too!

Mmmm... and Kosher too!

So my son Zach was with us for his Spring Break and he was able to join us for the family Seder at Hillel Of Ohio University.

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

It was a sweet evening… and yes, I had seconds of gefilte fish.

Israel Love reads the Haggadah.

Israel Love reads the Haggadah.

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The Kaukonens and a Kearse at Hillel

The Kaukonens and a Kearse at Hillel

Foto credit… Selfie

That’s how the week started out. Now in the beginning of the week, it was so cold, we laughingly called it, ‘Winter Break.’ But then, fortunately it warmed up.

A young man and his machine

A young man and his machine

Yeah, Zach and I got a couple of great motorcycle rides in and things were looking up. We did some riding, watched some movies and we even rode our bikes to the hospital while the Doctors took a look inside me to make sure everything was as it should be… and the good news is… that it was!

Friday was benefit for the Gathering Place here in Athens, Ohio. Check out the website and see what we’re up to. A bunch of folks played including Laura Nadeau and myself and a band with some folks from the Gathering Place.

Cheap at twice the price.

Cheap at twice the price.

It was such a blessing for me to have both my kids there to not only hear me play but Izze was one of the youth puppeteers. Cool beans!

Siblings

Siblings

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The 'House' band

The 'House' band

I’ve been involved in some really worthy benefits lately, and this one is right up near the top!

My son went home yesterday to have Easter with his Mom and I took Izze over to my sister-in-law Ginger’s place to have an Easer egg hunt with the cousins.

Excitement on the way to the hunt

Excitement on the way to the hunt

Where are those eggs?

Where are those eggs?

I found one!

I found one!

foto by Ginger Gagne

I know there's more...

I know there's more...

What a great day with family…

Appalachian Easter...

Appalachian Easter...

foto by Ginger Gagne

Yeah… there’s no place like home… there’s no place like home.

The sun goes down over my barn

The sun goes down over my barn

shhhhhhhhh....

shhhhhhhhh....

A lovely week at home. How I’m at an airport hotel in Columbus, and tomorrow I leave for Japan… where I’m sure, more will be revealed.

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Wanee Update…

April 16th, 2014 Jorma 19 comments
Blue skies... nothing but....

Blue skies... nothing but....

Yeah I know Wanee was last week… I’ve been busy…

How’s about the Blind Boys Of Alabama?

All who wander are not blind...

All who wander are not blind...

We drove down… did the show… and drove back to the Ranch. Here is our set list from Wanee:

Hot Tuna 35, 2014
The Electric Quartet
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
Barry Mitterhoff & Skoota Warner
Wanee Music Festival
The Mushroom Stage
Live Oak, Florida
Thursday, April 10, 2014

1. Can’t Get Satisfied
2. Ode To Billy Dean
3. I See The Light
4. Hesitation Blues
5. Bowlegged Woman
6. Come Back Baby
7. Children Of Zion
8. 99 Year Blues
9. Rock Me Baby
10. Water Song
11. Funky #7

Let's hit trhe road!

Let's hit trhe road!

Back at the Ranch, at the Happy Traum, John Sebastian show, Vanessa and Hurl called Jack and had the audience wish him a happy birthday!

Happy birthday Jack!

Happy birthday Jack!

Foto by Dennis Powell

Happy Traum absolutely rocked the house… He’s just getting better and better!

The man... the legend!

The man... the legend!

Foto by Dennis Powell

The great Larry Campbell sat in with everyone, of course and graced the stage with his elegance.

Sawing on the strings

Sawing on the strings

Foto by Dennis Powell

John Sebastian made the scene and well… was terrific!

Sing out brother!

Sing out brother!

Foto by Dennis Powell

And… well… me too!

Hootenany in Darwin

Hootenany in Darwin

Foto by Dennis Powell

Yeah folks… good time for sure… and long week, but a good time!

Happy Birthday, Jack Old Friend… An Open Letter To John William Casady

April 15th, 2014 Jorma 33 comments

Dear Jack:

Your old buddy Jorma here. Man, we sure have known each other a long time… through the neighborhood, through school, through nicknames, through the music, through joy and sadness, through the years… through a lifetime. We have been blessed in so many amazing ways, and here we still are. Yes I know your birthday was two days ago, but remember, I called you at 0500 your time to sing you Happy Birthday! Sorry I didn’t have time for pitch correction.

It seems like only yesterday when we were going over to Ronnie McDonald’s to rehearse. I had that Lambretta scooter I brought back from the Philippines… no car. My guitar was on the floorboards obscuring the brake. I don’t think you had a license yet… can’t remember. How did you get to the rehearsal? Were you on the back of the scooter? Did you take the bus? The answer is lost in antiquity. I do, however, remember this in detail. You and I were riding that scooter over in Virginia when they were just starting to build the Beltway. We slipped passed the construction barricades and found there was no road. To get back to civilization we went ‘off road’ with the little 150cc Lambretta. Some of that ride involved you and I carrying the scooter over obstacles.

Good times with the follies of youth!

May life continue to grace you with health, happiness and fulfillment. Being forever young is out of the question but may you forever be in the moment. As Patty Loveless said in her great song, ‘Too Many Memories,’ ‘And the lessons you learn and you don’t forget
What makes you grow old is replacing hope with regret.’

Hope you had a good one brother, and may you always feel like we look in this picture!

Good times brother... but good times down the road!

Good times brother... but good times down the road!

I love you brother…

Keep smiling…

Your old droog,

Jorma (aka, ‘jerry’)

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Fair Winds And Following Seas, Joe!

April 10th, 2014 Jorma 21 comments
Big Joe... We'll miss this guy!

Big Joe... We'll miss this guy!

A couple of years ago down at the Fur Peace Ranch a bunch of our New York Friends would show up every now an then for our Saturday night shows at the Fur Peace Station. In many respects, ever since the 60’s, the Northeast United States, especially New York, has been a very real home to Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and myself. For many years we have all soared on the wings of dear friends like Joe LaMontagne. When Barry and I played Our Lady Of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn two weeks ago, Joe was there as he had been at so many of our shows. Yesterday John Hurlbut down at the Ranch got a sad email from Joe’s friend Michael to tell us that Joe had passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Joe was an amazing guy, and it is worth getting to know him a little bit by reading this piece from the Poughkeepsie Journal.

WILLISTON PARK – Joseph T. LaMontagne, 54, of Williston Park passed away on Saturday, April 5th at Winthrop Hospital surrounded by family.

Born on November 7, 1959 in Far Rockaway to Bridie Maloney and George LaMontagne.

On August 2nd, 2011, Joseph married his best friend Paula (Minyard) LaMontagne, who survives at home.

In addition to his wife, he is also survived by his brother George and Ellen (George and Kevin), his sister Marie Dave Falcon (Davey and Steve), his sister Maggie and John Crumb (Johnny, James And Bridget), his Brother Sean (Seanie and Shamus), his five stepchildren, J.T., Nick, Gina, David and Jalicia, His beloved granddaughters, Trinity, Akili, Oriana, Braylin and his grandson Jayden. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins and some of the greatest group of men that he called friends and brothers that any man could ever want.

Having overcome a troubled early life, battling his demons, Joe rose above that to live a second life, a very accomplished one. Some of the things that Joseph was most proud of were working for St. Joes in the Poughkeepsie Guest House and then working for the same Franciscan Friars that saved his life many years before at SCI (Graymoor) for almost a decade. Giving back to men what was so freely given to him. He was a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous for more than 20 years.

Joseph was a huge music lover, a passionate Jets and Mets fan and he loved to fish.

Heaven gained an angel, Joe will be sadly missed, but never forgotten. Family and friends may call Thursday 2-5 & 7-9:30 at Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, 29 Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park, NY 11001. In Lieu of Flowers, please send donations to SCI – 21 Franciscan Way, P.O. Box 150, Garrison, NY 10524.

At my age I have come to realize that you meet people in this life that you will count as friends. You may meet them infrequently… you may rarely speak… but you will know that you will always be friends… and you may think, ‘Perhaps I should have called more often.’

Fair winds and following seas brother… fair winds and following seas!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags: