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Archive for June, 2019

Funky Feat At The Station

June 18th, 2019 Jorma 35 comments
Our Labyrinth from the air

Our Labyrinth from the air

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

While we were waiting for Paul, Fred, Kenny and Gabe to show up there was a break in the endless rain we’ve been having and I took the opportunity to put the bird up.

Bird's eye view of the station

Bird's eye view of the station

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

They were running a wee late, so I just kept on flying.

In control... for once.

In control... for once.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Then the boys showed up… and so did the sold out crowd!

Yup, the lot was full!

Yup, the lot was full!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We had been trying to get these guys for a decade, and it was worth the wait!

The men rock the Station!

The men rock the Station!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The sleek, stripped down Funky Feat delivered the goods in spades!

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Fred's got my Jazzmaster and Paul has one of Myron's Strats

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Again, so grateful the guys spent two days with us!

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Fred, me, Nessa, Hurl, Kenny and Paul

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

I got to sit in on Dixie Chicken and Spanish Moon… Thanks guys… for everything!

Back in my little world our Espresso machine was on the fritz. I talked to the folks at Whole Latte Love. ‘It’s the solenoid,’ the tech said, and he emailed me instructions. I ordered the part and it came the other day. There are more tiny little parts in this machine than Carter has Little Liver Pills.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Teeny, tiny parts... and lots of them.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I took pictures at every step of the disassembly so I could reverse the process. It worked!

Mmmmm.... java, java

Mmmmm.... java, java

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A fine week indeed…

ps

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

The ROK Espresso Press in front of my Dad's old radio

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The ROK unit is awesome! Check the link. This is not a stove top boiler… and it’s all billet!

jk

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Visiting Phil In Portchester

June 15th, 2019 Jorma 7 comments
The good old Capitol Theater

The good old Capitol Theater

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Phil Lesh had asked me some time ago to join him along with Grahame Lesh, Rob Barraco and John Molo for two nights at the good old Capitol Theater in Portchester, New York. Needless to say, I was on board immediately. Now anyone who loves the music of the Grateful Dead knows that this is not a lightly undertaken art form. Jerry and the guys (and gals) managed to transliterate the essence of the great American Songbook into a parallel universe of multi dimensional creativity. I realized that I probably won’t live long enough to be able to fully apprehend all this great music, but the good news was that Phil just wanted me to be me. I could do that… so I did.

Waiting for rehearsal Tuesday afternoon.

Waiting for rehearsal Tuesday afternoon.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The Capitol Theater has a great lineage of memories for me going back to the time of the Jefferson Airplane… and Tuna as well. That it has been restored to its former glory… and much more, is more than cool! It’s just a great gig for me at any time. Having the opportunity to add a little frosting to Phil’s cake was off the charts! To play with Grahame, Rob, John as well as Phil was hanging with the A-Team for sure. I chose my Beano Les Paul through my 1967 50w Marshall Plexi for the most of the gig but I also had my Gibson Chet Atkins SST through a Louis Rosano Twinmaster for the tunes like Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Friend Of The Devil, Light Of This World, Good Shepherd and the like. I thought about the Firebird for the brasher material, but the Beano got the call.

Onstage with the guys.

Onstage with the guys.

Foto by Suzy Perler

I had never really hung with Grahame before but I’ll tell you… he is more than a great guitar player. He’s a great singer, musician and a great guy! To get to have a conversation with him on stage was enlightening to say the least. I’ve known Rob for a long time and the depth of his talent never ceases to amaze me. As for John Molo, aside from being one of the world’s great percussionists, his musical sense of humor just kills me… every time. Phil… well, like I told Grahame at dinner, ‘Your dad is a genius!’

The SST in service!

The SST in service!

Foto by Suzy Perler

Well, Tuesday ran into Wednesday and then my two day run with Phil and his guys was over. It was more than an honor to be a part of this musical expedition. Thanks Phil and thanks to all the guys for making me welcome!

Soaring with angels!

Soaring with angels!

Foto by Suzy Perler

Categories: Diary, Friends, Venues Tags:

My Heart Is Heavy…

June 9th, 2019 Jorma 25 comments

It’s been a tough couple of days. As noted, My friend Dr. John passed, Madeleine M. passed and earlier today I found that my friend of almost thirty some years, Spencer Bohren passed yesterday. Vanessa and I met Spencer in Fort Collins, Colorado in the very early 90’s and we were all kindred spirits in the blink of an eye. Spencer was a complete artist on so many levels that frankly I hardly know where to begin. He was one of the most understated examples of humanity that I hardly know where to begin… and he was my friend. He does not need me to eulogize him, his life speaks for itself and all of us who were honored to know him an call him friend, know exactly what I’m talking about. He was ten years younger than I and although his life was cut far too short, he made the most of it… always!

When he was diagnosed with cancer he and his wife Marilyn faced that harsh reality with a pure grace I’m not sure I could have mustered. I know that I will miss him on so many levels and who knows, his next gig may be the most amazing one of all. You are so missed my brother and I shall never take for granted the blessings of your friendship.

As if this wasn’t enough reality for one day as i was driving to New York for my gig with Phil Lesh Tuesday and Wednesday, I got a call from Vanessa. Our young friend Andrew, the same age as our daughter Izze, passed from cancer. When our Izze was first with us, Andrew was one of her very first friends. We all Trick Or Treated together and well… they were very young together. Andrew had been fighting an aggressive cancer for a couple of years. He was one of the toughest humans I have ever known. His family is one of the strongest families I have ever had the honor to know. I cannot possibly walk in their shoes… I hope I never have to. There is not much more I can say except I love them all and hope they can find whatever peace they need to find. As a parent, it is unthinkable to me that I should outlive my children.

Spencer, play a couple of songs for Andrew… in fact, show him how to play the guitar.

Fair winds and following seas you guys… fair winds and following seas!

You will be missed…

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Pages Turn… And Eras Pass

June 6th, 2019 Jorma 18 comments
Mac and I, Seva Benefit at the Beacon May 27, 2011

Mac and I, Seva Benefit at the Beacon May 27, 2011

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I was having dinner with Vanessa in town tonight. Our Izze had a sleepover so we had a date… sort of. I was just tasting my Thai Iced Coffee when I got a text from my old pal Michael Falzarano. The simple gist was that Dr. John The Night Tripper, aka Mac Rebennack had just passed away. I met Mac through Steve Mann in 1964 before my foray into rock ‘n’ roll. Mac and Steve were session players back then and Steve was trying to teach me to read so I could cut the gig too. It wasn’t for me, but we stayed friends. In 1965 when I got into the Airplane and moved to San Francisco on Divisadero between Turk and Eddy I got a call from Steve from the Swiss American Hotel in North Beach where he was bunking with Mac. There was some sort of confrontation between the guys and the police. I think women and drugs sere involved, but I wasn’t there so I can’t swear to it. Anyway, they came to my place and stayed for a couple of days until things cooled off. San Francisco was a very conservative place back then and any bust could turn out to be a major drag.

In any case, years passed. Mac became Dr. John, Steve would live a damaged life and we would all get older. In the late 90’s, I was part of a Seva benefit. Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker were on that show. I was sharing a dressing room with Maria Muldaur, Dr. John and Bob Weir. Mac took me aside and is his raspy voice said, ‘Jorma, I owe you a solid… but I’m not going to tell you what it is.’ I guess I’ll have to wait to find out… I’m not in a rush. Steve Mann passed away but I would see Mac from time to time. He was indeed, the King Of New Orleans Funk! Indeed! I will miss our occasional intersections.

After dinner Nessa and I were over at her sister’s place sitting in my Jeep when I got a call from my friend Mark in Florida. His mom, Madelaine, passed away this afternoon at one hundred and one. Madelaine had lived in Florida for years, but she was a Meigs County girl… one of our own. Any time I would see her when Nessa wasn’t with me she would say, ‘Where is that pretty girl?’ She was a Steel Magnolia… and here’s to her and those like her… damn few left.

So I lost two more friends today and yes I know, sorrow is so selfish, but when the fury of the moment has passed, what is left but love?

We are all losing people… that’s life and I’m not alone. It is an honor for having known the good ones!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags: