Another County Heard From

I’m obviously home since I’m finding time to have on line fun with the blog. As I mentioned the other day, life is indeed a funny old dog and you never know how folks are going to react to anything you say or do. What has prompted this entry is this comment that popped up on Facebook. No… I’m not on Facebook… someone sent it to me… thank you very much!

Last Saturday night Jack Casady, Barry Mitterhoff and myself played an acoustic trio show at the Fur Peace Station… the first concert of the first camp of the 15th year. Now… after being on the road for a month the boys and I were really sharp… I thought we nailed everything… blah blah blah. In other words I had a really great time. Well… what do I know? My opinion, like everyone else’s, does indeed fall into the, ‘Another county heard from,’ category. A comment popped up on the wall of the Fur Peace Ranch Facebook site that went like this:

‘Went to the opening concert on March 17. Hot Tuna was anything but hot. If I had known they were going to call it in I wouldn’t have driven 300 miles to see them. I like the mandolin but not over the enjoyment of two world class guitarist(s) (sic). I was set up. I just kept wishing they were about to rally play for us. Wishing never made it happen. I fell back to sleep.’

Wow… What do I know? As I have said before, opinions are like, well you know. Everyone’s got one… me too. But this one made me reflect a little on my place in the musical world. I was telling my class over the weekend how lucky Jack and I are that our fans allow us to grow and change. Even Embryonic Journey has mutated over the years. If I wanted to play it like I did on Surrealistic Pillow, I would have to go to the original recording and learn in the same was that any guitarist would. Now personally, I am very satisfied with our collective musical incarnation today. I play better than I did when I was younger and I must immodestly say that I wasn’t bad back then. My musical ideas continue to evolve and by the grace of G_d, I don’t have to be a self involved tribute band to my own ‘Greatest Moments.’ 🙂

I am almost at a loss for words… and those of you who know me know what a rare event that is. All I can say is that Hot Tuna NEVER calls ‘calls in a show!’ Never… I know… because I’m always there! Well, I heard somewhere that it isn’t my business what people think of me and I know that’s true. Just personally thought this observations was from so far out in left field that I wondered if we were at the same show. Maybe I don’t make enough guitar faces… I don’t know.

I guess I would just like to say to the woman who posted the above comment, ‘Sorry we disappointed you dear. We did the best we could.’

Another county heard from… me.

  1. Brett
    March 22nd, 2012 at 13:08 | #1

    First got introduced to Hot Tuna by a Woodstock Veteran Bass player named Tom I started jamming with…We even worked out a version of Been So Long together (which, now that I really know how to play it thanks to Breakdownway….was SOOOO wrong)…Tom moved away after a couple of years, and I kinda set Hot Tuna aside…..

    Until about 8 years ago, I was mainly an electric guitar picker…Had played guitar since about 1975, when I was 15……And I was sure in a picking “rut” at that time……BORED to death with my playing….felt like I had not grown as a musician in years

    In the Spring of 2004 my son Matt talked me into going to Merlefest…..I knew Hot Tuna was one of the acts, so I went with to finally see them live….Even though “Bluegrass” (which I thought was gonna be the Merlefest vibe) was not my thing, I figured some Smokin’ Hot Tuna would be worth the trip

    Drove up into the Blue Ridge foothills in a pounding rain on that fateful Saturday, hoping to get to the venue by the noonish time of Hot Tuna’s set on the Watson Stage….

    We made it JUST in time and set down in our seats with ONLY a light mist still falling….hmmmmm…..That’s Hot Tuna huh ?? With a mandolin player ????..HUH??…….K……I’ll keep an open mind…..but, this ain’t the Hot Tuna I was expecting!!!!!

    Well, That Hot Tuna set WAS Smokin’ hot!!!! It was a Born Again musical experience for me…..I spent the rest of the day continuing to soak in what I quickly learned was the pure JOY of unplugged, wooden music….Doc Watson, Sam Bush, Roy Bookbinder just to name a few…..I don’t think my feet touched the ground that whole day after Tuna’s set….

    I’ve been mainly an acoustic picker ever since and the boredom has never returned……I still have an “electric” band I’ve been with for many years, but Hot Tuna turned my head towards a path I’m soooo glad I took….

    Thanks guys!!! Keep on doin’ just what yer din’

  2. Steve Singer
    March 23rd, 2012 at 11:01 | #2

    Jorma, I’ve been seeing you perform since JA played at Philly’s Electric Factory in 1968. Never seen you “phone it in”. Truth be told, my favorie HT album still is America’s Choice, but I enjoy the acoustic music too. Your show a coule weeks ago at the Keswick was great. You can’t please everybody. As long as you, Jack, Barry & whoever else is in the band is still playing, we’ll be there for you whether you’re rocking or pickin & grinnin. Steady as she goes!

  3. Kathy
    March 27th, 2012 at 18:36 | #3

    Ditto on the “Wow!” March 17th happens to be my birthday, and was more than willing to drive down from NYC to the show. Guess this babe took my seat because the show was sold out. Instead, I am driving down for the August acoustic show with you and Jack and the Persuasions. Anything you and Jack want to play is just fine by me. Acoustic. Electric. Solo. With or without other musicians. You never cease to surprise and amaze me. You keep playing. I’ll keep coming. Not to sleep, either. Kathy

  4. Craig
    March 30th, 2012 at 01:35 | #4

    I had to leave early cause I’m dealing with some serious health issues, but you guys rocked!!! Seen HT many times and it gets better everytime. Any person who did not like the show is fine, just leaves one more ticket for a solid fan next year. Keep playing what’s in your heart, cuz it fills my heart as well.

  5. Matt D
    April 11th, 2012 at 03:30 | #5

    Been a Tuna fan since 1975. I live in the NY Metro area and never miss a show. Just got my copy of Jorma’s 70th Birthday Bash on DVD. Watched it from beginning to end as soon as I got it. I’m so happy to own this piece of history… it’s a gem and a must for any music fan. Looking forward to this June’s shows in New Jersey.. and of course… The Beacon!!!

  6. Mac
    April 30th, 2012 at 15:28 | #6

    I’m totally amazed at the opinion of this clearly mentally arthritic twit who thinks Tuna “phoned in” a show. Hey, Baby? It’s 2012, not 1969. What do you expect, Grace and Marty and Paul and Jorma and Jack jumping around onstage gulping acid and playing “White Rabbit”, while the black lights and strobes shine in your face? I saw Tuna twice in 2009, and I didn’t see any evidence of “phoning”. Does this person know anything about music?

    I’m pretty sure Jorma and Jack have done more than enough for music over the last four decades, and they’re still going strong, in my opinion. Now, if they would just play a double bill with Robin Trower…

  7. Craig
    June 22nd, 2012 at 16:26 | #7

    I’ve never understood people who go to a show WANTING to hear a musician play their records. To me a recording is a single performance, a frozen moment of how that musician played that tune at that moment. I connect with a musician’s music for many, many reasons – but most enjoyably – to get to be a fellow traveler on their musical journey – which on that note, thank you Jorma and HT for what has always been and continues to be a hell of a ride!

    And for what it’s worth brother – I wasn’t at the show this person complained about – but if it was even half as good as your performance at the Melting Point in Athens, GA last November — and If that’s “phoning it in,” you guys can call me anytime, day or night —LOL.

    Play on brother, play on!

  8. trisha
    March 21st, 2015 at 07:35 | #8

    Hi Jorma,
    I do enjoy reading your blog and the comments ! I’m catching up since I only discovered this wonderful site a few weeks ago. It’s 3/21/15 now . As for the comment from the woman, I think she is young . When I was checking out your dates & saw you were coming to Long Island this summer at the Great South Bay Concerts some “woman” made a comment about not having BB King again, something about he’s for the geriatric ! Mark Twain said it best,youth is wasted on the young. Wonder if it was the same woman ? Your writings are beautiful, I’ve laughed & cried , wish they were in a book so I could carry around and read when I’m not hooked up to my laptop .
    Peace & Love

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