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Bend, Oregon… Roger Perkins And Things That Might Have Been

February 10th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hot Tuna headed back to the Tower Theater in Bend, Oregon. This was a make up date for the one we had to cancel in August due to family illness. What a beautiful hall this is.

what a beauty...

what a beauty...

You know one thinks of life’s little intersections… happenstance occurrences that change one’s life. In 1963 or thereabouts I was hanging out at the Offstage in San Jose and playing there as much as they would allow. I was known as Jerry Kaukonen back then… I hadn’t yet shed the nickname and returned to Jorma… but that is another story. Anyway, I pair of folksingers Roger Perkins, and Larry Hanks were booked into the place and of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. This was a simpler time when they enjoyment of folk music in all it’s guises was the quintessential form of entertainment. Roger tuned his guitar to drop D and played Good Shepherd. I flipped when I heard it and had Roger show it to me. I found out later that the author of the tune is Jimmy Struthers and the original title is Blood Strained Banders. Yeah, there’s a Klan metaphor there… but that’s another story too. Anyway… that moment when Roger showed me not only Good Shepherd but the drop D tuning changed my musical life. Now, I now I would have played music anyway, but this moment definitely changed my life. Interestingly enough, I never saw Roger again… never really got to thank him for this gift. I couple of years ago i was looking for him on the Web and found that he had just passed away. Gone but not forgotten brother… I couldn’t have done it without you.

What a fortuitous moment! Anyway, here is our set list from tonight:

Hot Tuna 2, 2013
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Barry Mitterhoff
Tower Theater
Bend, Oregon
Saturday, February 9, 2013
First Set:
1. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
2. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Things That Might Have Been
5. I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave
6. How Long Blues
7. Goodbye To The Blues
8. Barbecue King
9. River Of Time
10. Prohibition Blues
11. True Religion
12. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning
Second Set:
1. I See The Light
2. Heart Temporary
3. Candy Man
4. Come Back Baby
5. Vicksburg Stomp
6. Good Shepherd
7. Full Go Round
8. 99 Year Blues
9. I Am The Light of This World
10. I Know You Rider
11. Encore: Genesis

Of to Portland tomorrow… now to bed with thoughts of what is and what might have been!

  1. Richard Cowles
    February 10th, 2013 at 04:47 | #1

    Great story for you to share all these years later.Some of the things you have done in the key of D have made me feel the same,and they all came off vinyl that I still have with all there skips and scratches.Sea weed strut comes to mind right off.Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Cyndy Consentino
    February 10th, 2013 at 10:27 | #2

    Dear Jorma,
    What a wonderful story, and very interested in the story
    of Jerry to Jorma!
    Love hearing these stories, keep them coming’


  3. carlo pagliano
    February 10th, 2013 at 11:16 | #3

    Eureka Jorma!
    Your written set lists, already shocking by themselves like the forces operating in history, acquire even more vigour in our imagination and appear with their proper contour lines when after having attentively read the titles down to the anchor, you leave your eyes bounce back upward through the titles to the opening song again, what a shaking thrill JormA! Can you ask anything better for the opening of your glorious Sunday morning? Y€$, grind your Fur Peace Ranch coffee in the old sticky wooden coffee grinder ma received from grandma and your room is so censed, high tea at five this afternoon with Vanessa Lillian’s Rockin’ Girl Grey Tea and the evening becomes a very special great event, on the wall the concert at the Beacon for Jorma’s 70th Birthday Celebration gives life to all this, and if your cell rings let the auto-answering deal with it, unless it’s Jorma Himself. It’s not always like that like we are not on earth forever, but it’s vital it happens at least once (and for all).
    Thanks Jorma for the opportunity, this incommensurable joy is shared as a prayer with the inhabitants of the East Coast on this same Sunday.

  4. Hamneggs
    February 10th, 2013 at 12:59 | #4

    Remember a “few” years ago at the Bottom Line in NYC hearing you play it for the first time live. My wife had given me a white rose and at the the songs end I tossed it on the stage in gratitude.
    Always loved the song didn’t think you could you could somehow make me appreciate it more but your posting and tie in today did just that. I’ll certainly add it to” Drinking Gourd” and “Gimmie cracked corn” (thank you Pete Seeger) when I teach United States History to my students.
    Peace and Love all ways.

  5. Robert
    February 10th, 2013 at 15:20 | #5

    I heard you were also known as “Blind Lemon Jefferson Airplane” back then…. but that is another story! 😉

    And your story on Good Shepherd is a fine example of the “folk process”.

    Maybe one of these days you could write your memoirs of that time. It would be a fascinating read.


  6. Alison Vickery
    February 10th, 2013 at 15:48 | #6

    Great show and such an auditory treat for little ole’ Bend! Thanks.

  7. February 10th, 2013 at 17:48 | #7

    Hey Robert… sorry to say, you would be wrong. The name was Blind Thomas Jefferson Airplane although it never saw the light of days outside the ken of the three amigos, the other two of which were: Tom Hobson, Blind Outrage, Steve Mann, Li’l Son Goldfarb and the creator of those names, Richmond Talbott. Except for me… they are all gone now, may they rest in peace!


  8. Richard Cowles
    February 10th, 2013 at 19:17 | #8


    Thanks brother…All is good and clear in the east…

  9. Robert
    February 10th, 2013 at 19:39 | #9


    Yes. My mistake. I surely don’t want to complicate that story anymore than it already has been!

    Thanks Jorma.

  10. MARK
    February 10th, 2013 at 20:55 | #10



  11. Barbara Jacobs
    February 10th, 2013 at 22:20 | #11

    On another note:
    Please tune into The Grammy Awards, if you aren’t already watching it on your tee-vee.

    A nice tribute to Levon Helm is coming up.

    Also: “Love For Levon” is on next Sunday night, on the cable channel: AXS (8pm Eastern standard time.)
    The DVD of the concert will be released in March.
    Amazon is taking pre-orders for it now.

    Thanks to you all for your love and devotion to Jorma and Levon.

  12. February 10th, 2013 at 23:11 | #12

    Shine on Roger! How bout playing Good Shepherd for my buddy “Murph” at the Triple Door tommorrow night. Thanks…”Feed my Sheep.”

  13. Barbara Jacobs
    February 11th, 2013 at 02:18 | #13

    Follow-up to the “Love For Levon” benefit concert:

    I don’t know if it was mixed-down, post-production; but a guy standing a couple of rows behind me, yelled-out a “HOT F’ING TUNA!!!” during Jorma’s performance.

    My seat was stage-right,14th row on the inside aisle, you were close behind me.
    You know who you are.
    Thankfully, you only outbursted it once.
    Otherwise, I would have “SHUSSH”-ed” you, reminding you that the concert was being filmed for future T.V. video broadcast.

  14. Joe in DC
    February 11th, 2013 at 12:05 | #14

    But Barbara Jacobs………..
    it was only one Hot Fing Tuna
    TV can handle it

  15. Barbara Jacobs
    February 11th, 2013 at 13:52 | #15

    It was you, JOE!!!

  16. February 11th, 2013 at 15:53 | #16

    speaking of Random HFT, I happened to purchase the New year’s show of Furthur from the Bill Graham (2011) and the opening song “The Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion” Right before it starts someone yells out loud and clear “Hot Fucking Tuna.” My brother who is a huge deadhead/furthur fan.. asked me if I was at the show when he heard the HFT.

  17. sean murphy
    February 11th, 2013 at 16:52 | #17

    Welcome back Jack! See you tonight at the triple door
    Looking for a great show as usual

  18. Joe in DC
    February 11th, 2013 at 17:08 | #18

    Hah Barb….me????
    I would never use such language…
    It pained me even to write such a thing

  19. Barbara Jacobs
    February 11th, 2013 at 18:38 | #19

    Joe, I’ve been laughing out loud all day at your reply!

    I know it’s difficult to hold a “HFT” in, so I understand why you let it rip out,

    It’s just that Jorma was playing a quiet, emotional instrumental when you let it rip.

    We shall see and hear if your “HFT” made it into the mix,
    next Sunday night on the AXS cable t.v. broadcast.
    If so, you’ll want to order many DVD’s of the concert from Amazon.

  20. jim hitchcock
    February 11th, 2013 at 21:04 | #20


    A real gem of an album was released in ’79 and called `The Legend of Jesse James’. with Charlie Daniels, Emmylou Harris, and Albert Lee, among others. A few years later, in a movie with Wilford Brimley called `End Of The Line’, Levon sung a couple of bars from `One More Shot’.

    I’ve gotta get this on CD!

  21. Barbara Jacobs
    February 11th, 2013 at 21:48 | #21

    @jim hitchcock
    Thanks Jim:
    You are a fount of information on this topic.

    Stay tuned on Sunday night for “Love For Levon”.
    Jorma’s performance was beautiful, very heartfelt and touching.

  22. Joe in DC
    February 12th, 2013 at 06:14 | #22

    it was not me….cross my heart and u know the rest…
    I was just playing…thats me..
    Having made you laugh all day though is worth the joking around.
    However, I have blurted out HFT in the past at various shows you know………….

  23. George Henn
    February 12th, 2013 at 10:04 | #23

    All of this HFT talk reminds me of the electric set on 11-26-77 at the Palladium in NYC, when sax player Bob Roberts sported a rather bold HFT tee shirt while on stage with the band, clearly visible even from the cheap seats…anybody got a photo?

  24. February 12th, 2013 at 11:21 | #24

    @George Henn
    There are some photos of that show on Tunabase.com, if you go to the setlist section on that date. Even a picture of Bob Roberts, but you can’t make out the HFT shirt. Also, some cool newspaper spots of various shows from back in the day.


  25. February 12th, 2013 at 11:25 | #25

    @ George Henn
    There is also a newspaper clipping of an article about Hot Tuna, which is really funny. Especially the part which said Hot Tuna Fans are made up of 17 year olds in army jackets with pints of jack daniels in their pocket. Also remarked how Hot Tuna had sold out 3 shows at the Palladium, but never had a hit single. And that they were really an underground band. I bet you he is eating his/her words now!

  26. jim hitchcock
    February 12th, 2013 at 12:01 | #26

    It’s set to record, Barbara :). Thanks for letting me know!

  27. chuck newman
    February 12th, 2013 at 15:36 | #27

    I think it might be fun if Jorma and Jack could round up a few of whoever is left that used to do some of the old light shows and let them “perform” a few numbers with the band. Many might think that the Tuna music doesn’t lend itself to that but I’ve been watching old videos of groups from my youth and it really does fit. Once these originals are gone nobody is going to remember exactly how it was really done.

  28. George Henn
    February 12th, 2013 at 17:00 | #28

    Thanks Doug for the Tunabase link. That’s gotta be the infamous tee shirt. I remember now that the HFT in big block letters was on the back of his shirt, not the front.
    As for the newspaper clipping, the writer overlooked that for in order for 12,000 fans to attend, a 4th show needed to be added, which turned out to be the late show the on Friday 11/25, after the first 3 shows had sold out. The Palladium only held 3,000 people. So Hot Tuna, the “underground band” had 4 sellouts in 2 nights!

  29. Hamneggs
    February 12th, 2013 at 17:08 | #29

    @doug mlyn
    The Premiere Punk Band. I love that article from Village Voice

  30. Joe in DC
    February 12th, 2013 at 19:02 | #30

    JD in their pockets…well true, hah if they only knew

  31. Barbara Jacobs
    February 12th, 2013 at 20:33 | #31

    Okay, okay, okay:

    it wasn’t you that night. If you say so.
    If the real “HFT”er stands up here to admit to the “HFT” in question:
    it’s all good.
    You know who you are, you (and your friends) know the sound of your voice.
    So you may be heard on the “Love For Levon” AXS show and the DVD.

  32. Barbara Jacobs
    February 12th, 2013 at 20:33 | #32

    Enjoy it, Jim!

  33. Joe in DC
    February 12th, 2013 at 21:23 | #33

    U r forgiven Barb

  34. Barbara Jacobs
    February 12th, 2013 at 21:35 | #34

    Joe: For what, do you forgive me?
    I forgive the “HFT”er of the blurt-out-Loud during that Jorma performance.
    No problem, it was only one VERY LOUD “HFT”.

    Had the “HFT”er continued, I would have jumped back a few rows, over as many seats needed , to wrestle him to the ground.

  35. Joe in DC
    February 13th, 2013 at 11:26 | #35

    Barb;hah..now you got me laughing

  36. John B
    February 13th, 2013 at 12:20 | #36

    @George Henn
    I was at that show George . I dont’t think i missed any of the Academy of Music/ Palladium shows of that era. Is that the one george where Jorma came out wearing the red; white; and blue fringed vest? Where either Jack or Jormas mom came out onto the stage? Same show or three seperate ones?

  37. eaglesteve
    February 13th, 2013 at 16:35 | #37

    Jorma, Jack & Tuna Nation:
    If you want to hear a very talented violinist go to youtube and search “tanya & dorise”. I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras and spent hours listening to her on a street corner. I dug Tuna with Papa John, and dig Larry Campbell playing violin with you all, but I’d love to hear Tanya with the band. She can do it all. Well. Why she’s not more well known escapes me. Nuf’ said.

  38. stein-arne hval
    February 13th, 2013 at 16:58 | #38

    Hej Jorma! World speed skating championship 2013 16-17 feb. Hamar, Norway. Little Feat on tour in Norway as well. They will “promenade” Hamar too! Maybe they will play your great tune in your absence? 🙂 sah

  39. jim hitchcock
    February 13th, 2013 at 18:53 | #39

    Norway gets Tripe Faced Boogied!

  40. February 13th, 2013 at 23:32 | #40

    When I first heard Jefferson Airplane’s cover of Good Shepherd, I was floored. To tis day it remains one of my favorite tunes, but I could never figure out the meaning of the lyrics. For all these years I had the vague idea that they were about ’50s McCarthyism. Thanks for sharing this story and cluing me in.

  41. Casey
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:47 | #41

    @George Henn 4 sold out shows in 2 nights. 12000 thousand tix sold ,but not exactly 12000 individuals. I can attest to at least 3 people that were at all four.I guess we were the “17(actually 18/19) yr olds in army jackets with the Jack Daniels” LOL I know we weren’t the only crew who did most if not all that weekends shows. Nothing like 14th St.@ 5:30a.m.! Great “trip” down memory lane for those of us who have survived!

  42. John B
    February 15th, 2013 at 20:52 | #42

    Driving down the Turnpike watching the sun come up Casey. What a blast they were eh? We made them all. That mens room downstairs used to get out of control didn’t it? @Casey

  43. Casey
    February 16th, 2013 at 09:40 | #43

    @John B You mean the “unisex” facilities with the party room lobby,and the ride home on the PATH train! Quite an experience!

  44. John B
    February 19th, 2013 at 12:47 | #44

    Thats the one Casey!

  45. June 15th, 2014 at 12:08 | #45

    Larry Hanks would love to be in touch. We have lots of recordings of him and Roger Perkins. Will be on the East Coast touring this fall Sept/Oct. Will you be around? Can send his latest recordings if you supply shipping address. Warm regards, Deborah Robins (Hanks) for Larry Hanks