Home > Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Hot Tuna, Thoughts > My Wife Said…

My Wife Said…

February 21st, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here I am in St. Paul having just driven in from Green Bay. Nice ride actually… yeah, it’s winter up here but that’s OK. At least it’s not muddy yet. Anyway, my lovely wife, Vanessa, called me when I was on the bus on the ride up here. ‘Are you OK?’ she asked. ‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘Why?’ ‘Well,’ she continued, ‘I was just reading your blog and I thought it seemed a little extreme.’ I thought for a moment. ‘Actually, I didn’t think it was extreme at all.’ I continued. ‘LIke everyone else, I have my flashpoints of recollection too.’ I wasn’t being critical of my online friends’ predilections… I was just pointing out that mine were different.’ She was quiet for a moment. ‘Do you know what I heard when I read that?’ she asked me. I waited. She continued. “I hear that you’re ready to come home.’

Was she ever right. I have now been out for over five weeks and I am ready to come home. By the time the bus pulls into the parking lot at the Fur Peace Ranch on Sunday we will have driven a little over fifteen thousand miles. While I’ve been gone my daughter has grown noticeably… she is more mature… more of a big kid. ‘Ive got plans for you Daddy,’ she proclaims. ‘You’re going to be spending a lot of time with me.’ I look forward to it sweetheart… I look forward to it.

Now my Father was in government service and from WWII on, he was gone much of the time. Sometimes we traveled with him, sometimes not. I am often asked, ‘How do you keep doing this? It must be tough being on the road so much of the time.’ Sometimes if I know the person well enough I will say, ‘It must be tough for you to keep going to the same office every day. How do you do it?’ The answer for both of us is that it’s just what we do. Of course being on the road is how I support myself and my family. I don’t get paid for staying home and self employed people never have days off. A day off is a day of unemployment. Another interesting factor is that aside from paying bills and the like, if I want my playing to be maintained at a standard commensurate with my expectations, I need to work. Practice doesn’t do it for me and the skill disappears far more quickly than it comes.

Those of us in the performing business are always trying to up our game in some way. Some nights are better than others from our point of view. When some loving soul on the road asks me if I remember that gig at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey back in 1972, the answer will probably be ‘No!’ if I’m being honest. I have played many gigs since I started playing them in the late Fifties, and although some are memorable, after a while they just sink into the sea of experience. Of course there is another reality for me as well… Being a musician and an entertainer is what I do, but it does not define who am, and that is as it should be. When I’m on the road… it’s all about the mission. If I’m in my studio at home preparing for a project, it’s about that. When I walk into the yard and close the door to the shop, it’s about home and that is as it should be.

I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’ve been able to support myself and my family all my life doing exactly what I love to do. It truly gets no better than that. Well, actually, there’s more. You folks who show interest in what it is that I do are the frosting on the cake. You have always allowed my friends and I to do pretty much exactly what we want to do… to go where we need to go. Sometimes we are more successful that others… but we are always, always honest and true to our art. You all have allowed and indeed encouraged this and on behalf of my pals, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Wow, what a tome this turned out to. Yeah, I’m ready to go home for a while. Taking out the trash is going to look pretty darned good. Of course, after a bit I’ll be looking forward to heading out on the road again and giving my girls a little peace. Yeah.

This piece was a lot more fun to write then the little addenda I wrote after the Christmas holidays taking the woman to task who was upset that I abbreviated Christmas to Xmas. Wow… first things first!

Thanks you guys out there. You’re the best!


Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Hot Tuna, Thoughts Tags:
  1. Cyndy Consentino
    February 21st, 2013 at 16:46 | #1

    Dear Jorma,

    Beautifully written! We all love you and are so appreciative
    of what you do, and how much of your life you share with us.

    Get home safely, and spend some time with your lovely family!


  2. mutt
    February 21st, 2013 at 16:57 | #2

    Well put Bro. Poignant and to the point. I applaud you, Jack and Barry and let’s not forget the crew and beautiful family, for your tenacity of task.

    Again thank you all.

    The sound tracks you have provided fur my mind will carry me Home fur sure.

    After 29 years of incarceration, running the same route back and forth to the cave, I’m finally up for parole!

    What’s left of the original PI family may diminish one more from the roster soon. Lil Bro (Dog) is not well with the big C. Without thinking about it anymore my family must come into play now. As twilight dawns for yet another of my brothers, I must tend the loving task at hand. Death don’t have no mercy . . .

    As Otto says, prior to my awakening I thought when I was with others, we shared the same experience. Not so. Each has their own experience based on the senses enlivened by the experience. Not everyone’s perspective is the same as mine (Thank God). That is good news.

    Rock On my man and get on home to the family. Hug ’em all and give ’em a scratch behind the ears from the ole mutt.

    Peace and Love to all.


  3. February 21st, 2013 at 17:33 | #3

    Well said.

  4. Jeff
    February 21st, 2013 at 17:33 | #4

    That’s a lot of miles–and a long time away from home!

    Thanks for all you do for the music and fans.

    I am looking forward to the show tonight in Minneapolis!

    Safe travels!

  5. Craig K.
    February 21st, 2013 at 17:39 | #5

    I remember the Capital Theater! Did I ever tell you about the time………..(Just kidding). Sometimes it takes the people that know us best to tell us what we are thinking. Thanks for the laugh. Bless us all!

  6. John R.
    February 21st, 2013 at 17:44 | #6

    You’re very welcome, Jorma. Glad we’ve been able to help. But thank YOU for doing what you’ve done all these years.

  7. Steve Levenson
    February 21st, 2013 at 18:33 | #7

    “….it’s about home and that is as it should be.” and your music have been in ours for close to 40 years now. Thanks!

  8. Barbara Jacobs
    February 21st, 2013 at 18:35 | #8

    Being out on the road can lead to times of deep introspection.

    It’s going to be good to get back home again, Jorma.

    If you ever do write your autobiography, your blog entry above can serve as the perfect introduction.

  9. John S.
    February 21st, 2013 at 18:50 | #9

    Thankyou Jorma, and I’ll add that every penny I have spent supporting you and the Tuna gang have been well worth it. Actually it’s been a bargain compared to what a lot of nowhere near as talented musicians command to sit in some football stadium or hockey rink to hear the same lame setlist everynight. I’ve decided I am not supporting those people anymore, but as long as you and Tuna keep playing I will keep on comin. Thanks again play what ya want and enjoy your family time.

  10. February 21st, 2013 at 19:06 | #10

    Thank you Jorma. You said that you are the luckiest guy in the world. Well, we are the luckiest fans in the world. I truly enjoy reading your blog. Your posting of set lists, comments about the show, comments about being on the road and some philosophy thrown is something that you don’t really “have” to do. But it is very much appreciated and is very unselfish. I don’t know any other fans that have this connection with their favorite musician/group. It is also nice to know that you actually read our comments and once and a while respond.

    Short story: I was really into Hot Tuna until about 1975, when a friend back in high school said hey… I have some tickets to Hot Tuna do you want to go? I said sure.. why not (not really knowing who Hot Tuna was). I am so glad that I said yes… My life might have been different.

  11. Richard Cowles
    February 21st, 2013 at 19:56 | #11

    Just my 2 cents…I did’nt take it that you were taking any woman to task regarding the holiday,actually I thought you were pretty polite in response,Im sure thats still eating at you though.Just my 2 cents.Youre a good guy and you work real hard.Is there much more you can do these days? Enjoy you’re time off. Peace Out…

  12. jim hitchcock
    February 21st, 2013 at 20:35 | #12

    Wonderful. Thanks, Jorma.

  13. Bob Kozyak
    February 21st, 2013 at 21:12 | #13

    Thanks for telling us how you feel in this blog, it’s very much appreciated. Yeah, I’m one of those star struck fans that acted kinda of childish whem me and my buddy first saw you at Fur Peace. I can’t explain the feeling of being in the same room with an icon. We were overcome with a flood of emotions and just started laughing uncontrollably. I tried to bring up the past and you declined to comment, and I understand completely. You have the library at Fur peace and all the memories are there for us to enjoy. I guess I have always been a wanna be hippie and rock star. I almost came out to San Fransico in 71′ chasing my dream but deceided otherwise. Looking back I made the right decision, but I still fantasize about that scene. Maybe, this helps you to understand why some of your fans act the way we do. Please know that in my case it’s out of the utmost admiration. When I left Fur Peace I was suprised you were so humble and such a regular guy. I learned alot more at the ranch then just how to play a guitar better. I had such a great experiance that i returned for a second time and hope to do it again. Everything you have said makes sense and I get it. Keep being who you are, a downed to earth good guy, that just happened to be a rock star. Thanks Jorma, Bob.

  14. Bill Van Iden
    February 21st, 2013 at 21:47 | #14

    Great read, and safe travels home. But I still want to hear about the days at 2400 Fulton Ave!

  15. Jimmy k
    February 21st, 2013 at 22:09 | #15


    You are the best.

  16. Joey hudoklin
    February 21st, 2013 at 23:49 | #16

    Feel so Good Jorma!

  17. Mike Forkin
    February 22nd, 2013 at 00:33 | #17

    Hey Jorma:
    I enjoy reading your blog when I get a chance to do so. I found your current entry quite interesting, thoughtful and enlightening. Thanks for sharing.
    On another note, I want to let you know how much my brother Tim, his lovely wife Lori, my uncle Scott and I enjoyed your recent show at Sweetwater in Mill Valley (first night). In addition to the magic that happened on stage that night, joy was in the air and we carried it around for quite a long time after we left the hall. For that I sincerely thank you and Barry. As you would say, onward!

  18. Joe
    February 22nd, 2013 at 08:14 | #18

    The blog is amazing and so thought-provoking ! Thank you !

  19. Bake
    February 22nd, 2013 at 11:10 | #19

    I can identify with your thoughts and experience whole heartily! There are parts of my life that I probably don’t care to remember, and parts that I
    I just can’t. There are songs and music that only bring back bad memories or just plain bad luck. However, the music that has sustained me thru the good and bad times in my life have been a blessing. Music can heal and help those who have gone thru a tough times. Just listening to all of Levon Helmes music did just that, it helped me thru his passing. I understand that life is fragile and we can be here one second and gone the next. What we do with today is what really counts. I have never been away from my wife and family for more than a week, so I cannot relate with this aspect of your life. In truth, I don’t think I could do it. But as you say, this is how you make your living, one day at a time. Make the most of today everyone, let your loved ones know that they are loved, help those that you can, and enjoy the dance of life!

  20. Mind
    February 22nd, 2013 at 12:16 | #20

    @doug mlyn
    what he said !

  21. Brett
    February 22nd, 2013 at 14:25 | #21

    Sounds like you have figured how to keep it all balanced Jorma. There really is nothing better than that.

    Enjoy the rest of the tour….your family..teaching..the beauty of SE Ohio….mowing your lawn….etc..

    Thanks, as always, for the perspective Jorma


  22. John B
    February 22nd, 2013 at 16:10 | #22

    Next year Steve it will be 40 yrs of “live” Tuna for me and a couple of friends . very much looking to what this year brings! a href=”#comment-13456″>@Steve Levenson

  23. John B
    February 22nd, 2013 at 16:13 | #23

    And to us you are also the best!

  24. Scott Meyers
    February 22nd, 2013 at 16:38 | #24

    JK, Your words of the past two days have been extremely poignant. I respect your privacy and feelings. You’ve given more than your share to the music community than most. You’ve taught thousands your gift both at the ranch, and me personally just through 40 years of shows. I would be reminisce if I didn’t say thank you for sharing your thoughts and your musical gift with us and me. You’ve had an extreme and profound impact on my playing. Enjoy the family, enjoy the time at home, as fans we’ll always be there for the next show. We might age but inside of us is still that heart of an 18 year old. Peace….

  25. John B
    February 22nd, 2013 at 19:02 | #25

    I agree wholeheartedly Joe a href=”#comment-13471″>@Joe

  26. Joanne
    February 23rd, 2013 at 13:58 | #26

    We are all so BLESSED to have you in our life Jorma!

  27. Paul Karp
    February 23rd, 2013 at 14:33 | #27

    Jeff Tamarkin and I have often said to each other that there is a book in you that one day should come out. I enjoy your writing almost as much as your playing, singing and song writing.

    Hope you are homeward bound soon and in the arms of your family!

    See you down the road…

  28. February 27th, 2013 at 13:13 | #28

    Well said… you’re living the dream. It’s stories like yours that keep me pushing. Thanks for sharing… both your posts and your music.