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Keswick Post… Leon & Tuna

January 11th, 2014 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

OK… before I get to the show from the Keswick last night… I just wanted to respond to Ginny. First of all Ginny… thanks for liking us. We wish we had a million of you, but of course, we’re happy with the Tuna Family we have. Last night at the Keswick, we closed the show. At the Variety in Atlanta, we’ll close the show. The other shows on this tour with Leon (unless changes occur) we’ll be going on first. I guess what we’re talking about is realistic expectations. These shows have been advertised for a long time and they have always been co-billed shows. It’s just the nature of this tour. Leon is an important figure in American music but his journey is quite different from ours. One of these days I’m actually going to get off my lazy butt and write a dissertation on my approach to music in general. In a nutshell, as a songwriter and singer… it’s always about the songs. As a guitarist and a player it’s also always about trying to find new insights into old journeys as well as seeking new destinations.

Anyway, Ginny. I get where you’re coming from, I really do. That said, on a co-bill show, two artists get to play and this does not presuppose they will play together. At the Wilbur our contract called for 75 minutes. We did almost 90.

(Sidebar: In 1996 when we were on the first Furthur Festival, Tuna was a thrust stage act which means we played in front of the curtain while the next main act set up behind us. Timing was critical, and I remember one time we went 30 seconds over our allotted time. Mo Morrison, the stage manager, came up to me and said, ‘Jorma, if you ever do that again, you’re off the tour.’ From that moment on, I wore my watch on the inside of my left hand so I could watch the time and always picked an elastic song for the closer in case I had to cut things short.)

Good times.

There’s a sign down at the Birchmere in Virginia on one of the office doors. ‘Music is a business. Learn it.’ There’s lots of stuff we deal with on our side of the stage door that makes our world tick. Normally it does not concern y’all out there in the audience… sometimes it does. Anyway, to get back to expectations. If one were to be looking for two 90 Tuna sets, this is not the show for you. Whether we play 75 minutes, 90 minutes or 3 hours, our heart is always there. More than that no soul can do. OK. Nuff said.

Last night at the Keswick, we did close the show. We love the Keswick… we have been there so many times over the years but I think last night’s performance was one of our very best. Barry’s daughter Tessa sat in with us which I always look forward to. Here is our set list:

Hot Tuna 7, 2014
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Barry Mitterhoff
The Keswick Theater
Glenside, Pennsylvania
Friday, January 10, 2014

1. New Song For The Morning
2. Keep On Trucking Mama
3. Mama Let Me Lay It On You
4. The Terrible Operation with Tessa
5. Children Of Zion with Tessa
6. Big River Blues
7. Come Back Baby
8. Hesitation Blues
9. Prohibition Blues
10. In My Dreams
11. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
12. Good Shepherd
13. How Long Blues
14. I Am The Light Of This World
15. I Know You Rider
16. Encore: Embryonic Journey

This morning we’re off to State College, Pennsylvania where we’re going to play the State Theater. Just us tonight… two sets. Tomorrow, the Birchmere in Virginia when we’ll be back with Leon.

Nothing like an exciting dialogue y’all. Thanks and onward!

Categories: Diary, Hot Tuna, Set Lists, Thoughts, Venues Tags:
  1. Hamneggs
    January 11th, 2014 at 11:59 | #1

    Keep doing what you do. I know I’ll happily be there.
    Thanks for addressing the issue and as for me I don’t bother to boo anybody opening or closing, though I did once boo security at the Beacon for bothering people over smoking weed.
    If the act doesn’t grab me I check out the delectable, reasonably priced Peace Fur Items in the lobby and hang out with friends.
    Peace
    Love All Ways

  2. Rich Alleger
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:07 | #2

    Hello. Been going to Tuna shows since 1971. Never a bad show and I’ll go through anything to get to another set. Thank you Brothers for bringing it each and every time, right down here.

  3. Ginny
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:12 | #3

    Yes Jorma, Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. I have never and will never BOO at a Hot Tuna show. I just have never left wanting, needing more. I love me some double 90’s and will pay attention to who your billed with. Stay warm and dry and keep your lamps burning. We’ll try again next time you tour or maybe get you back for another private show in Oyster Bay!

  4. Barbara
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:13 | #4

    Your show at the Keswick last night was indeed one incredible night. Maybe it was the energy of the audience, maybe it was the billing, maybe it was the music or just maybe it was the undeniable “heart” of the singer/songwriter and fellow musicians. I’ll be looking forward to reading that dissertation. Thanks Jorma and onward!

  5. joe in DC
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:14 | #5

    cool response there jorma
    looking forward to tuna opening tomorrow at birchmere

  6. johno
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:16 | #6

    Sometimes Jack & Jorma don’t call the shots. They show up and play their hearts out. It was co-billed w/ Leon, so you kinda had to expect him to also play.
    The problem is we all want more Tuna!

  7. Paul
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:35 | #7

    You should include that “dissertation” in your autobiography. You have a lot to say. You’re a wonderful writer. There are many who would love that book. Do it! :-)

  8. John R.
    January 11th, 2014 at 12:38 | #8

    Ditto Paul’s comments above, #6. You need to write your memoirs, Jorma.

  9. Sharon Mushock
    January 11th, 2014 at 13:21 | #9

    I sooo wanted to be there last nite, you were not that far away. We were there for the Bethlehem show in December… Amazing. Glad to hear the show went well in Glenside. Just want to tell you I listen to you guys when i paint, you are a big part of my inspiration to create and let go of all the stress in my head. Your words and music take me places and let me paint. Loved this post. You are well written Sir.

  10. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 14:19 | #10

    “co-billed shows” are and have always been as Jorma describes.
    If that show had been advertised as : “Hot Tuna featuring Leon”, it would have been reasonable to expect them to play an entire show together. Or even have Leon sit in on most of the show.

    The music business involves contractual agreements, so does the concert business.
    Set timing, curfues, are part of those agreements.
    An extra 15 minutes of Tuna is a delicious dessert bonus for that particular night’s dinner.

    I’m known for expressing my opinion that:’ “it’s all good” when it comes to music and live performance. That may be because I spent my pre-teen years seeing shows at The Fillmore East, where Bill Graham served up a mixture of performers. On any given night, Rock bands (The San Francisco Sound bands were sometimes co-billed with English rockers)or Jazz, Folk, Blues, Gospel, Country and Big Band such as Duke Ellington.
    Woody Herman and His Orchestra were co-billed with the opener, Led Zeppelin and followed by the closing act: Delaney&Bonnie.
    The bills and the audiences were so up for the experience of something different.
    So much so that, in mid-Feb.1969 I was excited to hear that The Small Faces would be on a bill with Jeff Beck for two nights. Well, whatever the reason:
    The Small Faces were replaced by the band “Winter” and Sam&Dave replaced Jeff Beck on that first bill. The next night, “Winter” returned and Chuck Berry replaced Jeff Beck. The Fillmore audience had already been treated to Jeff Beck, who was co-billed with the Grateful Dead (the Dead opened, Jeff Beck followed, for two nights in mid-June 1968).

    That’s just a sampling of the co-billings at The Fillmore East.
    The audience never complained and Bill never explained.
    We came, saw, heard , experienced and left happy to be fed such an eclectic menu.

  11. Steve Singer
    January 11th, 2014 at 14:27 | #11

    Jorma, thanks for playing In My Dreams. Nice song. As for booing, Tuna crowds in the early 70s were notoriously hard on opening acts. But I remember one Philly show in 72 or 73 the opening act was LArry Coryell’s Eleventh House. The booing stopped after the first few notes. Then you guys came out came out with really short hair. The crowd was stunned. Great Kewsick show as always. I’ve seen you since 1968. Keep on truckin!

  12. mutt
    January 11th, 2014 at 15:39 | #12

    You guys rock regardless. I haven’t seen Leon since ‘74 or ‘75 and am really looking forward to the Plaza show.

    Expectations are premeditated resentments in the book I read and therefore may lead me to the valley of the shadow of death. Needn’t go there.

    Rock On Brothers & Sisters!
    Life is still a Love Song. Ask Leon ///

    Love and Peace Fur All

    mutt

  13. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 15:41 | #13

    Deepak Chopra?@mutt

  14. mutt
    January 11th, 2014 at 15:47 | #14

    Big Book and Good Book
    @BJ

  15. jim hitchcock
    January 11th, 2014 at 16:16 | #15

    Whoa, the Dead & Jeff Beck? Heaven.

  16. Joey Hudoklin
    January 11th, 2014 at 17:08 | #16

    @mutt
    Love it, Mutt

  17. Gary
    January 11th, 2014 at 18:32 | #17

    Hey Jorma, I was at the Wilbur show (and left a comment which apparently did not make past moderator). Hot Tuna was fantastic. I knew you were opening, so obviously a single set. Thanks for going past set time! Fantastic sound in the Wilbur, please come back there (rather than Somerville). As I was watching you that night I realized it’s been just about 40 freakin years since I first saw Tuna, acoustic no less, in early May 1974 at the Academy of Music. Where I ended up seeing all 4 shows in 2 nights. A pattern that would repeat. Anyhow, I enjoyed the show at the Wilbur just as much as those first shows.

  18. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 19:44 | #18

    o.k., it’s a very good book (both Old and New).@mutt

  19. johno
    January 11th, 2014 at 19:55 | #19

    @Gary
    I remember those shows back in ‘74 at the Academy fer sure. Those were the days my friend. You had to have been there, remember the mezzanine lobbies between the early and late shows…those were the days

  20. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 19:59 | #20

    @jim hitchcock

  21. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 20:09 | #21

    What happened to my comment? Oy, middle-age!
    Two nights/two shows each:
    the Dead opened and Jeff Beck followed.
    It was in June and only a month after our young boychiks played:
    Jefferson Airplane opened, Crazy World of Arthur Brown followed.
    Jefferson Airplane returned, later in July. (co-billed with H.P. Lovecraft.)

    I made some notes about it in my diary but can’t read them because they are covered in chocolate ice cream stains (or maybe it was chopped liver).@Barbara Jacobs

  22. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 20:20 | #22

    P.S.: I almost convinced my dad to come see those shows (he, the Big Band loving fan and country music/Hank Williams fan).
    He liked Jefferson Airplane and listened to their LPs.
    He asked me: “How are they making those sound-effects?”
    I replied: “Dad, that’s Jorma, playing guitar.”
    Dad replied: “Wow — FAR OUT!”, in the parlance of the day.

  23. George Marinos
    January 11th, 2014 at 20:54 | #23

    Something was special about the Keswick performance. Leon was also fantastic. Jorma and Barry, thank you for your kindness at breakfast this morning at the hotel. You are not only world class musicians but world class people too. Travel safe during your tour.

  24. jim hitchcock
    January 11th, 2014 at 21:18 | #24

    Am I correct in thinking that big band & R & R have a strong connection in their improvisational roots?

    Anyway, a great album for Tuna fans is Neck & Neck, a collaboration of Mark Knofler and Chet Atkins. Play it back to back with Blue Country Heart.

  25. Rob
    January 11th, 2014 at 22:31 | #25

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion….just want to say thanks to Jorma & Jack for rockin’ my world for the last 40 years. Really gonna miss it when it’s over which I hope is years down the road. Happy New Year to the boys.

  26. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 22:57 | #26

    @jim hitchcock
    Jazz and Rock. Big band was a bit loose, although constrained somewhat in the time they had to do each show. Nazi subs were trolling, just off the coast of New York and Long Island. Air-raid shelters were established in the basements of residential and office buildings. Many clubs (including the “21 Club” had shelters in the basement (in the case of the 21 Club, the shelter was converted, post-war, to a wine cellar. It was a Speakeasy, back in Prohibition days.

    @jim hitchcock
    Mark and Chet Atkins: you know your music, Jim!

  27. Barbara Jacobs
    January 11th, 2014 at 23:06 | #27

    “Romeo and Juliet”: a Dire Straits classic. Most beautiful mood music: lyrics
    and atmospheric in every way. @jim hitchcock

  28. Dom Arruzzo
    January 11th, 2014 at 23:58 | #28

    I was at the keswick show. It was great. Leon was much better than when I saw him with tuna last summer in New Brunswick, nj. Hey jorma, I was lucky enough to get a set list after the show. Why did you drop serpent of dreams? I love that song and would have loved to hear it. Thanx for signing my poster after the show.

  29. jim hitchcock
    January 12th, 2014 at 00:07 | #29

    Ah, such a beautiful song.

    Neck to Neck could also be called Grin to Grin. The joy, the friendly pushing on of each other that Chet and Mark felt is so apparent on this recording.

    Hah, turning this blog into Musical Thoughts. Grateful, Jorma.

  30. Joey Hudoklin
    January 12th, 2014 at 00:22 | #30

    @Rob
    Morbid. Try not to live in or dwell on the wreckage of a future without HT.
    I am just so grateful they’re here now.

  31. Barbara Jacobs
    January 12th, 2014 at 01:42 | #31

    Ah, yes indeed!@jim hitchcock

  32. Art
    January 12th, 2014 at 18:29 | #32

    It could only be from sheer, pathetic ignorance that one could bring forth the blinding chutspah to tell a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (and a total gentleman) that his 30 seconds of stage overtime would result in his being dismissed from the Further tour – a tour that conceptually would not even exist had this particular performer not lent his innovation and integrity and professionalism to the music business for 50 (!) freaking years. Mr. Morrison, wherever you are, I believe you owe Mr. Kaukonen, et al., a hearty apology while bowing as low as the human anatomy permits.

  33. chuck newman
    January 12th, 2014 at 23:09 | #33

    @Barbara Jacobs Yes I agree on Romeo and Juliet. The performance from Night in London is stunning. Emotionally so overpowering for me as a man since I ‘ve had my “Juliet” as I’m sure many others have. I’m also sure that a woman would love to explain about what it feels like to have a man love you with such intensity and yet it is brought to an end.

  34. January 12th, 2014 at 23:49 | #34

    Hey Art

    Whereas I appreciate your sentiments and your support, business is business and the show’s gotta go on time as much as possible. I learned a lesson in professionalism that day that I hold dear to the present. I wouldn’t intentionally run over my time on a show today unless I wanted to show disrespect to the show itself. Just sayin’

    Be well

    jorma

  35. Art
    January 13th, 2014 at 02:46 | #35

    Hey Jorma: Understood. I am not in the entertainment business, and must admit that I do not know what pressures are bearing down on people running these shows (I do know that fines for overtime exist in some venues). I guess I was just a bit stunned at hearing of such a sharply worded threat to a long-time professional for what sounds to me like a relatively minor transgression. But perhaps 30 seconds on stage is a bigger deal than I realize. I know it’s an eternity on television. I apologize to Mr. Morrison, wherever he is, for my needlessly harsh comment – about what sounded to me like a needlessly harsh comment of his!

  36. John B
    January 13th, 2014 at 12:22 | #36

    I hope no one booed Leon. I have seen him a few times over the last several years and enjoyed his show very much. I decided at the last minute to sit Keswick out due to the possibility of freezing rain and the idea that Tuna was opening the show. Big mistake on my part after looking at that set list and some of the comments posted here. Though I would like to make every show I just can’t. So glad that we still have Hot Tuna giving us what I have always known to be the finest music in the world. Until next time……..

  37. Mike Anderson
    January 13th, 2014 at 14:13 | #37

    I think everyone should take a moment and do a little research on Leon Russell and absorb the contributions he’s made to the music world, the number of bands and musicians he’s influenced and the many songs he’s written that were used by others. Several years back I ran into the same issue with Hot Tuna sharing the bill with Leon and I wrote back to the Tuna webpage, this site was not on line at that time, expressing my disappointment with the show, I was thinking Leon would open for Tuna. Anyway, I received a very nice reply from Vanessa Kaukonen reminding me of the contributions Leon had made and it also reminded me of some great albums with him i.e. “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” is one that pops righ back up. Also was informed that Lean was very sick at that time and then eveyone sort of heard about his illness through Elton John and that story, quite a story too! So please take the time to look at some of these other artists still out there putting out their music and how hard they work at what they love. Hey, 30 seconds late? Same as illegally recording a Jorma show, you’re cutting into their income. Respect it!

  38. Billy A
    January 13th, 2014 at 19:10 | #38

    @Hamneggs
    Hey Jorma – so glad to know you will be closing at the Variety. Thank you kindly for the inside info. We LOVE our Tuna in ATL even with no vocals (I was there that night!). Looking forward to HFT in ATL and hoping we get the 90 minute extendo set… Seems like you always pack a lil’ something special for the Variety gigs – I recall sets with multiple encores…

  39. Barbara Jacobs
    January 15th, 2014 at 19:44 | #39

    That is why those small, Manhattan outside spaces are described in real estate listings as a : “Juliet balcony”.
    There’s no room for relaxing out there on a lounge chair, or even a normal size beach chair. Just enough room for two people to stand, close together and maybe have a hug and share a kiss.”
    @chuck newman