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Damn Few Left

January 29th, 2016 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

Here’s to us, and those like us… damn few left…

Signe, Jorma & Paul in happier times

Signe, Jorma & Paul in happier times

We knew yesterday that Paul had suffered a grievous heart attack and probably wasn’t going to make it. We all hoped for better news, but it just wasn’t to be.

Paul and I were old friends. Bob Kinzie introduced me to him when I was in Santa Clara in ‘62. Our commonality was always the music and whatever it took to make it happen. We all played the same little dusty, smoky rooms… struggled to be heard over the hiss of espresso machines… and loved every moment of it. When Paul enticed me into joining what would become Jefferson Airplane, we rehearsed relentlessly. When we went on the road in the beginning we couch surfed together. No one could afford hotels. We shared food… we shared cars… we had one heart.

The Airplane was an amazing aggregate of personalities and talent. That we could all coexist in the same room was amazing. That we could function together and make the lasting art that we did was nothing short of a miracle. In my opinion Paul was the catalyst that made the alchemy happen. He held our feet to the flame. He could be argumentative and contentious… he could be loving and kind… his dedication to the Airplane’s destiny as he saw it was undeniable. Over the years he and I occasionally butted heads over things that seem trivial today. I was so pleased last year when he accepted my dinner invitation when I was in San Francisco and indeed we rediscovered our friendship.

After all those journeys together in the beginning… the different paths our lives took as we got older and all the water under the bridge made us all one in a way that no one who wasn’t there could ever understand. We shared water from the same well. In Heinlein parlance, we were indeed water brothers. We were all on fire in a fiery time. Time may have dimmed the flame but the fire in the sky that was so easy to see in youth, is still discernible from the grey castle if you know where to look. I will try to keep my eyes open.

Friends are always good… you can’t have too many of them. That said, the old ones share that wondrous gift of knowing you when you were young. You can’t buy that.

I will miss your presence on this plane…

Ride free to the end of the earth my old friend… I will not forget you!

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  1. Scott Savage
    January 29th, 2016 at 17:56 | #1

    That is such a great tribute to Paul. I will miss him so much. Airplane was the best.

  2. January 29th, 2016 at 17:57 | #2

    Wonderfully said. Death don’t have no mercy…

  3. eric
    January 29th, 2016 at 17:57 | #3

    a wonderful, eloquent, and touching eulogy.

    many of us have reached an age at which our musical and/or life influences, heroes, sisters, brothers, friends are leaving us at an alarming rate.

    but what is our loss is their gain.

    rest in peace, paul, and may eternal light shine upon you.

    I get the feeling you’ve got the right shades for the occasion.

  4. Stan Beinstein
    January 29th, 2016 at 18:48 | #4

    may his name be for a blessing

  5. Steve Goldston
    January 29th, 2016 at 19:07 | #5

    May his memory be a blessing. I’m glad you had the opportunity to renew your relationship with Paul recently. Sometimes I think your musical energy at 75 is God’s gift to us all. Never miss an opportunity to communicate to people how much they mean to you. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.

  6. Joey Hudoklin
    January 29th, 2016 at 19:22 | #6

    Reading everyone’s posts here brings the tears.
    Hang in there Jorma & Jack, and the others who are first hand affected, and everyone else as well.
    We all shine on.

  7. Mike Shivvers
    January 29th, 2016 at 19:41 | #7

    Thank you Jorma for expressing your feelings in this difficult and sad time for all of us….. We can trust now that Paul is truly exploring the stars….. and, now free of a body that tied him down, experiencing everything he dreamed and hoped about – and so wonderfully conveyed to us during his lifetime – Godspeed Paul

  8. Tim Mullens
    January 29th, 2016 at 19:48 | #8

    Fly on, Paul, I saw the stars tonight, you were shining brighlty. Long live the Baron!

  9. January 29th, 2016 at 19:51 | #9

    Very sorry for your Loss Jorma.We all knew (the world that is) that you and Paul were close.

  10. Torrey Peacock
    January 29th, 2016 at 19:53 | #10

    Really appreciate the tribute, Jorma. So glad you and Paul were reconciled before the end. Both of you were such a part of all our lives. Carry that fire, brother!

  11. richu
    January 29th, 2016 at 20:05 | #11

    What a great guitarist and thread weaver.I have seen the saucers.

  12. Mark Jacobus
    January 29th, 2016 at 20:26 | #12

    No one could have written it better Jorma. Thank you for your words, they give comfort to all of us who are grieving. Know that we have you, your fellow band mates as well as Paul’s family in our thoughts and prayers. As you said, there are only good friends and let that be a reminder to all of us to reach out and stay as close to those we do call friends, especially the old ones.

  13. Lori Edwards
    January 29th, 2016 at 20:39 | #13

    Jorma, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. Though you had some distance through the years, there’s no doubt that the bonds formed through the music were unbreakable. Peace and comfort be with you.

  14. Jeff Hero
    January 29th, 2016 at 20:59 | #14

    Thank you Jorma, kind sir.

  15. Tim Mullens
    January 29th, 2016 at 21:47 | #15

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tribute, Jorma! We’re all so sorry for your and Jack’s loss!

  16. Mackle
    January 29th, 2016 at 22:06 | #16

    Im glad a friendship did not die, that is some great music and art,

  17. Ed Hackie
    January 29th, 2016 at 22:27 | #17

    Many concerts at the Hollywood bowl , Anaheim stadium, the Shrine auditorium and San Francisco. Paul and you all are the music in my heart to this day. Thank you Paul and the rest of you for instilling me the flame spirit of Volunteer. In the audience you have no way to say thank you except with applause. You all deserve so much more for what you gave us as the Airplane

  18. January 29th, 2016 at 22:29 | #18

    Shine on Paul… My deepest sympathy to entire Jefferson Airplane Family and Friends. Peace & Love !

  19. January 29th, 2016 at 22:29 | #19

    Shine on Paul… My deepest sympathy to entire Jefferson Airplane Family and Friends. Peace & Love !

  20. Robert Mazur
    January 29th, 2016 at 22:30 | #20

    Thank you for posting this for us fans. He was an amazing talent.

  21. gee-bee
    January 29th, 2016 at 23:17 | #21

    RIP Paul………Go Ride The Music~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  22. Helly Bergtrap
    January 29th, 2016 at 23:59 | #22

    Thanks for your beautiful words. The last sentence about old friends is something that never occurred to me yet so important that i will always think of it from now on. Sorry for your loss man.

  23. Carol Bronson
    January 30th, 2016 at 00:18 | #23

    Thank you. So glad I came of age during the time of the best music ever.

  24. Anne
    January 30th, 2016 at 01:27 | #24

    Thank you Jorma. RIP Paul. Peace …Jack.

  25. Anne
    January 30th, 2016 at 01:28 | #25

    Thinking of Grace too.

  26. Joel James
    January 30th, 2016 at 01:48 | #26

    Thanks for sharing Jorma…it’s the River of Time and we’re all traveling on it. Glad you were both able to reconnect, Paul gave us all many gifts and they will not be forgotten.

  27. Cyndy Consentino
    January 30th, 2016 at 07:35 | #27

    Dear Jorma,
    No words for this

  28. Johnny B
    January 30th, 2016 at 07:52 | #28

    I trust an untethered Paul will continue to explore the other side of this life.
    Shine on Jorma.

  29. sunburstcarrier
    January 30th, 2016 at 09:05 | #29

    As a musician, your music has enriched my life. Your thoughts and words in interviews have done the same. Death will always be death, but if you can leave the world KNOWING you changed it for the better…you won. Thank you Paul. Thank you Jorma. Thank you Grace. Thank you Mr. Casady. Thank you Spencer. Your music will resonate on this earth for as long as it continues to spin.

  30. Tim from Philly
    January 30th, 2016 at 11:49 | #30

    We are all strangers in a strange land, we find community of like minded spirit. RIP Paul. Rock on, Jorma.

  31. Steve Susaneck
    January 30th, 2016 at 11:54 | #31

    A very touching and heartfelt eulogy. all I can add is I wonder what are they doing in heaven today. Thank you and all the great musicians that have made this journey through life so much more enjoyable.

  32. John R.
    January 30th, 2016 at 12:21 | #32


  33. Ken
    January 30th, 2016 at 13:45 | #33

    WOW Jorma…..just WOW! Thank you

  34. Jerry O’Donnell
    January 30th, 2016 at 14:18 | #34

    Sorry for your friends loss. You’ve such a way with words that this phrase needs repeating. The old ones ” friends ” share that wondrous gift of knowing you when you were young. You can’t buy that.

  35. john gruber
    January 30th, 2016 at 16:00 | #35

    The music the Airplane made is timeless and I still listen to it today, especially Today (the song).

  36. chuck newman
    January 30th, 2016 at 16:43 | #36

    As I have said before, I am grateful to all of the people of Jefferson Airplane for giving us music that we can ride until eternity. Magic and miracles truly did happen. Thank you Paul Kantner for always making me think and re-think as I ride the music.

  37. Michael Carrozzo
    January 30th, 2016 at 17:02 | #37

    RIP Paul … Paul Kantner and the Jefferson Airplane were one of the greatest bands of all time and one of the biggest musical influences in my life and in the world! I will love and treasure you, Paul, and your music for ever!!! Go Ride The Music! xoxo <3

  38. January 30th, 2016 at 18:27 | #38

    R.I.P Signe, who took flight the same day as Paul…

  39. Paul S.
    January 30th, 2016 at 18:37 | #39

    Thanks for all the joy and heartfelt memories. Blows was one of the 1st records my older brother turned me on to when I was about 11yrs. old in 1972 and I’ve kept a copy in one format or another ever since. My first childhood girlfriend’s older brother was also an Airplane/Tuna/CSN fan and we listened to it all, all the time. That brother of mine has also passed a few years ago and Paul passing just brought it all back to me and how much I miss it all, all those friends from yrs ago,all the highs, all the freedom and just my youth in general. The comment with the lyrics from the Sunfire album, “Me and my friends we roll through the hills in the nighttime, Me and my friends run into the mornin sunshine” – that really says it all for me, me and my friends indeed. RIP

  40. Ham n Eggs
    January 30th, 2016 at 20:00 | #40

    has this been verified?
    Sad news indeed if true
    Love All Ways

  41. February 1st, 2016 at 11:16 | #41

    @John R.
    D.C.B.A.——– Well understood, and thank you. It was the first tune played after hearing of Paul’s passing. After all, we all do come and go as we please (though we may not know it?). Be well!

  42. February 1st, 2016 at 18:05 | #42

    Jefferson Airplane is part of my early days , learning their songs, watching audiences love those songs. Paul will be missed. I can still dig my Hot Tuna

  43. Rich L.
    February 1st, 2016 at 19:58 | #43

    Jorma, how moving! I have seen you many times. Paul and Signe moved beyond our hearing and sight on my sober date of January 28. Through the Grace of the Good Shepherd, I attained 20 years continous sobriety but I will now associate that date with the beginning of a new journey for Signe and Paul. In the words immortalized by the late David Bowie in his iconic song Space Oddity: “May God’s Love Be With You”.

  44. Steve Cutaia
    February 1st, 2016 at 21:59 | #44

    For those of us boomers who often find the current American scene as foreign as deserted moonscape the Airplane takes us back to times of greater optimism and hope. Thank you, Jorma, for your contributions then and now.

  45. February 2nd, 2016 at 13:30 | #45

    Godspeed Paul!

  46. February 2nd, 2016 at 13:31 | #46

    Godspeed Paul and Signe!

  47. February 2nd, 2016 at 14:17 | #47

    I have loved and blessed all of you. Missing Signe,Paul,Spencer, Skippy,Joey.

    Wishing Marty,Jack,Jorma,Grace, health, wealth,love and time to enjoy it.

  48. LouB
    February 3rd, 2016 at 18:19 | #48

    Rest in Peace, Paul
    I never tired of listening to (and playing) music of the Airplane family.
    You’ll be missed.

  49. Jean Thomas
    February 10th, 2016 at 10:06 | #49

    I remember the times, the music from the Chicago scene at Mother Blues (when you and Paul were dating a couple of my friends, Penny and Lolly), the energy and the hope. There’s a new energy reemerging today that is reminiscent of those times. RIP, Paul and Signe. I’m glad I could share a small part of your journey. And thank you, Jorma, for keeping the music playing.

  50. Michael”Redman” Foley
    February 12th, 2016 at 13:40 | #50

    Jorma, I think it is so great you met with Paul a year before and reunited. Good for you to initiate the contact and get things right between you all. I know you are happy that you did this. Life is so short and friendship so valuable, we have no time for bitterness and misunderstandings. See you at the ranch. Redman

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