Home > Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts > Almost Like A Dream

Almost Like A Dream

Where did it start?

Where did it start?

Yeah… the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award! Sorry Paul Kantner and Spencer Dryden couldn’t be there. It’s not up to us to decide when our ticket gets pulled, and sad to say, they caught an early train out. Signe too… may all their memories be a blessing!

With all this Jefferson Airplane stuff going on, when I think back… it was almost like a dream. I certainly hadn’t planned my participation. I’m not sure what, if anything, I had planned. I could have worked in a music store as I had worked at the Benner Music Company on Stevens Creek in San Jose… I could have hung out my own shingle… I could have moved to Europe. I could have done all these things, but I didn’t. I was decreed that I go to San Francisco at Paul’s behest… it was decreed that my next schooling would be with my brothers and sisters of Jefferson Airplane. I would grow with the band… I would make choices, some good… some not so good. I would survive all of this and life would carry me in its embrace.

The things we endured together when we were young would forge us in its fire. Some of would be consumed and some of us would survive the daily tests of life. Youth is not wasted on the young. It is not only the privilege but the duty of the young to fly towards the sun. The earth is always waiting for us, always.

My ex wife, Margareta, is gone. Her life choices were indeed, too hot to handle. We spent twenty years together and yet that time is a distant memory. The good times, the bad times… youth would help us endure it all, and then one day… I was no longer young and each moment would become more precious than the one before.

A Lifetime Achievement award is a momentous thing indeed and we are honored by our peers. As a member of the human family, we should all be honored that we have made it this far.

I am so grateful.

Yet, what was that moment all about? What did it mean, if anything? At the end of life will I say as Marlon Brando did, ‘What just happened?’ Perhaps. For today, the needs of my family swirl about me and mine about them. I have been gifted by being allowed to be an artist. I have traveled around the world more than once and seen more than some and less than others. I have today… and it is a good day.

As for the rest… it is indeed almost like a dream.

So be it...

So be it...

Then… and now…

Nessa and I in the Company Store at the Fur Peace Ranch

Nessa and I in the Company Store at the Fur Peace Ranch


Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:
  1. John R
    April 27th, 2016 at 14:30 | #1

    We are so grateful, Jorma, for what you and your comrades brought to us. A dream indeed.

  2. Brian Doyle
    April 27th, 2016 at 15:34 | #2

    I don’t know Jorma. Being able to put musical mechanics to pure beauty seems like a good place to be as far as fate and judgment…I hear the gods are soothed by, and favorable to, good music…

    April 27th, 2016 at 15:37 | #3

    Thank you for once again writing so eloquently. You have been “in my head” for 45 years! My life is so filled with memories of you and Jack (and the Airplane) playing the soundtrack to a life blessed with family, friends and a community of spirits that have allowed me to See the Light! Congrats Captain!

  4. Steven Levenson
    April 27th, 2016 at 17:56 | #4

    Lovely post. Thanks!

  5. Joey Hudoklin
    April 27th, 2016 at 18:09 | #5

    Jorma, for some reason your music, Jack and all the incarnations of Hot Tuna and the other bands you’ve inhabited, has been one of the biggest influences in my life. I love lots of different music, but yours resonates through my soul. I feel so blessed to be so affected.
    As we get older, life becomes more precious like you said.
    Good going.

  6. April 27th, 2016 at 18:13 | #6

    Congratulations to everyone! So well deserved! Since I was 18, have enjoyed Hot Tuna and your solo music. Genesis is still my favorite & ingrained in the patchwork of my musical soul.

    Continued happiness and success!
    Peace and love, Petra Michelle

  7. Mark K
    April 27th, 2016 at 18:21 | #7

    That’s The Stuff— as a very accomplished friend of mine said on his 96th birthday shortly before he passed “How the “F” did it go by so Fast”.
    Keep following your passion and your heart, it will never take you wrong

  8. Tom in St. Louis
    April 27th, 2016 at 18:31 | #8

    Can we truly say that our choices in life are good or not so good?
    Those choices made us what we are today.
    No reason to attach value judgments to them at this point…
    Here we are. Happy about it!

  9. Bella
    April 27th, 2016 at 19:21 | #9

    In all honestly, who hasn’t made both good and poor decisions. That’s human. What defines us is what we do as a result of those choices.

  10. Brian Doyle
    April 27th, 2016 at 19:53 | #10

    Somewhere spinning in eternity is timeless moment where a painfully heart-strikingly good band played beautiful music under colored lights. That moment is in and of itself and is without judgment. I really hope to tap you on the shoulder someday in that future space and tell you how beautiful it is…

  11. Nick L. Eakins
    April 27th, 2016 at 20:25 | #11

    We will see all our loved ones again soon enough. We need to spend quality time with those who are still here with us. We’ll have plenty of time to catch up on things with the rest later.

  12. Steve
    April 27th, 2016 at 21:17 | #12

    Amen Jorma….and thanks.

  13. Michael Waldman
    April 27th, 2016 at 21:21 | #13

    Hi Jorma, Wonderful blog and so true. Congratulations on this honor. I saw you and Jack at the Grammy Museum on Sunday and it was a wonderful few hours. I also attended a Fur Peace week with Hot Tuna almost 20 years ago and I still have great memories of that. As they say…Cent’ Anni and 100 after that.

  14. warren sehter
    April 27th, 2016 at 21:49 | #14

    thank god for the road you choose. we love you

  15. DennisK
    April 27th, 2016 at 23:28 | #15

    Too Hot to Handle really expresses a raw image of a time in your life that leaves little to the imagination. But then so does Izze’s Lullaby and so many expressions of your life experiences (“good” and “bad”).

    You put it all out there as an artist and (as Joey said) it resonates through the soul of the listener. That alone deserves an award.

    However, by creating the FPR as a musical oasis that you and Vanessa share with the rest of us, you make an impact on each and every guest that is hard to put into words. For that, I am grateful. Looking forward to Arts and Minds!

  16. mike v
    April 27th, 2016 at 23:46 | #16

    congratulations to you and all the J. A. family!!!

  17. Sweetbac
    April 28th, 2016 at 03:40 | #17

    Do you still have the “psychedelic” turtleneck shirt, Jorma?

  18. April 28th, 2016 at 07:15 | #18

    Long gone brother…

  19. JohnC
    April 28th, 2016 at 10:12 | #19

    What I think is really impressive is your willingness to give back through your teaching. Pretty rare for someone who made it to the level that you did. And it keeps alive some of the best guitar music ever made. I never did a Fur Peace, but was in a class you did in the 90s for the National Guitar Summer Workshop. Truly a high point in my musical life! Thank you. And we’ll be waiting for you next excursion to Northern California 🙂

  20. Ken Millroy
    April 28th, 2016 at 11:00 | #20

    If its almost like a dream then keep on dreaming!!!

  21. Sweetbac
    April 28th, 2016 at 12:23 | #21

    I hear ya, Jorma…just a thought, but you MIGHT wanna check Jacks suitcase next tour just in case he pinched it.

  22. johno
    April 28th, 2016 at 16:47 | #22

    It’s all karma Jorma – you are a special spirit. I feel so lucky knowing about you and your music and following you for over 43 years. It’s been quite a journey.
    You are a true musical genius. Thanks for sharing your music with us. And you are such a kind and gentle soul. You deserve every good thing that happens to you.

  23. April 28th, 2016 at 18:35 | #23


    Hi Jorma, I’m les baxter’s grandson and have some great pictures of you and JA at Les’s house. Perhaps this is before “after bathing at baxter’s”? I’ve always wanted to connect with you to hear about this period and your relationship with Les. I’m also a musician & songwriter. Hope to catch your next west coast show. Thanks, Tom 760-525-2930

  24. Jim T
    April 28th, 2016 at 20:54 | #24

    I’m so happy to see you get the recognition, you so deserve Jorma!! Mazel Tov !! Your music has been a major sound track through my life !! “Keep on Truckin'” Jorma and Jack!!!

  25. Art
    April 29th, 2016 at 01:11 | #25

    Thank you, Jorma, and all of the Airplane family. An honor richly deserved.

  26. Rob Cohen
    April 29th, 2016 at 08:23 | #26

    Well said Jorma . You have had a positive influence on all of us and have made all our lives who have been to the ranch a little better thanks and cheers Dr Rob ( NYC)

  27. Ham n Eggs
    April 29th, 2016 at 15:59 | #27

    Just don’t get too cocky with all this genius stuff
    Remember Wile E. Coyote is a super genius.
    On Time
    Every Time
    Love All Ways

  28. John B
    April 29th, 2016 at 16:08 | #28

    Beautifully written Jorma. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We love your music and are so very proud to say that we are fans and the recipients of such heartfelt thoughts and feelings. See you out on the road soon.

  29. John R.
    April 29th, 2016 at 17:53 | #29

    “I’m a lead guitarist. I don’t have to know the chords.”

    I assume that’s probably not in the curriculum at the Fur Peace Ranch, Jorma. 😉

  30. Ibkeaton
    April 29th, 2016 at 20:42 | #30

    Let me add my congratulations and thanks to you and Jack on your recognition. The spirits of music must want us to be bemused and amused by the timing of Barry Mitterhoff’s NJ Folk Festival’s Lifetime Achievement recognition tomorrow. Let us shout together right down here!

  31. Don Gehre
    April 30th, 2016 at 04:32 | #31

    Just saw your interview/gig on the 24th and it was a real pleasure, a real pleasure. You two characters have been creating so much joy for so long that the lifetime achievement award barely does you justice. Longevity with continual artistic betterment is tough to accomplish, but you two virtuosos make it look easy. Thanks so much for enriching so many lives for so long. Further!

  32. Barbara Jacobs
    April 30th, 2016 at 10:08 | #32

    your blog-post here is the perfect prologue for your autobiography.

  33. John B
    April 30th, 2016 at 11:20 | #33
  34. anthony tedesco
    April 30th, 2016 at 11:28 | #34

    As artists you and your bandmates broke new ground and helped shape the culture that shaped you. That you have chosen to remain genuine and humble speaks volumes, as does your music. So you have made and continue to make the world a better place, not with flash and noise, but with a simple beauty that will least
    Thank you

  35. jim hitchcock
    April 30th, 2016 at 13:44 | #35

    A Tony Tedesco sighting!
    And hiya, Barbara,fellow goofy friend of mine 🙂

  36. jim hitchcock
    April 30th, 2016 at 13:48 | #36

    Oh hell, that was Tommy Tedesco. Sheesh.

  37. Barbara Jacobs
    April 30th, 2016 at 15:17 | #37

    Hiya jim! Been so busy working and would like to have more time to visit here.@jim hitchcock

  38. Barbara Jacobs
    April 30th, 2016 at 15:23 | #38

    Since Jorma gave Marlon Brando a shout-out, I’d like to recommend an excellent documentary: “Listen To Me Marlon”.@jim hitchcock

  39. jim hitchcock
    April 30th, 2016 at 15:48 | #39

    I watched it! Brando was one weird cat, my dad did not like him, I always kind of appreciated his alternate take on things.

  40. Barbara Jacobs
    April 30th, 2016 at 17:56 | #40

    It was very innovative in its approach to documentary-making. All of those tape-recordings were just waiting for somebody to put it all together:
    Previously unseen footage, the tapes — it is like the Marlon Brando Basement Tapes.

    I remember when “Last Tango In Paris” was released in movie theaters (the only way movies were released in those days). So, my Tanta Gertie had a friend who always came by with the latest neighborhood news and her movie reviews. She was shocked at the content of that movie. She thought it was going to be a musical!@jim hitchcock

  41. jim hitchcock
    April 30th, 2016 at 18:15 | #41

    Speaking of The Basement Tapes, I started reading ‘Across The Great Devide’ yesterday. Worth it for the Elvis Costello quote in the preface.

  42. anthony tedesco
    May 1st, 2016 at 07:32 | #42

    @jim hitchcock
    Jim. sorry to disappoint you. Tedesco is a pretty common name. Tommy Tedesco’s talent isn’t, and unfortunately I have none of it.

  43. Barbara Jacobs
    May 1st, 2016 at 09:55 | #43

    Are you reading the 2006 revised edition?
    @jim hitchcock

  44. Barbara Jacobs
    May 1st, 2016 at 10:06 | #44

    After you read “Across The Great Divide” you can check out Barney Hoskyns’ new
    book: “Small Town Talk”. It’s the history of Woodstock (the town).@jim hitchcock

  45. Bake
    May 1st, 2016 at 12:29 | #45

    simply put Jorma, it’s not so much how talented you are, it’s the way in which you share it. The way in which you tour basically non stop, the gift of the Ranch, and the website BreakDownWay means so much to all of us. Thanks for all the music and memories, but more than that thanks on how you’ve inspired so many in so many ways. you truly show what it means to live ” A Life Well Lived ” It is up to each of us to make a difference , and your actions speak louder than any words could ever tell. And, yes, you are pretty damn good on that guitar!! Congrats on the Grammy!

  46. jim hitchcock
    May 1st, 2016 at 16:20 | #46

    It is the ’06 version, Barbara, and it sucked me right in in, he first few pages.

  47. Anna Stegemoeller
    May 1st, 2016 at 17:56 | #47

    hahaha@John R.

  48. Anna Stegemoeller
    May 1st, 2016 at 18:10 | #48

    …the way in which you tour basically non stop, the gift of the Ranch, and the website BreakDownWay means so much to all of us…all spawned in the dream. There are so many lives of great guitar players that I have come to know because you have kept the thread so others can learn, grow, and appreciate. A keeper of the thread, a breaker of the mold, a youthful soul within an aging, experienced, and generous rocker…pretty damn cool. Congrats on all the honors to you and your family. carry on a bit longer i’m hoping…as in your best lifetime achievement may be yet to come.

  49. Barbara Jacobs
    May 1st, 2016 at 19:14 | #49

    You will like “Small Town Talk”. It’s the characters that inhabited the town, they made it what it is. @jim hitchcock

  50. richu
    May 2nd, 2016 at 06:08 | #50

    yeah buddy.you traveled round the world and left your mark on so many guitar players.I will say it again,thanks for helping me understand finger style thru records.