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The Measure Of Time

January 25th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

We all hold the measure of time in our own eye, our own vision. Early this morning I heard of Butch Trucks’ passing and I was saddened by this news. I usually got to see Butch at least once a year at Wanee and we always had a great hang. I’m at an age where I get news about my contemporaries that can go either way… could be good, could be bad. Butch will be missed. He was always in it to win it and in my minimal relationship with him, he lived to play.

Vanessa was lamenting the passing of so many people and it is sad to see the fabric of our world diminished in any way… but we are designed for this. We are gifted with a life on earth and a chance to make something of it. For a while we will have some relevance in our present but as our time passes this will diminish. I know something of my parent’s life, but very little of my grandparents. Their dreams and aspirations will always be a mystery to. My children’s children will know they had a grandfather and probably not much more.

I believe there is an inherent self involvement in those of us who have been chosen to be artists and that’s OK… if not carried to an extreme. Sometimes I look around at the world that surrounds me and my family and I am amazed how we got here from where we started so long ago.

Our world today

Our world today

When I moved to Southeast Ohio in 1991 I could never have imagined how this decision would play out in my life, but here I am. I could not have written this script in a million years.

Nothing by blue skies...

Nothing by blue skies...

Today my world fits comfortably like an old pair of jeans or an old shoe. There was a time when nothing was comfortable, and yet… here I am.

Mr. and Mrs. Kaukonen look to the sky

Mr. and Mrs. Kaukonen look to the sky

Each day is filled with measured duties… some more enjoyable than others, but all necessary. To be able to perform these as needed is a blessing indeed. As for Butch, rest in peace my friend. I’ll miss those spring chats and the fact that we were both on the same side of the pale.

There’s not much more to say.

The Welch boys' stairs behind my house...

The Welch boys' stairs behind my house...

All things are one step at a time.

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  1. Susan
    January 25th, 2017 at 21:20 | #1

    As an “older” parent, (58 with a 19 year old and 10 year old twins), I lament that I may not know all/ each of any future grandchildren. It’s sad in many ways….. But I believe that all of us live on in our children’s hearts and in their decision making ( “what would mom do”.) and so will become a part of our grand children’s lives in that sense. In your case, your grandchildren will know so much about you, Jorma, because of the legacy that you will leave in your music and your writing and the space you and Vanessa have created in southeast Ohio. There’ll be so much that the future generations will know about you, not that I’m suggesting in any way it’s time ….We never know when it’s our time and these are valid musings.

  2. JD
    January 25th, 2017 at 22:36 | #2

    RIP Butch. I remember the good times.

  3. Carey Georgas
    January 25th, 2017 at 23:47 | #3


  4. Mark K
    January 26th, 2017 at 00:11 | #4

    Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success… ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, 1868

  5. Brian Doyle
    January 26th, 2017 at 00:22 | #5

    I’m friends with one of Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriends and was surprised when she called me shortly after I had read of Trucks’ passing on Jorma’s blog to tell me. She was emotional and had to call somebody. She told me of her memories of Butch, herself, and Jimi walking around Greenwich Village and started crying in the process of telling me they were all good friends. She and Jimi walked in on Butch and a girlfriend she had introduced to him at an inopportune moment. My ignorance because I thought the Allmans were content in the south. I never would have figured. She said while walking Jimi looked at Butch with his intense hair, whispering in her ear “He really stands out doesn’t he?” and she responded “Look who’s talking”…

  6. Tim from Philly
    January 26th, 2017 at 10:23 | #6

    Rest in Peace, Butch. Rock on, Jorma.

  7. Mitch Spector
    January 26th, 2017 at 11:20 | #7

    Well put Jorma we are all living in a river of time .More important to make the years count than counting the years ..Long may all of us here run ..Peace

  8. carey georgas
    January 26th, 2017 at 13:09 | #8

    Stole my line, Mitch. Sometimes when life’s circumstances get me into that “diminished fabric” state of mind, I can play “Hidden Treasure” by Traffic and the calm generally returns posthaste. “Listen to the water…”

  9. rich l
    January 26th, 2017 at 13:24 | #9

    I’m just pontificating, but is it possible to have a more Southern name than “Butch Trucks?”

    on a side note, I saw the Tedeschi Trucks Band play at the Chicago Theatre last Saturday. I knew Derek was quite a guitar player, but new almost nothing about Susan Tedeschi. What an incredible voice! Some blogger described her as the blackest, white woman ever! She can play a pretty mean guitar herself!

    They jammed from 8pm until 11:15, with one half hour break – very diverse crowd. It was a 12 member band that just rocked it out the park!

    They played four covers, and the songs they played sort of highlighted their respect for the past. “Keep on Growing,” by Clapton, “Soul Sacrifice,” by Carlos (damn that song blew my socks off), Leon Russell’s “Singing this song for You,” and “A little help From My friends,” by Cocker/Beatles – boy did Susan let it rip on that song.

    lots of great blues numbers in between. The only bummer was people stood for the entire concert. Oh, to have the body of a teenager again.

    One thing that I recall thinking though, was how incredibly blessed that I’ve been fortunate enough to see Hot tuna, or Jorma solo, in places like City winery, Old town School of Folk Music, or Space. I’m not sure of many things in life, but I am sure closer is better at a concert! I was in about row CC and wished I was much closer for the TTBand.

  10. carey georgas
    January 26th, 2017 at 15:32 | #10

    @rich l
    She’s got the mojo, that’s for sure. Saw her open a B.B.King show back in the late 90’s. I was with some black friends, and the white girl had them jumpin’. I imagine she and Derek can lay it down. With some Tuna thrown into the mix, I might have to make another trip to Colorado!

  11. Brian Doyle
  12. Ben
    January 26th, 2017 at 20:17 | #12

    Good to read your words here Jorma. I got to meet Butch once soon after Derek joined the Allman Brothers.
    Mostly the conversation focused on how pleased he was to be playing with Derek. After hearing this news I was hoping you had a perspective on this and I’m glad you do. It’s appreciated.

  13. Kevin
    January 26th, 2017 at 21:13 | #13

    @Brian Doyle
    I can’t believe I now feel so much worse than I even did yesterday. Horrible story, I can’t imagine the pain he must have felt to be able to do that, knowing what it would do to his beautiful wife and family.

  14. gregg
    January 26th, 2017 at 22:12 | #14

    Anyone interested in listening to some JA tracks while the author of the JA book Got a Revolution discusses how it all came together go to , WFMU.org, programming, program schedule, dj Bob BRAIN,(SAT.), scholl down to sept. 2003 JA show Gregg s.i.n.y.

  15. Tom L
    January 27th, 2017 at 00:02 | #15

    “My children’s children will know they had a grandfather and probably not much more.”

    I do NOT think this is true.
    Jorma, you have left a deeper imprint on our culture than you may realize, and those indentations will mean something for many generations…if we make it that far. Your descendants will be pretty interested in your artistic legacy, and they will come to know a lot about you. Perhaps more than we currently realize.

    Also, I can’t help feeling that your personality and energy have made quite an impact on those who you know well, especially your family. They will not forget you so easily!

  16. Brian Doyle
    January 27th, 2017 at 00:27 | #16


    Didn’t realize there were unhappy circumstances involved with this until now. And neither did the person who called me yesterday, but women can sometimes have intuition on that kind of thing. Respects to Butch’s people and Allmans.

  17. Matt
    January 27th, 2017 at 00:43 | #17

    You are blessed with comfort. Hard work has paid off. One day at a time. Days turn into years. Years turn into decades. Get in the moment and take it all in. Keep on Trucking!

  18. mikie
    January 27th, 2017 at 09:29 | #18

    Jorma, I’m so glad you’re having such a time with your new drone. I hope you’ll be taking it on the road to festivals, should be some great crowd pics if they will allow it. Those shots you’re taking of the Ranch are just plain wonderful. blessings on you and yours, m

  19. Anna Stegemoeller
    January 27th, 2017 at 10:01 | #19

    ‘All things are one step at a time’ just the thought to carry me onward today…and a reminder to bring spare socks to the “Wheels of Soul” tour in July, as socks will, no doubt, be blown off…I hope that I will carry a strong look in my eyes on that day down the road when I take the ‘Smokerise highway’ exit. I am grateful for the inspirations provided from this blog.

  20. rich l
    January 27th, 2017 at 10:02 | #20

    She can sing with such raw power, and then hit a high, soft, sweet note that almost brings a tear to your eye. I love hearing singers that can wring emotion out of our souls. I guess it’s why I like musicals.@carey georgas

  21. Sonia
    January 28th, 2017 at 01:43 | #21

    Your thoughtful and articulate comments, as well as your performances (when I am blessed to experience them) are always consoling. Thank you, Jorma.

  22. Dead Head
    January 28th, 2017 at 16:55 | #22

    Marty Balin on one of the ETV (PBS) channels at 7 EST. Living Legends Music; I am able to get 7 PBS channels on rabbit ears.

  23. Brian Doyle
    January 28th, 2017 at 18:17 | #23

    January 28

    In Memory

    Paul Kantner – Signe Anderson

    Jefferson Airplane


  24. Ham n Eggs
    January 28th, 2017 at 18:48 | #24

    Go Ride the Music.
    Amen Brother
    Love All Ways
    @Brian Doyle

  25. Mark K
    January 29th, 2017 at 09:13 | #25

    Your Children’s Children may not know you as the man and the person you have become, however your body of work as an artist and what you have built will endure for them and that is special gift that few can give. In life and sometimes beyond we touch many lives, more than we realize. Case in point, my late Mother in Law, who granted was a “force of nature”, when she passed, over 2000 people showed up for her funeral. We never can predict everything that’s coming down the road, but if we do the right thing, better things will hopefully come our way. As I heard it said once or twice “What a Long Strange Trip It’s been”

  26. Jim Bacon
    February 4th, 2017 at 22:34 | #26

    One thread undone in the fabric of life but FPR pulls many new threads together with every camp weekend and those new threads spin off into their own orbits and touch people we’ll never know