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Jorma’s 78th Birthday Message To Himself

December 23rd, 2018 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments
The moon at 0600 12/23/2018

The moon at 0600 12/23/2018

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Jorma’s 78th Birthday Message To Himself
Sunday, December 23, 2018

Well, I had to give this one some thought. Birthday’s come and birthdays go and why should this one be any more important than the last, or perhaps the next. I guess in the spirit of living in the moment, it is today and here I am, the youngest I’ll ever be and the oldest I’ve ever been. It is a nice dream to think that at birth you are gifted with infinite possibilities and from a philosophical standpoint one might argue this. In reality, however, I fear this is not the case. I was born into a very middle class family of white collar aspiring intellectuals in the first half of the last century. As the children of immigrants they certainly had their struggles in their quest to find themselves an identity here in America. Being an immigrant or the children or grandchildren of immigrants brings its own set of obstacles to the table, but that is a discussion for another time. All this being said, taken as a whole with some notable detours my life has always steered me back to the upward path.

For most of us, whether we realize it or not by the time we are in our forties our life is half over. I often get asked, ‘Did you ever think you would get this old?’ Of course not. It was an inconceivable concept to me back then. It is truly difficult to imagine virgin territory. I find myself living one day at a time in a landscape that changes almost every day. I am so grateful to be blessed with mental and physical capabilities that still allow me to meet the standards I set for myself. As time passes I pray for the ability to accept and adapt to the changes that life will deal me. It is a chilly day here in Southeast Ohio. Winter is upon us and the coldest days are yet to come. It is warm in my heart and in my house. My wife prepared an amazing birthday breakfast spread for me, my daughter welcomed me into the day with love and thoughts and my son texted me a birthday greeting from work in Virginia. I could not want for anything.

78… the RPM of the first records I listened to back in the 1940’s. I have been given the opportunity to try, fail and succeed, not necessarily in that order. G_d has never given me more than I could handle or adapt to, at least not so far. Indeed, my cup runneth over.

I am more than grateful!

A man and his dog at birthday breakfast

A man and his dog at birthday breakfast

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:
  1. Brian Doyle
    December 23rd, 2018 at 13:14 | #1

    Those big thick 78’s…Hard to get rid of when cleaning out a collection when moving…

    Old guitars only increase in value so it should be the same for guitar players…

  2. Joey
    December 23rd, 2018 at 13:28 | #2

    I’m grateful for you being a part of my life Jorma.
    Happy Birthday!

  3. Bob Lukas
    December 23rd, 2018 at 13:32 | #3

    Happy Birthday, Jorma and many, many happy and healthy returns. Thank you for everything!

  4. Tom Sullivan
    December 23rd, 2018 at 13:44 | #4

    Happy Birthday, and thanks for the amazing body of work. My older brother turned me onto Jefferson Airplane at a tender age, and honestly, at first, I had a major puppy-love crush on Grace. As I matured, you and Jack became the focus, so I became a serious Hot Tuna devotee. My all-time best hearing-loss experience was electric HT with Papa John Creach; among my best all-time musical experiences is you with an acoustic. Thanks, again, and enjoy the Birthday!

    Tom

  5. Howard Wade
    December 23rd, 2018 at 14:33 | #5

    Happy Birthday! I hope it’s a great day for you and the Kaukonen clan.

  6. December 23rd, 2018 at 15:32 | #6

    Happy Birthday Jorma! L’Chaim!

  7. Paul Caldwell
    December 23rd, 2018 at 18:46 | #7

    Happy Birthday Jorma! Love ‘ya man.

  8. Peter V.
    December 23rd, 2018 at 19:12 | #8

    Happy Birthday Jorma! You were 31 when I first saw you at Academy of music. I was 15.. 47 years !!! can’t wait to see you and Jack in 2019. ” KEEP ON TRUCKING “

  9. Mark
    December 23rd, 2018 at 19:36 | #9

    Wishing you a very happy and healthy birthday and many more. Although it may seem like it’s been so long, it hasn’t been long enough.
    All God’s blessings…

  10. gregg
    December 23rd, 2018 at 20:15 | #10

    birth wise your catch in up to willie half nelson g

  11. David Goldstein
    December 23rd, 2018 at 20:41 | #11

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day. Looking forward to getting back to the ranch next year.

  12. Jorg Teichmann
    December 23rd, 2018 at 20:45 | #12

    Congrats Jorma.

    You really mean a lot to me.

    Myself, I turned 62 in November 7th, and my oldest son Jorma will be 27 in January 25.
    I love your U-tube spots with you wearing a HD shirt.

    I’m one of the few guys who had to specially mail order QUAH, when it came out in Germany ages ago.
    And some fewer years ago I was very astonished to find out, that it was used for the title song in a Johnny Depp movie.

    OOPS, I apologize for my intimacy.

    Anyway, we have some other mor personel history.
    3 or 4 years ago we had some short E-mail contacts.

    Remember, I wanted to buy your Harley, ’cause I lked the idea. For I got a friend in Nicolasville near Lexington and wanted to have a HD stored in his garage for me to use it when come over twice a year and ride it with some additional pleasant memories.

    At that time I told you then, my first son was called after your name, cause I just liked the sound of it. And I’m called Jorg, meaning George. The mother is called Martina, so it’s a perfect Hybrid of us. JOR-MA.
    We agreed on that name for the son to come. Yet she wanted a second name with an religious background. So we chose David. And me, as an kind of Frank Zappa enthusiast “God is not dead, he just smells funny!” insisted on a third name out of the funnies. Louie, the second one of Uncle Donald’s nephews.
    They are all equal in their value, so the boy could choose which one he takes to be called mostly.
    JORMA it was.

    And with repect to Volunteers, he was not drafted, ’cause Jorma with the A at the end sounds awfully female, grin….

    So I found it a good idea to try to get your HD from you, the guy, he got the name from, and started it all.

    But, when he was born in Germany in 1991, I had to prove, that the name really exists, to have it legally registered by the authorities. So I took an LP of Jefferson Airplane with me to the official and said: “I wanna have my son named after that guitarist!” And he did it.
    Sad to say you nevertheless had already sold that E-Glide that timeto another guy.
    But you’ve given me 1 or 2 kind mails, very personal, what I really appreciated.
    You said, that you finally made it to be a father, at a time most buddies became grandpa’s.
    I guess you really have a very relaxed and thankful way to look at life itself, especially yours.
    I got 16 years left to get even with you an come to that point too, thank you man.
    And at that time, you pointed out, that you couldn’t resist buying a brand new powerful “HD Break Out”.
    And I said: ” Well keep me in touch, I buy that one then, when you wanna sell it, but only when I may pick it up in Ohio, may be with my son. Get a handshake and an autograph of yours on the bike.
    So when will you get yourself a Milwaukee 8?

    It just happens I’ll be in Nicholasville KY, March 2 2019 for 2 weeks.
    I Got myself two bikes there. An old 1985 FXWG from a swap meet in Dayton OH, SMITTY, the Rat King of KY bought for me.
    I know him since 1989, when we met at a motor show in Essen Germany where his RATBIKE KY RAT 1, the all time winner of the Rat’s Hole Show in Daytona was on display, with him invited at full expemnses.
    The second is an 1994 Ultra from his friend Jesse, who quit riding.
    You are not selling sth. or touring in the vicinity that time :) ?
    Or invite me for a coffee at your ranch?

    In september, I’ll do it again. Gotta use the time left. At that time I’ll take along my new old lady. She was never in the US. Born in Poland, doesn’t speak a word in English. So we’ll look up those parts of the US inhabited by the largest amounts of polis speaking people. Could be PA or OH, haha.

    Well, in case you don’t find time for a feedback, never mind.

    Many years to come and wind in your hair or ’round your ears and my regards and very best wishes to Jack Cassady. You are a dream team.

    Jorg Teichmann
    Abbendieksweg 2
    45886 Gelsenkirchen
    Germany
    Tel. 0049 174 9206340 (What’s App)
    jorg.teichmann a gmx.de

  13. Jorg Teichmann
    December 23rd, 2018 at 20:48 | #13

    SORRY IF THIS IS DOUBLED, DIDN’T KNOW IF IT WAS SENT OR NOT.
    December 23rd, 2018 at 20:45 | #8
    Reply | Quote

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Congrats Jorma.

    You really mean a lot to me.

    Myself, I turned 62 in November 7th, and my oldest son Jorma will be 27 in January 25.
    I love your U-tube spots with you wearing a HD shirt.

    I’m one of the few guys who had to specially mail order QUAH, when it came out in Germany ages ago.
    And some fewer years ago I was very astonished to find out, that it was used for the title song in a Johnny Depp movie.

    OOPS, I apologize for my intimacy.

    Anyway, we have some other mor personel history.
    3 or 4 years ago we had some short E-mail contacts.

    Remember, I wanted to buy your Harley, ’cause I lked the idea. For I got a friend in Nicolasville near Lexington and wanted to have a HD stored in his garage for me to use it when come over twice a year and ride it with some additional pleasant memories.

    At that time I told you then, my first son was called after your name, cause I just liked the sound of it. And I’m called Jorg, meaning George. The mother is called Martina, so it’s a perfect Hybrid of us. JOR-MA.
    We agreed on that name for the son to come. Yet she wanted a second name with an religious background. So we chose David. And me, as an kind of Frank Zappa enthusiast “God is not dead, he just smells funny!” insisted on a third name out of the funnies. Louie, the second one of Uncle Donald’s nephews.
    They are all equal in their value, so the boy could choose which one he takes to be called mostly.
    JORMA it was.

    And with repect to Volunteers, he was not drafted, ’cause Jorma with the A at the end sounds awfully female, grin….

    So I found it a good idea to try to get your HD from you, the guy, he got the name from, and started it all.

    But, when he was born in Germany in 1991, I had to prove, that the name really exists, to have it legally registered by the authorities. So I took an LP of Jefferson Airplane with me to the official and said: “I wanna have my son named after that guitarist!” And he did it.
    Sad to say you nevertheless had already sold that E-Glide that timeto another guy.
    But you’ve given me 1 or 2 kind mails, very personal, what I really appreciated.
    You said, that you finally made it to be a father, at a time most buddies became grandpa’s.
    I guess you really have a very relaxed and thankful way to look at life itself, especially yours.
    I got 16 years left to get even with you an come to that point too, thank you man.
    And at that time, you pointed out, that you couldn’t resist buying a brand new powerful “HD Break Out”.
    And I said: ” Well keep me in touch, I buy that one then, when you wanna sell it, but only when I may pick it up in Ohio, may be with my son. Get a handshake and an autograph of yours on the bike.
    So when will you get yourself a Milwaukee 8?

    It just happens I’ll be in Nicholasville KY, March 2 2019 for 2 weeks.
    I Got myself two bikes there. An old 1985 FXWG from a swap meet in Dayton OH, SMITTY, the Rat King of KY bought for me.
    I know him since 1989, when we met at a motor show in Essen Germany where his RATBIKE KY RAT 1, the all time winner of the Rat’s Hole Show in Daytona was on display, with him invited at full expemnses.
    The second is an 1994 Ultra from his friend Jesse, who quit riding.
    You are not selling sth. or touring in the vicinity that time :) ?
    Or invite me for a coffee at your ranch?

    In september, I’ll do it again. Gotta use the time left. At that time I’ll take along my new old lady. She was never in the US. Born in Poland, doesn’t speak a word in English. So we’ll look up those parts of the US inhabited by the largest amounts of polis speaking people. Could be PA or OH, haha.

    Well, in case you don’t find time for a feedback, never mind.

    Many years to come and wind in your hair or ’round your ears and my regards and very best wishes to Jack Cassady. You are a dream team.

    Jorg Teichmann
    Abbendieksweg 2
    45886 Gelsenkirchen
    Germany
    Tel. 0049 174 9206340 (What’s App)
    jorg.teichmann a gmx.de

  14. Kevin
    December 23rd, 2018 at 21:33 | #14

    Happy Birthday Jorma!!! You and your music have made many a happy day for me and countless others. Watch out for that dog, he has an eye on part of your breakfast feast.

  15. chinaski
    December 23rd, 2018 at 21:38 | #15

    Beautiful sunny day here in D.C today and as I drove past your former residence on Northampton Street I thought about your book and wondered what your birthdays were like in that house all those years ago. I hope you got a birthday cake and had some fun! Happy Birthday Jorma!

  16. snarne
    December 23rd, 2018 at 22:29 | #16

    Happy Birthday Mr. Kaukonen, do not go gentle!

  17. Michael Lesko
    December 23rd, 2018 at 23:05 | #17

    Jorma
    Happy Birthday
    Met you at Portland show this past August. You are an inspiration to this 55 yr old;many kindred ideas and revelations.
    Blessed to listen, read, and know you from afar.
    All the best, happy holidays.
    Mike Lesko

  18. Michael Lesko
    December 23rd, 2018 at 23:13 | #18

    Dear Jorma
    Happy Birthday
    Had the pleasure of meeting you at Portland, OR show in August (I’m from CT…talked abt Toad’s Place and Vanessa being from there). You are a true inspiration to this 55 yr old; blessed to listen, read, and know you a little bit from afar. Best wishes for the holidays and well beyond.
    Mike Lesko

  19. George Anthony
    December 23rd, 2018 at 23:16 | #19

    Hi Jorma,

    Birthday greetings from your friends on LI.

    Looks like a beautiful breakfast Vanessa cooked up. Great photo, Man and His Dog!

    78RPM…Yeah Buddy.

    Best Wishes…George

  20. carey georgas
    December 23rd, 2018 at 23:51 | #20

    And surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life. Your expression of gratitude for all you have been blessed with is a beacon that shines as an example for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. It certainly uplifts me. Thank you.

  21. John McGough
    December 24th, 2018 at 03:43 | #21

    Happy Birthday Jorma! Great picture of you and Mav.

  22. Brett
    December 24th, 2018 at 03:55 | #22

    Happy birthday Jorma! You have blessed us with beautiful music over the years and we wish you and your family all of G_d’s blessings. I just read your book and it was great. I couldn’t put it down – a real page turner. You changed my life 40 years ago – I was a teenager learning guitar and thought everything had to be loud and electric. You turned me on to acoustic guitar and I still play and love it to this day. Have a Happy and Blessed New Year my friend! I know you still have a lot in the tank – the ride continues!

  23. John R.
    December 24th, 2018 at 06:59 | #23

    A belated Happy 78th Birthday, Jorma. And thank you for your gift to us.

  24. HOGAN
    December 24th, 2018 at 07:28 | #24

    The happiest of birthdays to you Captain,

    May your year be Blessed with Love, Friendship and Good Health..

    Hogan
    :-)

  25. phil zisook
    December 24th, 2018 at 09:02 | #25

    Happy Birthday week! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019.

  26. Tom Fabry
    December 24th, 2018 at 11:04 | #26

    Keep Pressing On Brother Jorma. 78 is the new 63.

    Like King David whom you quote, you very often give thanks to God. Keep trusting God, whatever that is. Love and truth are certainly a big part of it.
    It is good to acknowledge God in these sometimes Neo-paganistic times…

    Oh Good Shepherd, Feed My sheep

    Enjoy an extra long walk. Happy and healthy new year for all. God bless America and all the world.

  27. jim hitchcock
    December 24th, 2018 at 12:10 | #27

    Happy Boogie,Jorma!:

    https://youtu.be/VWBNV1TnS-E

  28. johno
    December 24th, 2018 at 13:31 | #28

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate this wonderful holiday. It comes at the darkest part of the year. It brings us so much love, light and hope.

  29. December 24th, 2018 at 13:57 | #29

    Happy birthday fellow Capricorn friend! Great to see you smiling in that photo. All the best wishes to you and your family this holiday season. Keep guiding the way Capt.

  30. Mitch Spector
    December 24th, 2018 at 14:45 | #30

    Happy Birthday Jorma !! Keep on rockin un the free world !!
    Peace & love ..

  31. Mitch Spector
    December 24th, 2018 at 14:45 | #31

    Happy Birthday Jorma !! Keep on rocking in the free world !!
    Peace & love ..

  32. December 24th, 2018 at 17:42 | #32

    Happy 78 th Jorma .
    The old querie , is it half full or half empty?
    I’ve always been inclined to assert that we get our full measure, if we try.
    The walk of life gets us what we give .
    Keep walking , keep the dog by our side , the faithful and supportive family in our every thought.
    Maintain that glint in the eye , and in some cases the sparkle in the gold tooth.
    Merry Christmas and joy to your world.
    We might get to the 99 year blues.
    Locked and loaded for 2019.

    Wonder if there will be a 50 th romp at White Lake this year , any ears to ground?

  33. Chappy
    December 24th, 2018 at 22:12 | #33

    Happy Birthday, Captain! It’s been 39 years since I first got turned on to Hot Tuna (by way of “Double Dose”) on the 3rd floor of James Hall fronting Richland Avenue as a freshman student at Ohio University back in 1980. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing you and Jack in concert many time since then all over the eastern half of this great country. I still marvel at the irony of you and your family settling in the majestic hills of SE Ohio and the magic, transcendence, and true down-home feel of your music. Looking forward to another year of enlightenment from music…especially at FPR. Keep your lamps trimmed and burning and keep on keeping on! Wishing you many blessings.

  34. greg sousa
    December 24th, 2018 at 22:47 | #34

    Happy birthday,a big thank you for your music and for you being you.Merry Christmas and many more.

  35. carey georgas
    December 25th, 2018 at 09:56 | #35

    Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.

  36. Rick Quinn
    December 25th, 2018 at 14:47 | #36

    Happy birthday Mav has his eye on your breakfast

  37. crndl
    December 25th, 2018 at 16:35 | #37

    Happy Birthday Jorma, and long and happy life. And many thanks for the music, my life is better from hearing you play :)

  38. Ant
    December 25th, 2018 at 16:48 | #38

    Hi Jorma,Happy Birthday,Happy Holidays,Happy Christmas…..and …..be…..Happy….its a nice little word isn’t it? I have spent today reading your book,i really enjoyed it,thanks for the music,it all comes back to the music,you have been on an amazing journey,and a lot of us have hopped on for the ride,oh thanks for everything and keep on rocking

  39. Joanne Ulrich
    December 26th, 2018 at 09:53 | #39

    Happy Birthday Jorma. I love Vanessa’s photo and caught a glimpse of that moon on Long Island that night. It was beautiful. Thank you for the music you’ve given us. Barry (Tahoe Brian’s younger brother) is my husband. We are now married 28 years and we travel to unique places to see you and set our itinerary for adventure around your show. Last year we went to Montana (Tedeschi Trucks/you and Jack) and this September it will be Red Rocks. You have been inspirational through your music and Barry reads your blogs and set lists daily. You are an artist that has become an integral part of our lives journey. We wish for you continued health and happiness. we look forward to the three shows we’ll see you at in 2019, Brooklyn, Stephens Talkhouse and Red Rocks! Truck my blues away….

  40. John B
    December 26th, 2018 at 10:15 | #40

    78 RPM……..I love it….Happy Birthday Jorma and thank you for sharing………

  41. John B
    December 26th, 2018 at 11:04 | #41

    1980 was 39 years ago ! OMG…….@Chappy

  42. AndyK
    December 26th, 2018 at 14:15 | #42

    Jorma, Interesting that you celebrated your birthday by giving presents to all of us – the Electric Tour! Thanks!
    http://jormakaukonen.com/tour.html

  43. johno
    December 26th, 2018 at 15:37 | #43

    Thanks for the heads up! Just got tix for Westbury and Stephens Talkhouse. You’re like the energizer bunny Jorma – you keep going and going and going. Must be those strong Finnish genes. Unbelievable.
    @AndyK

  44. dedhedken
    December 26th, 2018 at 16:54 | #44

    Happy belated Birthday Jorma! It will be a great end of 2018 and a wonderful start to 2019 in Berkeley. So glad I went for it on the tickets. Looks like a sell-out for all 3 dates as well! My 1st live Hot Tuna Electric show was just a couple of blocks away (@ Berkeley Community Theater). Caught every NYE show at the Fillmore (when Pete & Michael were on board, good times). Great to have you back in Berkeley & the Bay Area where it all began. As you often write, ONWARD!

  45. Richard
    December 26th, 2018 at 17:38 | #45

    johno :
    Thanks for the heads up! Just got tix for Westbury and Stephens Talkhouse. You’re like the energizer bunny Jorma – you keep going and going and going. Must be those strong Finnish genes. Unbelievable.
    @AndyK

    Johno where did you buy tics for the Westbury show? Cant seem to find where they are on sale..Thanks..

  46. johno
    December 26th, 2018 at 22:32 | #46

    Got the tix for Stephens Talkhouse. My friend knows someone who works at Westbury. Got me tix. They should go on sale to the public next week.
    @Richard

  47. Richard
    December 27th, 2018 at 06:45 | #47

    johno :
    Got the tix for Stephens Talkhouse. My friend knows someone who works at Westbury. Got me tix. They should go on sale to the public next week.
    @Richard

    Thanks,will keep my eyes open..

  48. Mitch Spector
    December 27th, 2018 at 09:16 | #48

    Jorma you & i gotta catch a meal at La Viletta II in Ronkonkoma on your way out to the Talkhouse ..You pass right by it off Exit 59 Rt 495 South ..
    My Hometown My Treat !! It was a cool night meeting you with my brother Al at the F.P.R. Dinner Nov 2nd With John !! Party on Jorma & i hope you except my invite to the meal .Peace & love

  49. Nancy Rose Malone
    December 27th, 2018 at 22:19 | #49

    Happy Belated Birthday to you at 78 precious years. I am approaching 68 on 1/19 and wish to thank you for the Southern CT State College(now University)in my hometown of New Haven, CT, concert in our gymnasium and Hot Tuna concerts many years ago.Now that I am retired from 43 years in Baltimore City as a Special Ed teacher of decades of wonderful young people, I am still attending concerts! When someone asked me when I was going to stop going, I said “when they stop playing!”. Music & concerts have been my saving grace throughout my tenure and now gratefully getting trying to get used to retirement but know as in your soul you are a musician, and I am still a teacher ready to return while my health is good,still enjoying and sharing music with others. God keep you playing and being blest with a loving family! Peace!

  50. uncle jack
    December 28th, 2018 at 15:11 | #50

    Silver Birches line the road, and we become them, Happy Birthday, jack

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