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Requiem And A Weekend At The Ranch

September 24th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

(There’s always late breaking news. Sometimes good, sometimes bad… and sometimes it just is. I got a call early this morning from a friend who told me that Robert Hunter had just passed. ‘Don’t say anything,’ he said. The family hasn’t announced yet. That’s what they wanted and that’s what I did. My orbit tangented Robert’s from time to time. I played on his Amagamalin Street. double LP back in the 80’s. We never really hung out, but over the years we occasionally worked together and… in a distant way he was a respected friend. I shall miss sharing the same astral plane with him.)

Robert, Jorma and Bob

Robert, Jorma and Bob

This picture was taken fifteen years ago easily… there we are, frozen in time for the times to come.

Fall is beginning to wrap its leafy fingers around us all here in Southeast Ohio. The end of another year is underway and even before it arrives I know that Spring will come again and the world will continue to spin. If indeed there is another destination for us when we shuffle off this mortal coil, I hope that Robert is there surrounded by people who will challenge his intellectual curiosity.

Fair winds and following seas my friend.

Back to the Ranch Diary

Yeah, it was a great road trip and he gigs were some of the best ever… great venues, great people to play with… good times! Sometimes I hear, ‘Yeah, you’re going home. Gonna kick back for a while?’ Are you kidding? Kicking back is not part of my existence, and for me that is a good thing! The detritus of the atmosphere in the bus finally caught up with me and as the week evolved I started to show signs of something. Tour Kennel Cough we call it. That said, I had two motorcycle rides to lead. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

The Sportsters fuel up in Nelsonville.

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

The big bikes all had five plus gallon fuel tanks so the gas stops were for the two Sportsters with peanut tanks. There were some detours due to Fall construction and the ride wound up being 130 plus miles… then back to the Fur Peace Ranch, a class, dinner and the concert with Rob and Trey with me opening the show.

Nessa blos the conch shell for dinner

Nessa blows the conch shell for dinner

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

As time approached for set opener I had no voice at all. I grabbed John Hurlbut and asked him if he wanted to do the gig with me, and do all the singing. He said ‘Sure,’ and started to make up a set. What are friends for?

The Kaukonen/Hurlbut Allstar Review:

Embryonic Journey…..Jorma
Ballad of Easy Rider…..JK and JH
Kansas City Southern…. JK and JH
Oklahoma Hills…….JK and JH
The Old Homestead….JK and JH
Summertime…….JK and JH
Driftin and Driftin……JK and JH
All Along The Watchtower…..JK and JH

Thanks Brother Hurl, and… we gave the folks a great set!

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were awesome as they always are! Love these guys.

Before you knew it, Sunday came with Student Open Mike ans pictures et al.

Cameras anyone?

Cameras anyone?

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

The collective classes

The collective classes

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… fall is coming but it’s warm today…

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Rob, Jorma & Trey

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

A great weekend with good friends!

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Two wheeled friends blissfully together

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:
  1. Rob
    September 24th, 2019 at 14:23 | #1

    Robert Hunter, fare thee well…

  2. John B
    September 24th, 2019 at 15:52 | #2

    Looks like a great time……I agree with you in that there is no sense in kickin back…..keep moving forward while we still can ! May God Bless and keep you always.

  3. John B
    September 24th, 2019 at 15:53 | #3

    RIP Robert Hunter . I had this fantasy of seeing him at the Ranch but that is no more……. “Our life Is Like A Mist…….’

  4. September 25th, 2019 at 06:04 | #4

    Let there be songs
    To fill the air

  5. mikie
    September 25th, 2019 at 08:26 | #5

    So sorry Robert had to leave this brokedown palace, peace be his journey.
    Hey, just a bit of shameless self-promotion: if you get to Athens, pls stop in at the Kennedy Art Museum (the ‘Big dorm on the Hill’). There’s an exhibit of collections there that includes my collages of five decades of concert ticket stubs. Many from JK and FPS shows, as well as a 1972 JA from the LJS tour, I believe. Frank McDermott’s guitar exhibit is what you’ll really want to see, tho.
    Enjoy your hometime, m

  6. johno
    September 25th, 2019 at 10:38 | #6

    Great photo of Jorma, Robert Hunter and Bob Weir.

  7. Tom NY
    September 26th, 2019 at 08:41 | #7

    Hunter, God rest and bless his soul.

    He said once, his favorite line he had ever wrote was, “there is a fountain, that was not made by the hands of man.” A nod to the creator… I always liked his line from his and Garcia’s tune, “small wheel turns by the firing rod, big wheel turns by the grace of God”.

    He alluded to Jesus Christ in some ways.

    Found a stack of blank pictures
    A passport out of Hell
    Left here by a stranger
    Seemed to wish me well
    Signed, Promontory Rider
    Territory Ranger
    Asking: Can you thread a needle?
    Can you shoot the moon?
    Walk the silver screen
    To your judgement at High Noon
    Like any Promontory Rider?
    Territory Ranger … step up


    Above Garcia and Hunter doing Promontory Rider.

  8. Ben Hochberg
    September 26th, 2019 at 11:14 | #8

    The motorcycle rides were outstanding – love the roads around there, especially the Triple Nickel – and Hurl really stepped up and helped out by playing a fine set with you JK, indeed. Sportsters generally need gas stops more often, but, as we know, they have been “BLOWING AWAY BIG TWINS SINCE 1957.” It was a marvelous weekend, and I am already looking forward to the next time.

  9. LWE
    September 26th, 2019 at 12:55 | #9

    In 1984, I was fortunate enough to see Hunter performing with The Dinosaurs in Phoenix. It was a great show through and through, although John Cippolina did not look well even then. I wish Amagamalin St. was available through Apple Music or the like because I doubt the cassette tape I have of it in a box somewhere is still functioning. More importantly, I wish all of Jorma’s recordings on Relix were made available for streaming. The Land of Heroes and Too Many Years are two favorites that, with so many new cars eliminating CD players, can now only be played at home (which isn’t all bad, just less flexible). I will dare to dream. Speaking of streaming, I enjoyed watching Saturday’s show very much and look forward to seeing the Electric Hot Tuna show in November. Thank you guys for making that possible.

  10. Dan Nigro
    September 26th, 2019 at 13:33 | #10

    You can find Amagamalin St. complete album on You Tube

  11. johno
    September 26th, 2019 at 15:15 | #11

    Did anyone besides me hear White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane on television? It is being aired as background music by Celebrity Cruises and airing it in the NY Metro Market. They use the whole Alice in Wonderland theme. Look for it and for your residual check in the mail Jorma.

  12. Dan Nigro
    September 26th, 2019 at 17:52 | #12

    Just heard it twice watching MTP daily

  13. Kevin
    September 26th, 2019 at 19:03 | #13

    Yup, it caught me eye, and ears, yesterday. Pretty nice as commercials go.

  14. Susan
    September 26th, 2019 at 22:03 | #14

    I saw that commercial a few times in one tv show and did a double take. wondered if permission was needed and granted.

  15. September 27th, 2019 at 06:52 | #15

    Hi Susan… all these commercials are licensed well in advance…


  16. LWE
    September 27th, 2019 at 09:08 | #16

    Thank you. @Dan Nigro

  17. AndyK
    September 27th, 2019 at 13:29 | #17

    Anyone ever have the pleasure to see/hear Eric Krasno (Soullive, Lettuce) play guitar?
    He’s amazing…very talented player and producer.
    Anyway I just read that his first concert growing up, his dad took him to see Hot Tuna at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester NY!
    No surprise, Hot Tuna has inspired a new generation of musicians.

  18. Brian Doyle
    September 27th, 2019 at 16:07 | #18

    Marty gone 1 year…That guy Balin did some incredible stuff in San Francisco…

  19. Chappy
    September 27th, 2019 at 19:28 | #19

    Andy K, yes I got to see Eric Krasno play with Foundation of Funk (with Zigaboo Modeliste, George Porter Jr, and John Medeski) at TTB’s last Sunshine Music Festival in January 2018 in St. Pete, FL. He’s a great guitarist indeed and that band was awesome too. Hot Tuna (electric) were on that bill as well and played a rockin’ hot set on a vey chilly night…about 35 degrees when they hit the stage.

  20. AndyK
    September 28th, 2019 at 15:11 | #20

    That’s quite a lineup!
    And TTB is an amazing band
    So much good music. We are so fortunate to be treated to.@Chappy

  21. johno
    September 29th, 2019 at 11:32 | #21

    Thanks for turning me onto Promontory Rider be Robert Hunter and The Jerry Garcia Band. I was never was into the Grateful Dead – I was a Hot Tuna purist.
    However I just love that song. Never heard it before.
    @Tom NY

  22. Tom in St.Louis
    September 29th, 2019 at 12:40 | #22

    John Hurlbut is just the greatest, isn’t he?
    We love that guy.

  23. eaglesteve
    September 29th, 2019 at 18:21 | #23

    La Shona Tova to the Kaukonens and Tuna Nation

  24. Tom NY
    September 29th, 2019 at 20:36 | #24

    @Tom in St.Louis
    Brother John makes good coffee too.

  25. Tom NY
    September 30th, 2019 at 08:32 | #25


    You are welcome Johno. Jerry was a healthier guy then. Most often a beautiful sweet tone, through his Fender twin reverb amps and Mcintosh head, and the mosty tastiest of licks. I recall Garcia introducing Hunter as “my old pal”.

    At Garcia’s funeral, held in a Christian Church in California, St. Stephen’s to be precise, w Bob Dylan and many others in attendance Hunter said something to the effect that he never told Jerry that he loved him.

    Surviving this life, and with God’s word being true, as it says in the Book of Hebrews, “we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses”.. Hunter may have the opportunity now to tell Jerry that he loves him.

    Pray for peace

  26. Chinaski
    October 4th, 2019 at 07:17 | #26

    The San Francisco Chronicle features an interesting story about Owsley and his Sonic Journals, his tapes and what is to become of them:

  27. AndyK
    October 4th, 2019 at 09:48 | #27

    Thanks, really good article.
    And the Boyz’ “Before We Were Them” is an excellent example of the fine work.

  28. johno
    October 4th, 2019 at 14:59 | #28

    RIP Augustus Owsley Stanley III

  29. John B
    October 4th, 2019 at 19:01 | #29

    His book was great ……

  30. carlo pagliano
    October 5th, 2019 at 12:44 | #30

    Rock Them All High Tonight, Jorma!

  31. carlo pagliano
    October 6th, 2019 at 00:24 | #31

    Shinin’ ole Rock smashing fresh in stock. Nth stellar concert mastered live on Earth at twilight (San Francisco) by the titanic Rock Band HOT TUNA. And it’s just the beginning, as they say.

  32. John
    October 19th, 2019 at 18:35 | #32

    RIP, Hunter.

    Just wanted to chime in that my experience at FPR in August was one of the finest times
    I have had related to music.