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Yet One More County Heard From…

Hey guys and gals

Normally I’d wait to run some of my reply by Vanessa before posting, but why wait? Restraint of tongue and pen you know, but sometimes you just have to say what you feel! Ness pretty much eloquently said what I would have said, only more so. Boy you just can’t make this shit up. There is no reason for someone to really know or care anything about my life or the travails thereof. That would be truly self-centered on my part and as self-centered as I am, I’m not there yet. All that being said (and keeping in mind it’s not my business what other people think of me) humans sometimes appall me.

So, as some of you might know I wrote a memoir, Been So Long,’ that came out in 2018. St. Martin’s Press just released the paperback edition and my publicist Cash arranged some press to go along with the release. Now all this was scheduled way before our Ostrich-In-Chief (head in the sand) decided that the Coronal Virus was actually something to worry about. Anyway, I was on the phone with my pals up there in Columbus, Ohio on radio WQFM and we shot the shit for a while, pushed the book a little and talked about life today in 2020.

I had a good time chatting and having chatted moved on. I guess Vanessa posted a link for the interview with QFM. Cool… or so we thought. Vanessa gets this email from this guy Michael R.

‘I question why jorma would release his memoirs about his “musical life” at this time, when we are at war with a virus that is killing 1000 people a day in new york city. Seems like a very selfish gesture to me. I don’t care about his musical life at this time. How about using his talent to help someone at this time of war?’

Wow Michael. Heavy. I can see you’re a deep thinker. Well, since you’re being a dick let me point out that Jorma is a proper noun and should be capitalized as should New York City. You’re no e.e.cummings of that I’m sure! You’re spending too much time in your iPad.

OK

Here’s Vanessa’s response and my opening shot is quite simply, that’s my girl!

‘Michael

Jorma wrote his book in 2018. The paperback was just recently released. This radio interview that was just released and posted was scheduled prior to our excuse for a president even acknowledging COVID-19 was an issue. If you’d done your fucking homework before you went off and made yourself look like as asshole you’d know everything that Jorma has done and continues to do for his community. Are you aware that he’s been supporting veterans for nearly two decades or that he donates his tour money and time to habitat for humanity, literacy organizations, children’s museums, teen drug and alcohol recovery, music in the schools, local food banks, equine rescue and to specific organizations that feed the hungry in our country? Shame on you! Shame on you! You know nothing about his philanthropic work. As far as this virus goes, we’ve turned our down time into making masks and hand sanitizer with the help of my sister and my 91 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s. We’ve sent masks to first responders and patients in New York, Long Island, Massachusetts, Chicago and here locally in our own community. They are free. We are not gouging anyone (like so many large corporations are doing) for our efforts.

I’m sorry your own ignorance has you so confused and clearly hateful. Next time you want to take someone to task, do your homework!

I wish you well and only hope you are stepping up in this time of crisis.’

Hey Vanessa, thanks and a big socially distant hug to you. Hey everybody, it’s nice to be liked and appreciated, but it’s not a given and it’s surely not mandated. That being said I really try to avoid caring about what other people think of me. Vanessa was way more verbal on my behalf than I would have been.

I guess I’m a little perplexed about what some people seem to think the life of a performer and an artist is like. I used to say, ‘It beats digging ditches,’ but, but these troubled times digging ditches might be a lot more productive. The talents and skills I’ve spent my life trying to improve have little survival value in a post-apocalyptic world. Yeah, I’ve put aside some food and important survival needs and yeah, I’ve got a generator, but nothing lasts forever and when they’re gone, there gone. I won’t be harvesting a deer with my guitar that’s for sure. And BTW, I’m not whining about that. If and when the time comes, I’ll figure how to survive with my family.

OK… Thanks Vanessa for being my fierce protector. Our family could not survive without you having our back. We are truly blessed. You just can’t beat a strong family in times of need.

In the words of my father, Jorma Sr.
‘Why are there so many more horses’ asses than there are horses?’

Thanks Dad!

Now a reminder to all you out there in the Peanut Gallery (Howdy Doody reference). Remember:

Saturday April 4, 2020 at eight PM that selfish, egocentric, uncaring, unfeeling and totally un-empathic guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen will be doing an online free concert from the (sad to say) empty Fur Peace Station:

As for my readers here, we may not always agree, but thanks for hanging in there.

Have a great day all!

PS The Fur Peace Ranch is pretty much abandoned but there is always maintenance and a skeleton staff. I was just outside talking to John Hurlbut our Ranch Manager and we were appreciating the smell of the grass that was just cut this morning. I looked up at the blue sky and strange say in that moment I was briefly transported back to my old house in San Francisco on Yerba Buena Ave. The blue sky, the tiny yard and the smell of freshly cut grass… and then it was gone and I was back in our Meigs County Spring.

What a day!

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  1. Brian Doyle
    April 3rd, 2020 at 14:08 | #1

    The internet is a means by which everyone can get their thoughts in whether those thoughts deserve airing or not…Myself, I see Jefferson Airplane as having contributed nobly to the cause of the 60’s whether they even saw it that way…Anyone who accuses Jorma of acting selfishly in the face of the epidemic doesn’t know Jorma…

    Cgeorgas: You can get hand sanitizer on the internet…I guess that Toilet Paper run to Costco 2 weeks ago didn’t get me…I have to go back soon but this time I have fresh 70% ethanol hand sanitizer and a virus rated filter mask…

  2. Rob
    April 3rd, 2020 at 14:10 | #2

    I’ll bet that after that genius sent that comment, he got into his car, turned on the radio, heard “Embryonic Journey,” and thought “how dare Jorma play his song on the radio when we’re at war!”. Because, of course, Jorma decides when his paperback gets published, and when his songs get played on the radio, and when photos of himself smiling come up in Google searches. It’s amazing to have so much control over everything! It must really bother that rocket scientist that someone with this much clout misuses it so carelessly in a time of war…

  3. LWE
    April 3rd, 2020 at 14:14 | #3

    I admire Vanessa’s restraint. I don’t think I would have been quite so gracious. “You go, Girl!”

    – “Father” Chip (Vanessa will understand)

  4. Joey Hudoklin
    April 3rd, 2020 at 14:49 | #4

    There’s a lot of jerks out there.
    Pray for him.

  5. Richard
    April 3rd, 2020 at 15:40 | #5

    A take on an old adage: If wishes were horses, we’d all be shoveling shit!

    And I still believe that even after the apocalypse we’ll need minstrels. Maybe more than ever. Been listening to you and Jack since 1968 at the Filmore and Winterland. Bless you, and thanks!

  6. AndyK
    April 3rd, 2020 at 16:13 | #6

    Thank you, Jorma and your family for all you do for so many people. It’s a shame that Vanessa had to take time to eloquently respond to such lunacy.

    On another note, we lost another one. Rest in peace, Bill Withers. He joins recently departed Bucky Pizzarelli and Ellis Marsalis.

  7. greg
    April 3rd, 2020 at 16:15 | #7

    We out here in Jersey love you guys in Ohio, and always will.
    My good friend, Yuko, from Tokyo, Japan, has a birthday on the 4th, and I told her about the concert from the Fur Peace Ranch. Of course, she will to tune in about 9am on Sunday. Can I make a request for her? She loves Water Song. Thanks!!

  8. April 3rd, 2020 at 17:22 | #8

    Can’t wait for the show! Thanks again. We will be having a virtual get together before the show with some friends. Strange times indeed.

  9. Sian Steed
    April 3rd, 2020 at 18:02 | #9

    Good luck with your lovely concert, Jorma.

  10. Ham Neggs
    April 3rd, 2020 at 18:05 | #10

    Yeah I’m a Troll among other things.
    I was gonna lay low but THANK YOU VANESSA.
    Mr K I remember long ago the Yonkers MC Christmas show. We came up with a van full of Muppet books from Jim Henson ( Fatman and Matty K were two of his workers). At the door ” the concierge” said you have to bring Toys. We told him we have a van filled with books. “BOOKS! BOOKS!??? Fatman told him not to worry a lot of them are comics. Big Matt hope to “see” you and Camel tomorrow night.
    Mr K you are a fuckin gentleman and that 3/30 blog is majestic.
    Ms Eggs and I will happily and I sure at times tearily be dancing in the front row.
    Peace Love All Ways

  11. April 3rd, 2020 at 18:41 | #11

    e.e.cummimgs great

  12. Marian Anger
    April 3rd, 2020 at 19:14 | #12

    Hey, comfort in these trying times comes in many ways. I live alone and have been almost entirely alone for almost two months, a quick trip to the drive-up pharmacy and the grocery pick-up are about it. I hear from family and friends now and again but it’s mostly just me. This is so much harder when the news is so scary and depressing. Jorma, and Jack, have been a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. I grew up in NYC and turned 13 in 1970 and started seeing them shortly after that. If my mobility issues weren’t a factor I’d still be seeing them. When I married (tho long divorced), Watersong was what I walked down the aisle to. After hearing about Jorma’s free show on Saturday night I sent an email to a number of friends and family. This is the BEST news I’ve had in a while and can’t wait to ‘see’ you. Music is so important to our well being and, I might add, is a good book. It’s a way to step away from the terrible news of the day for a bit. I bought Been So Long when it came out but now that you’ve brought it up, I may just revisit it for some mind and soul respite. Thank you for all you, and Vanessa, do and for the show on Saturday. No other way to say it, that Michael is a jerk. All love…Marian

  13. Dan Nigro
    April 3rd, 2020 at 21:00 | #13

    Captain, you are a National Treasure which would make Vanessa the National Treasurer ! Way better than Mnuchin, BTW loan that guy a vowel will ya’. Looking forward to a virtual front row seat on Saturday. Place my yellow sticky on the left side isle. Thanks

  14. Joey Hudoklin
    April 3rd, 2020 at 22:44 | #14

    Jorma, your webcast concert is so needed for us dedicated fans in this stressful time.
    I’ve been relying on your music to get me through everything since my 1st show in Nov. 1975.
    One that will always stand out is the Beacon show after 9/11. Just you & Jack acoustic. Looking around the room during parts of the show, and seeing grown men and women crying. T’wasa very emotional night.
    You’re a big part of the lives of so many.
    Thank you, I’ll be Tuna-ing in♡

  15. DennisK
    April 3rd, 2020 at 23:54 | #15

    Sounds Monty Python’s friend, “Biggus Dickus.”

  16. DennisK
    April 3rd, 2020 at 23:57 | #16

    Sounds like, Biggus Dickus.

  17. carlo pagliano
    April 4th, 2020 at 00:20 | #17

    Rock us all tall and over tonight, JORMA!

  18. Andy Zacks
    April 4th, 2020 at 00:45 | #18

    Sorry for this nonsense, Jorma. More ignorance is the last thing any of us need. Thinking of you, Vanessa, Izze, and Hurl in these mixed up crazy times. Wishing you all the very best of health. Ps I didn’t wait for the paper back,

  19. Pete
    April 4th, 2020 at 01:10 | #19

    “that selfish, egocentric, uncaring, unfeeling and totally un-empathic guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen”

    I’ll take one of these shirts in an XL!

    Love you guys.

  20. Howard Wade
    April 4th, 2020 at 01:45 | #20

    Man did she lay into that jerk or what? Great post. One of the best.

    We’ll be tuning in tomorrow from the wilds of Oak Grove, Oregon.

  21. Howard Wade
    April 4th, 2020 at 02:03 | #21

    And no you can’t make this shit up.

  22. Tom NY
    April 4th, 2020 at 07:53 | #22

    Flowers today bloomin’ by the pathway;
    Linin’ the edge of tomorrows grave.

    Like our Mom’s said, wash your hands and if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

    Children of Zion
    True Religion
    I’ll Be Alright
    Lamps

    Thanks for the show tonight.

  23. rich l
    April 4th, 2020 at 08:50 | #23

    been awhile since I’ve listened to Heart temporary…like Hot Tuna, a somewhat hidden gem.

    Good can always be brought forth from evil. I’m so glad Vanessa pointed out all the good things you do Jorma. I sell a customer who explained his company this way to me…”Rich, there are givers and takers in the world. My company is a taker!”

    Clearly, you are more of a giver than a taker. Wow, that was quite a list of philanthropy.

    keep on truckin’ Jorma, truck our blues away!

  24. carlo pagliano
    April 4th, 2020 at 11:07 | #24

    Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass. Then, now not. The classical loafer mustn’t go home with his butterfly net loaded, and throw that contaminated dishonesty on our most precious love plus to remain even unpunished as a praxis. To hate is to stay young.
    What an unbeatable vademecum is Vanessa’s read.
    Can you figure out, just at the height of an eddy of virus, Vanessa in her car, idle, outside the emergency room and her mom inside aching all over, 24hrs before the worldwide Concert of her husband from the FP Station, for which she is the responsible owner, promoter, organizer, deviser, universal donor. Can you just imagine Vanessa dipped in such a sunny day, to rebut the repulsive statement of the nth chronic douchebag. Vanessa has no need of my violin to flatter her shamelessly, Larry knows how to enchant with the stringed instruments, but the description of Jorma’s philanthropy, octopuswise in its ramifications, reveals an unimaginable scenario. A realm, a real realm, a realm of fancy, with its proper king and queen, a wise king who loves the faithful of any kind, a king that nourishes their spirits as well as their tommy, raises to a higher dignity the stream of life within their souls, stripes of no gravity blow here and there making the burghers rock by the fire, draws out white rabbits by the thousand from his Cyclopean top hat.
    I fish in the back pocket for the swollen billfold that sticks out from the XXXL dungarees I’m wearing, and proceed now with my paperback well in my hands down the green hills, like inside of a painting signed by Grace Slick with no ending.
    Always thanks Jorma

  25. FRAN cimino
    April 4th, 2020 at 11:17 | #25

    thank you for all you do. can’t wait to listen tonight! peace and prayers to you and yours, especially Vanessa

  26. Kae Sullivan
    April 4th, 2020 at 12:06 | #26

    Joy can still be found in these trying times. A concert by one of your favorite performers and a lighter weight in your hands with a paperback book can add to that joy. As Mr. Robert’s would say “Look for the helpers”. Thank you to Jorma and Vanessa for all of your help.

  27. JB
    April 4th, 2020 at 14:08 | #27

    Don’t sugar coat it Vanessa! Give em both barrels! I wonder who pissed in Mikey R’s Cheerios? Thank you Jorma, for thinking of others and providing some entertainment to take our minds off the shit show we are living in!

  28. Tom Augaitis
    April 4th, 2020 at 15:29 | #28

    Jorma,
    My journey with your music began in January, 1970 at the Kingston Armory in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This show as my first exposure to Hot Tuna with Papa John on fiddle. And the the Airplane took off and made an 18 year old kid musically transformed. 50 years later, my brother and I have been going to Hot Tuna shows whenever our schedules coincide. You and Jack created a masterpiece on April 2, 2018 at the Colonial Theatre that we will never forget. I can’t thank you enough for bringing your gift to us tonight. Now, more than ever, we need your music to help us forget the ignorance and incompetence of President Punk and his ignorant army. There’s a special place in Hell for this gutless coward and his minions.
    Vanessa, your response to this hateful soul was spot on. His level of ignorance can’t be removed. It’s probably been baked in for a lifetime.
    I’ll be online tonight at 7 here in St. Charles, Illinois.
    Jorma, thanks again. God bless you and your family.

  29. George Anthony
    April 4th, 2020 at 18:32 | #29

    Thank You Vanessa.

    Looking forward to the Sat night concert.

    Blessings from ‘Long Island’. Thank you for so many amazing Jorma/Tuna LIMHOF moments, Commack Arena, Hofstra, Stonybrook, Calderone, MFP Roslyn, Northstage, CW Post and many more.

    PS. My wife enjoys Peaky Blinders. Be Well.

  30. Jim
    April 4th, 2020 at 18:36 | #30

    I once had a rather vociferous conversation zome years ago at a shoe at GAMH. We had a difference of opinion on the merits of the big HT electric band vs the stripped down lineup. I would not want to make a habit of such discussions as she is a fierce foe. Great response from her, as I would expect nothing less.

    I’m not sad the Ranch will be empty tonight; I’m thrilled to death you’re playing for us, Jorma. You’re the best, Jorma!!!

  31. George Anthony
    April 4th, 2020 at 18:56 | #31

    One More Thank You…

    For many shows benefiting ‘WHY’ World Hunger Year, Hungerthon organization that Harry Chapin and Bill Ayres founded. Jorma, thank you and Jack for playing several ‘Mixed Bag’ benefit shows for NY DJ Pete Fornatale, including one at the ‘United Nations’. More recently at ‘The Space’ in Westbury, LI, benefit for autism, where you received the ‘Long Island Music Hall of Fame Distinguished Musician Award’.

  32. Howard
    April 4th, 2020 at 20:41 | #32

    Wow! All I can say is just f’in wow and unbelievalble?

  33. Joey Hudoklin
    April 4th, 2020 at 22:01 | #33

    What a treat!
    Thank you Jorma, Vanessa, Myron, and everyone!

  34. Jim
    April 5th, 2020 at 09:17 | #34

    If he’s not interested in your musical life , then how is he aware of anything going on involving you.? What an incredibly stupid man … Unfortunately there’s a lot more just like him. A horses ass for sure.

  35. Don Terry
    April 5th, 2020 at 21:49 | #35

    But…but…but I’m watching the Fur Piece stream and it’s exactly what I need!
    I’m stuck at home and good entertainment fights cabin fever. How can this be bad?
    My life improves when Jorma plays. The only downside is a little “why can’t you guys
    be more like that” between me and my fingers.
    Thanks!

  36. Judge Jim
    April 6th, 2020 at 09:32 | #36

    Het Jorma, that guy’s got a real problem, well unfortunately there’s plenty of them around – as I always say, plenty of customers each night at court – well, we really appreciate all you guys do in making the world a little more caring and loving – all the best – Jim

  37. Ant
    April 19th, 2020 at 17:15 | #37

    I am just re-reading your book,i got it for Christmas 2018,and enjoyed it,read it on Cristmas day,and I am digging it again,my dad was from Finland,so I identified with a lot of your roots!I’m kind of proud of being half Finnish i saw Hot Tuna in London 1976, first real time glimpse of the sound of San Francisco.Thank you for all these years of amazing music and stay safe Jorma.