In 1945 and ’46 my Father, Jorma Sr., found himself a young Naval officer attached to an Army military intelligence unit with General MacArthur’s staff. As a first generation American born in this country, Dad was already something of a linguist. His first language was Finnish, then English taught at the Carnegie Library in Ironwood, Michigan. As a thirteen year old, the Kaukonen family moved to East L.A., Lincoln Heights to be exact… so his next language was Spanish. His younger brothers were combat vets, Tarmo in North Africa and Italy and Pentti in the Pacific, winding up in the Philippines. Dad was a little older and he had to jump through hoops in order to enlist. they sent him to the Navy Language School in Ann Arbor an he learned Japanese. (Before Dad went home for the last time, he would master Urdu, Tagalog and Swedish.)

After the fire bombing of Tokyo, there was little left standing save plumbing and iron safes. Dad and his buds would sift through the ashes of the city and crack safes to see if there were any relevant documents inside and at night they were billeted with Douglas MacArthur’s guys at the Grand Hotel in Yokohama. (Interestingly enough, still standing.) When I was here with Hot Tuna in 1997, that’s where we stayed.

Evening in Yokohama

Evening in Yokohama

After an eleven an a half hour flight from Denver, we arrived in Narita welcomed by a gentle Spring rain. A couple hours later after checking into the hotel in Yokohama, we took a walk to find an eatery.

A ramen shop... yeah buddy!

A ramen shop... yeah buddy!

A simply delicious bowl of Ramen an some Gyoza! A man’s gotta eat.

Jack, Douglas our promoter, myself and Myron Hart... yummy!

Jack, Douglas our promoter, myelf an Myron Hart... yummy

Floto by unknown waitress.

It’s 0100 here in Japan… thirteen hours and a day off from Ohio time. I’m awake… obviously. Hmm. how did that happen? I figured I’d answer some emails, update my blog and see if I can get back to sleep. Today is a bona fide day off so I’m going to walk around the port. Tomorrow we play Thumbs Up here in Yokohama. In 1997 Hot Tuna did a live recording here (Hot Tuna, Live In Japan) at a little club called Stoves which is owned by the guy who also owns Thumbs Up.

We’re looking forward to a great couple of weeks here, and we’re going to keep all of you in the loop.



  1. Comment made on April 28, 2014 by Barbara Jacobs

    Hey Greg:
    I only just now saw your comment.
    That Ray/Jorma hoe down is a good idea.

    It speaks to the comment, posted on another, recent blog-post; about how Ray’s songs can give the feeling of nostalgia for places ,to people that have never been there — they only need to hear the songs and are brought to those places.
    “Muswell Hillbillies” is the ultimate example.@Greg Martelli

  2. Comment made on April 24, 2014 by Greg Martelli

    Great referance and long forgotten -Hoagies – cranky old yank..
    Another interesting allusion to musical taste ;Ray Davies the quintessential , mussewell hillbilly & Hot Tuna , let’s bring Ray to Miegs county for a hoe down.
    This is the age of machinery. !!!

  3. Comment made on April 23, 2014 by Cyndyconsentino Consentino

    Dear Jorma,
    Live in Japan playing now as I write this!

  4. Comment made on April 23, 2014 by Mike Anderson

    Just to move a little off topic here, a while back I’d asked Jorma about the Ovation guitars he played year ago and he responded that they were long gone, etc. In today’s news here in Connecticut it was announced that Ovation guitars will cease manufacturing guitars this summer. These guitars were the brain child of Charles H. Kaman who also manufactured helicopters.

  5. Comment made on April 23, 2014 by johno

    ‘Live in Japan’ is one of my fav albums. Have some fun in the Land of the Rising Sun. Stay away from sushi and sashimi. Safe travels.

  6. Comment made on April 23, 2014 by George Henn

    Yokahama, hello!

  7. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by Barbara Jacobs

    Be on the look-out for “Yoshi”:
    He’s a big Jorma/Hot Tuna/Ray Davies/Kinks fan.

  8. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by Barbara Jacobs

    Hey, Carlo:
    Across the great divide:
    You and I are here, via cyberspace, at the same place, same time!

  9. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by Barbara Jacobs

    Hi Carlo!
    Jorma and Jack/ Tuna will:
    “Keep on rockin (them) baby!”@carlo pagliano

  10. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by carlo pagliano

    Extremely beautiful Dan Hicks and Jorma Kaukonen!
    Winsome duet.
    Thank You Jorma!

  11. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by carlo pagliano

    Jack & Jorma-sama are gonna rock Yokohama
    Rock Them All Real High Tonight Jorma!

  12. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by Stevie Coyle

    Maybe you fellers have time to whip up Hoagy’s “I’m a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doin’ Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues.” But maybe not, too. Safe travels!


  13. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by doug mlyn

    Glad you made it! I remember the whole story about Stoves. I’m playing Live in Japan at work today in honor of Hot Tuna! Looking forward to the set lists and pictures. Onward!

  14. Comment made on April 22, 2014 by Brett

    Sher sounds some fun pickin’ awaits….and eatin’ and sightseein’

    Play it Purty for Yokahama guys !!

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