Time to wash the Harley

Time to wash the Harley

So yesterday started with Izze and me washing my Ultra Classic. In honor of the beautiful moment, I’m wearing a T-shirt Nessa’s nephew Nick Curran gave me some years ago. I met Nick up in Maine back in the mid 90’s when he was a young teenager. He was a great guitar player then and he just got better. He was a great guy. Sad to say, he passed from cancer in 2012 in Austin, Texas where he had lived and worked for a number of years. He loved music… he loved motorcycles, he loved life and he is gone too soon. On this day, to work on my bike… I wore his shirt. I hope you’re riffing brother, up on some cloud or wherever you are. We love you.

Izze washes the degreaser off the rear wheel... nasty.

Izze washes the degreaser off the rear wheel... nasty.

I spent most of the day working on the bike and Izze hung in there with me for a number of hours. Thanks big girl… thanks!

I put the bike away and hopped in the truck with my new Purple Peace Les Paul. Glass Harp was playing to a sold out house at the Fur Peace Station. Phil Keaggy, John Sferra, and Dan Pecchio were back in town, and I knew it was going to be fun.

Glass Harp in sound check

Glass Harp in sound check

Jerry Myron and Jorma... watching the sound check

Jerry Myron and Jorma... watching rh check

Well, of course it was a stellar show. Phil invited me up for a tune in the first set… and out came Purple Peace… ready to sound divine. Second set they called me up again. That was a surprise and an honor. Trust me… a great time was had by all!

Today, Sunday… was working around the house for the most part. Got a little motorcycle ride in this morning. Got to hang with the family. With these blessings foremost in my mind, I thought of an email I got a couple of days. A friend of mine’s daughter is in Israel on a birthright trip. On the way to Tel Aviv, she stopped in Poland where here family was from. The first one to go back since they emigrated.

This picture is so powerful!

This picture is so powerful!

We all know that if this were in the 40’s, this would a gate she would most likely not be returning through. This is not summer camp. What an amazing world we live in that this young girl and her friends could make this trip.



This is something we all need to remember.

I count my blessings and kiss my family goodnight, believing that when tomorrow’s light comes, we will have breakfast together.



  1. Comment made on August 31, 2020 by bh

    @Dom Arruzzo

    This article might interest you: https://apnews.com/6ed35e0b1d734190be066ef4ffe3c7a9/Sacred-Navajo-symbols-on-art-often-confused-for-swastikas

    My fascination with Native Americans began when I was a child. As a teenager I studied the Navajo and had (and still have) a lot of their jewelry which was very popular back then. Nowadays I particularly study plains Indian history. About ten years ago I dragged my son to many battlefield and sacred sites out west. I thought he wasn’t interested but he now has a tattoo of a skull in full Indian headdress so I suspect he absorbed more than I realized.

    On another note, some of my German Donauschwaben relatives who had migrated in the 1700’s and were in Yugoslavia during WWII were exterminated in the Russian camps. Like today, there was enough hatred to go around. The Auschwitz pic and the one following brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Comment made on December 21, 2019 by Tim Maloney

    Thank you for clarifying that story about the chain you wore Jorma..that bothered me for years..I never thought to look up the facts and I am ashamed of myself for thinking the obvious without looking into the facts..your guitar playing has amazed me for years..and your wonderful soul and heart now too..forgive my jump to conclusions..God bless dude..peace and love always..

  3. Comment made on June 21, 2019 by Darrell Jepson

    But, Jorma, I being closer to your age probably than most commenters, loving history and watching people over my life, see people now, 2010-on, trying to judge people by today’s “standards” rather than understanding, the 50’s, the 60’s, yes the 1969″ of Woodstock, early ’70’s, etc., are not today.

    Back in 1969, one was not considered a Nazi for wearing a swastika, a WW1-WW2 (same) German soldiers helmet. If it was ‘wrong’ then others in Jefferson Airplane, others bands, the promoters and others would have prevented you wearing it.

    There was nothing wrong with what you did at that time as people saw it at that time. Heck, Jimi Hendrix played the National Anthem. Today, they would be all over him for that.

    Prior to the Nazis coming to prominence and then found to be what they are, there were Swastika Clubs in the US, having nothing to do of non-existent Nazis, itbwas on The Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, as the swastika was a symbol of good luck to many NDN nations/tribes (NDNs have told me they are not Native Americans only, “anyone born in US are”, one told me.) People today, in political correctness lifestyle, cannot understand things were different in years past. And it was not a bad thing. It was just different.

    Thanks for your music over the years. It did entertain and for many of us, was a safe escape.

  4. Comment made on July 25, 2018 by Steve Frank

    I took a screen shot from Woodstock to catch that. Very nice. I can’t imagine why anyone who has been around the block more than once would think that was a German Swastika. I don’t know what it was, but heard it was Good Luck to the Navajo. Other cultures have the same shape. The German Swastika I believe was also angled….but that symbol was around LONG before Hitler was a glimmer in his old man’s eye. Just google “Pawn Silver Navajo Swastika” and see all the vintage jewelry with that symbol. I used Swastika because I don’t know the technical name for the shape, but there IS one I am sure I’ve seen it. Just my brain has developed a slow leak over the years. Just dug. The Navajo called it “The Whirling Log” symbol, and I think it was a takeoff on “The Wheel of Life”. They actually STOPPED using it after Hitler started using the Swastika, which is always “Tilted”. All the best!!

  5. Comment made on September 4, 2015 by Michael Tanigawa

    I know this is old but I have to weigh in on this. As a longstanding element of Scandinavian iconography, the swastika was featured on Finnish military awards during World War II. I must point out that despite Finland being an ally of Germany, this had no connection whatsoever with Nazism. Finland did not turn their Jewish or Roma citizens over to the Nazis. The swastika is an astonishingly universal symbol, which probably existed before recorded history. I have read that these awards are still allowed to be worn openly by the old veterans(according to one of LTC Angolia’s books, I think).

  6. Comment made on September 3, 2014 by George Tsikos

    I had to block several people off the Hot Tuna fan club site as I could not believe their mean, obnoxious comments about the “swastika”……

  7. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by bob fields

    @Dom Arruzzo
    c’mon now

  8. Comment made on June 4, 2014 by mike lowy

    I was at FPR back in ’05 (actually during the time Katrina hit N.O.)…and yes, I know, way past time I get back to FPR (gotta talk to the wife!?!?). Of all the great memories I have from those wonderful few days, the one that sticks out in my mind was Jorma had at one point during the weekend, played a song that he said he had dedicated or written to/for his father, whom I guess was deceased by that time. I don’t even remember the name of the song, but I recall talking to Jorma briefly about it on the dinner line…just bs’ing waiting to get to the mighty fine chow…anyway I remember just basically talking about the importance of family, and time passing etc…the tie in to the above trail of holocaust blogging…my dad, a survivor from Terezin and then Buchenwald, passed this last March…I’m 58 now (my wife and folks sent me to FPR as a 50th B-day present) and my father was 85. It seems that as I listen to music (and attempt) to play nowadays, I approach it with a bit more seriousness, it seems more than just “hey, check this jam out…”, I guess it’s just the passing of time…anyway, keep rocking…all!

  9. Comment made on June 2, 2014 by Walt Hetfield

    Seeing that arm……takes me back – my high school gf’s parents. Was invited to her house to have dinner with her folks. Her mom was an enormous woman and reached across the table to get some platter and I saw THAT type of tattoo. I was really shocked. I was a dumb teenager – I knew her parents were German and jewish but I never put two and two together. Barely made it through the meal. Asked my then girl friend about it later – she explained that her mom had been in a camp – the only one in her family to make it – they had hid out in Holland for a while but got caught. Her dad had gotten over here somehow and fought in the US Army. In her words “they came to the USA and never looked back.” After almost starving to death like that her Mom really didn’t care about her waistline.

  10. Comment made on May 26, 2014 by John B

    Thanks Chuck I was looking for a song for Memorial day.

  11. Comment made on May 24, 2014 by chuck newman

    For anybody looking for a song to go along with Memorial Day, check out Sonny Bono “The Revolution Kind”. Listen all the way through. I liked Sonny solo and his solo songs.

  12. Comment made on May 23, 2014 by Ed

    Haven’t been here in a while. I am always moved here in a positive way.
    Seeing tatooes of concentration camp numbers reminded me; while growing up some I met neighbors who had them. Our neighborhood in Brooklyn housed a significant number of refugees and survivors.
    We can never forget atrocity and its blight on our humanity. We can lovingly remember the struggle of those afflicted to survive and our role in making life kinder and happier for them in any small way. Love thy neighbor, they is us….
    See you in Port Chester, peace,

  13. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by Willy

    Club Bene? Wow indeed. I was at that show too @GeorgeHenn. Good show, reminds me about the acoustic TGTN at the old Lone Star Café…underneath the foot of the legendary iguana. Different times, different setlists, to be sure. All fun. Privileged and glad to be along for the ride Mr. K has taken us on, both here and in performance.

  14. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by George Henn

    Green Onions? Wow. Haven’t heard Jorma play Green Onions since a show decades ago at the now defunct Club Bene in NJ, with Rashied Ali and friends, performing as There Goes The Neighborhood.

  15. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by johno

    sorry my mistake

  16. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by johno

    tv ratings morning shows

  17. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by carlo pagliano

    Dear Jorma
    Post WWII (I946) it is me entrance, our planet Earth is scattered with atrocious biblical suffers, the one in object lives in our memory as a common anguish and still breathes on our skin of us still here, me and my family were lucky since living in Europe, we had no losses, especially my dad who made it back safe at the end of the war, but not one day goes without heading a thought of grace and prayer for those who found themselves entangled in that spiral of horrible moments. All this to say that today we have our Capt. Jorma Kaukonen at the helm, it’s another movie altogether, Jorma & Izzy washed their Harley the other day, it’s definitively a new story to be rewritten.
    Thank You Jorma and Izze!

  18. Comment made on May 22, 2014 by Will Conley

    I was at this show and just like last year, it was killer…I am blessed to say hello to you every time I come to the Ranch…it tickles me that you welcome my daughter and I when we come…it is our honor to be in attendance, but to feel so welcome like a friend is special beyond words

    I an the guy who was goofin with you about how your first set performance was great, but it wasn’t no Green Onions (which you and Phil played to perfection last year) but then the 2nd set happened, and there was incredible jamming, a Crossroads, and even more jamming!!!!! I’ll never forget how much fun I had last year, and I don’t wish to put down the performance because it was great, but this year was simply beyond incredible!!! I really hope you guys get a chance to tour together so you could play together more often…you obviously had a fantastic time…a smile like that can’t be faked!!! I could only imagine what you guys could do if you had more time to experiment…well, I hope this isn’t a rarity, but even if it never happens again, I am one of about 250 of the luckiest people on the planet!!!!!!!!!!! thank you

    P.S. excited to see David Lindley do what he does Saturday…hope to see you there

  19. Comment made on May 21, 2014 by eaglesteve

    Captain, if you’re riding with Rolling Thunder this year or coming to watch the procession, I’ll be on the lookout for your bike. I’m going down tomorrow. Remember our military dead this Monday. G_d bless them all.

  20. Comment made on May 21, 2014 by neil

    Thank you for posting this thoughtful message on many fronts and the powerful images related to the Holocaust. As the son of a survivor who was a “hidden child” by righteous people in Poland who came to the US an orphan and touched many lives notwithstanding with love, light and laughter, that event has colored my life in more ways than I can count. It is a blessing that in this forum it can cause many to hit the pause button to think and reflect and your mention and sharing about Nick Curran in the same posting does point, as Steve noted, to why so many of us stop what we are doing to keep coming back. With your family, enjoy the fruits of a life well lived.

  21. Comment made on May 20, 2014 by mutt

    Thanks Cap’n. Check out the Protect-All products. Good cable lube too.


    explains it for those that are interested

    unfortunate one group can ruin a good thing

    life on earth as we listen to echoes – pink floyd

    great post of remembrance

    don’t furgit our War Fighting Heroes this Monday

    Love and Peace Fur All


  22. Comment made on May 20, 2014 by Scott Meyers

    Having known a few with numbers on their arms it’s a very difficult image to view. It is a stark reminder of the worst of what this world offers. Being less then one block from the WTC on 9/11 I can say that for my lifetime that image was the worst of the worst.

  23. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Joe Chapman

    Glass Harp put on an outstanding show at FPR on Saturday. I grew up in NE Ohio and was a little too young for GH when they came on the scene. I did get to see Dan in mid-to-late 70’s with MSB though. Also, have seen his son Ted play with Col. Bruce and other bands. The apple doesn’t fall far from that bass tree…both great bass players! I discovered Phil a little later and considered him up there with phenomenal guitarists like Larry Carlton, Larry Coryell and the like. John was awesome on drums. Got to thank the guys personally as they were eating breakfast at the OU Inn on Sunday morning…hope I didn’t over-intrude. It was truly one of the pleasures of my life to see/hear those guys perform…first class all the way. Hope to see them again. Thanks for having them Jorma.

  24. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Bennett Harris

    Thanks for posting the pix, and sharing your pride in our shared Jewish heritage. When my ancestors came here from Russia, Poland and Austria well before WWII, they surely left family behind who were wiped out by Hitler. I’ll never even know.

  25. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Hamneggs

    was watching Sam Fuller’s Verboten recently and the soldier tells how his outfit, the 45th ?, had to change their insignia because shiklegruber ruined it for them. Fuller was one of the first to record footage of the concentration camps when they were liberated and never had any tolerance for deniers.
    Love all Ways

  26. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Steve Levenson

    I do want to add that all the nachas from the little one must have you and Mrs. K plotzing. And more to come, I’m sure.

  27. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Steve Levenson

    Entries like this are the reason I started to and continue reading the blog. What a thoughtful and beautiful expression of the richness of life. Amen indeed.

  28. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by dave

    When I saw the photo with the numbers on the arm, it sent a chill down my spine as a stark reminder of such a terrible moment in history. Powerful stuff indeed. Thanks for posting.

  29. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by johno

    The picture is so powerful. The camp pictured is Birkenau and it was placed in Poland because that’s where the Jews and Polish Christians lived. Where millions were slaughtered. I cannot imagine the cruelty that took place there and at the other nazi camps. There is a special place in Hell for bastards like Hitler and Stalin and their ilk.

  30. Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Nick L. Eakins

    We all should thank Providence for all our blessings and for each day we have with each other. I’m no longer of the same religious persuasion now as in the day I saw Phil Keagy at a gospel concert at Hoyt Sherman Auditorium in Des Moines about 40 years ago. Between that concert and Phil’s acoustic LP of the same era, I can testify that he is one of the best unheralded guitar maestro I’ve ever heard. I am no longer a fundamentalist yet I’d still tolerate being proselytized just to hear him play again, no offense intended.

  31. Comment made on May 18, 2014 by Dom Arruzzo

    If you are Jewish why did you wear a swastika necklace at Woodstock?

    • Comment made on May 19, 2014 by Jorma

      Dom… this has been asked and answered so many times. That is not a swastika… That is a very old piece of Navajo Pawn Silver that I got back in the mid 60’s when I, and many of my S.F. pals were collecting such things.It now rests in our Psylodelic Museum in Darwin, Ohio. When I looked at that piece as well as others from other cultures… Egypt, Tibet, India, etc., etc., the mindless and perverted excesses of Nazi Germany is not what I saw.

      Would I wear it today? No. Why? Even though it is not a ‘Swastika,’ obviously it is more often than not apprehended in that way. It is hard to put one’s self back in time and recreate that state of mind that plays back as self centered excess of youth so the question, ‘What were you thinking?’ is valid, but not readily answered. That particular twisted cross was a beautiful piece of hand wrought Native American silver and I loved it as such, nothing more.

      Would I wear it, or something like it today? No. Why? Because I am 73 years old and I have learned that even though it is not my business what other people think of me it is not well thought out to obscure who I am with symbols that send so many powerful messages.

      Somewhere in the archives of this blog is a lengthy dissertation on this subject that I wrote. I have no idea where it is. it was several years ago.

      Anyway… like I said. Asked, and answered.


  32. Comment made on May 18, 2014 by dan

    Amen Jorma

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