I was just getting ready to update my site when I got the news that my old friend Ira Wilkes passed away. It had been a number of years since I had seen Ira. Our lives had taken different directions as lives do. That said thirty years ago he and his family welcomed me into their home in a time when my life was in upheaval. He worked with me on the road for a number of years… and we were friends.

Change had come into my life in a number of ways and for better or worse we found ourselves with less in common. That said, he knew me when I was young and that is something I will always remember. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. As we all age, our circle tends to get smaller and not larger. Any loss affects us all.

Fair winds and following seas brother… may there always be a wind at your back…


  1. Comment made on July 28, 2017 by Stan Johnston

    My wife and I really enjoyed the show in Rogers. As a 65 year old
    who still enjoys playing music any time I can, it is really great to see you guys still at it.

  2. Comment made on July 27, 2017 by Alan Ezersky

    What a shocker. Very sad news indeed. Lots of fun times way back when… Peace Ira.

  3. Comment made on July 27, 2017 by Steve Goldston

    May his memory be a blessing

  4. Comment made on July 27, 2017 by Art Chikofsky

    Baruch Ha-Shem.

  5. Comment made on July 27, 2017 by Paul

    So sorry to hear this Jorma. May he Rest In Peace. The circle does grow smaller as time unwinds.

  6. Comment made on July 26, 2017 by Greg Martelli

    The choice of Isaiah was quite interesting.
    Most biblical references are educational ,as they suggest further ,deeper study ,the outcome of the study is normally somewhat inspirational.It encourages a good life,a prescriptive code of behavior.
    You can’t go wrong.I believe you see,he in the end ,what purportedly happened -he was sawn in half.
    Pretty crude.

  7. Comment made on July 26, 2017 by eaglesteve

    I too remember Ira. Sorry for your loss Captain. My condolences to you and the Wilkes family.

  8. Comment made on July 26, 2017 by Hogan

    Dear Jorma,

    I was also saddened yesterday when I heard the news. It stirred up a lot of memories but I also had to smile at the good times. I had met Ira thru a mutual friend of ours and only hung out a couple of times. I was younger than the East NY crew so my friend tried to keep me out of the run ins. I had heard that after I moved to SF things got crazy. I saw CP at a show last year and hadn’t seen him in over thirty years and he was filling me in. I’m glad Ira was there for you during that time when a friend was needed. Maybe him and Harv are some where laughing now at their childhood memories and all the Tuna shows they had been too. My thoughts and prayers are with Ira’s family and he is at peace now.

    Safe Travels

  9. Comment made on July 26, 2017 by rich l

    It’s time’s like this that I like to glance at Isaiah Chapter 40. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah do not paint a pretty picture. It’s also a hard read, because you’re never sure if Isaiah is talking about the past, present or future. And it most certainly paints a very bleak picture of the human condition.

    All I know is, after studying the first 39 chapters over a course of about 20 some weeks, Chapter 40 was a refreshing oasis. It brought a broad smile to my face – LOL – even a “Hallelujah!”

    Isaiah 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart: he gently leads those that have young.”

  10. Comment made on July 26, 2017 by bruce

    sorry you lost your buddy,buddy….

  11. Comment made on July 25, 2017 by phil zisook


  12. Comment made on July 25, 2017 by Greg Martelli

    We’re all in the homestretch ,closer to the finish line than the starting gate.We have a new puppy,which requires that I get up at 5:15 to take him out.
    The sky is always great that time of the morning ( unless it’s raining),makes you think about scale of everything you do ,including relationships.
    It’s great to be alive,seeing Jack /Jorma& Derek /Susan play 3/5ths of a mile was exhilirating.
    Losses are always hard , I believe they sharpen the memory.
    Keep on Truckin -I’m going for a swim.

  13. Comment made on July 25, 2017 by johno

    Sure I remember Ira Wilkes – he was a good friend of Harvey Colman. I have not seen Ira in 35 years. People passed through our lives like a blur. Back in the day in New York the backstage scene there was the Brooklyn crowd Ira and Harvey etc. And the Queens crowd me, Ronnie Atunitti, Richie Mandracchio, Mitch, Jimmy Patrick etc. Those were wild times. They were the hey days of Hot Tuna. The psychedelic 70’s.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *