A note from a Dissatisfied Fan
Sunday, June 10, 2018

You know, you just can’t please everybody and in my line of work, sometimes these feelings of dissatisfaction manifest themselves in the strangest ways. I just got a letter from a woman whose return address simply said, ‘Ms. Ripped Off,’ NYC. See Foto below.

Duly noted

Duly noted

I had to think about this one a little bit.

blog 1

This is what I came up with:

Keep in mind; it’s always nice to get fan letters … good and not so good. It helps to keep everything in perspective. This one came this weekend and was one I just couldn’t pass up sharing.

The first few things that came to mind were that the only VIP packages that came remotely close to costing $250 were at the Beacon Theater almost two years ago and last years City Winery gig in Manhattan. We actually performed 4 nights at the Winery on that run and there was only one night that featured what the Winery folks called a VIP Package. As I recall, this VIP package without any extra’s was about $105. If you bought the whole package it was about $195 and included a lot more than just a meet and greet. The artist would participate in a brief meet and greet with a photo op for up to 50 persons prior to the performance as part of the Mastercard/City Winery promotion. The folks who bought this package were also treated to a visit to the winery room, a four course dinner and wine flight which is basically the tasters getting to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty. I have no idea how many glasses were involved. I must note here that this event was in November 2017… 7 months ago.

The Beacon VIP packages are much different. You get VIP seating which is very nice and up front as I recall and a brief meet and greet after the performance with Jorma and Jack, which is always heavily orchestrated by Beacon staff. Another side note: this event was in December of 2016 almost 18 months ago. Now it seems to me that if Ms. Ripped Off really took umbrage at any of these events, she would have made her complaints known a long time ago.
Now as far as autographs are concerned, it is true that Jack Casady actually has a John Hancock style signature. It is truly magnificent and always looks the same. I will be the first to admit that my penmanship was miserable when I was a kid and remains so today. That said, whether or not you like my handwriting, it is mine and that’s the best I can do. Since I have absolutely no recollection of the incident Ms. R.O. describes, I can only say that while I am not normally a Chatty Kathy I would like to think that I am a moderately entertaining conversationalist if I am being made a part of an entertaining conversation. Good dialogue is a team effort. Perhaps Ms. R.O. should look in the mirror and spread the blame out a little.

Well, it is what it is, and VIP packages are what they are. At the Beacon for instance regular ticket prices are divided by price tiers and seat locations. They start at $69 then go up to $89 and $99. When you add a VIP option as pricey as it is, it’s a venue set price and they get a chunk of that fee. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Jack and I love our fans and try to be there for them as best we can without being untrue to ourselves, but buying a VIP ticket does not entitle one to make unrealistic personal demands. As far as the aforementioned Ms. R.O. not enjoying the show, all can say is I am a story teller and if you didn’t like the story I told that night that’s OK. Art is an ephemeral beast at best. You may not like what I had to say, but it is my right to say it in any way that I want.

Last by not least, since Ms. Ripped Off told me I suck, this is a fine time for me to quote my father, may he rest in peace. ‘Why are there so many more horses asses, than there are horses?’


  1. Comment made on July 16, 2018 by Marie L.

    Hot Tuna used to hold practice concerts at Peoples’ Temple on Geary back in the day and if I can share with everyone that Jorma opened the doors free of charge because, “We were such a great audience.” I never forgot that sort of kindness. This letter must be an anomaly as I never experienced Jack or Jorma ever being
    about money or hubris.

  2. Comment made on July 2, 2018 by Patrick Brennan

    My wife got me tix for father’s day for an electric Hot Tuna show in Tucson in September. She knew I wanted to get Jorma’s book, which comes out a week or two before that in August, so she got me the “Gold Package” which was 4th row seats and a copy of the book. I know the Rialto in Tucson isn’t the Beacon and it ain’t NYC but I thought they were reasonably priced compared to other shows and am looking forward to the show. I guess everyone has a right to their own opinion but…

  3. Comment made on June 27, 2018 by BRIAN D OCONNOR

    Fortunate to have lost count through the decades of the Tuna and solo shows, never to be disappointed. Each show has been different and unique, sometimes depending on the bands mood or the audience’s. Some talkative , some funny all satisfying, like spending time with friends that the time apart seems to fade and the familiar floods in. Looking forward to October when I will be bringing yet another person to their first Tuna Show!

  4. Comment made on June 15, 2018 by Howard Wade

    Yeah, you’re such a jerk … not. I don’t know what’s the matter with people. Isn’t 2 hours of hard work on stage enough? Joke ‘em if they can’t take a f*!# I say. See ya at Revolution Hall in August and at the Ranch in November.


  5. Comment made on June 14, 2018 by tom

    I have had the good fortune to have met you several times, once by chance in a hotel elevator in NYC and another when we came out to FPR for a concert. Both times you were nothing but cordial and gracious. You and Vanessa’s hospitality seemed unforced and made for a memorable night at the ranch. Highly recommended to anyone contemplating a trip out. Good times!

  6. Comment made on June 13, 2018 by JB

    Can’t put a price on the great memories Hot Tuna has given me over the years.

  7. Comment made on June 13, 2018 by Robert Burke

    A few months ago, I listed the # of shows, CD’s, tees and teas I purchased for the low, low price of…
    My best spent entertainment dollars.

  8. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by George Henn

    I have a major league baseball autographed by Jorma. It’s boldly signed, like the man himself! It’s legit, unlike that lady’s letter.

  9. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by Kevin

    The only time I have had the pleasure to speak with Jorma was at the Stanhope House in NJ back in mid 80’s. And he approached me. I went straight there after work to catch that nights solo Jorma show, so it was still hours before show time. Standing at the bar enjoying the first cold one after working a long hard day, tap on the shoulder and a Hi! Turn around and there’s Jorma, asking if I know where he can find a phone. Well before cells, they still had a phone booth built into a closet in the hall and another phone behind a wall behind the bar. I said, well for you I’m sure you can use the one behind the bar on the other side of that wall. A simple thanks and off you went behind the bar. I just looked around, amazed thinking hey folks, Jorma!!! Made my night.

  10. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by Rich Patchkofsky

    All I can say is that “fan” mail is more nonsense than anyone should have to put up with. Accessible doesn’t even begin to describe how fan friendly Jorma and Jack are. Even when visibly annoyed they mange to maintain their composure. Who are these people?!!

  11. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by doug mlyn

    Very interesting thread and had to throw my 2 cents in here. I have been to 2 meet and greets, once at the Beacon in 2010 and once in San Antonio. I think the Beacon ticket was upwards of $200 (including fees), which also included a front row seat, which I am sure that price is not set by Hot Tuna or it’s management. The meet and greet in San Antonio was a lot less.

    I also had the chance to meet you guys a few times that were non-paid. One time my brother made me follow Jack as we saw him walking up the street back to your hotel in Charlottesville. When we walked in to the hotel lobby, Jack and yoruself were talking to Taj Mahal very casually and I embarassingly walked up and said hey Jorma I’m a big fan and read your blog all the time. You said “Nice to put a face with a name”. Both Jack and yourself were super nice and took a few minutes to chat with me and my brother (highlight of my trip to Lockn).

    Another time my wife made me say hi to you and Jack at Doheny Blues Festival and again you were super nice and put your arm around me and said “that’s what wives are for, putting you in embarassing situations”. Made me feel very at ease.

    Bottom line is all the times I have met you, you have been super nice and genuine.

  12. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by carey georgas

    As for the rest of it, the lady was obviously having a bad day. Then again, there are those who are just that way. Alls I know is that Jorma is the friendliest, most fan-accessible music legend (pardon the hyperbole) I’ve encountered. I think his more than kind remarks about the lady’s message is ‘nuff said about that.

  13. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by Andy K

    Indeed. The address is phony.The zip code is for west side of Manhattan around 14th St. However, the address shown ‘9904 77 st’ is nowhere near the location. In fact, there is no similar address in NY City.

  14. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by carey georgas

    @johno Johno, Art said “restate”, not “repeat”.

  15. Comment made on June 12, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    I mean Jorma’s cool because he lets us hang out here…Right?

  16. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Brendan Carroll

    Feel like a dork posting here again, but it’s only fair to warn what you’ll be hearing a lot of at next NY area electric show. Three guesses.

  17. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Brendan Carroll

    @Ham n Eggs
    The Sisters of Charity taught us well. I grew up in the City of New York in the 60,s and 70’s. Newbies and wanna-bees wear black and are from NYC.

  18. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Susan

    A “bad beacon show” would definitely be an oxymoron

  19. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Jeff

    btw, the address does not look like a legit NYC address

  20. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Jeff

    Well, I still love you.

  21. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Chappy

    Meet & Greet – ironic because, after about 1,000 concerts in my lifetime, I just purchased my first M&G earlier this evening for an upcoming Devon Allman/Duane Betts show. Anyway, you and Jack have always been cordial, friendly and gracious the few times I’ve approached y’all over the years. I remember having a nice chat with you while waiting for a burger at FPR a few years ago during halftime of a show. I had mentioned how much I enjoyed the NRPS show a few weeks prior at FPR and you had some kind words for David, Michael, and Buddy. And you said how much fun it was to sit in with them that night and play next to Buddy. Speaking of David and Buddy, I haven’t heard much on them lately so I hope they are both doing OK and hanging in there all things considered. Looking forward to seeing the great Peter Rowan this coming Saturday at FPR.

  22. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by johno

    Typical NYC bitch!

  23. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Jim

    Hey Jorma – I remember when I first got to say hello to at Clearwater a bunch of years back – I had a kid on my shoulders and was ready for just a quick “hi” but then I said I had tried to figure Water5 Song in regular tuning when I was about 14 and you took the time to explain it to me – After that I started thinking about coming to FPR some day when before that I figured I wasn’t good enough – So, there you have it, after Ms. R.O. expires, she’ll probably complain to St. Peter that she didn’t die quick enough…

  24. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Art


    Let me take this opportunity to give you an opportunity to restate this comment.

  25. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Brian Doyle

    If you want to hurt an artist hit him in his talent…The disappointed fan must be tone deaf to wonder and glory…New York is a place that forces survival by directed anger…Still though, I wish I could give that person a private meeting with Jorma where she got all she wanted…In the end we’re all human…

  26. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by greg sousa

    I ran into Jorma in a parking lot of a hotel in Missoula MT,HE WAS NOTHING BUT A GENTLEMAN,and a nice guy to boot.You can’t please everybody,that’s for sure.Don’t even try.

  27. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Greg martelli

    A letter like that from a “fan “( who is sufficiently cowardly to hide behind the veil of anominity), has an easy remedy.Its like a self penned euphemism : When you step in dog shit, IT STINKS, wipe it off and get rid of the smell.
    I’d use the memo to light my Barbacue , let it go up in smoke and enjoy the Poi.

  28. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by johno

    She should be grateful – instead she’s bitchin. She should take that letter and stick it right up her ass. Typical NYC bitch!

  29. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Tom Fabry

    @Ham n Eggs
    Also, the sisters/nuns would have taught her to put an apartment number on the return address portion of the envelope…..unless she owns the whole building. And the Sisters would have hopefully emphasized and taught charity, patience, forbearance, mercy etc.

    But 77th street, is nowhere near area zip code 10011 covers.

    Heck I met a Fur Peace Player at Fur peace who lives up in either the 70s or 80s off Central Park West. He has a biblical first name, even named a book after his namesake. Maybe he can track her down and play a tune for her… Any suggestions on what would be the appropriate tune for Ms RO? Remember, be merciful.

  30. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Ham n Eggs

    Apparently you didn’t have the nuns teach you NYC,NY
    Love All Ways
    @Brendan Carroll

  31. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Tom in St.Louis

    Wow, my only reaction is to laugh.
    My wife and I have talked to Jorma and Jack several times, and it was always a fun and enlightening experience. Two of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. Of course, we are pretty outgoing and had some moderately interesting things to ask and talk about…that always helps…

    In my 50 years of business, I encountered a few people who were not happy with anything. It didn’t matter how great a job I did, they were angry and dissatisfied. I finally realized that some folks are just a full-time pain in the ass, it’s part of their nature, and you can’t do a thing about it. I guess being pissed off is the closest they can come to being happy.

    Keep up the good work, we love you!

  32. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by rich l

    So I saw Joan Armatrading at City Winery last night. She played her entire new album in the first set. Like Jorma, time does not seem to be a barrier to her when it comes to producing more great music. Her song “This Is Not That,” is one of those songs – reach for the volume dial!

    She played solo, and though I had to get up before the roosters, I would have played until she stopped.

    I do have a point in bringing this up…

    I asked about clapping here once and Jorma gave a great reply about it being distracting to the artist. There were many times last night I wanted to put my ill advised 2 cents in, (I can’t help it, I got the music in me!), but wisely held off. Can you imagine someone clapping to Willow?

    But at any rate, towards the end of the show, some of the girls in the audience started clapping on a song. Needless to say I joined in. Joan didn’t seem to mind. Those girls unleashed the beast!

  33. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Bernie

    Hi Jorma, been a fan for over 40 years. Countless shows and many good times. I was at the record release party for “Steady as She Goes” a few years back. After the show you and Barry set up in the back to sign autographs for those who bought the CD. So, I got in line and when I got to the table, I figured I’d say thank you and move on. Well, not only did you sign, somehow we got to talking about guitars. Next thing I know, you thrust out your hand, gave me a big smile and thanked me with a warm handshake. Anyway, take care and thanks!

  34. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Brendan Carroll

    Incidentally, Jorms: Have you attended Bruce on Broadway? I haven’t gotten the chance, but was fortunate enough to attend Greenwich, CT’s town party a few weeks ago. Young ladies my niece’s age were yammering away and texting while EC Band was laying it down.
    50 feet from the stage! I’m not a musician, but that man has to be as good as anyone has ever been on that ax.

  35. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Brendan Carroll

    Return address of complainant appears fictitious: street lies within City and County of New York – correct address contains NY NY, not NYC NY.

    How many artist releases has complainant stolen via illegal copying?

    It’s all about ME!

  36. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Snarne

    @rich l
    Mr. Kaukonen relearned Hamar Promenade so he could teach it to his Quah Class 2013, just saying… Yes, I hope he one day will bring the song back to his repertoire. Great lyrics and music! The song has really great lyrics about life, in my head, a metaphor from a speedskating rank,maybe from Hamar? Jorma for sure got wings of steel, then and now!

  37. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Joey

    Probably simply too much to drink.

  38. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by rich l

    I was mad at Jorma once…

    I was going to see a show at City Winery or Space and decided to make a set list for him. I think it included about 28 of my favorites,. (when is Hamar Promenade going to make the play list – that’s another beef!)

    Now this could be a coincidence, but I believe Jorma was trying to teach me a lesson. He didn’t play one of the songs!

    The show was tremendous, despite getting blanked on my suggestions! How many artists have a repertoire so vast?!

    As my friend Montana Bob once said “The tickets were way too cheap for artists as good as Jorma and Jack.”

  39. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Ed

    Let’s all send her some good vibes! She’s clearly troubled, and is missing out on what makes life great.

  40. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Tom Fabry

    She probably regrets sending it.
    Some good analysis would help her, as most would benefit. Lots of folks under a lot of stress. T’is a fallen world and many a broken people out there. Just sayin’.

    Peace and mercy to Ms. RO.
    Like my Jewish boss, the carpenter says, “be ye merciful as you have been showed mercy.” Luke chapt 6 vs 36-42

    Let’s hope it goes well in Singapore and everywhere. I have read the NK leader or his brother likes Clapton… Someone should send them the Quah album, or minimally Genesis. “The time has come for us to pause”

  41. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by LWE

    Similar to Dr. Rob, I have had the pleasure and privilege to meet you on a number of times over the years. You have been very friendly and most gracious every time (including backstage (actually, upstairs) at Peabody’s DownUnder in the Flats, on which occasion I am quite certain that any contribution I would have made to “good dialogue” would have been woefully deficient). I concur further with the good doctor about the folks at FPR – all “aces,” from Vanessa on down. Clearly, kindred spirits. Thank you.

  42. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Steven Levenson

    “Another country is heard from”… I can still hear my Dad saying that. He also used to say “fortzen russell”, Yiddish for a fart in the breeze. Someathing that comes around, stinks for a minute, then is gone forever. Hopefully the letter has the same fate.

  43. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Ham n Eggs

    Man the mail is slow!
    An old friend of mine passed yesterday the lung cancer didn’t get him but a heart attack did. Any way years ago he entered the men’s room just as Jack was relieving himself. So of course he went to the urinal next to him. “ jack don’t you recognize me? I sucked you off at the Fillmore 68, I had long hair then and you must remember me”. Now he had never been in the Fillmore or met Jack before. I’m sure Jack got out of there as quickly as possible
    Talk about a meet and greet.
    Love All Ways

  44. Comment made on June 11, 2018 by Art

    I go to Tuna shows for the music and the songs. Period. If you want to get to know Jorma and Jack, open your ears and listen. It’s all there, and it’s extremely good. And I have always gotten my money’s worth and then some – although it has never remotely occurred to me to me to do a cost-benefit analysis of a Hot Tuna concert.

  45. Comment made on June 10, 2018 by Joey Hudoklin

    Well, one bad apple….

  46. Comment made on June 10, 2018 by gregg

    Me too jorma for all my 61 yrs my hand writing just plain bad, but its me g

  47. Comment made on June 10, 2018 by Dr Rob ( NYC)

    I must comment on your “bad ” fan mail that you posted. I have been to FPR 10 years in a row (2001-2010) and seen Hot Tuna for 40 years . I have studied with Jorma for 10 years and met you many times at the ranch and when you are on the road. I must say Jorma as a guitar teacher ,musician and human being you are giving,honest,literate humorous, gracious and friendly to all.The people at FPR are “the best”. You are “the Captain” to many of us and will continue to be because we know,,,,,,

Write a Reply or Comment

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