Monday, March 30, 2020

Whatever time it is when you read this, I hope you’re doing OK in this time of crisis… and it is a time of crisis. I have been blogging since before the word ‘blog’ existed as we know it. Fifteen or twenty years ago when I used to design my own site I didn’t have a page for comments and I didn’t care. It was a place for me to spew and frankly, I didn’t care what anyone else thought. My notes From The Captain’s Table (as that page was called back then) were much more personal and interesting for me as a writer. When our dear friend and resident artist, Kevin Morgan, took over my site design he suggested that accepting comments would be a good idea. I was resistant to the idea but he convinced me and in the long run I believe it to have been a good move. I’ll save most of what I consider to be my incisive writing for my next book.

Over the years I have only blocked two commenters and have deleted very few posts. You all have had free run here on my property. When I was a kid in the 40’s we were one of the few Jewish families in the neighborhood we lived in back in Chevy Chase, D.C. There was absolutely no racial diversity. We Jews were the outsiders. We were not observant Jews so we did not enjoy the comfort of that community either. I never knew what was behind the doors of the B’nai B’rith Synagogue around the corner from my house until I went to my first Yom Kippur service there with Vanessa and my son Zach some fifteen or so years ago. All that being said almost every fight I got into in the neighborhood was about being Jewish. I know what Anti Semitism feels like first hand. I have a funny foreign sounding name that was not appreciated by ‘good’ Americans during WW II. I know what xenophobia is and I don’t need anyone to reference it for me by quoting the classics. I am part of a biracial family in a world where this is still not accepted by everyone.

I’m going to try not to slip into the vitriol that our miserable President has made acceptable. President Trump is the worst president I have had the displeasure to share the world with in my lifetime. Has he accomplished anything? I don’t know. I do know he has made mendacity and lack of honor the norm. This is not a moment for ‘what aboutisms.’ I didn’t vote for Hilary either. (There is no one in the electable political spectrum who speaks for me today… which is OK. That’s life.)

We can agree to disagree, and on the subject of disagreement, I have deleted some pro-life posts. I am pro choice. No one gets to tell my wife or daughter what they can or can’t do with their body. The lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick thinks people like me should sacrifice their lives for our grandkids? I’m going to try to make sure there is a life for my grandkids. Good luck with that Dan.

Probably not last, and certainly not least. My position on religion is that it is for people that are afraid of Hell and spirituality is for those who have been there and don’t want to go back. I consider myself a spiritual person. Having graduated from a Catholic University and also having gone to a British school in Pakistan in the 50’s, I have read and studied the Bible, as I have the Old Testament. These are books written by men. Good literature it you like it and disposable if you don’t. Your choice. I don’t use my site to promulgate my personal beliefs and this is not your bandwagon either, whoever ‘you’ might be.

This is a tough conversation to have. I have friends that are pro Trump. (Again, this does not make me a Democrat either. I consider myself a true Independent.) I take issue with most of what they say on a political front. With this in mind we have agreed not to discuss our opinions for the most part. We’re never going to agree so why waste the breath which is so precious in these days of WW C.

As my Grandmother Vera used to say, ‘A word to the wise is sufficient.’ Let’s just see if we can get through this.

Nuff said…


  1. Comment made on April 4, 2020 by Jim

    Jorma: Great musician; Better human being.

  2. Comment made on April 1, 2020 by Lisa Large

    My sentiments as well!

  3. Comment made on April 1, 2020 by Brendan Carroll

    I’m guessing someone here bashed Asian and/or Asian Americans.

  4. Comment made on April 1, 2020 by Brendan Carroll

    Der Spiegel is running a piece about Austrian ski industry and pols ignoring and denying region was an incubater, long after Iceland sounded alarm about returning vacationers having been infected Austria-side. Crux is gondola and club cartel was not willing to shut down mid-season, so denied and lied. Tens of thousands came and went from region while powers hoped for best. China locked down. So any Asian-bashing is misplaced. Charges of knowingly enabling public health hazard have been filed. How would you like to be one of those ignorant a-holes?

  5. Comment made on April 1, 2020 by Mark Didier

    That’s why I read Cracks in the Finish religiously.

    Pun intended.

    Thanks as always for sage words.

  6. Comment made on April 1, 2020 by Paul W

    Good reflections and solid reasoning. I agree wholeheartedly with your position. I have more experience with AntiSemitism than I care to remember. Hate and greed are our true enemies. I find myself always trying to condemn the sin, not the sinner. “Be who you are my friend and live the life”

  7. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by AndyK

    @Dan Nigro
    Wishing your family members a speedy recovery!

  8. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Dan Nigro

    @cgeorgas I hear you brother, I only had a Facebook account to make sure my kids didnt get into any trouble. I never did trust Zuckerberg with my data. I always to to follow if I dont have something nice to say, not to say anything (I always have twitter for snarky commentary)
    @chappy Nice list, it is pretty hard to keep the TV off.I will have to order the Mayall book. His South Florida tour was cut short by the flu (not Corona according to his website) just before everything was shut down. For Sci-Fi readers I have been reading The Three Body Problem, an excellent trilogy. Perhaps some takeaways from current events

    Unfortunately Covid has hit my family, a cousin in Manhattan tested positive but is recovering from nasty flu symptoms. My sisters apartment building in the Bronx has 3 cases, probably more. Tough to stay out of the elevator when you live on the 14th floor. Keeping my fingers crossed. Stay safe everybody

  9. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by William Welch

    Words of wisdom for sure.

  10. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by cgeorgas

    I started coming ‘round Jorma’s place here in 2016. I hadn’t participated in the online community since the chat room days of the early 00’s. I could see then where the march of invisible egos was headed, and I got out. Never had a Facebook account, never sent a tweet. If you didn’t email me, we didn’t talk via internet. When I found this site, I was taken by the kindness of the host and the invisible egos here were nice. They didn’t hide behind screens and lob stink bombs, or if they did, the Captain set them straight. Soon after I began participating, somehow a comment came up about karma and grace. I posted that would make for an interesting discussion, but being the new ego on the block, I didn’t know if discussions of that sort were apropos. Jorma posted that he enjoyed such philosophical musings and began to give his two cents worth on the subject. I knew right then that he had not created this place as a shrine. It is a place of thoughts and ideas, with the Captain steering the ship through his own ideas as expressed in his blogs. Ever since, I been jabbering on here, sharing wherever Jorma’s thoughts might take my mind. Or commenting on others in here as their thoughts stir up my own. Jorma must enjoy our range of banter, or he’d chase us off his land and lock the gate. In this latest blog, his wisdom stirred me again. I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with discussing any aspect of society here as long as we’re polite and an agreement to disagree is firmly in place. But this is life in the time of Covid. Society is in an upheaval and nerves are frayed. It’s more difficult to amicably disagree, especially about the subject that’s cleaved our land in two. So, I for one will save my breath in this time when breath or lack thereof is an existential issue. But when breathing returns to normal, I’ll comment here as I’m moved, whether it be touchy social issues or not. Unless the Captain gives new orders, that is. Peace.

  11. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Tom NY

    @Brett Richardson
    Hello Brett,

    I know that scripture….the 2nd part changed my life….Here is the 1st and second part.

    27 “Religion (True Religion) that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress AND…… TO KEEP ONESELF FROM BEING POLLUTED BY THE WORLD.”

    Thanks to Jorma for writing a great lyric and unique finger picking chord progression… What a message for today and every day. I found this more difficult then Genesis to learn.

    PS Nick, make the trip to Ohio one day…. Jorma and Vanessa have an occasional lunch time show at their ranch…. great food, very intimate setting, good coffee served by an old Pal of Jorma’s, John. Nice hotel in local college town. Well worth the road trip.

    Be Not Afraid.

  12. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Richard

    I grew up in Queens NY where there are many Jews and have never had to feel the wrath of anti-antisemitism but have a 93 year old father in law who went through the Holocaust so I have heard countless stories of what he went through..I often try to think of myself and family if we had to deal with that and is unimaginable..Well what is going on today with Corona 19 and the wave of anti-semitism I have never felt so bad about this worlds situation..With hope we will all get through this I pray..Being a grandfather makes me feel like I never have before..Hoping for their safety and well being is all to consuming..Be well all…

  13. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Nick L. Eakins

    Sorry I haven’t dropped by lately Jorma but focus on life has narrowed a bit since we last corresponded, thanks again for the extra book you mailed me. I am 65 with Type 2 so I’m in the crosshairs of this thing as well. I am healthy enough at the moment but you and I both know how fast one’s fortunes can change. I’m not being pessimistic here but pragmatic. Odds are the both of us will get through this but the Universe is indifferent to the wants, needs and lives of a couple of old hippies. That being said, I want to let you know just how much the music of the Airplane and all its spinoffs have meant to me. I am so grateful we both have survived this long when so many of our friends did not. May Providence grant us both many more happy and healthy years. If such is not the case,let me remind you of my deep admiration for you and your talents. Bless you and may we both live long enough to meet in person in this life.

  14. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    Eric can piss off if he feels left out.

  15. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    and again, total respect to Mark Knopfler. and Jorma.

    work together.

  16. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    listening to either Wagner, or Stockhausen, Eno, Robert Johnson, Thurston Moore, Gary Davis…can we survive? should we?
    knopfler’s last album …

  17. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Karen zehe

    I share your view on spirituality and independent status. Will miss seeing you this June… cancellations happen. And in the meantime, stay safe, good sir.

  18. Comment made on March 31, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    will Jorma respond brett?

    true religion is take care of your “brother?

    gary davis, if he meant it, which I doubt
    he did, misogynistology, is still a prick.

  19. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Brett Richardson

    True religion is this: to care for orphans and widows James 1:27
    Great song – great concept. What would Reverend Gary Davis say?

  20. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Brett Richardson

    True religion is this: to care for orphans and widows James 1:27
    Great song – great concept. What would Reverend Gary Davis say?

  21. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    “Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima” eclipsed everything, even Hot Tuna. Credit where it’s due…

  22. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    I say that with the deepest respect, sorry buddy. I put off a central ny spring break trip to Robert Johnson’s “grave” due to this virus. I love you, my kids will drag with me come august. have you made a like pilgrimage?

  23. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Howie Caraher

    Seriously? This administration has been behind since the beginning. As someone who holds anyone’s ear you should be denouncing our “government”s response louder than anyone. Shame on you. I saw you plastered it seemed many time before. I was too. No time to pull punches now.

  24. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by DINO YEONAS

    Well said Capt.,
    Peace, see you soon for additional inspiration.

  25. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Chappy

    JK, looking forward to your next book! I’ve been keeping the TV limited lately and listening to music and doing lots of reading. In case you or any of your fans are looking for entertaining and informative reads, here are some books I’ve read over the past few months: Big City Cat (Steve Forbert Auto-Bio), Blind Owl Blues (Blind Al Wilson bio), The Band’s With Me (Sally Mann Romano bio), A Life in Blues (Dick Waterman Auto-Bio), Home Before Daylight (Big Steve Parrish Auto-Bio), When A Woman Gets the Blues (Rory Block Auto-Bio), Blues From Laurel Canyon (John Mayall Auto-Bio), Guitar King (Mike Bloomfield bio), The Road Goes On Forever (Allmans bio by Michael Buffalo Smith), I Put A Spell On You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins bio), Dylan & Me (Louie Kemp Auto-Bio), They Tell Me I Had A Good Time (Tom Principato Auto-Bio), The Ragin’ Cajun (Doug Kershaw Auto-Bio), and I just finished a great Auto-Bio called “Time is Tight” by Booker T. Jones (of BT & MGs). Next up are: The Pied Pipers of R-N-R – Radio DJs of the 50s & 60s by Wes Smith and then Mojo Hand – The Life & Times of Lightnin’ Hopkins by Timothy O’Brien and David Ensminger. Also, catching some great live-stream concerts on FB. Be sure to check out Karen Jonas & her band this Thursday at 8:00 pm on her FB page. She’s a great singer-songwriter out of Fredericksburg, VA. Hope to see you, Hurl and the crew at FPR as soon as possible. Until then, stay healthy and upbeat and help those in need.

  26. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Bill Cannedy

    Hey Jorma! So excited to have rediscovered your blog. Now for an important question. What are you binge watching during the shut down? What is your guilty pleasure? Stay safe.

  27. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by David ekstrom

    Thank you

  28. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by DennisK

    I have never like the proselyting here. I don’t come to Jorma’s blog to be recruited or converted to one’s party, religion or cause. Like most others, I find the Captain’s posts to be an interesting window to his recent experiences. For me, this is a way to stay connected to the man and his music between the opportunities have to see him live and in the flesh. (Count Basie, Red Bank, NJ on 7/9) Yeah Buddy!

    As for the “WW C” and all the other non-virus challenges we are all facing, I struggle to maintain a functional level of serenity. Although I’m not a recovering person, I find aspect of the 12-step approach very helpful.

    As my dear old dad often says “This too shall pass.” He shares Jack’s birth date (April 13) and I am grateful to have him around for his perspective.

    I wish all of you JA/HT/JK and FPR friends and family good health and safety during these tough times.

  29. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Ed

    Thanks, Jorma. (And pro-choice supporters are pro-life, too; we shouldn’t let anti-abortionists co-opt the term.)

    Meanwhile, I pulled out some of my old vinyl tonight, including the first Hot Tuna album.
    “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” – it sure don’t.

  30. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by John Danaher


  31. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Stephen A Stone

    Well stated….and thanks!

  32. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Mitch Blower

    Well said, Jorma. I miss seeing at The Ranch as well as, well, you know.

  33. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Lenny

    Thanks for your brave, I know you don’t think you are, words!

  34. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Nance Steele

    Always loved hearing your thoughts, they ring loud and fair! Always loved your music! All of you stay healthy and happy and smiling, Nance

  35. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Tom Ribbecke

    Thank you..We need to as we have always done in there musical community take care of ourselves and each other, and it is important to speak out. I wont be jumping in the expendable tank anytime soon either!

  36. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Marty Katz

    More important is the music. Seeing you and Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock inspired me to be in a band. I may be an amateur, but I love getting together with my friends to make music. And if you had not pointed the way to Rev. Gary Davis’ music, I may never have discovered it by myself. So keep on picking and rocking and making this a better world for the rest of us. Thank you!

  37. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by paul karp

    A wise man I know said, “We survived Richard Nixon, we will survive this idiot!” I believe in the fundamental strength and goodness of this great nation that gave refuge to my family as they escaped the pogroms of Russia and the horrors of Nazism. I too wish that our choices were better. No one speaks to me either. Not the idiot who resides in the white house, nor the old man who seems cognitively impaired. But, we shall overcome! Whether it is a virus or an attack by those who hate us and hate what we stand for, we as a nation will not only survive but we will flourish. It is why immigrants from all over the world want to come to our shores to build a better life for themselves and/or their family. We shall strive as a nation to maintain equality of opportunity (Not equality of outcome, sorry bernie fans). And I pray that once the orange man is gone, some decency in the public discourse will return. God bless you my brother. Thanks for the words, they are important. We need to get back to a time where people are not demonized when they hold an opposite political belief on the left or on the right.

  38. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Dan Nigro

    Thanks Captain, wise words indeed. Its been awhile since I have been to the Ranch but your blog keeps that weekend of music and talk of family, friends and dogs fresh. I save my rants for Twitter. Everyone is welcome to follow me, but full disclosure I grew up in the Bronx (AOC’s home district) also of mixed ethnic background, it never really mattered in that diverse neighborhood. Non practicing but as the rabbi said, Momma’s baby Poppa’s maybe. Moving to South Florida in 1978 I was horrowstruck witnessing a Klan march full hoods and burning crosses down Davie Blvd, just outside Ft. Lauderdale. Anti-Semitism is never far from the surface and it doesnt take much to bring it out. This is a great country, my Grandparents left anti-semitism and poverty to raise a generation of teachers,lawyers, engineers and artists. Everybody stay safe, wash your hands and take out your guitars. This will pass.

  39. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Judge Jim

    Jorma, that’s why love you, always let the truth and love be the guide – that comes through in your music and we’ve always felt that without really knowing why or how –

  40. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Alan Ezersky

    Thank you for sharing the guidance, perspective and experience. Stay safe and healthy…hugs all way around!!!

  41. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Brian Doyle

    They are saying now that the best outcome would be 100,000 dead…Starting to get scary…This week I’ll have to go to the Costco concentration point to get food…I’m thinking infected people will invariably trickle in to the food preparation/packaging areas so maybe planning cooked food and frozen vegetables might be a good plan…You can imagine the crazy things people are doing right now and the stories that will come…I’m trying to stay more clear of people passing me on my evening bike rides…It stands to reason that I’m inhaling the exhalation wakes of hard breathing persons…I take an old ratty T-shirt along and use it as a mask over my mouth when passing people closely…Sanibel is now like an apocalypse movie with the roads empty and all restaurants etc empty in the usually crowded high season…There’s so little traffic it is safe to ride in the road…

  42. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Joey Hudoklin


  43. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Douglas Scott Mlyn

    I couldn’t agree more

  44. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Greg Rosmus

    Hey Jorma
    We are all in this together
    It would help if we heard that from the top level
    Three of us are in the healthcare field so we’re feeling the stress
    Thank you for your comments it does help us peace and love
    Please be safe you and your family

  45. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by cgeorgas

    Me and Slow Hand celebrate on the same day. Another year done gone.

  46. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by AndyK

    Happy birthday Eric Slowhand Clapton
    Number 75!

  47. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by AndyK

    Happy birthday Eric Clapton
    Number 75!

  48. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by AndyK

    Bravo Captain!

  49. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Michael Albert

    Nice piece, Jorma, you’ve inspired me yet again! I am making a collage “A word to the wise is sufficient.” in honor of your Grandmother Vera & you. What was her last name by the way? I hope you guys stay safe & healthy & hope to catch up with you in person in the not too distant future. P.S. Reading any good books, lately? I am listening to & enjoying a new Janis Joplin biography on audiobook & there’s a bunch of stuff about you there! P.P.S. I’ve also started doing Facebook Live sessions from my studio where I make art, listen to music & talk to people who make comments. It’s been a great new thing to come out of this quarantining situation. PEACE…MA

    Also, please check out this trailer for an art documentary film I am working o, I would love to film some at the Arts & Minds Fest in 2021 God willing Might you consider creating some music for it? Let’s discuss!

  50. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Tom NY

    God bless John Prine and Larry Campbell. May they be healed.

  51. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by David rosenberg

    Tikkun Olam is a Jewish phrase I’ve always lived by. It is each of our responsibilities to repair the world. How noble it may b

    Somewhere along the passage of time ,the world has been broken , most likely it was never rite from the start

    Then again , what’s right and what’s wrong .. no one in this world is capable of judging .

    All I know is that being kind is easier than being right


  52. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Ben

    Yeah, buddy. Well, you and I don’t have to agree to disagree, because, well, we just agree.

  53. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by thomas Garnsey

    Thanks for always being honest Jorma.

  54. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Pete Raine

    Straight-up commone-sense stuff. Thanks, Jorma.

  55. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by JB

    Thanks Jorma! I am always looking for sanctuary from the daily vitriole we get to hear every day! Let’s hope YOUR blog provides that. Back in the day, when the bars would close or after a concert we would head home. What followed was the dumping of a white powdery substance that encouraged conversation 😉 We use to say no politics or religion talk and dive in. It helped keep things on the light side! Stay well!

  56. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Mike Lawson

    Random wisdom from Jorma has always been a gift to me. 🙂

  57. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by Richard

    Thanks, Jorma. As always, well said. SHalom, Richard

  58. Comment made on March 30, 2020 by cgeorgas

    Aye aye, Captain.

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