Happy first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere!

As Rev. Davis might say, ‘There’s a bright side, somewhere.’ I’m going to start with my bright side. Aside from the fact that my family is still healthy and we have food on the table, I’ve really been enjoying my Flammang J-35’s. There’s a lot of great builders out there right now and indeed, it’s acquirer’s heaven for guitar players. Great thanks to our friend Jason up in Canada for turning me onto David Flammang’s superb J-35 guitars, Tom Feldman up there in Minnesota for the personal introduction to David and David himself for his artistic vision and fine craftsmanship in building truly great guitars.

One Flammang

One Flammang

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Another Flammang

Another Flammang

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Does this mean I’m divesting myself of my beautiful Martins? (And yes, I have four and my daughter has one of the two short scale Jorma M-30’s made) Of course not. Long scale Martins and short scale Gibson style guitars are apples and oranges. For example. It is difficult for me to execute Mann’s Fate on my Martin. For that reason, it has been out of the rotation in performance. It was written on my old 1958 Gibson J-50 and the song’s evolution is predicated on that guitar’s physical properties. My new Flammang is that guitar only in the present and without dings. I see this tune coming back and more.

Now, on the subject of ‘coming back,’ that may or may not be another story altogether. First of all my heroes today are the health care workers who put their lives on the line every time they interface with a patient whether there is confirmed COVID-19 present or not. Bless these brave souls! Not far behind are everyone else who is still able to go to work to keep this country and our world running. If I am still able to go to a filling station and buy gas or fuel this means that somewhere workers have extracted the petroleum, refined it and trucked it to its destination. You get the picture. That’s just an example.

To take the long and somewhat dour view of all this there are many possibilities for the new reality as it evolves, and one of them is that people like me will be superfluous for a while. Yeah, I live in a rural invoronment pretty much in a world that is somewhat easy to control… to some extent. At some point as social gangrene eats away at our extremities survival will make as adhere to some cold equations.

(As I’m writing this, our daughter, Izze, is cooking her breakfast and the first tragedy of the day is that the bakery in Athens is closed.)

The Cold Equations… a short story by Tom Godwin that I read in 1954 in Astounding, a science fiction mag. Astounding would become Analog in time but back then it was Astounding and I bought it every single month. This short story has engaged, and enraged readers for over sixty years but that’s a discussion for another time.

Wikipedia Summary:

‘The story takes place entirely aboard an Emergency Dispatch Ship (EDS) headed for the frontier planet Woden with a load of desperately-needed medical supplies. The pilot, Barton, discovers a stowaway: an eighteen-year-old girl. By law, all EDS stowaways are to be jettisoned because EDS vessels carry no more fuel than is absolutely necessary to land safely at their destination. The girl, Marilyn, merely wants to see her brother Gerry, and was not aware of the law. When boarding the EDS, Marilyn saw the “UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL KEEP OUT!” sign, but thought she would at most have to pay a fine if she were caught. Barton explains that her presence dooms the mission by exceeding the weight limit, and the subsequent crash would kill both of them and doom the colonists awaiting the medical supplies. After contacting her brother for the last moments of her life, Marilyn willingly walks into the airlock and is ejected into space.’

Cool… a little time travel for me here. Anyway, there may be some ‘cold equations’ in our future. Who knows. Looking at the news this morning and listening to the drunken babble from spring breaker twenty somethings on the beach in Clearwater, Florida… it gives one pause for thought. What a time indeed and what a bunch of dumb asses.

OK… moving right along here. Check out a 2015 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with Abigail Breslin called ‘Maggie.’ This is a really cool little post-apocalyptic movie where Arnold has a great dramatic role. In this little movie compassion triumphs.

For us here in the time of World War C… what next. Hard to say.

At some point, those of us not working and ‘sheltering in place’ will no longer be able to afford that. What then? As I’ve been fond of saying with a wry smile on my face, I (and folks like me) am like a court jesters and without a court and a king… we’re out of work. I’m not a farmer or a survivalist so I don’t have a lot of the skills that might become necessary. I’d probably have to be a taker to survive unless the future offers something else. Predictions of the future whether from you, me, the government or anyone else are gratuitous. Reality will tell us what’s real.

With that in mind my post World War C reality is still kicking in while the pre-C world hangs on. I have an interview at 1300 about the Fur Peace Ranch and while I’m waiting for that I think I’ll pick up my David Flammang J-35 with a torrified top and work on a cool little ending I’m adding to Blue Railroad Train.

My thought for today…

So far, so good.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst, and keep smiling.

Creative suggestions:

Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not

From Jack Casady



From Zach Kearse



  1. Comment made on June 9, 2020 by Jim Glennon

    Any chance of Martin doing another run of the M-30? Been on the lookout for a used one for several years. They are a rare bird.

    • Comment made on June 9, 2020 by Jorma

      Sad to say… probably not. To my knowledge, Martin is no longer doing Artist Models… except for the Clapton 000-28. There are only about 150 of them.

  2. Comment made on March 22, 2020 by Ham Neggs

    Thank You Great Mystery for Doctors Without Borders.
    Thank You O Holy One for all those going above and beyond to help the afflicted
    Thank you Jesus for the beautiful parable of The Good Samaritan and if your not too familiar with the story check out The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
    Suggestions for a few quick reads A Christmas Carol,”Mankind was my business” Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness Nelson A Denis WarAgainst All Puerto Ricans
    and Thank you Damien Dempsey for your song about shithole countries. There were many reasons why people want to come here.
    “I sing the song of the colony
    How many years and you’re still not free
    And your mother cries and you ask god why
    Greed is the knife and the scars run deep
    How many races with much reason to weep
    And your children cry
    And you ask god why

    Annie, she came from Dunlavin Town
    The TB came and killed her family all around
    Population booms
    Eleven in two rooms
    Katie she came from down Townsend street
    Ten in a bed and no shoes on their feet
    1916 came
    They played the patriots game
    Freddy, he came from the Iveagh flats
    Tenement slums and infested with rats
    Sleeping on damp straw
    Trying not to break the law
    Thomas, he came from Kilmaine in Mayo
    Semi starvation was the only life you’d know
    In a two room shack
    Then jailed in Letterfrack

    I look to the east, I look to the west
    To the north and the south, and I’m not too impressed
    Time after time
    After crime after crime
    They raped, robbed, pillaged, enslaved and murdered
    Jesus Christ was their god and they done it in his nameSo he could take the blame if it’s not all a game
    With bible in one hand and a sword in the other
    They came to purify my land of my Gaelic Irish mothers
    And fathers, and sisters and brothers
    With our own ancient customs, laws, music, art
    Way of life and culture
    Tribal in structure
    We had a civilization
    When they were still neanderthal nations
    We suffer with the Native American, the Indian in Asia
    Aboriginal Australia
    The African people with their history so deep
    And our children still weep and our lives are still cheap
    You came from Germany, from France, from England
    And from Spain
    From Belgium and from Portugal
    You all done much the same

    You took what was not yours
    Went against your own bible
    You broke your own laws
    Just to out do the rival
    But did you ever apologize
    For the hundreds and millions of lives
    You destroyed and terrorised
    Or have you never realized
    Did you never feel shame
    For what was done in your country’s name
    And find out who’s to blame and why they were so inhumane
    And still they teach you in your school
    About those glorious days of rule
    And how it’s your destiny to be
    Superior to me
    But if you’ve any kind of mind
    You’ll see that all human kind
    Are the children of this earth
    And your hate for them will chew you up and spit you out”
    Peace Love All Ways
    PS Glad Im a day late and a dolla rshort here

  3. Comment made on March 22, 2020 by Joey Hudoklin

    Selfishness, etc…blag blah, or love, compassion, sharing, and a sustainable future for everyone.
    That’s our choice

  4. Comment made on March 22, 2020 by Joey Hudoklin

    Paradigm shift.
    A return to spiritual values.
    A retreat from materialism.
    A cleansing of the earth.
    When this crisis is abated, we will see what values and lessons we, as a species will have learned.
    Every man and woman for themselves, or continued selfish, ego driven destructive consumption.
    Mother nature is speaking, we need to listen.

  5. Comment made on March 22, 2020 by Tom NY

    @Greg martelli


    Good your son’s letter encouraged your socialist friend to take a bike ride.

    Great you have a good relationship w your son. Did your son also say the cannabis can weaken your lungs and you would be in a tougher spot if you caught the Wuhan Covid 2019 virus??

    COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”

    Don’t forget Jewish guilt, Catholics got a lot of that from their elder brothers… and it aint all bad… can keep one humble and repentant.

    Not sure what you are saying about tradition. Jewish and Catholic, conservative ones at least hold on to tradition.

    I agree about repudiation of the open border crowd. I have gently introduced to that open border, do as thou wilt crowd, the idea that around 50,000 every month coming over the border from over 30 countries!!!!! (this is an underestimation) just isn’t smart.

    Pray and fast and don’t worry. Be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove….Ask for wisdom…. Remember the old Rahm Emmanuel line, “never waste a crisis.” There are machinations underway to use this time, some for good and some for evil.

    Jorma, my first session at Fur Peace, was a “Say Amen” weekend….At the end of one session the small group got to talking a bit about Good Shepherd….Long story short, that song was not on the list of tunes to be worked on for that weekend. I spoke of how beautiful the production and sound of the Airplane version was along w a few other things. There was a group chat and then either I asked or you just volunteered and said, “yeah we can work on that after lunch.”

    Well we did Good Shepherd along with Death Don’t Have No Mercy. I thank you for taking the time. I sing it in NY.

    I played Good Shepherd his morning, new strings….sun blasting in NY. Had a sweet emotional feeling thinking about the content of the tune, the sound, and all that is afoot.

    I am praying that things here and around the world have a significant turn around and that there is divine intervention and the virus mutates into a lesser threat. I pray there is no need in NY to use the cruise ships….(Good ship Comfort may make very practical sense.)

    Humanity needs to wake up. Some of us support a very nefarious, subtle and diabolical agenda, and don’t even know it.

    From the first book”

    Chronicles 7:14 King James Version (KJV)

    14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  6. Comment made on March 21, 2020 by Greg martelli

    My oldest son is a nationally respected pathologist,head of 6 person group and med director of a 3- hospital chain.Hes centered and balanced.
    I’d be happy to share a long letter he wrote this week to family members,it’s affirming and grounded ( and long), providing a blow by blow explanation to the best of his ability ,he’s ultimately trusted with hundreds of lives a day if you consider population of 3- major hospitals.
    I shared his memo with a lifelong high school and collegiate friend last night( and avowed socialist),from CT.
    He said the letter provided him with sufficient insight and comfort that he took a bike ride last night.
    Additionally he represented that it was the first fundamental explanation of the universe of this disease and it’s implications.
    He ( my son)also frequently reprimands me that my cannibas consumption might lead to loss of memory.
    Other than that,we have the best of relationships .

    They’re a weird tendency ,particularly in western culture ( Catholic guilt and all its Christian iterations ),to denounce convention and tradition.I enjoy the Bible,I have a historical approach to “The Law”, and I’d be happy to share my take on it which is positive and affirming.
    However my take on the 10 commandments is derived from a historical perspective that if you are a small tribe ,living in a region surrounded by hostiles( you can list them), than YOUR small group best be concordant,there can be little room for dissent , you certainly can’t covet your neighbors wife nor steal from them or murder them.
    Particularly not if you want to sustain your culture.
    I’m truly fatigued with segments of our society ,who are trying to disembowel every institution that we have (Boy scouts & on and on),to me this is pure Bolshevism in sheep’s clothing.
    The French prior to second war were in huge turmoil between communists and nationalists.
    That division allowed our old friend Adolph to roll out the train car at Versailles that the armistice was signed in within 8 weeks of invasion.
    United we stand ,divided we fall.
    Let’s pull together.
    This disruption is temporary ,but it does temper one .
    I think it’s also an absolute repudiation of the open border crowd.

  7. Comment made on March 21, 2020 by Tom NY

    @Greg martelli
    Well said Greg…and people have different ideas of what “smart behavior” is in certain instances.

    Some folks were upset when we stopped planes coming in from China….referring to that action as xenophobic and hysterical. I know one new Yorker who thought stopping European flights was over the top.

    Someone, somewhere is working on the calculation of how many planes from China were stopped daily and how many thousands of people were prevented in total from coming into all parts of our country.

    Last I heard average age of death is 81. I know 3 people who may have had it, recovering nicely w no hospital needed… They were 75, 45 and 40. One has had the test….waiting for results. All had the severe fever and dry cough. The 75 year old was able to get a test. One of the others had it mid Jan…..or maybe he had the flu.

    Yes, let’s do the right thing. the wise thing, the prudent thing. Sometimes it takes a whole lotta suffering before a person, a society learn their lesson. The “rooms” are full of those stories. We all have our own. De-couplng from China seems prudent. You have all heard the stories of how much of the ingredients for drugs and antibiotics are made there. Vit C and aspirin too.

    Vit C is working well. Take Vit D as well and of course magnesium.

    All will be well.

    Good point Greg about the forbidden fruit in the garden. As Dylan sang and still occasionally sings, ‘When you Gonna Wake Up?”

    God don’t make promises that He don’t keep
    You got some big dreams baby, but in order to dream you gotta still be asleep.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    Counterfeited philosophies have polluted all of your thoughts
    Karl Marx has got ya by the throat, Henry Kissinger’s got you tied up in knots.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    You got innocent men in jail, your insane asylums are filled
    You got unrighteous doctors dealing drugs that’ll never cure your ills.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    You got men who can’t hold their peace and woman who can’t control their tongues
    The rich seduce the poor and the old are seduced by the young.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    Adulterers in churches and pornography in the schools
    You got gangsters in power and lawbreakers making rules.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    Spiritual advisors and gurus to guide your every move
    Instant inner peace and every step you take has got to be approved.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up strengthen the things that remain ?

    Do you ever wonder just what God requires ?
    You think He’s just an errand boy to satisfy your wandering desires.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

    You can’t take it with you and you know that it’s too worthless to be sold
    They tell you, ‘Time is money’ as if your life was worth its weight in gold.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

    There’s a man up on a cross and He’s been crucified for you
    Believe in His power that’s about all you got to do.
    When you gonna wake up, when you gonna wake up
    When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain ?

  8. Comment made on March 21, 2020 by DennisK

    It sounds like The Captain has the right guitar for the job. Such a beautiful song.

  9. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Brian Doyle

    Forgot to mention Costco has a full supply of bars of soap…I saw a doctor on TV say washing with bars of soap is actually more effective than the hand sanitizer…I bought two packs of 16…

    Managed to score 4 containers of hand sanitizer from a Hemp Oil company that tooled up and created an alcohol-based hand sanitizer using one of their hemp oil lotions as a base…Said it will ship between the 23rd and 27th…The product just came out today and I stumbled on it on Google…

  10. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Art

    @Sweetbac Jr.
    Yep, me too!

  11. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Sweetbac Jr.

    I’d settle for Jefferson Airplane

  12. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Art

    It’s the Jefferson vs. Hamilton debate. Jefferson was the idealist and Hamilton was the realist. I think we need Hamilton right now.

  13. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by carey georgas

    Refer to “babbling drunkards” mentioned above. History suggests enough of us have existed with that mentality throughout the ages that John Stuart Mill pretty much had it right.

  14. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Greg martelli

    I think it’s very presumptive to entertain that everybody will exercise smart behavior.
    I can’t forget the apple in Genesis

  15. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Art

    Then again, smart behavior by everyone might preclude the need for power to be exercised over others.

  16. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Art

    I have been thinking about something philosophy scholars call “the harm principle.” It is embodied in this statement:

    “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

    – John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

    Well, here we are.

  17. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by carey georgas

    No flippancy taken. It’s a new reality. We just can’t lose sight of the personal costs of societal decisions.

  18. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Susan

    So sorry to hear that, Carey. I hope my thoughts don’t come across as flippant. Just trying to hold onto positives and that we’ll get through this, in the face of losses and disappointments, small and large, being felt all over, by all of us. Stay safe and be well.@carey georgas

  19. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by carey georgas

    I have a dear friend in a critical care hospital in Houston with multiple co-morbidities. If the system becomes overwhelmed at some point, I reckon it’ll be folk like him amongst the first cold calculations. Sounds different when it hits home.

  20. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by AndyK

    @Brian Doyle
    Well done!

  21. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Susan

    Hey there, everybody….how about let’s all hope to be healthy and well come December to celebrate Jorma’s milestone birthday!

  22. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Henry Wilson

    Do you know how many guitars a person needs? Just one more! It’s inspiring to see such enthusiasm carry forward from the NGD (New Guitar Day). I’ll bet that there are some new songs to be found in those guitars as well. Just as long as you are in this world, you are the light of this world.

  23. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Brian Doyle

    I managed to get the last of the 560 Cottonelle flushable wipes pack yesterday at my regular Costco…There were like 6 boxes and after I got mine they were gone quickly…There were no paper towels or toilet paper there…I drove to another Costco and found the same deal there…When I was driving out of the parking lot I saw a big truck pull in so I followed it…Sure enough it went to the loading dock so I parked and ran over and asked the driver if he was by chance offloading toilet paper…He was friendly enough…He told me “You are the guy in the silver car?….I thought maybe I did something wrong and that is why you were following me”…He told me I don’t know what is inside the trailer…I got back in line and went to the very rear and spoke to the workers…They offloaded everything but paper products…When they offloaded Clorox wipes and everybody got some one old guy I was talking to started to leave…I went after him and told him I just peered between the racks and saw the whole back of the trailer is loaded with toilet paper – don’t leave!…The Costco guy gave a speech about being orderly and said if there is any chaos I’ll stop the whole deal and take the toilet paper pallets back to storage…Some ladies spoke up and said this guy was here first (meaning me) and I proudly went and got my very large Scott tissue bulk pack that should put me ahead of the game for a while (1 per customer)…After all the dramatics I think everybody got one…Dummy that I am I should have waited to see if paper towels came out behind it but I have found those easier to get at various places (1 per customer)…

    I hope I haven’t killed myself by getting toilet paper yesterday…

    A good large container of hand sanitizer and I am in a good spot…

    5 weeks ago my sister flew down to visit for a week…4 weeks ago I developed an intermittent cough…When I spoke on the phone with that sister she coughed and I recognized that cough immediately…I’m pretty sure it isn’t the plague because I have had it for too long and feel fit as a fiddle…Me and my mom haven’t had any fever and she’s 88…Kind of a cruel joke to have a non-Corona cough right in the middle of the epidemic…

  24. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by JohnC.

    What DennisK said — been looking a long time in your setlists to see when Mann’s Fate might come back into the rotation. This sounds hopeful!

  25. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Ham Neggs

    Amen and may I add people like you and those who are still working to keep public transportation going. NYC transit still going 24/7 and Westchester is still rolling people that have to get to work. My wife has been on the phone since early this morning coordinating with teachers ,her principal and the Union to get through this. NYC alone has over one Million students. I’m thankful one of her degrees is in psychology because she has been doing therapy for some who are overwhelmed by the whole thing, whether they realize it or not. Fasten you’re seat belts.
    Peace Love All Ways
    Paul would have loved the sci fi mention. I always think of him on Patty’s day.
    As for the toilet paper someone sent me a you tube from Rodia comedy that addresses this and other things, including how NYC is handling this. Laughter is a good medicine. @HOGAN

  26. Comment made on March 20, 2020 by Tom in St. Louis

    You’re a song farmer!

  27. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by DennisK

    And Belly Shadow?

  28. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by DennisK

    Mann’s Fate. Can’t wait!

  29. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by John R.

    This will pass, Jorma, but we will always need people who do what you do.

  30. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by mark e. polinsky

    Listening to Blue Country Heart as I am reading your beautiful words. Thank you from the West Coast. F.O.P. ( Friend Of Pete’s ) Mark.

  31. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by Richard

    Jorma – music, art, dance, story – people have never been able to do without them. Even in the time to come (and it will for sure, in the long run, be worse than C-19), we will need to and we will make music together. And we’ll deeply appreciate those among us who are better than the rest of us (i.e., Jorma Kaukonen) and what you bring to our souls, heart, and minds. Peace brother, Richard

  32. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by Tom NY

    Putting finishing touches on tunes… Nice way to spend these most peculiar times.

    Perfect love casts out all fear. – 1 John 4:18

  33. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by eaglesteve

    Jorma Kaukonen superfluous?
    That’ll never happen (no more mo more no more no more)

  34. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by HOGAN

    Hey Jorma,

    I was so looking forward to the first day of Spring this year now it will live on in a lot of people’s memory for a long time. I would first like to thank you for acknowledging our front line Health Care workers. My middle daughter is in the medical field and has been to so many meetings that when the SHTF where I live she will be needed in the ICU. As a parent I am so proud that she will be helping people but as her Mom I am worried sick for her, she has two little boys that I pray every day that they will and everyone will make it out of this madness OK. We have been lucky so far in my County in Upstate NY we have only two confirmed cases but we all know it’s just a matter of time. Everything is still shut down where I live but I work in a distribution center for a Pharmacy Company so we have been told that we will work around the clock and seven days a week to get the orders out. We still have a lot of toilet paper (I still can’t figure out that whole thing).
    Hopefully the weather will turn nice and you can get some riding in.
    Hope you and the family are doing well and stay healthy..
    Catch you down the road…


  35. Comment made on March 19, 2020 by Ham Neggs

    That story was done on the updated Twilight Zone. I remember watching it and wondering if they were going to cut their legs off so everyone could make it.
    Was able to get Saint Joseph’s pastries at a bakery for my wife’s colleague who’s birthday coincides with the date. La Festa de San Giuseppe. Finished my baby sitting chores as my daughter can now teach from home and I’m going on the other side of the trees ( more figuratively than literally) for the next few days. Carlo I hope and pray you can check in and rock us all tonight.
    The so far so good reminded me of Steve McQueen telling the story of the guy who jumped out of the ten story building in the Magnificent Seven.
    Happy last day of winter. Spring comes in at 23:49 here. I’ll be happily boogieing to a new dawn and some morning maniac music tomorrow.
    May Love and Light prevail. Peace. Love All Ways

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