Hey guys and gals
Normally I’d wait to run some of my reply by Vanessa before posting, but why wait? Restraint of tongue and pen you know, but sometimes you just have to say what you feel! Ness pretty much eloquently said what I would have said, only more so. Boy you just can’t make this shit up. There is no reason for someone to really know or care anything about my life or the travails thereof. That would be truly self-centered on my part and as self-centered as I am, I’m not there yet. All that being said (and keeping in mind it’s not my business what other people think of me) humans sometimes appall me.
So, as some of you might know I wrote a memoir, Been So Long,’ that came out in 2018. St. Martin’s Press just released the paperback edition and my publicist Cash arranged some press to go along with the release. Now all this was scheduled way before our Ostrich-In-Chief (head in the sand) decided that the Coronal Virus was actually something to worry about. Anyway, I was on the phone with my pals up there in Columbus, Ohio on radio WQFM and we shot the shit for a while, pushed the book a little and talked about life today in 2020.
I had a good time chatting and having chatted moved on. I guess Vanessa posted a link for the interview with QFM. Cool… or so we thought. Vanessa gets this email from this guy Michael R.
‘I question why jorma would release his memoirs about his “musical life” at this time, when we are at war with a virus that is killing 1000 people a day in new york city. Seems like a very selfish gesture to me. I don’t care about his musical life at this time. How about using his talent to help someone at this time of war?’
Wow Michael. Heavy. I can see you’re a deep thinker. Well, since you’re being a dick let me point out that Jorma is a proper noun and should be capitalized as should New York City. You’re no e.e.cummings of that I’m sure! You’re spending too much time in your iPad.
Here’s Vanessa’s response and my opening shot is quite simply, that’s my girl!
Jorma wrote his book in 2018. The paperback was just recently released. This radio interview that was just released and posted was scheduled prior to our excuse for a president even acknowledging COVID-19 was an issue. If you’d done your fucking homework before you went off and made yourself look like as asshole you’d know everything that Jorma has done and continues to do for his community. Are you aware that he’s been supporting veterans for nearly two decades or that he donates his tour money and time to habitat for humanity, literacy organizations, children’s museums, teen drug and alcohol recovery, music in the schools, local food banks, equine rescue and to specific organizations that feed the hungry in our country? Shame on you! Shame on you! You know nothing about his philanthropic work. As far as this virus goes, we’ve turned our down time into making masks and hand sanitizer with the help of my sister and my 91 year old mother who has Alzheimer’s. We’ve sent masks to first responders and patients in New York, Long Island, Massachusetts, Chicago and here locally in our own community. They are free. We are not gouging anyone (like so many large corporations are doing) for our efforts.
I’m sorry your own ignorance has you so confused and clearly hateful. Next time you want to take someone to task, do your homework!
I wish you well and only hope you are stepping up in this time of crisis.’
Hey Vanessa, thanks and a big socially distant hug to you. Hey everybody, it’s nice to be liked and appreciated, but it’s not a given and it’s surely not mandated. That being said I really try to avoid caring about what other people think of me. Vanessa was way more verbal on my behalf than I would have been.
I guess I’m a little perplexed about what some people seem to think the life of a performer and an artist is like. I used to say, ‘It beats digging ditches,’ but, but these troubled times digging ditches might be a lot more productive. The talents and skills I’ve spent my life trying to improve have little survival value in a post-apocalyptic world. Yeah, I’ve put aside some food and important survival needs and yeah, I’ve got a generator, but nothing lasts forever and when they’re gone, there gone. I won’t be harvesting a deer with my guitar that’s for sure. And BTW, I’m not whining about that. If and when the time comes, I’ll figure how to survive with my family.
OK… Thanks Vanessa for being my fierce protector. Our family could not survive without you having our back. We are truly blessed. You just can’t beat a strong family in times of need.
In the words of my father, Jorma Sr.
‘Why are there so many more horses’ asses than there are horses?’
Now a reminder to all you out there in the Peanut Gallery (Howdy Doody reference). Remember:
Saturday April 4, 2020 at eight PM that selfish, egocentric, uncaring, unfeeling and totally un-empathic guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen will be doing an online free concert from the (sad to say) empty Fur Peace Station:
As for my readers here, we may not always agree, but thanks for hanging in there.
Have a great day all!
PS The Fur Peace Ranch is pretty much abandoned but there is always maintenance and a skeleton staff. I was just outside talking to John Hurlbut our Ranch Manager and we were appreciating the smell of the grass that was just cut this morning. I looked up at the blue sky and strange say in that moment I was briefly transported back to my old house in San Francisco on Yerba Buena Ave. The blue sky, the tiny yard and the smell of freshly cut grass… and then it was gone and I was back in our Meigs County Spring.
What a day!