I got my first one…

Photo by Vanessa Kaukonen

Indeed, Nessa got hers first in Meigs and then I got mine at Holzer in Gallipolis. This is all good news relatively speaking. When I get back from my trip down to Florida and Nashville both our second shots will be due. Now I know there’s no guarantee of a free lunch or a certified cure, but it’s time for me to show my face and make a few bucks. Like so many, I’ve been out of work for the better part of a year. Covid-19 has stolen so much from all of us, not the least of which is time that can never be recovered.

Well, I’m here with the gang this weekend and we’ve got #35 coming up tonight.

Good to be back live again.

Yeah, there was a lot of emotion in the comments for the last post and I thought about weighing in and then I thought at least for now, if you need to vent, vent. Look, we’re all fighting the same battle here… some of us may have different weapons, but in the end none of that matters.

I have been listening to Volunteers recently for a number of reasons. There is some really great music and great songs on that album. Nicky Hopkins is certainly a big part of the sound in that moment. What a guy! It’s been so long since that was a real world for me that I have to chuckle at some of the material content. At this point in our collective lives we were all quite well off and hardly dirty anarchists. That said, I’m talking about art here and art marches to a different drummer and exists in its own parallel universe. In the light of evolving time some of the writing might seem sophomoric or fatuous. I wouldn’t suggest that anyone make life choices based on the personal stands of their favorite pop star… but you can still like the music… and even the poetry may stand the test of time… or not.

Well… still working on the set list for tonight’s show. Cold indeed… but beautiful here today in Southeast Ohio.

Stay positive

Test negative.

Hawke the RV in repose

Photo by Jorma Kaukonen

Looking forward to braving the trip down south.


  1. Comment made on January 31, 2021 by Jeff

    Hi Jorma ,
    Jeff here from the UK. Just wanted to thank you for a lot of things. The highlight of my lockdown has been to read “ Been so long “. Read it straight through yesterday. My wife thought I’d got ill because I didn’t move for a day. Loved the book. The second thank you is for the music. I play guitar every day, I’ve taught several hundred kids to play over the years and that love/companionship/creativity I put down to you ( and Leo Kottke 🙂 . Best wishes and grateful thanks – Jeff

  2. Comment made on January 28, 2021 by Ric Siler

    So interesting to hear you bandy about those names, Gallipolis and Meigs . . . I grew up in Pt. Pleasant, WV just across the river (and a little up river) from Gallipolis. My old stomping grounds from Pt. Pleasant up to Pomeroy and over to Gallipolis . . . brings back memories for sure!

  3. Comment made on January 26, 2021 by DennisK

    Aside from meeting Jorma at the Stanhope House in the early 80’s, I got to hang with John Mayall and Canned Heat. I ran out and purchased my first harmonica after that show.

  4. Comment made on January 25, 2021 by Eden

    Interesting that you mention Volunteers about which I have a story. In 2000, I was at the Melkweg in Amsterdam attending the 13th Cannabis Cup at which midwife Ina May Gaskin was being inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame. Even though in “real life” I am an OBGYN – thus the connection to Ina May – there I was dancing behind the stage where High Times editor Steven Hager was mixing the video feeds of the bands. On the last night, “Jefferson” Starship took the stage. Being a huge fan of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna since my teenage years, it was interesting to say the least to observe Kantner and Balin up close and working. So I’m there dancing and they go into the encore Volunteers and Diana Mangano the female vocalist motions for me – me? – to come on stage and sing with her. My husband sings professionally in the High Times Cannabis Cup band, but I, well, like I said, I’m an OBGYN, I deal with different pipes. Anyhow, I get over my various hesitations and realize that this is my teenage fantasy realized, once in a lifetime, and I join Mangano at the mike. Although you and Jack were not there, you were both in my heart, and of symbolic significance to me at least I was wearing the vintage purple velvet dress with rainbow flowers that I wore at your Lone Star shows in the early ‘80s and when you signed my copy of your book at the Egg in Albany. Part of that Melkweg show was later released as the third CD of a 2018 “Jefferson” Starship release, but, alas, that Volunteers track was not included. I later got a recording from the widow of a French taper who had been at the show. My husband – the actual singer in the family – and I have been regulars at your Saturday night quarantine series, and it has truly been a stellar experience. The music has been wonderful, performed with such skill and heart and beauty, and the shows have been generous and sustaining. We love the dialogue between you and Vanessa, Izze is a sublime treasure to hear, and it is a highlight of our week that we wouldn’t miss for anything all holed up here in Upstate New York where we hope to see you play in the near-ish future. We have tickets to the Mahaiwe and Capitol Theater shows that are on hold, so hoping you and Jack can make it out this way before too long. In the meantime, thank you and yours for filling our Saturday nights with Hot Tuna Quarantine Concert joy!

  5. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by Greg martelli

    Had the distinct privelage of seeing Nicky Hopkins twice with Airplane &once with Cippolina /Duncan en troupe .
    Kind of like Chris Stanton ,you see him in many iterations ( Cocker & more frequently Clapton), the textures and melodic weaves are subtle ,but tend to reinforce the plugged in guitars and bases.I was watching a Garcia band video & Nicky Hopkins was a brilliant additive .
    Turn my life down would be cool .
    In time would let Jack work as well.

    Long may you Run

  6. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by carey georgas

    Case in point about pop stars and life choices. I fell hard for Blows Against the Empire (I know you weren’t in on that one, Jorma) but wound up selling insurance. My rationalization was that I would try and help people pay as little money to the man as they had to in order to adequately protect their assets. Help navigate the corporate bureaucracy so as to get screwed as lightly as possible, in other words. I tried to employ that policy throughout my career. Don’t sell someone something they don’t need just to put money in my pocket. I used radical ideas to execute my choices, not make them (please don’t construe as giving Blows credit for my business success).

  7. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by carey georgas

    @Ham Neggs
    Can’t hardly wait!

  8. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by Ham Neggs

    @Brian Doyle
    I thought a pamphlet from The Situationists in Paris had something to do with it but can’t find it on internet. The Living Theatre with Julian Beck and Judith Molina (RIP) were also involved with the Motherfuckers also.
    I had daydreamed briefly about John and Jorma reworking the lyrics because the music is so great and the thought that you and me should be together is one I still hold near and dear in the Fire of my heart.
    Wooden Ships was fantastic last night. Think that J& J could also do a great version of the Farm, maybe with Myron too.
    Jorma whoever you get to sing Turn my life down will bring me to tears.
    To Carey and the others going through medical madness my thoughts and prayers to you
    Of course I have more to say but will wait for set to be posted and chime in then with my gun control and Police Dog ready. Chester and Maverick must have danced up a storm
    Peace✌🏻️❤️Love All Ways🔥🚲🌹🙏🏻🖖🏼

  9. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by carey georgas

    @Brian Doyle
    That any way connected to the Fugs of “Golden Filth” fame?

  10. Comment made on January 24, 2021 by Brian Doyle

    I tried to find J Sundstrom who wrote the manifesto that became the lyrics for ‘We Can Be Together’…He traced to a group in New York City called the Motherfuckers who morphed in to the Yippies and had connections to the Fugs…I even asked Paul Krassner but the guy seemed to have dropped off the planet…As far as I know no one ever asked him what he thought of his words being bannered by The Airplane…

  11. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Yur Friend Da WitchDr

    After many months of painstaking trial and error I have finally perfected a vaccine for the dreaded Corona virus.

    A DOUBLE DOSE of HOT FUCKIN TUNA played live!

    The doses should be dispensed together or separately over a period not to exceed one week.

    The vaccine must be administered hot, aurally, and loud.

    It’s 100% effective for all COVID permutations, and those properly vaccinated are guaranteed a lifetime of COVID immunity.

    Your Friend the Witchdoctor


    Toodeloo 2020!!!!!


    Hellooo, Hellooooo, Hellooooooo, Go to Hello 2021!!!!!

    Grateful Dead, Three Stooges Mash Up – ‘Shakedown Street’ 5/12/81 – Bing video

    FPR – Heroes Live, Laugh, and Play here.

  12. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Kevin

    16 years ago I worked backstage security at a BB King concert at USF here in Tampa. One of the openers was “Muddy Waters Blues Band”, a bunch of guys who played with Muddy back in the 70’s and 80’s. I was talking to Willie “Big Eyes” Smith about seeing him play with Muddy at the Stanhope House in the late 70’s. He said he also loved the place. He said you can go anywhere in Europe, talk to blues players, and they know of The Stanhope House. Blew me away.

  13. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Kevin

    Ah the Stanhope House, my all time favorite venue. My home away from home mid 70’s to mid 80’s. I would have definitely been at any JK shows during that time. When I think of the people I saw at that little oasis of music it makes my head spin, it was a remarkably special place at that time.

  14. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Dan Nigro

    @Carey Georgas Proof that Keef stole Ry Cooders licks.

  15. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Dan Nigro

    Volunteers is the American Sgt. Pepper Bookending We Can be Together with Volunteers it tied the tunes in between Good Shepherd,The Farm, Hey Fredrick and Wooden Ships thematically. And the packaging is what made buying albums so much fun (although I still don’t understand the meaning of the PB&J)

  16. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Rob

    Wow, Jorma, how did you know that was my favorite line in the song–maybe on the whole album? I gotta learn to be less predictable.

  17. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by carey georgas

    Jammin’ With Edward!

  18. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Rob

    “Volunteers” means a lot to me and has for a long time. The sentiments on it seem very passionate and sincere to me and just because one is well off or comfortable doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want others to be well off and comfortable, too, or doesn’t want us all to live in a just world. I’m not saying that you’ve implied otherwise, Jorma, but it’s good to point out that some people who have had success–particularly on their own terms, which JA had from my perspective–especially if they are good people, want to enjoy the fruits of that success in a just world where suffering and inequality are as minimal as they can be.

    And there is a difference between living comfortably or being well off because of inheritance or connections or selling out or criminal enterprise and doing so because of one’s talent and creativity. Those that succeed against all odds because their work resonates with millions of people are way more deserving of that success than those who succeed through the usual channels.

    As for Nicky Hopkins, his work with the Airplane and Quicksilver was amazing. His work with the Stones was defining for him and for them. It’s hard to imagine albums like “Beggars Banquet” and “Exile” without his massive contributions. The same goes for “The Who Sing My Generation.” Such a variety of different styles and yet he always served the music masterfully. There are session players and then there are SESSION players and he was firmly in the latter camp and so much more. If only he had lived longer and played on more albums.

    • Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Jorma

      Hi Rob

      Believe me, I am not criticizing enjoying the fruits of one’s labor… trust me on this one. The spirit of that song for me has always been, ‘We can be together.’ We of the Airplane contributed to our community in our time as best we could. I do not take issue with your observations. There are some who find that, ‘All your private property, is target for your enemies, and your enemies… is we.’ to be well… open to discussion. Not a discussion I plan on having. Just a look back through the opaque window of time… which brings a smile to my face.

      Stay well…

  19. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by DennisK

    Hi Jorma,
    Glad you are well. I have a non-geek question about your use of solid body baritone guitars.

    I saw you play a few gigs in NJ (circa ’83) with these long fat instruments. If my memory serves me correctly, you may have played “Killing Time” with the overhand slide technique at the Stanhope House.

    Were they Citron Baritones from the Woodstock/Kingston area? Do you still have then?

    If so, “Guitars like to be played, they don’t like not to be played.” – JK
    See ya soon,

    • Comment made on January 23, 2021 by Jorma

      Those were indeed Viellette/Citron guitars… one was a baritone, one wasn’t. I haven’t owned them in decades. I believe Michael Falzarano owns one of my baritones.

  20. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by MANNY FALCON

    This was the awesome news I needed, after the disappointment of latest classes being sold out… Grateful for the healing energy, and I hope to have a one on one with you, HALLELUJAH!

  21. Comment made on January 23, 2021 by eaglesteve

    Glad to hear you got your shot and I hope you get the second at the correct interval. Also thanks G_d you tested neg.

    Captain, a request for tonight:

    I Belong To That Band

    Dug 33 & 34. Thank you.

    ‘nuf said

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