Every day there are fewer people from my time left. I remember my mom saying at the very end of her life, ‘There is no one left alive who knew me as a girl.’ Now mom’s been gone almost of a quarter of a century. I was in my 50’s then and I’m eighty-two now. That’s a lot of time to consider what late in life really means. So much for the days of summer, right?

Now I’ve talked about this before but because the rest of my immediate family is considerable younger than I have been spared the fate of being consigned to the purgatory of lamenting things that might have been with other people my age.

The clock keeps ticking and every day a new obituary pops up. I just saw today that Gina Lollobrigida just past.  Gentle but brazen beauty from a simpler time. Closing the door to that memory room is yet one more simple goodbye to the past! Jeff Beck died recently and it is more than sad that he passed at what I consider to be such a young age. I did not know Jeff, never hung out… never even met the man. In that light his passing affected me far less than Steve James slipping into the abyss of time. Steve was my friend not a cultural zeitgeist and that’s just the way it is.

There are still a lot of people still alive who knew me as a boy although as I said at the beginning of this article the number dwindles almost daily. Those of us who have reconnected at this late date find that even though our lives may have evolved in different universes at the end we are bound by a simple fact… we were young together.

The good news is that there is way more to life to tying the past in neat bundles to be unpacked every now and then. Every day is still a new adventure and there are challenges yet to be accepted. 2023 is still a blank slate more than less. G_d willing there is some really good stuff in my future this year. Bucket lists to check off, dreams to fulfill and projects to manifest. Lots of touring coming up. Places to go and people to play with. Jack and I have some fun stuff in the offing and well, it’s good to be busy at any age.

Onward!


Comments

  1. Comment made on November 21, 2023 by Paul Wasserman

    Well brother, I know what you mean.
    I fell blessed and grateful that we are still here and connected. Some 65 years later! Yes, I can say, He knew me when I was just a lad.

    • Comment made on November 21, 2023 by Jorma

      We were both kids my friend, and if it seems like it was a lifetime ago, that’s because it was. Let’s keep the run going for a while! 🙂

  2. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by Brian Doyle

    You could say without hyperbole that one of the masters of the age has passed…Enough to register a solemn reckoning amongst the tribe…Time is now making its claim on rock…

  3. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by Art

    I will remember much more than his name.

  4. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by carey georgas

    Criminy. They say it comes in threes. Hopefully we’ll have a few weeks without mortality slapping us all up in our faces. I mean, I’m reminded of it in one form or another almost daily, but deaths of ones we grew up with kinda puts our noses right in it. Seems Cros didn’t have a lot of peace on this side if half of what I’ve read/seen about him is true. Hopefully he’ll have it across the river. May he rest in it.

  5. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by LWE

    @Dan Nigro I like the Too Hot To Handle album a lot and hope it gets re-released someday soon. The Land of Heroes and Too Many Years are now available for streaming, so hopefully…

  6. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by Dan Nigro

    I feel like I lost a friend

  7. Comment made on January 19, 2023 by LWE

    David Crosby, RIP.

  8. Comment made on January 18, 2023 by sweetbac Jr.

    Jorma…listening to that new-ish record store day vinyl Reissue of “Americas Choice”….outSTANDING. I know “yellow fever” was also recently done by Friday Music for vinyl….any chance the whole catalogue will be mastered by them?…and hopefully digitally also….that album has never sounded better. “Hoppkorv” next?

  9. Comment made on January 18, 2023 by Dan Nigro

    I believe Margareta also did Too Hot to Handle, I always thought the cover was an abstract portrait of Jorma (to be fair it was the 80’s). Maybe not everyones favorite album, but I always loved Too Many Years. Too bad she never hooked up with the ZAP comix guys, her stuff would have fit right in

  10. Comment made on January 18, 2023 by BrendanC

    Listened passively to Steve James’ American Primative and liked it. The late Mr. James’ sound reminds me of Leon Redbone, another artist I’ve enjoyed but have not sought out. As I don’t have album credits handy, I googled James/Cashdollar to learn which songs they collaborated on. That brought me to utube Leon/Cindy dept. What a rabbit hole the internet is. A recent Candy Cishdollar perf/interview at Nashville Museum of Music followed – good stuff. The tube suggested I also watch Jeff Beck, so watched B.B. Times Square, the one show of his I caught was night before. Blown away, of course, but one might need to be a guitar player to appreciate his talent fully. I’m wondering if the young lady on bass – Tal Wilkenfield – is a top player, as some attest. She’s super-terrific sure, but is she Jaco or Jack et al? Not being critical, just wondering. What say ye?

  11. Well Jorma, in some ways were WERE young together — you were in your 20s when you started providing the soundtrack to our lives — and I was 11. Your musical contributions as a young man are still appreciated today, as well as your extensive, subsequent body of work. It was the luck of fate that we found you on the radio.

  12. Comment made on January 18, 2023 by Greg Martelli

    Jorma,Looking at credits to Warren Zevons Transverse City album.
    I saw Jack and Jerry credits and then saw your name playing acoustic guitar on a song that Neil Young was credited with lead guitar performance .
    How did Warren Zevon select you for accompaniment ?
    Was the Excitable Boy in the studio when you were?
    How did that experience go down ?

  13. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Richard K

    Not on Facebook but a friend said he read there that Vanessa has Covid, hope her symptoms are mild and she heals quick .
    Also heard Jorma you are not doing the cruise, I am sure thats a good idea..

  14. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Richard K

    @Dale Radeleff
    We get emails of my Union Brothers and Sisters who have passed..When I open them I hope its an old timer I didnt know who had had a long life, but lately I know to many of them at my age at 65…

  15. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Dale Radeleff

    That picture sure looks like Lisa Simpsom

  16. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Dale Radeleff

    Jorma, one last question for you tonight. Who drew the character on the QUAH CD/Record cover??? If I were asked that question and did not know anything of dates, I would say they were drawn by Matt Groening while on some real good LSD! The next question I would expect would have to be answered with: “Yes, I grew up in the mid 60’s to late 70’s and am quite familiar with its effects.

    • Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Jorma

      It’s from a painting done by my ex, Margareta. She also did the painting from the first Hot Tuna album as well as the cover for Jorma.

  17. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Dale Radeleff

    Jorma, every month I get my Union’s newsletter and it seems more often than not the first thing I read is the obits to see who I may know or someone that I have worked with has passed away, Electrical Construction is very hard on some bodies and mine is no different. I started seeing the names of the “Old Timers” back about 20 years ago and in the last 20 I’ve seen far too many of those in my age group. Whenever I see those names I start to remember the good times we had together. Now with this WM sneaking its way into my life many of those younger than me will be looking at my name in the obits section and reminiscing about the good times we shared in the last 30-35 years. Jorma, when you see my name in the obits in the next year or 2, KEEP PLAYING!!!

  18. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by Joey Hudoklin

    Jorma you’re a great example of thoughtfully doing the right thing. It’s gotten you far. I certainly hope to be as vital as you when God willing I get to where you are in life.
    Good decision on the cruise shows.
    I so look forward to Pontre Vedra.

  19. Comment made on January 17, 2023 by carey georgas

    I rebuke the purgatory of lamentations. If the what-might-have-beens were, what would be here now? Life is a sum of parts. Change the parts, change the sum. Just glad to be here! Thank you for your provocative thoughts. Peace.

  20. Comment made on January 16, 2023 by Dan Nigro

    You know it’s weird being the same age as old people. Sure beats the alternative though. Hope to see all y’all at some shows in 2023. Peace

  21. Comment made on January 16, 2023 by David Stick

    Hey Jorma , even though I’m a little younger than you I understand where your coming from. Tha ranks are definitely thinning. This morning my phone rang and it was an old school friend from the sixties who I hadn’t spoke with for a few years. The first thing out of his mouth was nobody died , just checking in. Eventually those calls will stop but it was nice catching up while we can. Plus another old pal called shortly after and we compared surgeries and ailments and prescriptions. Overall two nice conversations today with two old friends. On another matter , both of those old friends and I attended the same school as your son Zak back in the sixties but it certainly looks different now. I didn’t know if you were aware of another alum who attended way back when , a fellow named Owsley.

  22. Comment made on January 16, 2023 by Ed

    So true, Jorma. As I watched my mother (she died at 95) and others age, you see how the older they get, fewer friends are left. Conversely, when your mom and dad are both gone, and aunts and uncles, there are some things – not necessarily important – you have no one left to ask about, because no is left who would know.
    But I agree with what you say at the end, too. I like this, from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

    “Write it on your heart
    that every day is the best day in the year.
    He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
    who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

    Finish every day and be done with it.
    You have done what you could.
    Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
    Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
    begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
    to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

    This new day is too dear,
    with its hopes and invitations,
    to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

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