Jorma’s Birthday Saturday, December 23, 2023

Vanessa asked me, ‘What does it feel like to be 83?’ At this point in my life that’s a complex question. I am aware of the changes in my body that age inflicts. I’m not happy about some of them but all things considered I am doing better than many. My 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were still flights of youthful fancy looking back from the hillside today. Being 80 something requires that one accepts the fact that life is no longer an endless stream of seasons. This is neither morbid nor depressing to me because this memory of seasons affirms the fact that G_d has treated me… and continues to treat me with a gentle hand.

There are things that I can no longer do as well. My body is a still moderately well-functioning collective whose daily aches and pains do not define who I am or who I want to be. Again, I am blessed. The hammer of age has tapped me lightly, but so far I have been able to avoid infirmity. My dance card is still full. I have a list of occasions that I want to fulfill at some but I am aware that the clock is running.

Tick tock…

With all of these weighty mini dramas taking place on an ever more frequent timetable, I take a deep breath and my heart fills with joy. As they say in the song, ‘You have to find joy where you can!’ There is still much to be found.

The quest for joy led Vanessa, Izze and I to Columbus, Ohio to Old Henderson Rd. where the great Asian restaurant Akai Hana is to be found some sushi and a sukiyaki dinner later, we headed back down to Athens and home.

It was a delightful day.



  1. Comment made on January 1, 2024 by eaglesteve

    Happy New Year to the Kaukonens and Tuna Nation.
    We’re Still Standing

  2. Comment made on December 29, 2023 by Judge Jim

    Happy Birthday Jorma! May you have many, many more and are able to do everything you hope to do with loving friends and family. All the best for 2024!

  3. Comment made on December 28, 2023 by BrendanC

    Belated Happy and Healthy

    The Great Server in the cloud recommends videos, and plays songs, based on visits to various sites and sounds. I don’t suppose Tuna fan home movies are recommended to you.

  4. Comment made on December 28, 2023 by Larry Peterson

    God Bless you and your family and friends. Sure had fun at the Paramount!

  5. Comment made on December 27, 2023 by Ed

    Passing along the best advice I ever heard for living a long and healthy life (from the head of the National Institute on Aging):
    Get up early, and get out.

  6. Comment made on December 27, 2023 by John R.

    Thank you for a lifetime of incredible music.

  7. Happy Birthday! Thank you for continuing to share your personal thoughts with us fans. Your positive, youthful seniority is an inspiration for this 68 year old fingerpicker! Looking forward to seeing you play the Flammang in Woodstock this spring.

  8. Comment made on December 26, 2023 by Lisa Reinertson

    Happy Birthday Jorma! From Jack and Lisa in California. Your incredible guitar playing, and your welcoming guitar lessons have brought so much richness and joy to so many lives- including mine. Thank you. And happy new year!

  9. Comment made on December 26, 2023 by Pete logan

    Sending you birthday wishes from Long Island! Thank you for all the great music over the many decades.

  10. Comment made on December 26, 2023 by Bryan Lutz

    Happy belated birthday Jorma and thank you for the many years of your music and fantastic guitar playing

  11. Comment made on December 26, 2023 by Daland Segler

    Happy birthday, Master of the guitar! Have been listening to your first Hot Tuna Album ever since I’ve heard it in a Copenhagen record shop in 1970 and loving it still like the first time. Keep on ❗️

  12. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by alexander pepiak

    Happy birthday sir!
    As my people say “ sto lat”

    I currently have four friends in hospitals or nursing facilities and lost several this year. They are all 20 years your junior…..
    Sobering to me…

    I often wonder what the plan holds …. It’s best to allow it to unfold.

    Making music
    Enjoying friends
    As much as this bag of bones can endure

    You are blessed

  13. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by LWE

    I’m thrilled that G_d continues to treat you with a gentle hand because you bring so much pleasure to everyone with your music. When looking at my own life, the line “G_d takes care of old folks and fools” comes to mind; at least, He did until this August when I got to spend 14 days in the ICU with congestive heart failure (bad way to lose 30 pounds), with a pacemaker coming in January. As it has during other times of personal darkness, your music has been a great help to me these past months. No golf for awhile after the implant, so maybe my recovery time will allow me to devote some additional time to the guitar. Would love to return to FPR before this journey is over. “Father” Chip

  14. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by Melissa Champion

    Hi Jorma! Happy belated. So funny to hear you were on OLD Henderson Rd. for your birthday! I grew up there ( 55-60 years ago) when it was just a 2 lane road in cornfields. It’s amazing how some things can change! All I know is you have never been sounding better, and time can’t take that away. Your jam with Jack at the Paramount in Denver will go down in the memories of all those there. Look forward to seeing you and John on tour this summer! Much gratitude for you being you!

  15. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by Arthur Friedman

    A Happy Birthday Jorma! From your bud, Arthur from the Birchmere.

  16. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by Arthur Friedman

    A Happy Birthday Jorma! From you bud Arthur from the Birchmere.

  17. Comment made on December 25, 2023 by Kevin O'Leary

    Happy Birthday Jorma. You deserve all the joy and blessings this next year brings you, Lord knows you’ve blessed the rest of us with the joy of your music so many times over and over all these years.

  18. Comment made on December 24, 2023 by mikie

    So glad this year finds you well. Perhaps you’ll find a chuckle or two here:
    Older Than Dirt Quiz: Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about! Your ratings at the bottom. 1. Blackjack chewing gum 2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water 3. Candy cigarettes 4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles 5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes 6 Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers 7. Party lines 8. Newsreels before the movie 9. P.F. Flyers 10. Butch wax 11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933) 12. Peashooters 13. Howdy Doody 14. 45 RPM records 15. S&H Green Stamps 16 Hi-fi’s 17. Metal ice trays with lever 18. Mimeograph paper 19 Blue flashbulb 20. Packards 21. Roller skate keys 22. Cork popguns 23. Drive-ins 24. Studebakers 25. Wash tub wringers If you remembered 0-5 = You’re still young If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older If you remembered 11-15 = Don’t tell your age, If you remembered 16-25 = You’re older than dirt!
    “Senility Prayer”…God grant me… The senility to forget the people I never liked; The good fortune to run into the ones that I do, And the eyesight to tell the difference.”
    Thanks for all the good times, m

  19. Comment made on December 24, 2023 by Alan R.

    Having just seen you play in Denver earlier this month, I would say that you are doing pretty amazing for a man of 83. Happy Birthday Jorma!! I first experienced your greatness on an August afternoon in 1969 in Central Park. The Airplane and Santana played for free that day, just a couple of weeks before Woodstock. That show remains in my top five ever. Now, almost 55 years later, you and Jack can still bring out the magic. I hope you have many more delightful days like yesterday in front of you. Thank you so much for the musical joy you bring to us!

  20. Comment made on December 24, 2023 by Ric Siler

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Keep rocking’!!!!

  21. Comment made on December 24, 2023 by Dan Nigro

    Heck, 83 you could still be President (not that you would want the job). I always smile when I think about your roll of toilet paper analogy. Enjoy many more circles around the sun.

  22. Comment made on December 24, 2023 by John

    Happy birthday Jorma! Many thanks for all the great music you have given. It means so much. I hope 2024 is a great one for you!

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