Home > Diary, Thoughts > It Tolls For Thee… And Me

It Tolls For Thee… And Me

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

In my neighborhood when I was a kid, my best friend was Bill Haile who lived at 3116 Northampton St. in D.C. We hung together from elementary school to High School when he graduated a year before me. Through Bill and hot rods, I met Chick Casady. We bonded over his getting a driver’s license a year before me… that and his 1934 Ford two door sedan. Through Chick I met Michael Oliveri who turned me on to the guitar and gave me my very first guitar lessons. Thanks Mike. I learned Jimmy Brown The Newsboy and Down In the Willow Garden. Mike Oliveri lived up the street from the Casadys and as we all hung together, I wound up becoming friends with Jack Casady who was playing the guitar as well. Mike died of cancer about a decade ago. Bill Haile died of a heart attack about three years ago and last night Jack’s brother and my old friend Chick, died in San Francisco.

Indeed, I am moving into a part of my life where there are times when you say goodbye more than hello… I remember when that time occurred in my Father’s life… he would talk about the vanished, and those who remained. So it goes indeed… there is nothing new under the sun.

Without the people I have mentioned above, I would not be the person I am today. Thanks guys… I hope to see you again sometime, just not too soon.

Chick certainly lived life on his own terms and if there is an afterlife, he’s giving whoever is in charge a run for their money. Bon voyage brother, may your path be filled with light.

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  1. Richard
    April 26th, 2012 at 18:35 | #1

    Sorry to hear the bad news.. Please tell Jack we are thinking of him in his time of grief.

  2. Robert Piercy
    April 26th, 2012 at 19:35 | #2

    Condolences to Jack and his family. I’m reminded of your great tune, Living In The Moment.

  3. carlo pagliano
    April 26th, 2012 at 19:47 | #3

    Brother Chick
    We are all close to you Jack.

  4. Joe Moore
    April 26th, 2012 at 20:06 | #4

    Too many Goodbyes is so true . I’m sorry to hear the bad news. I am thinking about Jack. Here , in the NY area , we are mourning the loss of Pete Fornatale. Last week , he must have had a stroke and was discovered a few days later . Pete was a long time Rock Historian and author . He was a DJ on the legendary WNEW FM and he started and ended his career on WFUV with his Mixed Bag Show .

    As Jorma said , too many Goodbyes !

  5. dave gourley
    April 26th, 2012 at 20:44 | #5

    So sorry to hear this news, it’s been a rough few weeks for rock and roll. I
    had hoped he was getting better. Keeping Jack and the Tuna family in my thoughts.

  6. George
    April 26th, 2012 at 21:05 | #6

    Extremely sorry to hear about the passing of Jack’s brother Chick. Very sad, we were just mourning the loss of gracious NY “Mixed-Bag” DJ Pete Fornatale from WNEW and WFUV. I believe Jorma guested several times on his Sunday show and also played at a “United Nations” benefit for WHY – World Hunger Year. Larry Campbell was with Pete recently at a concert backing Art Garfunkel. Again, prayers for Jack and his family.

  7. Cyndy Consentino
    April 26th, 2012 at 22:09 | #7

    Dear Jorma
    Condolences on the very sad passing of Chick. It definitely has been a tough few months
    Losing so many musical friends. I just watched the Godard piece and Chick is dancing and
    Smiling in the background.
    Prayers for Jack and his family.
    RIP, Chick.

  8. Susan Hall
    April 27th, 2012 at 01:52 | #8

    So sorry to hear this news. Deepest sympathies to all who loved Chick.

  9. April 27th, 2012 at 07:12 | #9

    you look around, and one of your family is gone.

    rest in peace

  10. mikie
    April 27th, 2012 at 07:35 | #10

    Deepest sympathy to the Casady family and to those who love them.

    “The time has come for us to pause, and think of living as it was…”

    God bless, m

  11. Jim T.
    April 27th, 2012 at 09:18 | #11

    ….death don’t have no mercy in this land!!!!

  12. John R.
    April 27th, 2012 at 09:50 | #12

    Dear Jack and Jorma: So very sorry to hear of Chick’s passing.

  13. Brett
    April 27th, 2012 at 09:55 | #13

    Very Sorry to hear about Chick

    Condolences to Jack and his family

  14. eaglesteve
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:09 | #14

    My condolences to the Casady family.

  15. Dave Millard
    April 27th, 2012 at 11:20 | #15

    Please offer my condolences to Jack and his family. This has been a rough couple of weeks – Levon, Dick Clark, Pete Fornatale all passing on…

  16. HOGAN
    April 27th, 2012 at 11:29 | #16

    Isn’t it strange when you reach a point in your life where you seem to be attending more funerals then weddings. My heart is saddened to think of all the loss that your family and Jack’s family has had to endeur lately. Try and keep that warm smile of yours on your face that lights up so many lives around you. Remember to tell your loved ones how much you love them every day because you never know when the good Lord is going to call. My condolences to Jack and Diane and the Casady family.
    “Another Man done go round.”

  17. Carter Dunkin
    April 27th, 2012 at 11:43 | #17

    Sad news indeed. Just a few days ago I was admiring the photo from a few months ago when Chick was doing better …

    My thoughts and prayers to Jack and his family; may all find comfort in the many fond memories, memories through which Chick lives forever.

    Poster Hogan above makes some really good points; everyone should read them again.

  18. Gerard Maggio
    April 27th, 2012 at 11:50 | #18

    Having lost a dear brother a couple of years ago, I am very sorry for the Casady’s loss and the loss of your lifelong friend, Jorma.

    From the bits and pieces I’ve heard about chip through the years he sounds like he was an “interesting” man!

    Take your vitamins, get plenty of sleep Jorma! Lots more music to make!

    Much love

  19. Steve Singer
    April 27th, 2012 at 12:41 | #19

    Prayers to Jack & the Casady family.

  20. Craig K
    April 27th, 2012 at 14:41 | #20

    My condolences to You and Jack and the Casady Family.

    The ranks of the stars move in progression, the sun and the moon shine in turn, the four seasons succeed each other in good order, the yin and yang go through their great transformations, and the wind and the rain pass over the whole land. All things obtain what is congenial to them and come to life, receive what is nourishing to them and come to completion. One does not see this process taking place, but sees only the results. Thus it is called godlike. All men understand that the process has reached completion, but none understands the formless forces that bring it about.
    Xunzi (c. 296 -c. 236 B.C.)

  21. Richard
    April 27th, 2012 at 14:59 | #21

    Sad news…Sorry for the loss.Thinking about you Jack.

  22. joe in DC
    April 27th, 2012 at 18:09 | #22

    Hang in there Jack C…………..

  23. johno
    April 28th, 2012 at 13:11 | #23

    Jack I am so sad to hear of your brother Chick’s passing. May God bless his soul. I also lost my older brother last year and when I hear “Things That Might Have Been” it makes me think of him. It seems life goes by so fast – and one by one they’re gone. I’ll say an extra prayer tonite for Chick and you Jack and your immediate family. Now you have a buddy in heaven who’ll watch over you until we all get together again someday.

  24. Joanne
    April 28th, 2012 at 13:53 | #24

    Such sad news, my condolences to Jack and his family.Until you meet again,May God hold Chick in the hollow of his hand.Many blessings.

  25. chuck newman
    April 28th, 2012 at 21:27 | #25

    Jack I am so sorry to hear about your brother passing on. These are the times to remember that the circle will always be unbroken.

  26. Jeff Montwicki
    April 29th, 2012 at 09:37 | #26

    So sorry to hear of Chick’s passing. My condolences to everyone. It has certainly been a tough month or two for musicians and music lovers. 🙁

  27. April 29th, 2012 at 11:30 | #27

    Older brothers pave the way for us, walk beside us, and then pass the torch to us. Where would we be without them? Rest in peace, Chick. Job well done.

  28. Hamneggs
    April 29th, 2012 at 15:50 | #28

    Peace be with you all.

  29. Kathy
    April 29th, 2012 at 20:53 | #29

    My thoughts and prayers for Jack and the Casady family. I, too, am remembering Pete Fornatale and his family. It’s been a sad week.

  30. Nick L. Eakins
    April 29th, 2012 at 23:18 | #30

    I haven’t logged in here for a while but I recall from here Chick had been struggling. Now,,,bless him,,,his struggles are over. May the Good Lord bless and keep the whole Casady family.

  31. mutt
    April 30th, 2012 at 05:45 | #31

    Peace be with you and the extended Hot Tuna Family, Jack and Jorma.

    I have had Verlon’s song in my head ever since Levon’s passing. It is a very comforting and ethereal tune so applicable to these recent passings from one world to the next.

    ‘… and then in one life I was a singer and music was my church,
    and I put myself through hell trying to write the second verse,
    and so I came back as the chorous the best part of the song,
    because all your friends remember when they all sing along.
    Like the Christians and the Outlaws and like that summer wind,
    like the singer to the chorous I will come back again.”

    Like the Christians and the Outlaws and like that summer wind,
    like the singer to the chorous I will come back again.”

    Like the singer to the chorous I will come back again.”

    Rock On Brothers and Sisters.

    Love and Prayers


  32. April 30th, 2012 at 12:57 | #32

    Dear Jack and Tuna Family.

    Sorry to hear about Chick and many condolences to the Casady Family.

    Another Man done a full go round!

  33. Bob Kelly
    May 1st, 2012 at 00:13 | #33

    Our prayers and meditations go out to Jack and his family..another Man done gone indeed.. along with Pete Fornatelle and levon,,..thanks for sharing some memories with us all Jorma..putting a nice picture in our minds, a lot of us knew Chick as the cool roadie and Jacks brother from the Tuna hey day..visions of him working the stage and getting everything just right at the shows.. rest in peace …

  34. Ken
    May 1st, 2012 at 10:21 | #34

    God bless Chick and all his family and friends.

  35. Angel
    May 1st, 2012 at 12:25 | #35

    Sending hugs and loving thoughts to you, Vanessa, and Jack. I will miss seeing Chick around the City. He was a fixture at the Fillmore since I can remember. Wishing him a good trip to the great gig in the sky. You know he’s firing one up and giving them hell wherever he is…

  36. Gerard Maggio
    May 2nd, 2012 at 15:05 | #36

    Isn’t it on a Jefferson Airplane record that we hear a voice blurting out NO MAN, IS, AN ISLAND! and then we we hear, it it Paul? sniggering “He’s a peninsula!” Was that on the beginning of Lather? Somebody help me properly place this memory scrap.

  37. carlo pagliano
    May 2nd, 2012 at 15:22 | #37

    A small package of value will come to you shortly. (Dryden-Blackman-Thompson)
    Should be Paul.

  38. Paul Z
    May 6th, 2012 at 13:50 | #38

    Jorma, Sorry that you lost such a valued friend.