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HOT TUNA








HOT TUNA is one of the greatest bands of all time. From their blues roots through their hard driving, what Jorma calls "Metal" days, the band has survived breakups and changes and is now touring again. They have joined the group of artists that make up the recent years' Further Festivals. You can see them playing & sitting in with some old friends form the early days of the '60s San Francisco crowd. I 1st saw Tuna in 1973 in NYC at the Academy of Music on 3rd Ave. & 14 St. In those days most bands played early and late shows. The late shows usually started around 11:30 and you saw an opening act, then the headliner would come out at around 12:30. The best thing to do was get tickets for both shows, because no 2 shows were the same, and you'd be afraid you might miss something great. Tuna loved playing NYC and we followed them from place to place. That 1st pair of shows in 1975 set the hook and I fell in love with these guys. If Tuna was in NY we saw them, at least I did. EVERY SHOW. For those of you who have seen them you understand why I could never get enough of them live. They always came to play for 4 or more hours, and NEVER dissapointed me. A couple of years later I saw them in a place calle the Calderone Theater on Long Island, again early and late shows. We snuck in the late show and it was awesome. It was December or January, I forget which, and it was cold and threatening snow. Kansas was a new band and they were the opening act. But who cared, we wanted to see Tuna. They came on at about 1:00AM or so, the rest of the night was a blur, (I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks on that one), and when it was all over we walked out the door sheilding our eyes from the sunlight and were greeted with about 2 feet of snow. GREAT!!

I continued to see Tuna until Jorma and Jack had a falling out in late 1978, and went there separate ways for a while. They had been friends since they were teens and playing together professionally for 13 years. I remember meeting Jorma in 1981 in a place called Rockaways in Queens. It was a bar/nightclub near the beach. Jorma was playing electric by himself and smoking. In between sets I ran into him at the bar and yakked for about 15 minutes or so. A great experience and one I will never forget. The man just blew me away. Jorma and Jack are members of the Rock & Roll hall of fame, inducted with the rest of Jefferson Airplane, with whom they were charter members (actually Jack showed a few months after the 1st few gigs) and probably would have been recognized had they not played with The Airplane. Jorma was and is still one of the greatest guitarists ever. Jack revolutionized bass playing. In 1968 Phil Lesh, of the Greatful Dead (another of the greatest improv bass players of all time) was quoted as saying, "I think Jack Casady is the world's greatest electric bass player. He plays music on the bass instead instead of just bass lines. His stuff is more highly evolved than any Jazz bass player's." That is great praise from a man who is one of the most renowned bass players in the world.

If you haven't heard these guys play acoustic blues, or hard driving rock and roll, I highly recommend that you move a mountain to do so. You won't be disappointed. I've included some links here, including a discography. So enjoy the experience that is Hot Tuna, and the next time you listen to Jefferson Airplane, remember that the lead guitar and bass you hear is none other than Jack and Jorma. Thanks for visiting this site and enjoy the links. See you at the show.


>I love this pic of Jorma. Credit this one to Harry Schuessler. This is ultimate rock-your-head-off Jorma. I'd bet the ranch that all volume levels were on 10!