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Topic: Younger fans find somebody to love in Kaukonen (nsc) Return to archive
November 12th, 2004 06:03 AM
Ten Thousand Motels
Younger fans find somebody to love in Kaukonen

November 12, 2004

BY JEFF WISSER Staff Reporter
Chicago Sun-Times

With or without Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, Jorma Kaukonen remains airborne.

Whether the guitarist-singer-songwriter is hooked up with his new roots rock outfit Blue Country Heart or playing with old pal and fellow former Airplaner Jack Casady in Hot Tuna, Kaukonen is delighted to be able to continue with his various flights of fancy. The Airplane's entire catalog was recently updated and re-released by RCA, which reportedly also plans to do the same with the Tuna tapes. And Kaukonen is preparing to return to the studio with Blue Country Heart for a second release with Columbia.

And the rangy axman couldn't be more thankful for the continued attention.

"In this business it doesn't have to be that way. I think one of the things is that Jack and I have pretty much stayed true to who we are and where we're coming from. I mean, basically, our music, I'd like to think, at least, is roots-oriented music, and the music itself stands up to the test of time reasonably well. I'm tempted to say that it's because we're such lovable guys, but I know that's a crock of baloney."

Part of the trick is that, like the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, Hot Tuna has been able to reach a younger generation.

"Mercifully, yes," Kaukonen laughs. "Because the rest of audience is dying off. Well, kinda. The music appeals to people who like that kind of stuff. When I was a kid, I listened to music from the '20s and '30s. Of course, that was the '50s, so that's not as long ago as [from now back to] when we first started out. I like to think it's the power of the music itself and the fact that we can still do it well."

A younger audience is also finding the Airplane's music with the DVD release of "Fly Jefferson Airplane," as well as some of the band's peers with films like the recent "Festival Express," featuring the Dead and the Band. It's all rather perplexing to Kaukonen.

"If we could figure out the staying power of that music, I think we'd be geniuses. I mean, it was a fascinating time. I don't think there's any question about it. And there's a lot of music and art and what not that came out of the time. But why it's relevant to people today who are younger than I was when it was happening, I really don't know. But I know lots of my friends' kids just love this stuff. And I say god bless them!"

With the Blue Country Heart record, released in 2002, Kaukonen achieved a sort of accidental synergy with "O Brother, Where Art Thou" and its roots-heavy soundtrack.

"We started talking about [the Blue Country Heart record] a couple of years before that movie came out. However, the fact that a lot of people listened to the record, I think that there's no question that you can attribute that to 'O Brother, Where Art Thou.' Needless to say, we're thrilled with stuff like that. A lot of people got turned on to that real traditional style of music who otherwise might say, 'I don't like country music.' "

November 12th, 2004 12:28 PM
jb "We built this city" was their Zenith.....
November 12th, 2004 01:15 PM
jb wrote:
"We built this city" was their Zenith.....

Amen jb__________________________----------------->
November 12th, 2004 03:40 PM
Ten Thousand Motels
jb wrote:
"We built this city" was their Zenith.....

That was Jefferson Starship...and I think that even Kantner had left by then. I think Gracie was the only Airplane member on that abomination. Low point of her career.
November 12th, 2004 03:47 PM
jb What about "sarah"....
November 12th, 2004 07:09 PM
Soldatti Thanks
November 12th, 2004 07:21 PM
kath not even close to airplane, josh.

airplane was THE band with jorma, jack, marty, paul, gracie....even before then, really.

anybody else here ever hear "conspicuous only in its absence"?? really early early gracie and paul....they did a "sally go 'round the roses" that was just amazing....
November 12th, 2004 09:09 PM
VoodooChileInWOnderl Couldn't agree more with ya Kath! The Airplane is one of the best bands, thge best in San Francisco back in the good old days, the mos original btw, two singers, two guitars, one hell of a bass-man (who jammed several times with Jimi), lyrics, music, cool atmosphere, simple, nice people, great jams with Nicky Hopkins, great reunion in 1989 again with Nicky (I think this was the last REAL rock album with Nicky)

Grace made a painting of the glimmer twins

BTW, Thanks for posting the news Mr. Motels!

It wasn’t the Airplane, It Was Beauty Killed the Beast

I'm listening Bless It's Pointed Little Head

November 12th, 2004 09:23 PM
Ten Thousand Motels wrote:

That was Jefferson Starship...and I think that even Kantner had left by then. I think Gracie was the only Airplane member on that abomination. Low point of her career.

Not just low, the lowest. Jefferson Airplane lost when they chnaged to Jefferson Starship, but the change to just "Starship" is one of the worst changes in a band, worst than Chicago or Fleetwood Mac (both band were great at the very beginning then sold their soul to pop music)

Starhip played some weeks ago and of cours I didn't attend it, it's 100% bullshit