“I’ve Got Fiery Fingers, I’ve Got Fiery Hands”
Jorma and Jack Bring Hot Tuna to Madrid
In the fall of 1992, I decided to drive the Bimmer to Florida. It was still my old man’s car and he hadn’t gotten the stereo wiring figured out. That was okay; I had good company on the way and didn’t need to listen to anything but another human voice.
When the car broke down outside of Panama City, a farmer stopped where we were stranded on the side of the road. He figured out what was wrong; we were back on the road just before sunset. I changed the oil in Tampa, drove across “Alligator Alley” and dropped my friend off at Miami International.
At first, the way back was lonely. I stopped by a rest stop outside of Orlando and fiddled with the radio. There was a cassette tape called Quah, by Jorma Kaukonen stuck in it. After sweating and swearing over the mess for about half an hour, I got the tape deck to work and it began playing the first side of Jorma’s first solo effort after leaving Jefferson Airplane.
First came “Genesis,” a song about love, loss and a crossing into the future. When the auto-reverse feature kicked in and the second side began with “I am the Light of This World,” a stunningly syncopated, traditional blues piece about the mystical transformation of a man named Jesus Christ, I knew I would be able to find my way back to Burque.
When I got there, I dug into the Jefferson Airplane catalog. I buried myself in Hot Tuna, the band Kaukonen formed with Airplane bassist Jack Casady when both saw the end of their psychedelic flight approaching.