Been So Long: My Life and Music

Been So Long: My Life and Music

by Jorma Kaukonen
Been So Long: My Life and Music

Been So Long: My Life and Music

by Jorma Kaukonen


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"A modern parable." —from the foreword by Grace Slick

“Jorma Kaukonen is a force in American music, equally adept at fingerpicked acoustic folk and blues as he is at wailing on an electric.” – Acoustic Guitar

“Jorma Kaukonen lit a fuse and transformed his electric guitar into a firework.” – Live For Live Music

From the man who made a name for himself as a founding member and lead guitarist of Jefferson Airplane comes a memoir that offers a rare glimpse into the heart and soul of a musical genius—and a vivid journey through the psychedelic era in America.

“Music is the reward for being alive,” writes Jorma Kaukonen in this candid and emotional account of his life and work. “It stirs memory in a singular way that is unmatched.” In a career that has already spanned a half century—one that has earned him induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors—Jorma is best known for his legendary bands Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna. But before he won worldwide recognition he was just a young man with a passion and a dream.

Been So Long is the story of how Jorma found his place in the world of music and beyond. The grandson of Finnish and Russian-Jewish immigrants whose formative years were spent abroad with his American-born diplomat father, Jorma channeled his life experiences—from his coming-of-age in Pakistan and the Philippines to his early gigs with Jack Casady in D.C. to his jam sessions in San Francisco with Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and other contemporaries—into his art in unique and revelatory ways. Been So Long charts not only Jorma’s association with the bands that made him famous but goes into never-before-told details about his addiction and recovery, his troubled first marriage and still-thriving second, and more. Interspersed with diary entries, personal correspondence, and song lyrics, this memoir is as unforgettable and inspiring as Jorma’s music itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250229496
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,012,620
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

JORMA KAUKONEN is one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock 'n roll. He is the founding member and guitarist of Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna, and has recorded more than a dozen solo albums. He's a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy nominee. Jorma and his wife Vanessa operate Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, a center in Ohio for studying guitar and other instruments.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword Grace Slick ix

Into the Light xi

Introduction xiii

l Land of Heroes 1

2 A New Song 12

3 Trouble in Mind 17

4 Living in the Moment 25

5 A Walk with Friends 36

6 Simpler Than I Thought 60

7 In the Kingdom 84

8 Seasons in the Field 109

9 Turn My Life Down 131

10 Trial by Fire 148

11 Genesis 157

12 Watch the North Wind Rise 169

13 Roads and Roads & 175

14 Broken Highway 186

15 The Other Side of This Life 196

16 Do Not Go Gentle 215

17 Too Many Years 225

18 Heart Temporary 242

19 A Life Well Lived 257

20 Stars in My Crown 271

Epilogue 285

Afterword Jack Casady 287

Lyric Appendix 289

Index 343

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