The Typewriter Tape


Jorma Kaukonen
Jorma Kaukonen

Every once in a while I get deeply, madly bored and depressed. Normally this takes the form of excessive eating, extreme reading, cleaning up things or staring at the wall opposite me. I have a horror of facing the wall. I hate sitting with my back to the door which exasperates my Beloved Bengalan. When I was building an office space for me, I agonized for days on where the door would go and how I would arrange my workspace. I’ve since psychoanalyzed myself and discovered that this is due to reading too many biographies of Mafia personalities. These came with graphic pictures of bloody gangsters; shot while sitting in restaurants and barber shops with their back to the door. I must have been at a very impressionable age.

What to do, we are like that only! (Which is an Indianism…..)

Now, this post is meant to get me out of the depressive mood, so bear with me. It may be that at the end of the whole thing, I may have passed on my dark mood to you, but then I’m really only thinking about myself. πŸ™‚

Have I ever told you about the time I first saw Woodstock – The Movie? I must have been at an impressionable age then too, for the memories of those scenes have never left me. It was A Moment In My Life. 43 years, to the day, I stood exactly where the stage had been, gazing upon the gently banked grassy slope in front of me. Jimi and Janis have gone away to the Great Gig in the Sky, but they stay on in my head. That day at Bethel Woods was topped off by lunch with a celebrity, which post I’ve been meaning to write for some time, so you’ll just have to wait. Yes, a celebrity!

Back to Joplin, meanwhile. What? Oh, Janis, not Scott. I like him too, but let’s talk about him some other day. So Janis Joplin was once recorded in a room, singing with Jorma Kaukonen, the fantastic guitar player from Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, accompanying her. The recording is raw, with negligible production tinkering, just two talented musicians hanging out and chilling and making good music. Here is the recording.

However, someone in the room next door is typing away on a typewriter. That someone was Jorma’s then wife, Margareta. The tape was made in 1964 in Jorma’s houseΒ  and is a pretty good example of the skill and talent of the two. Jorma’s playing is absolutely and delightfully delicate, bluesy and raw. Janis has never sounded better. This may be her best. Wanna know more? Read this:

Thanks for the history lesson, dude, but what the hell does this have to do with your blue mood? You’re rambling again!

Patience, my dears, there is ALWAYS method to my madness. I was cleaning up my Macbook Pro, which over 4 years has collected all kinds of dusty files and recently refused to boot because the hard drive was full as full can be. So amongst the files, hidden behind the GarageBand door lay this recording from a couple of years ago.

My personal Typewriter Tape.

It’s not a typewriter, actually. It’s the idiots who wrote Garage Band. They set the metronome ON as default.

Don’t everybody start calling me with recording contracts, please. I still want to be a writer. If you laugh your head off, that’s good!

Now where’s that packet of peanuts gone?

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19 thoughts on “The Typewriter Tape

      1. Yes, I know the feeling. The great gig in the sky reminded me. Hey, my 14-year old and I are off to the Australian Pink Floyd concert, October. He loves them even more than I do. Have you watched these guys? Close your eyes and you won’t notice the difference. πŸ™‚

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        1. I have seen the concert on tv. They are pretty darn good. Have fun at the concert.

          My older one played lead guitar in a band. He learned at home on that very guitar you hear me playing (badly)

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          1. You have a great sense of tone and a terrific gruff voice. Lets jam together when you are here next. I have a guitar, drums and a piano at home for you to freak out on. My son is on the drums. πŸ™‚

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  1. With life being fatal, and all that awful stuff going on in the world, NOT getting depressed is a form of mental illness, in my opinion. There’s worse ways to go than being shot in the back by the Mafia πŸ˜‰

    Those peanuts will make everything better.

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  2. I know that feeling about not sitting with my back to the door. Turns out I had been speared by Zulus in a previous birth, hence the unexplained fear. I kid you not!

    I actually enjoyed reading that! Keep writing Slo-Man!

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    1. If you run out of space on the boot drive, OSX cannot put down the temp files it needs to boot up. Our Macbook Pro drive is not partitioned…. hence the hoo-hah. Now if we had thought this through and given OSX it’s own little sandbox we wouldn’t have spent an anxious hour or so, entering keyboard shortcuts and entering through the console interface and mucking about with the rm command. Our advice – try not to use that command, because it can seriously harm your sanity!

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  3. My new boyfriend at the time asked me to go to Woodstock with him. Although of age, I was still ‘pure’ and knew that wouldn’t be the case afterward. So I turned him down. I always loved Janis and did a woodcut of Jimi in college art class. It made the cover of our quarterly art magazine.

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    1. Wow! What you missed… do you regret it ever? Or did remaining “pure” count more than missing Woodstock?

      I’d read somewhere that there is a plaster cast of Jimi’s thingamajig. Apparently he maintained blood flow all through the casting process. Now where did I read that?

      I love Janis too, because she ALWAYS gave it everything a woman possibly could, you know she did….. Janis and Grace = #1 and #2 in my list of female singers.

      I have a pic of Grace’s wonderful nose and I, except that she’s 20-something and on screen and I’m standing in front of her in my 50’s in real life. πŸ™‚

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  4. If only the metronome were beating on time…oh wait I mean if only you were playing along with the beats of the metro…

    But seriously…the voice and the strumming took me back to college, the peanuts to the smell of hot sand and any mention of Woodstock invokes a hazy recollection of flared light blue denims with pink flowers appliqued on the hem! Keep writing! Most enjoyable oh cannon!

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    1. Yes the metronome and I are on two different wavelengths. I don’t read music and I can’t keep time anyway and have learned everything over the internet. Been trying out this new hobby for the last 3 years, light years away from any level of proficiency. BUT, it is a fun way to listen to music these days.

      Peanuts in college?

      Woodstock – remind me to write about Lunch with Lang….

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