From Jorma Kaukonen
Saturday, November 10, 2001 Meigs County, Ohio
Vanessa just called me from Racine up on the River and said that she heard
on NPR that Ken Kesey had just died. If it weren't for Ken I probably would
never have joined the Jefferson Airplane. When I went to sit in with the
then nameless band he stopped by with an echoplex and had me plug my guitar
through it. The electronic voices that came out of my speaker that day
informed me that maybe Rock 'n' Roll might be fun.
Ken was not a close friend... we weren't bros, but he was an undeniable
part of my past... a part of my generation's past. One Flew Over The
Cuckoo's Nest is one of those books that seems as if it should have always
been with us... an eternal classic. And of course there is Further on down
the road, getting on the bus... that whole moment that seems to recall the
Sixties in a brilliant flash.
The last time I saw him was in 1996 when the Furthur Festival played in
Eugene and he jumped on stage in his American Flag getup and sang Gloria!
There is a picture of this event in our workshop at the Fur Peace Ranch.
He is gone and time is moving on. My two year old nephew, while
contemplating the concept of death reflected, 'When someone dies, he goes
to God's House to visit Marlo.' Marlo was my old Bull Terrier who died
almost three years ago. Well, this could be true... and if it is, Marlo is
giving him a hearty lick and three full throated Roos. I can hear it now...
Rest in peace Ken! We'll miss your presence but your spirit will endure!
Fur Peace Ranch