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Jefferson Airplane’s Kaukonen is still on embryonic journey

September 20, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is reflecting on his life and how, long before he wrote and recorded the Jefferson Airplane classic “Embryonic Journey,” he was on a decades-long journey of his own discovery.

The 77-year-old guitarist, whose blues-influenced finger-picking style helped shape psychedelic rock in the 1960s, spent his childhood living in post-colonial Pakistan and the Philippines, son of a globe-trotting U.S. diplomat.

During a brief sojourn in the United States, he picked up a guitar at age 14 and pretty much never put it down.

The result was a signature sound on Airplane classics like “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love” as Kaukonen transferred the hard-living lifestyle he’d learned as a 1950s embassy brat to that of a rock star.

The co-founder of the enduring band Hot Tuna recounts his life in the recently released memoir, “Been So Long.”

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