Hot Tuna Hot Tuna began as a side project for Jefferson Airplane musicians Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen. Long after the band that made them famous broke up, Hot Tuna is still touring. Casady and Kaukonen talk with Morning Edition host Bob Edwards and play their signature folk-and-blues tunes. Exclusive to, hear full-length cuts of three songs, recorded live in Studio 4A.

Hot Tuna, Live in Studio 4A

Jefferson Airplane Musicians Play Bass-and-Guitar Blues

Hot Tuna, Live in Studio 4A

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Jack Casady, left, and Jorma Kaukonen. hide caption

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The guitar-bass duo known as Hot Tuna had its beginnings in the "Summer of Love" 35 years ago, with a phone call from one old friend to another.

As Jack Casady recalls it now, he got a call from his friend Jorma Kaukonen, "and he said he'd just joined a rock 'n' roll band — a folk-rock band, I believe it was called at the time. And I said, 'You're kidding - what's the name?' and he said, 'Jefferson Airplane' — and I laughed.

"And then," Casady continues, "I got the offer that changed my life" — join a rock band and get paid $50 a week "whether we worked or not. I said, 'You're on.'"

The Jefferson Airplane went on to fame and fortune and — largely on the strength of their second album, Surrealistic Pillow — induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

Kaukonen and Casady made several albums as the duo Hot Tuna, and have been touring on and off for 30 years. They recently joined Morning Edition host Bob Edwards in NPR's Studio 4A to talk and play a few songs from their repertoire of traditional folk and blues music.