Part Two: back from Ohio.

26 June 2011


Part Two: the Ohio journey:

Columbus, Cuyahoga Falls and Warren.


I catch the Marin Aiporter from the San Rafael, California, Transit Center.


Columbus, Ohio, is a very pleasant city. Lots of wide spaces, interesting architecture and very kind people.


If i would have had more time, or less money, i would have visited Lev’s.


Death Shall Have No Dominion in front of The Rafael Theatre. This work is not only in progress but incipient, inchoate, barely begun. (Photo: Max Clarke)


Mural, Columbus, Ohio.


My father was an officer in the United States Air Force, and he loved Packard automobiles, He worked on them for fun, delight and instruction. He knew all of their insides and outsides. Big Brother and the Holding Company played in Warren, Ohio, this past weekend, and I was fortunate enougn to visit the birthplace of the Packard with Peter Albin and Dave Getz. Beautiful cars with a sense of style and they were well engineered too.


In our latest visit to Ohio, we did these two sets, the same ones we did in Dornbirn, Austria, a couple of years ago. Recycling.


In the Packard Museum, Warren, Ohio.


Ben Nieves, Peter Albin and Cathy Richardson.


We played Summertime in C minor, an unusual key for us. I’m still not sure what happened in the intro, but once we got into it, everything went well enough.


No, it’s not Dave Getz, but it looks like him. This is Rocky and his dog, Poetry.


Poetry, the dog, does a lot of interesting things. She picks up litter and puts it in the dustbin, she dances, she sings.


Ben and I soloing. Cathy Richardson took this photo.


The Packard brothers grew up in Warren, made cars here for a couple of years and then moved on to Detroit.


This is how I feel during the set. Cathy made this photograph.


We’re going to Illinois this week, See you soon.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Part One (part two when we return from Ohio)

26 June 2011



Elise plays Bach, and rock, Scriabin, Händel, Fauré, touché!


The higher the stakes, the more the takes, bluff is enough when it gets that tough.


Every revolutionary is an aspiring dictator.


Gestures that were never meant are sometimes true by accident.


Melanie and Margaret Joplin.


Architecture is visible music, risible music, highly divisible music.


Beauty, yes, and grace, receive a welcome any place.


The French have goût. We have gout. Think that through, think it out.


Arboreal we were, terrestrial we are, celestial we shall be, if we climb that far.


The evil doiing priest honors god the very least.

Less than you, less than me, and I’m an agnostic, don’t you see?


Any free moving liquid in outer space will form itself into a sphere because of its surface tension, because the skin of a sphere has less area of exposure than any other form’s surface. Actually, almost any material in space will eventually form into a sphere for the same reason. The sphere seems to be the universal shape. i am doing a painting now of diatoms and radiolarians, one celled microscopic creatures who live in the ocean, and they have virtually the same forms as galaxies and stars.


Children need models, not critics.



We know less, far less than one millionth of a percent of everything.


An old shoe is comfortable and so is an old friend.


It’s as easy to marry a beautiful, good natured woman as it is to marry an unhappy, ugly one… easier.


We all came from monkeys, but maybe we ought to come a little further.

She’s on her way to her first sleepover.


No one ever mentions that being old is such a good change from being young. Every state of life has its own compensations and releases. Funny how it never ceases. No such thing as a real vacation.


Velden, Austria, a lovely place indeed.


Bumpersticker: If you lived in your car, you’d be home by now.



A whiff of unreason is the spice of art.


We’re thinkers, not drinkers, but probably stinkers.


Cupid is a knave. I wish he would behave. Nadia and Pietro.


The world of art and cheese and wine, oh, ye, gods, what a wonderful time!


Life is a constant surprise, full of truth and full of lies.


Jason Castle at Aroma Café.


German y Nayana no vienen de Habana.


You are the glass through which life sees you and you see life. Keep yourself bright and clean.


When somebody starts to fight, grab your hat and say good night.


God made Adam, said, “I thought I had’em,” and then made Eve. So, he rested, I believe.


Don Graham and Sarah Phelps. i hope this helps.


Nele and Michael Spoerke.

Work is what you have to do. Play is what you want to do.


Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Sunshine.


Gerry Goffin and Ted Perlman.


Howard DeNike, an old friend from University of San Francisco days.


Theory follows practice. First you play it, then you can say it.


Education is the most inexpensive way to ensure a strong nation.


Read the good books first. Life is short.


Elise Piliwale and Paul Bullis in Austin.


This is good. Cousin Ronnie doing as he should.


Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.


Bill Andrew and Lee Andrew in the south of France, 1963.


When we did Love, Janis, in San Francisco, Brandy was the stage manager. Everyone loved her.


The crow and the quail walk by, but when they need to, they can fly.


Big Brother and the Holding Company are going to Ohio this week. I’ll send some photographs soon.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Aquí y Allá

19 June 2011



Not me. I go outside:

“The biggest waste of water in the country by far. You spend half a pint and flush two gallons.”   (Prince Philip in a 1965 speech.)


Big Brother and the Holding Company, colored pencil. I have drawn this whirlpool, tornado like figure all my life.


Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi made the face of the Statue of Liberty resemble his mother, noble, wise, maternal.


Dr. Allen Andrew was born in England and he died in the Yellow Fever (Cholera) epidemic in Georgia, 1839.


The earliest Anglo-Saxon term for “shoe” was sceo (to cover) which eventually became in the plural “schewis,” then shooys, and finally shoes.

Dava’s shoes:


Blake Thompson and Kate Russo.


Wynonna Judd was born Christina Ciminella. Christina Ciminella is such a better name than Wynonna Judd, unless you live in the suburbs, and even then, Judd, I mean, come on. Judd?


In 1305, King Edward I (England) decreed that for a standard of accuracy in certain trades, an inch be taken as the length of three contiguous barleycorns. A child’s shoe measuring thirteen barleycorns became known as a size 13.


In the 17th century, the oxford, a low calf-leather shoe laced up the front through three or more eyelets, originated with cobblers in the academic town of Oxford, England.


Kate Russo and Dan Andrew.


The laceless, slip-on loafer is believed to have evolved from the Norwegian clog, an early overshoe. The Weejun loafer was named by a cobbler from Wilton, Maine, Henry Bass, after the final two syllables of “Norwegian.”


Kari and Christian Borle in… oh, you know where they are.


The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.


My first drummer André Young, Okinawa, Japan. Where are you, André?



This is the origin of the word “pants.”

San Pantaleone’s blood is still liquid in Ravello, Italy, seventeen centuries later. After all of his holiness and suffering, he had the indignity of becoming a stock character in the commedia dell’arte. No one is quite sure how this happened. In the Commedia, Pantaleone was a gaunt, swarthy, goateed character who wore a pair of trousers, tight from the ankle to the knee, then flaring out like a petticoat. Pants. In France and in Shakespeare, Pantaleone was called  “Pantaloon.”


The most built up parts of Hawaii looked this way the first time that i went there in the late 1950s, and, even in 1969 when James Gurley and i used to visit Maui, the place was still very rural.


There was a character in Charles Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge named Simon Tappertit. Other names in Dickens:

Oswald Pardiggle, Paul Sweedlepipe, Doctor Soemup, Mortimer Knag, Augustus Moddle, Quebec Bagnet, Mercy Pecksniff, Morleena Kenwigs, Chevy Slime, Dick Swiveller, Conkey Chickweed.


Ancient Celts called men’s leg coverings “trews,” trousers. but Romans called them “laxus,” slacks.


Heather, Brent and Paul Bullis.


The world is an insane asylum patrolled by people who love guns, badges, power and political expense accounts.


Mari Aaronsouth and Mr. Rob. April 2011.


Teressa’s gigs, and please visit one if you are in the area.


Mach nisht kein tzimmes. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Fruit was scarce in Northern Europe, so, to try to imitate the taste of fruit, cooks made a stew of carrots, sweet potatoes, prunes, raisins, slowly cooked to simulate a fresh fruit compote. The recipe and the preparation were elaborate, and so tzimmes became a shorthand for an involved, complicated undertaking. My accountant once said, “Hey, we don’t have to make a tzimmes out of this, do we? You know what tzimmes means, right?” And I replied, “Yeah, blues,” thinking he said “tsuris.” What do you want? I’m just a goy. And a musician at that.


Sixty-four percent of women sleep on the left side of the bed.


Hot water on the left, cold water on the right. Is this universal? Oh, no, not even here in the USA. In French, hot water is C (chaude), so that can be confusing. Never assume that there is going to be hot water in any bathroom you visit. Nor paper towels. Both are a rarity in the world at large, but especially in Japan. In Japan, people hand out napkins on every corner as part of an advertising campaign. Take them every time and put them in your pocket. They will come in handy.


Ben Nieves. True musician.


Irene Scarborough married Sam Andrew in 1860.


Hoc Erat In Votis, 10 June 2011. Oil on panel. Work in progress.


Did you see her in The Grifters? She came from Kansas or somewhere, but she did her apprenticeship at the Actors’ Conservatory Theatre here in San Francisco, a local girl. Mars Attacks, The Kids Are All Right, I love this woman.


Frequentasne hunc locum?

Do you come here often?


Erin Homs in Pittsburgh.


In Genoa, French weavers made a twilled cotton cloth, similar to denim, used for making sturdy work clothes. They called the cloth Gènes, the origin of our word “jeans.”


And not far away in Nimes, France, they made a softer fabric and called it serge de Nimes. When this cloth reached America it was called “denim.” Levi Strauss dyed the denim blue to minimize soil stains and the cloth became very popular with gold miners.


Jack Lemmon was a more than a decent piano player. He could have been a contender.


The person third from the left, Albert Mann, is my maternal grandfather.


Janis Joplin, Brad Campbell, Terry Clements, Marcus Doubleday, Sam Andrew, waiting to go on in Memphis, 1969.


Don Wehr’s Music City was such a great music store. It was on Columbus Avenue, right turn from Bay Street onto Columbus, coming in from Marin County. Everyone went there. Carlos, Neal,  Sly, even James Gurley and I. Don had everything and he was such a great guy. I had the feeling that he came from the Mission culture and he was really plugged into the whole San Francisco scene in a real way. I loved one saying of Don Wehr’s, “You know, I drive along 101 in my car and I say to myself, ‘Hey, everyone else is asleep and I’m working.’ ” That was exactly how I felt about my songwriting and arranging. They’re asleep and I’m working. That’s all it takes, really. An incredible amount of work. So, to anyone who wants to know the secret, the secret is hard work. I worked harder than anyone in my band. I’m not crowing about that. Not bragging about it. It just happens to be a fact.


My nephew Anthony Vitale and Grace Walton, Austin. Anthony is my sister Paula’s son.

People who write books or blogs have a sense of theatre that outweighs their sense of privacy.


Katharine and Amélie at Aroma Café.


What if Hitler’s name would have been Chip? Or Howdy? Howdy Hitler. You think we would have had a World War II with Howdy Hitler?


Here and there.


Now this is presidential material. Clark Walker. He even has a presidential name.


Tibi diem natalem felicem !

Happy Birthday!


The Tuxedo is American, the dinner jacket is English. In Tuxedo Park, New Jersey, 1886, Pierre Lorillard IV didn’t want to wear tails to the annual Autumn Ball, so he had a tailor prepare several tailless jackets in black and persuaded his son and friends to wear them. They did, and the rest is… sartorial.


Joel Hoekstra and Brad Gillis.


Joel once spent a lot of time playing with Beth Hart (right) when they did Love, Janis together in New York.


This is Arianna Antinori. In July we will see her and Antea Salmaso again when we play in Vicenza, Italia.


Marvin Gaye had such bad stage fright that he once tried to escape by climibing out of his dressing room.


Chad Quist. We haven’’t seen him in so long he is becoming a mythical figure to us. Come back, Chad!


Sophia Ramos with Robert Downey, Jr. No, really, it’s Tommy Salmorin.


The longest one-syllable word is “screeched.”


Thank you, and I’ll see you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


André Artiste

12 June 2011


The original artista: Janis Joplin.

Photograph: Dale Burkhardt


Norton Buffalo and Kurt Crowbar Kangas:

Just by a kind of a fluke, Norton Buffalo played one of his last performances with us, Big Brother and the Holding Company. We happened to have a gig in Paradise, California, where he lived and he very generously loaned me his BEST amp for the evening, and he came down to “sit in,” which, for Norton, meant playing the entire set. He was so musical, so engaging and he made so much more of our music than it would have otherwise been. At another gig, New Geoge’s, San Rafael, I’ll never forget his interpretation of You Send Me, so expert, so musical.


Una artista, Elise Piliwale.


Make a new “to do” list every day from your larger list of projects, goals and things to do. if something gets transferred to the next day’s list ten times, drop it. Try to understand why you are avoiding this task.


Peter Tork, Aviva, Sam Andrew and Kristina Kopriva jamming in Sacramento.


A water moccasin has elliptical pupils like a cat’s. A water snake has round pupils. So, Shana’s? Elliptical or round?


Article VI states that the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” If a state law conflicts with federal law, federal law must prevail. This is the “supremacy clause.” This is why a federal judge can declare a state law unconstitutional.


You’re more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than a poisonous spider.


When scientists finally discovered the addictive nature of morphine, chemists found a new refinement of the drug, diacetylmorphine. This long name was soon supplanted by a shorter one. Heroin. It replaced morphine in the treatment of sugar diabetes and other ailments and for years was available over the counter as one of the safe drugs.

Marlene Dupont, Robbie Leeds)


Determine the size of your brain by putting your fists together so your wrists touch and your thumbnails face you side by side.

Jerilyn Brandelius.


We are going to see Don Aters this September at an Artista function and I’m looking forward to that.


Elise Piliwale deciding what film we are going to see. I like RomComs. She likes VamDrams (vampire dramas). We both prefer ShockDocs, documentaries like Inside Job.


Have you heard that notion that all of us living beings have the same number of heartbeats per lifetime? The mouse, the whale, the human? In an average lifespan our hearts beat more than three billion times.


Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson,” and Casablanca Rick never said, “Play it again, Sam.” See for yourself.


In the music racket, performers like to go on last. Well, most people do. I like to go on about 10:30. That’s the sweet spot of the evening. But most performers like to go on last. That means you’re the “headliner,” which sounds like something that would go in a hat.


The heavier the traffic, the less you gain by changing lanes.


In the late 1500s the English faced an energy crisis when their population rose and their forests dwindled. Thus, the English learned to tolerate the intolerable, becoming the first western nation  to mine and burn coal on a large scale.

Ann Pierson.


Shannon Cinnamon McCloud and David Pfaff one morning at Aroma Café.


This is Lucas. I’m trying to talk him into playing a right handed guitar, so that all the rest of his life he doesn’t have to search for left handed instruments. But, you know, some people are just really left handed. Most of us left handers are more or less ambidextrous. Left handed scissors exist, but you’re not going to find them easily, and there are no left handed pianos that I know of. That would be funny, though. The high keys to the left and the bass keys to the right.


Two artistas: Kathi McDonald and Sam Andrew.


Phil Lesh, Creek Hart and Bill Graham.


Liz and Elise Piliwale inhaling the aroma of Tacoma.


Remember when everything was Afghani? Dogs, coats, cars, hash? Here is an Artista wearing an Afghan coat. Now only the war is Afghani.


Peter’s older brother Rodney Albin who along with Chet Helms was a kind of big brother to the band.


Tsuris, from the Hebrew tzarah for misfortune or distress, are troubles. You know? The blues. Gehokte leyber iz besser vi gehokte tsuris. Chopped liver is better than chopped blues. My friends Hook’n Line Brazlo and Shannon Cinnamon McCloud.


Photograph by Francis Frith, a real 19th century master of the art. I found this photograph in Sally Hanreck’s treasures.


A real Artista, Elise Piliwale.


The Saguaro Cactus doesn’t grow branches until it is seventy-five years old.


Michaela is from Austria. She and her family and friends read, write and speak standard German, of course, but when they are at home they say things like this to each other. Dialect first, then standard German:

Hauptsoch i bin im buffalo und du bist ned da

(Hauptsach ich bin im Buffalo und du bist nicht da.)

The dialect is prettier than normal German and it has a singing quality. Mozart spoke and wrote like this. Perhaps Mozart was just a little bit more playful, not to say scatological, but, still, there was the same singing quality in his Austrian dialect.


Natalie Martel with the Sam Andrew Band, Horizons, Sausalito.


Elise Piliwale in Death Valley.


The original name for the butterfly was flutterby.


Criteria is plural, criterion is singular. Agenda is plural, agendum is singular. The really singular fact is that no one cares about this at all. Most people seem to use the plural of either word in any context.


Don Aters, Jessica Shelden and Sam Andrew, Louisville, Kentucky.


Kate Russo and Dan Andrew, Nashville.


Big Brother and the Holding Company.


Despite the fact that my father was in the Army Air Corps, which soon became the Air Force, when he went to Okinawa in 1945, he sailed on this ship.


If you see a little ripple on the surface of the water in your toilet, jiggle the handle. If this doesn’t make the ripple disappear, it means there is a leak, a leak that can cost you hundreds of dollars. Mend this leak immediately. Until you can make that repair, turn off the water to your toilet. Believe me, it will be worth it.

Mélodie Dupont.


We are all winners just by being here. The long history of the human race is filled with war, famine, fire, destruction of every imaginable kind and a few unimaginable kinds. And that is just the part that we know about. Imagine when we were one celled sea creatures, what a battle that was? The population of the earth was once the size of greater Milpitas. From these people we are descended. We are the survivors. This is no mean feat but it is not something to be smug about. One thing it means is that we are all related, probably much closer than we imagine. To everyone and everything.


i could even be related to this woman, Lillian Andrew.


Or this one, Milini Khan.


Or this one.


I’m absolutely certain that I am related to this one.



La fanciulla ridacchiò, dette al suo compagno una spinta scherzosa e me spiegò rapidamente:

“Huey e io abbiamo partecipato a una gara di ballo al Fillmore. Abbiamo vinto il primo premio! Un magnum di champagne!”


The girl laughed, gave her companion a little nudge and explained quickly to me:

“Huey and I were in a dance contest at the Fillmore. We won first prize! A magnum of champagne!”


My brother Dan’s beautiful daughters, Diana and Kelsi.


During the 1800 election, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both members of the Democratic-Republican Party, won the same number of votes in the Electoral College, so the election had to be decided by the House of Representatives. The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, provided that the elctors would vote separately for presidential and vice presidential candidates.


Family Dogs.


Ben, Megan, Adam, Pete. I want all of these people in my band.


And Karen too.


Reality is the sum total of all of our perceptions. There is probably a “real” reality outside of our perceptions, but is there any way of knowing that? Just asking.


James Gurley, Nick Gravenites, Sam Andrew and Kathi McDonald rehearsing, HUN Sound, San Rafael, California, 1978.


No self respecting fiction writer should go to a psychoanalyst. Why waste all that material?


Erasmus (1466-1536) said, “He who lives far from neighbors may safely praise himself.” Thank you, honored scholar, I have completed this mission. Yes, I get the joke.

Mary Bridget Davies.


Very smart move of James to play the bass. Very smart. I should have moved to drums, we should have changed the name, as Bill Graham suggested, and then we would have had a band.


Sophia Ramos and Don Eversley made The Cisco Kid.


If called by a panther

Don’t anther.

(Ogden Nash)


Tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits.

Joel Hoekstra, sometime member of Big Brother and the Holding Company.


Why, it seems like only yesterday that she was singing Piece Of My Heart with us.


Chad Quist. And you wonder why he sings the blues?


A seroma is an accumulation of blood, mucus or water, or all three in an area of the body that has recently been cleared, evauated, made empty. The seroma can take on the quality of a tumor, but it will usually disappear in time.


Pulcher es!  You’re beautiful!

Zia Wesley, Clark Walker.


It’s suich a blast to see all these people at last. The past isn’t past, as William Faulkner said, it’s not even the past.

No novel could be as interesting as witnessing all these changes that we have all seen, my good friends, and we’re not done yet.


See you soon !

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Feather Falls Casino, Oroville, California

5 June 2011

Feather Falls Casino, Oroville, California, 4 June 2011

The Feather Falls Casino is operated by the Mooretown Rancheria branch of the Maidu tribe. Many people who come here have spent some time on beforehand to get their gambling game sharp and ready, but we were here for different reasons.

The Maidu were hunter gatherers and they lived in bark houses. They didn’t farm at all, but prepared ground for gathering of acorns. i always wondered how prehistoric peoples carried water and other liquids. The Maidu made beautiful baskets with weaves that you often have to see through a microscope, and these baskets were water tight works of art.

So, here we are in the Feather Falls Casino Lodge with a new 14 year old guitar player Jimmy. He didn’t stop playing the entire time he was with us. He has the gift and for a teacher he has an old friend of mine who played with Jerry Miller. Michael Dodgen. We’re sitting here on the couch listening to him: Tom Finch, Kat Patterson, Sam Andrew and Stefanie Keys. If you prefer an online gambling environment, take a look at However, if you are not sure how to gamble online or how to really get started playing then you can always see W88 teach you how to play so you’ll be able to get used to it and what it is all about.

Psychiatry is the only field in which refusal of treatment is commonly viewed as a manifestation of illness rather than as an authentic wish.

Peter Albin is making a fair copy of the set list for Feather Falls Casino.

Stefanie Keys, our singer for the Oroville gig. She supports my artistic efforts. (Photo: Max Clarke)

These are the sets we did in Oroville to a very enthusiastic, dancing audience. Good people.

In Janis’ room at our house in Lagunitas, California.

Stefanie and Donna in our giant green room at The Casino.

Tamra Angel or Engle, same thing, former resident of St. Louis Heights, Oahu.

What the room looked like in Oroville.

You should know where the fuses are in your car. In Big Brother and the Holding Company, we use amplifiers a lot and a burnt out fuse is the easiest thing to repair… assumng that we have a new fuse to put back in there. Anyway, find out where the fuses are for your windshield wipers, fuel-injection system, your heater fan. Spend a little time with the manual for your car. It will be more fun doing it in your spare time than on some rainy, dark road one night.

I love to see new guitar players, enthusiastic, gifted, full of promise. Who knows? I could be hiring this guy in three or four years, and I want him to sit in with us before that.

Neutiquam erro.

I am not lost. (Bill Andrew, Okinawa, Japan)

This is in the lobby of our Lodge in Oroville.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at East 82nd Street, Manhattan, 1874-1880. The original High Victorian Gothic museum structure was designed to fit into the Central Park landscape, but several additions have almost completely hidden the original building. This may be the best museum in the world.

A fire in June? This is the strangest weather that I remember. Unusual meteorology all over the country, and perhaps the world.

Everything is still the same, but maybe just a little different now.

Sam Andrew and James Gurley with a few friends in Kyoto.

Getting ready for the gig at the Feather Falls Casino. This was a good one. We did two sets. The feeling in the band was good. The audience could not have been better and we loved playing here.

Steroids are synthetic derivatives of testosterone, a naturally occurring hormone. Testosterone has two major components: androgenic and anabolic. The androgenic component causes changes in sex characteristics in male humans. The anabolic portion (which can promote positive physiologcal effects) promotes accelerated muscle, bone and blood cell growth. The problem with steroids is that it is difficult to separate the troublesome androgenic portion from the useful anabolic part.

Purim is the Jewish Mardi Gras, the carnival, the kick out the jams time. The megillah (scroll) of Esther is read, the Old Testament narrative of how Esther and Mordecai kept the evil Haman from destroying all the Jews in Persia (Iran). If someone says Haman during Purim, the greggers clack and kvatch to blot out the horrible name of Haman. You remember Megillah the Gorilla? No? From megillah (the scroll) comes ganze megillah, the whole story. Tell me the ganze megillah, or, don’t tell the ganze megillah, just cut to the chase. Have you seen the film For Your Consideration? It’s the story of a southern Jewish family celebrating Purim. One of the Christopher Guest stories.

Engines, you don’t even want to know what’s in them. What? You do? Well, there’s the block itself, the whole frame where everything else goes. Cylinder heads, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, wrist pins, timing chain, timing belt, connecting rod bearings, camshafts and camshaft bearings, valves and valve-guide seals and valve springs and, well, I could go on forever. Hydraulic lifters, rocker arms, push rods, oil pump, oil seals, front and rear seals and assorted gaskets … lots of things. And in a Jaguar, which this guy is driving, sheesh, any of that will go wrong in a minute. I owned one. I ought to know.

People who like this sort of thing will find this just the sort of thing they like.

In the 1970s, I lived at West 4th and West 11th Streets in Manhattan. This was such a fine place to live. The loudest sounds in my apartment were children playing out in back. Turns out West 4th Street was quite a monumental location. Gerde’s Folk City, where Bob Dylan did his first paid gig, was at 11 West 4th Street, and that was on 11 April 1961. West 4th Street runs along the bottom of Washington Square. The Whitney Studio Club was at 147 West 4th in 1910 and gave Edward Hopper his first exhibition space, later becoming Ristorante Volare, a bohemian hangout. The Washington Square Methodist Church, a lovely Romanesque place of worship built in 1860, at 135 West 4th, gave refuge to draft dodgers in the 1960s and was known then as the “Peace Church.” Eugene O’Neil wrote The Iceman Cometh and placed it in The Golden Swan Café, corner West 4th and Sixth Avenue. Bob Dylan also performed at the NYU Loeb Student Center, 61 West 4th. So, when you hear the song Positively 4th Street, you won’t be at all negative about this place.

La connobi in occasione di una cena elegante.

I met her at an elegant dinner.

Denuone latine loquebar?

Was I speaking Latin again?

Lee Andrew, Sam Andrew. I’m trying to sell Lee a used helicopter.

Dan and Diana Andrew. Dan was proud of Diana even then, and why not?

Oh, to be transported to this spot for fifteen minutes, oh, let it be granted.

Yes, I do know that I am the first human who ever experienced this emotion.

Shane and Luke Rollins, two good looking dudes.

Bill Andrew, Sam Andrew, 1950.

Native American is a weird phrase. I mean, it’s better than Indian, which refers to the Subcontinent, but, still, isn’t Native American a little strange? Wouldn’t you rather be Maidu, Hopi, Miwok, Pomo, Comanche, Navajo, Apache or whoever you are? My mother’s family were mostly Alsatian. I’m not sure they would have been thrilled being called Native European.

“Ragazze,” esordii, “mi pare si possa concordemente ammettere che siamo due tipe allegre e amante della vita. Giusto?”

“Girls,” I began, “it seems to me we can admit that we are two happy people and lovers of life, True?”

Now, THIS is a real guitar player.

Art, Stephen, Liz and Paul. The Stephen Andrew tribe.

I am sure we didn’t look that silly when WE danced.

People I was lucky enough to know at an early age. Some of them were very level headed. Many were Kenyan, oops, I mean, Hawaiian.

I wash everything on the gentle cycle. It’s much more humane.

Nova was a great car name. It meant new. In South America it meant no va, doesn’t go. Didn’t sell.

Saipan. The Japanese tanks don’t quite rust out in the same way that American ones do.

My uncle Harry Andrew, 21.

It is possible to buy a good used car, or even to hear some good used musicians.

Mill Valley, California, the Depôt, painting.

My “cousin” Ronnie Campsey and Shana Crosier-Campsey. Solid gold.

Leslie Feffer. Pepper and spice and everything nice.

Emily Bullis Rollins and Paula Vitale, my niece and my sister checking to see if they’re late for work.

Frederick Law Olmsted was a landscape architect. In fact, he invented the phrase. He designed Central Park, and, I believe, Golden Gate Park as well. Olmsted’s formative experience consisted of two tours of the American South as a reporter for the New York Times. The publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in 1852 had aroused a great deal of curiosity about the South, so Olmsted traveled to Louisiana, mostly on foot.

Olmsted’s second Southern trip was to Texas, where tidy communities of “German” (really, Alsatian) immigrants offered a startling contrast to the squalor of the slave plantations. Olmsted’s insight was that there was a strong link between landscape and social and economic order. A humane system of labor, like that encountered in Alsatian Texas, produced a humane landscape and ultimately a healthier, wealthier one. Below are Albert Mann and his family, direct descendents of the Alsatians whom Frederick Law Olmsted encountered in Texas. Wilhelmina Mann is my mother. Seven years from when this photograph was taken, she gave life to me.

Amazing the people who stick with you through time.

Dandy Barrett and John Farnsworth.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 151 Third Street, San Francisco, 1994, designed by Mario Botta. This is one beautiful modern building. Botta’s steel-framed structure, clad in panels of cement and perforated brick, seems to turn an eye on the sky. There is a lot of drama here and it all works.

Eddie Izzard looks like a lizard, and I bet they never said that to him in grade school. Funny and fast. Thank you to Mary Bridget Davies for Eddie Izzard.

Be gentle with your car. When you turn the key to start it, resist the impulse to step on the gas pedal. Baby your automobile and it will love you back.

Frater Senior et Societas Sine Nomine.

Big Brother and the Holding Company. Just in case we are ever transported to Ancient Rome, this is our name in Latin.

Could you care less, or could you not care less?

James Gurley, Sam Andrew, Roxie Cinema, San Francisco.

This is how Okinawa is written in kanji (Japanese version of Chinese letters). Oki nawa.

Sophia and Don made a baby Cisco.

Elise Piliwale, charcoal on canvas.

Me, my father, my brother Bill. Nashville, early 1950s.

Kacee Clanton’s grandparents.

Elise Piliwale, NYC, 2003.

Elise did this charcoal self portrait.

Safe travels, and I’ll see you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company



29 May 2011



Japan’s currency is the most difficult to counterfeit. I have personally verified this.


Kerry Kearny took this photo: Sam Andrew, Peter Albin, Michel Bastian, Dave Getz, James Gurley, 1980s.


So, who’s in this photo?


Escapees from the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, south of Interstate 10, west of Blythe, in unincorporated Riverside County, California. 101632 and 945782.


Have your ball joints checked once a year at least. Watch her do it if you can. If she didn’t jack up the car, she didn’t do it. This is important.


Leg. Charcoal.


What Planet Are You From? Excellent film, by the way.


Suck and blow, blow and suck, oh, Buddha, help me now.


When planting tomato seedlings, crush some eggshells (one to two eggs’ worth) and put them in the hole with the seedling. The shells will promote the growth of large and more flavorful tomatoes.


Esistono ospiti di ogni specie.

There are guests of every species.


There is no problem in this country, no matter how complex, that Americans, when they really get down to it, can’t completely ignore.



“I wish Karl would accumulate some Kapital rather than just writing about it, and Engels? He’s no angel.” Minnie Marx about her no good son.


One of the Japanese companies is coming out with a five valve per cylinder engine (engines usually have two). Picture a four cylinder engine with twenty valves. The machine shops are going to love doing valve jobs on those. Nah, that won’t cost much.


Questa creatura affascinante era addirittura uno schianto.

This fascinating creature was really a knock out.


Bamboo (the world’s tallest grass) can grow up to ninety centimeters a day.


Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.

Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips out.


Relax. Don’t get caught up in such homilies as “You must do something with your life.” This is outmoded thinking, and, besides, you are doing better than almost everyone else anyway. Look at this photograph and see what you are giving to this new person. Lucky you, lucky her.


Psychiatry is cure of the id by the odd.


Carburetors have become more and more complex and have evolved into today’s “feedback carburetor,” which uses, yes, you guessed it, a computer chip and various sensors to reduce emissions. Oh, forgot to tell you, no one is making cars with carburetors anymore. Carburetors are dinosaurs, you know, kind of like Big Brother and the Holding Company?


There’s never been an answer. There is no answer now. And there is not going to be an answer tomorrow.


Spero che tu non perda la strada.

I hope you don’t lose your way.


No one says “half a month,” but some people say “a fortnight.”


Work is way more fun than fun.


Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. OK, so Massachusetts is a commonwealth. Maybe Virginia is one too. Saipan has more abandoned World War II tanks, though.


Stephen Andrew IS the blue marble.


It’s cheaper to keep a car rather than buying a new one every couple of years. The costs level off about the fourth year and stay the same.


Brittany Devan Hale. Whew, it is tough to write “Devan,” tough for a proofreader. She’s a smart woman, matter of fact, funny and happy.


Senza aiuto, nessuno potrebbe scrivere un capitolo così monumentale come è questo excursus sull’amore.

Without help, no one could write a chapter as monumental as this treatise on love.


Reincarnation? Think about the math.  Say everyone who ever lived has six lives. That’s a lot of souls. Are all those souls going to keep their same value when there are trenty gazixty billion instead of twelve (the number that Adam and Eve had)? Maybe they will, but I’m glad I don’t have to do the accounting. (You have to be particularly expert to know how many “trenty gazixty” is.)


Corporations often make marketing decisions by weighing the cost of being sued for your death against the cost of making the product safer. Car makers specialize in this.


The thing I like about Lynn is that you are not distracted by her looks or anything like that.


Remember that couple in Woody Allen’s Radio Days? They had a program Breakfast With The Demetrions. They were the man and woman about town, urbane, witty, sophisticated. Here they are in the flesh, Marti and Phil.


Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.

When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults.


This is Mammy Kimura performing Hamlet. No, she’s just backstage in Tokyo wondering how she can get out of singing Ball & Chain.


Paul Moyse does Steve Coogan and very well too.


Time could be the most valuable thing you spend.


The Arch Fiend of the Universe, as he billed himself then. Later when he joined the ranks of the rest of us wicked, he became Saint James. Go figure.




La crème de la crème, and I kid you not. Sophia Ramos.


Consequences, shmonsequences, as long as I’m rich.

Kathi McDonald and Long John Baldry.


Few people realize that the song Try which we premiered in The Kozmic Blues Band was written by Angelina Jolie’s uncle, Chip Taylor, from Yonkers, New York. A real Yonkers boy, Chip wrote an entire CD celebrating his youth in that town, a very affecting effort from the author of such tunes as Wild Thing and Angel of the Morning. Chip’s brother, of course, is Jon Voigt who now belongs to the singularly ignorant wing of the Republican Party, after an early liberal life, when being liberal was “hip,” and after making a couple of truly worthwhile films, Coming Home (featuring a beautiful ballad by Sam Andrew), and Heat by Michael Mann. Chip Taylor holds his own with integrity in such a family. In fact, he shines, and so does Angelina, of course.


Gum is part of the U.S. Armed Forces’ field and combat rations, and soldiers consume gum at a rate five times the national average.


Samantha Gorton loves this Dale Burckhardt drawing so much that sparks are coming out of her nose.


Watch out for this one. Shelley Champine.


My Gibson SG Standard. Mouse painted this, one of the most beautiful guitar decorations ever.


Orange County, isn’t it?, has an airport named for John Wayne. Jimmy Stewart served in World War II. He was a good man. The Air Force gave him a medal. He never mentioned his service in interviews. John Wayne was a draft dodger. He stayed home to act in the movies, and he never tired of proclaiming his patriotism and machodum. I mean dumb. Green Bray, donkey. Phony. Here’s to you, General Stewart. You were a real man when it counted.


Michael Carabello, a good person. You notice he’s closest to the fire.


Ecce magnitudinem illae molae piperi.

Look at the size of that pepper mill.


People love me because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius artist.


Why attack God? She could be as confused as we are.


Houston Person, sultan of the saxophone, hero of the horn, Rex of the reed.


Enjoy yourself. If you can’t enjoy yourself, enjoy somebody else.


The Sam Andrew Band playing at Manny’s Car Wash, New York.


My brother Dan sent me this photograph, and my other brother Lee knew Kris even before this photograph was taken.


Maria Sorrentino came to my house with Ezio Guaitamacchi and Stefania Vialetto to film an interview.


Non vi dirò il nome della stella, ma quando hai detto Cipollina, hai detto tutto.

I won’t tell you the name of the star, but when you’ve said Little Onion, you’ve said everything.


We have a Department of Defense and a Pentagon. Why don’t we have a Department of Peace and a Hexagon?


Hey, Chad Quist can play a C chord, or is that a C flat 5?



Photo: Max Clarke.


Get your alignment checked about once a year. These days that’s about the only time someone is really going to look at your car.


Goodbye till next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Testy and Bilious

22 May 2011



“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”   Albert Einstein


Sympathy, education and social ties should all prompt us toward a tolerance of others’ beliefs and differences. I am a nonbeliever but I respect the believer. After all, she may be right. It is unlikely that we are going to die and then “journey,” as a totally conventional person would say, to a heaven where an old white man is serenaded by a lot of harps. (Substitute here any picture of the hereafter that anyone has imagined.) Unlikely, but not impossible. Who knows? The most sensible thing is to respect all points of view and even enjoy them as one enjoys different flowers in the garden.


Yes, I am aware that this is “secular humanism” and is thus anathema to fundamentalists of all stripes. There may be 600 virgins waiting there in Paradise for those of us lucky enough to be religious martyrs and there may be hellfire and damnation for the ones who don’t belong to The Pentecostal Chruch. But, eh?, probably not.  ¿Quien sabe?


Someone said “Virtue is its own reward.” Was this Aristotle, Plato? Some wise person said it, and it only seems self evident.


I have a great idea. Let’s cut funding for Medicare and other social programs for the poor so that we have enough money to lower taxes for rich people and corporations. Oh, wait, no, someone’s already thought of that. It’s going to be the Republican Party platform for 2012.



The Democrats are being particularly spineless at this poiint. President Obama is not calling them as he sees them. He’s trying to mollify everyone, and he knows that we have no alternative, given what the opposition is offering, so he can take us for granted. The two party system is not such a good system right now.

Republicans, those who can put a complete sentence together, make some sort of ridiculous statement almost once a week. As noted earlier, Mike Huckleberry said that Obama’s world view is influenced by his upbringing in Kenya. Michele Bachmann has joked innacurately about the “coincidence” that swine flu emerged during the Carter and Obama presidencies and hinted publicly that Obama may have “anti-American” sentiments. Someone recently asked Sarah Palin who the most influential journalist was. “Oh my goodness, that’s a great question,” she said, before turning to her husband Todd and asking for his input. When Todd also balked, Palin came back and said, “Um, gosh, that’s a great question, I have to think about it, OK? Because there are many.”  Tom Marino, Republican, Pennsylvania, recently said that our intervention in Libya could spread to Africa. I mean, what were these people doing in school, paying people to take their exams? No wonder they can believe all of the ridiculous things that they believe. They are completely ignorant. Anyone knows that Maureen Dowd is the most influential journalist. And the cutest.


Of course I’m not talking about Republicans who are Republicans for financial reasons. They are not ignorant. They’re just amoral.


Mills Building, San Francisco, 220 Montgomery and Bush, 1891. Darius Ogden Mills made his fortune outfitting gold miners and he laid out the town of Millbrae. The first steel framed skyscraper in the West, the Mills Building is a beauty. I worked here as a legal editor for a law firm, and I used to walk up and down the stairs once a day, 22 floors, 26 floors, I forget. The Mills Building has that white archway, a Romanesque inheritance from the Chicago school of Louis Sullivan, and a lower façade of light-colored Inyo marble. The architect John Wellborn Root also designed The Chronicle building.


After three days, fish and guests stink.

Everyone claims this statement. John Lyly (1554-1606) wrote it, and Leo Rosten says it is a Yiddish proverb. My mother told me that she made it up, and of course she was right. It’s a German saying too. You know? Maybe it’s just universal. Maybe everyone made it up, everyone who’s ever had guests for more than three days.


The Beatles arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, 7 February 1964, aboard flight 101 of Pan Am’s Yankee Clipper for their first visit to the United States. They went to stay at The Plaza Hotel, 768 Fifth Avenue, and played on 9 February for The Ed Sullivan Show. They did All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand. They returned to New York on 12 February to perform two shows at Carnegie Hall.


Till There Ws You was a song from The Music Man and I loved it. It had a couple of diminished chords, very unusual for pop music at that time, it was fun to sing, and Paul did it very well. He played this sort of song, I am sure, to learn what chords could do and it served him well. This is learning music theory on the job. (Of course John was probably over in the corner going “Ack, Ack, I can’t believe I’m playing this song.”) Takes all kinds to make a band. At least they were both talented. It could have been worse, believe me.


And speaking of longhairs, the average scalp has 100,000 hairs. Redheads have about 90,000 hairs, blondes about140,000, and brunettes fall somewhere in between.


My cousin Kelli Andrew.


Elizabeth Gage writes to me about her Yiddish antecedents:

My favorite Yiddish statement of all time was coined by my mother. I am sure you are aware of the kosher dietary regulations (no eating milk with meat). My parents took us to Grossinger’s, a chi-chi Jewish resort in the Catskills (Ketskells) when I was 17 (1966.) I do not think it even exists anymore. On New Year’s eve, there was a woman wearing a dress that left absolutely nothing to the imagination, and my mother’s impromptu response was, “Oy vey, melkich and fleishich on the same plate.” (Milk and meat on the same plate.)


What Elizabeth may not know is that both Lenny Bruce and Bill Graham both worked at Grossinger’s as wait people, along with many other well known characters both in front of, and behind, the scenes. Milton Berle and Danny Kaye were both tummlers at Grossinger’s. What was that film with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze? Dirty Dancing? Wasn’t that supposed to be a fictional Grossinger’s? She was Baby. He was a poisonous goy. And isn’t that the best kind?


In the 1970s I taught guitar for a couple of years at Ragona Music in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, every day of the week for six or seven hours a day. Often, just to decompress from this intense schedule, I would walk home to the West Village in Manhattan. That was a long walk, many miles, but a very good one, and towards the end of it, I would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and do a long meditation on everyone else who had been there, not least Sonny Rollins, premier tenor saxophone player who used to come out to the Bridge and practice at night.


It took from 1867 until 1883 to build the Brooklyn Bridge which was the first physical connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan… a connection that would be politically solidified with the 1898 consolidation of Greater New York.


Remember the film Blazing Saddles? There were some  Native Americans in it who spoke a strange language, Yiddish! Chief Mel rides up to the cowboys and says, “Abi gezunt,” (As long as I have my health). This was the name of a hit song by the great Yiddish actress Molly Picon and composer Abe Ellstein from the 1938 Yiddish film Mamele (Little Mothers).


Donna found this Mann coat of arms. Mann is my mother’s maiden name, but I think her people are far too humble to have a coat of arms. One nevers knows, though. This is from the right part of Europe. Donna is on the track of my family and she has already found out some very interesting things.


Always take life with a grain of salt… a slice of lemon… and a shot of tequila.


The Phelps House, 1111 Oak Street, San Francisco, 1850-1851, was built by Abner Phelps, a Montgomery Block lawyer, on 160 acres in what was then the countryside. The house was moved three times and has undergone significant interior changes, but is said to be the oldest externally unaltered residence in town. The high foundation, balcony and veranda provided a taste of the South to appease Phelps’ homesick bride whom he met while mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana.


Ronnie Campsey on right, his son Beau and Sadie.


The Orthodox Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian Churches, founded and based in Egypt in 41 AD when the evangelist Mark founded the Church in Alexandria. Coptic Art was influenced by the art of ancient Egypt and also by the Greek or Hellenic artistic tradition. The portraits are often done in encaustic (wax) and have several common features: large eyes and ears, gentle, sweet lips, small mouth, small nose and a large head.


A government cannot declare an act a crime after it has been committed.  Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws. This protection guarantees that individuals shall be warned ahead of time if their actions are illegal.


The International Exhibition of Modern Art (aka The Armory Show) opened at the 69th Regiment Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue between East 25th and East 26th Streets, Manhattan, 17 February 1913. This was the splashy showing of modern art to an unexposed New York public. President Teddy Roosevelt called the artists “a bunch of lunatics.” Artists on display included Pablo Picasso,  Georges Braque,  Edvard Munch, Wassily Kandinsky, Puvis de Chavannes, Odilon Redon, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, van Gogh, Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Marsden Hartley and Joseph Stella. This show only ran a month, but it made a big sound in the art of the 20th century.


An allergy is the excessive or hypersensitive response of the immune system to benign substances in the environment. The most common cause of allergy is pollens that are responsible for seasonal or allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nose). My friend John says that a certain tree with yellow flowers in his house is called an AcaCHOO!acia Tree, and Elise is trying to get me to cut down an acacia on our property now. I was born without this curse and am hence insufferable to the suffering sisterhood of allergists.


in the 1960s, I sat for hours in James Gurley’s living room, actually just down the hall from me on Oak Street, San Francisco, and drew everything in the room. That painting on the opposite wall is by Martin Gorak. I loved his work. Now I wish I would have photographed all of his canvases, but no one could afford a camera or film then. Martoon, as we called him, was such a great and interesting artist.


Alwyn Court Apartments, 182 West 58th Street at Sixth Avenue, Manhattan, 1907-1909. This French Renaissance extravaganza of terra cotta detailiing was one of New York’s early luxury apartment buildings, not far from the southern edge of Central Park. I used to walk by here and marvel at all of the delicacy in this building, which boasted fourteen-room, five bath apartments when it was new. The courtyard within is adorned with a painted architectural façade by muralist Richard Haas. The Alwyn is a good example of why walking around Manhattan is such a wonderful adventure. There are treasures in every block.


Fun dein moyl in Gotts oyeren. (Yiddish). From your mouth to God’s ears. Another Yiddish sentence that would be understood by any German speaker. This is something that you hope, that you wish may come true. Tom Finch plays guitar lines like this all the time. They are beautifully expressed and i reply, “Fun dein moyl in Gott’s oyeren.”


The flatiron building of San Francisco, The Phelan Building, 760-784 Market Street, 1908. James D. Phelan was a mayor of San Francisco from 1897 to 1902 and later a US senator. At the University of San Francisco, training ground for San Francisco leaders, I had my dormitory experience in Phelan Hall at school with people like Howard DeNike, Kevin Starr, Ming Chen, Darrell Solomon, Silvano Votto, Gordon Bowker and other truly remarkable people. You wouldn’t even believe me if I told you only some of the things that these people did. For example, one of them founded Starbucks, and he is by far not the most significant one. Another is on The Supreme Court of California. Another is the California State Librarian and Historian. These were not people whom I knew distantly, but they were close friends and amazing figures even then. Especially then.


The porous stone in the Theban necropolis made a difficult support for paint, so the tomb decorators smoothed the walls with mud plaster covered with a thin coat of gesso to which they applied paints from various mineral based pigments, and created immortal images of beauty and delicacy.


This is the real beginning of my happiness.



What do Maytag Washers and this photo have in common?


Dad, don’t stand behind the screen door. You look strained. Sam Andrew, Jr. and his men.


Article V of the Constitution specifies that an amendment to the Constitution becomes valid once it has gained the vote of two thirds of each house of Congress and three quarters of the states. States can ratify an amendment by a vote of their legislatures or by electing special conventions.


Elise Piliwale consorting with a ray.


Parts of Texas look like Kansas with scabies.


Senators serve six-year terms, and one-third of the senators run for election every two years. Senators are divided into three “classes,” with elections held on a staggered basis. With one hundred senators, the classes are divided into thirty-three, thirty-three and thirty-four. When a state enters the Union, its first senators toss a coin to determine which class they will join.


At The White Horse Tavern, his favorite New York bar, Hudson Street and West 11th Street, 4 November 1953, Dylan Thoomas began his final drinking binge. He returned to his room at The Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street, and said to his companion, Elizabeth Reitel, “I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies. I think that’s the record.” He passed out and never regained consciousness.


I lived a half a block from The White Horse Tavern for a long time in the 1970s, and, though I’ve never really been a bar person, I did go to the White Horse occasionally with friends. Big Brother and the Holding Company, as i  mentioned before, lived often at The Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street. Another correspondence is that for a year now I have been naming my paintings with lines and titles from Dylan Thomas.


Glaucoma is the unrelieved increase of inner eye pressure. In a normal eye, pressure is kept in check by the continuous production of aqueous humor, its movement through the pupil into the anterior chamber and its drainage out of that chamber. When drainage is decreased or prevented, glaucoma may result.


Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.


In vino pulchritudo est.

In wine there is beauty.


“Sarah Palin.” (Sam Andrew on being asked to say something funny.)


First secure an independent income. Then practice virtue.


No one can earn a billion dollars honestly.


The term cartonnage refers both to a material resembling papier-mâché and to objects fashioned from that material. Consisting of layers of papyrus and/or linen covered in gesso or plaster, cartonnage was first used in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt to make funerary masks. Although a few cartonnage coffins are known from that time, it was not until Dynasty XXII that cartonnage was used regularly to make one-piece mummy cases, probably as an inexpensive alternative to coffins made from wood, a material that is scarce in Egypt. I like this cartonnage idea; I’d love to learn how to do it.


A man in love mistakes a pimple for a dimple.


Sam Andrew, Alan Merrill at The House of Blues, Manhattan.


A Yiddish saying: Ven men vinsht in eyn hand un men kakt in der anderer hand, beleibt di letzer tamid ful. (When you wish in one hand and shit in the other hand, the last one stays full.) Kakn means “shit” and is cognate with cagar (Spanish) and caccare (Italian). Kakn is the verb. The noun is Dreck. A shtik dreck is a piece of shit.


My first day on this painting.


In life the final examination often comes before the lesson.


Passenger list, 19th century: I’m closely related to at least eight of these people. Probably more.


Elise Piliwale and Michael Miller.


I wonder if Borg ever said, “I wish I would never have been Bjorn.”


Musicians are very easy to get along with, if you like children.


Have you ever seen a statue of a critic? Have you ever heard a song about a critic? Have you ever read a poem that wasn’t scurrilous and scatological about a critic?


James Gurley singing Easy Rider.


Let Bhagwans be Bhagwans.


The Stephen Andrew tribe: Erin, Jack, Elizabeth and Kathy.


Of course there is progress in civilization. In every war they find a new way to kill you.


All truths are half-truths.     Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)


About one person in a thousand looks good with no clothes on. I have personally verified this.


OK, I’m gping to take a nap now.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company



15 May 2011



I have a lot in common with this dog.


OK, Donald, just in case, here it is.


One of the places I would love to be over would be over a delicatessen.


Cathy Richardson playing my Hummingbird duriing an interview in San Francisco. She sang a truly great Bobby McGee that morning.


The Way We Lived Then: 1967

Phil Hammond, Chet Helms, Joanne, Sal Lombardo, Robert Dries, Kathleen Kelley, Bill Merrill, Mary Ellen, Martin Gorak, Bob Fine, Alan Stone. Photograph: Irving Penn.


The Way We Lived Before Then: John Farnsworth, Sam Andrew, 1960.

John is playing the blues in E, because we really suffered on Okinawa.


This is the grave of my great, great, great grandfather’s sister on my mother’s side.


Don Wehr had such a great place on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. Everyone came there. Don had great prices for amps and guitars and keyboards. A 17 year old kid came in there, and started playing. It was Neil Schon. He was so good. It was a thrill to hear that much talent and energy all brand new and ready to go. Chepito, Carlos, all the Mission kids were there.



Big Brother and the Holding Company in Moscow, 1995. We had so much fun on this trip. The Russians are beautiful and intelligent and do they love to party?


Rozman Khalid went to Malay College, maybe the best private school in Malaysia. Then he came to the USA and learned our evil ways and even some ways to better those evil ways. In Arabic, Khalada means to last forever. And Khalid, which can be a surname or a given name means immortal or eternal. In Egypt, the pronunciation is often Khaled. This is a pre Islamic name. Khalid Ibn Al-Walid was an Arab general who defeated Byzantine and Sassanian forces and never knew defeat himself. Rozman is my Thursday friend. That’s his day off and he comes and talks to me. We laugh a lot.


My mother’s father Albert Mann and his friends. Look at the way that rifle is just lying there in the dirt. So organic.


Elise Piliwale photographed this dumpster in Mariposa, California. “Mariposa” means “butterfly.”


An interview (in my kitchen!) with the BBC. Yes, we even had the kitchen sink.


You’re A Thousand Miles Awa-hay…


My first review. Fifty dollars was a lot of money then, probably equivalent to $ 750 now.


In 2005 I was doing a lot of drawing like this.



The job of a vice president… to get kicked in the balls now and again.


Sam Andrew is an old name in our family. He is the third or fourth one.


There are two kinds of air travel in the United States, first class and steerage. Did you see Night At The Opera (Marx Brothers)? Economy class is like the stateroom scene in that film.


My brother Lee and I at a little theatre in St. Cloud. Upstairs they had the, ahem!, oldest urinal in Minnesota, all marble and regal. Quite impressive.


Dan Andrew with his daughters Diana and Kelsi.


Bernice Cartledge and Sherwood Carter on their way to the Prom. Okinawa, Japan. In our senior year, Bernice and I were in a play together and I was called upon to kiss her. Lots of howling and catcalls from the audience. Such innocent times. Oooo, la, la.


The Vitales: grandfather, father, sons. This could be Roman portrait sculpture. Gene, Michael, Anthony and Chris Vitale.


OK, so now you can which one Chris Vitale is, right? No? He’s the one on the right. You couldn’t tell that? Come on.


Shakespeare, despite the fact that a lot of people say he is good, really is very good.


Sarah Palin, Bettie Page and Angela Davis, girlfriends. OK, it doesn’t look like them yet, but it will, it will. Or else I will change the title. (Photo: Max Clarke)


Micaelas Schönesfoto. Micaela’s beautiful photograph.


Kalakaua Avenue near Montserrat, Honolulu. Speed limit 25.


In every big fat book there is a little thin book trying to get out.


Ben Nieves had to put his glasses just to SEE this amp.


You have to believe in luck and timing. How else are you going to explain the even partial success of someone that you don’t like? BaDaBing.



Did you know we had Commonwealths? This is the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. They are all US citizens. Ah, the farflung empire.


Fashion is a temporary disease ordered by clothesmakers once or twice a year. (Jack Andrew, Erin Homs)


Better copulate than never.


Why is it forbidden to show someone blissfully fornicating in the movies, but it’s all right to depict a horrible slashing murder? Isn’t this kind of backwards? In every sense of that word?



The Queen’s advice to Katy: “Close your eyes and think of England.”


A sense of humor is an asset, if you can conceal it at the right time.


I want a girl, just like the girl, that married dear old dad.  (Oedipus Rex)


The main problem with being rich is that you have to socialize with other rich people.


American cities might seem frenetic because it is usually hard to find a place to pee.


There is not happiness; there are only moments of happiness, and I have these moments when I look at the art of Jude Harzer.


Oh, Katharine, Katharine!


Katharine Boyd at Aroma Café, May 2011.



I have learned to spell hors d’oeuvres, which gets on everybody’s nerves.

One third of psychoanalysis is psycho and and another third is anal. And we won’t talk about the sis part.


I’m almost seventy and I still don’t need glasses. I drink right out of the bottle.


Law is the opposite of sex. Even when law is good it’s boring.


Sam Andrew, Bill Andrew, Nashville, 1953.


Injustice is hard to bear, but hardest to bear is justice.


You can live happily ever after, but you have to take it one day at a time, and don’t buy anything.


Every man has disciples. Just don’t let Judas write my obituary.


Io te amo. Non dirlo à nessuno. (I love you.  Don’t tell anybody.)


Praise and criticism are both frauds.


So far the 21st century isn’t going all that well.


When confronted with two evils, take the prettier one.


Is sex better than drugs? That depends on the connection. While I’m sure many frequent visitors to sites like would argue so, others would argue that drugs give you a much better time.


I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, but then I thought, “Nah, it would just be the same old thing again. What good is that going to do?”


Nothing matters very much, and many things don’t matter at all.


See you soon!

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Useless Information?

8 May 2011



Django Reinhardt played at the bals of Paris. i attended some of these affairs in the early 1960s and they didn’t seem all that different from the photograph here. The people who went to these bals were called Mulots (mice) and they do rather look like Minnie and Mickey, don’t they? Mulots mignons, cute mice.


Try to play one new thing a day, even it’s a small idea. Do one thing differently. Put your sock on the foot that you never start with. Vary the routine in some way.


More than half of the coastline of the entire  United States is in Alaska. That’s something Sarah Palin could say rather than discussing matters that are above her pay grade. She could use her bully pulpit to tell us something about where she lives. Alaska is actually a very interesting place.


Have confidence in your ideas. They will develop if you nurture them.


The Lee Andrew tribe: Edie Andrew, Alyssa Amundson, Bryan Anker holding Harley Amundson. Thank you to Kari Borle for this photograph.


Django Reinhardt was a Manouche Gypsy. “Django” is a first person verb; it means “I awake.”


Listen to the actual physical sound of the notes you are playing. Sit alone sometime, play a note and listen to it until it decays to nothing. You will hear all of the overtones sooner or later. This can be spooky. The harmonics appear one by one as if entering on stage.


The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen supply.The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can still dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States


Accent the notes that you don’t pick, the hammer ons and the slurred passages. This will make for an even set of notes, legato and smooth.


Mark Twain arrived in Honolulu on Sunday, 18 March 1866 fresh from Virginia City and San Francisco. Hawaii would be his last apprenticeship. When he returned to San Francisco on 19 July where he would give the first of hundreds of lectures, he was ready to begin his career as “about the best known honest man on the Pacific Coast.” (Like Charlie Chaplin he would go on to become the best known person in the world.)


Dynamics, dynamics. Play the softest you can play and the loudest you can play in one song. James Gurley and I did this in Summertime.


In an autmobile with a rear wheel drive, the main parts front to back are the radiator, the engine, transmission, clutch, catalytic converter, drive shaft, universal joint and differential.


Instead of copying notes from someone, express the feeling that those notes give you when you hear them.


But if the car has front wheel drive, many of these parts are crammed up in the front of the auto, which makes working on them a bit difficult.


Let your mistakes in music and in life lead you to new strange areas and teach you something by showing you something new. This can be strange and uncomfortable. Play through the fear and uncertainty.


The Beatles did Got To Get You Into My Life in the key of G. Matter of fact, when I think of the album Rubber Soul, I think of the key of G. Even the photograph on the front of the album is in the key of G. I’d rather you wouldn’t ask me how I know this.


Stop thinking. Let go. Feel it. That’s what she said.


With front wheel drive the universal joint is in the front of the car and it becomes a constant velocity joint (a C-V joint) or even two constant velocity joints. The drive axle and the transaxle are up front there too.


The sound is in you more than in your amp or in your guitar. It’s in you. You can’t buy it. You can’t copy it. It’s the singer not the song. It’s you. Be proud.


I remember frequenting La Porte de Clignancourt in Paris in the early 1960s. There were still Gypsies at the flea markets. It was here in 1928 that Django or his wife Bella accidentally set their caravan on fire. Bella had made a lot of celluloid flowers that day for the burial  of a Manouche boy. Django pushed Bella out of the fire and tried to put the fire out. His whole left side was badly burned. The doctors said he would never play the guitar again.


Quickest way to improved guitar tone? Change your strings.


Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert. Think of how your refrigerator dries out everything you put into it.


Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around. Maybe the only country named for a nut? Hmmm. How many nuts are there?


Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. ”Canada” is a Native American word meaning Big Village.


Oddly enough, no automobile company has designed a car where the engine is in back and drives the front wheels. The Volkswagen had the engine in the back and it drove the rear wheels, which seems like the most logical arrangement, although there haven’t been a lot of cars with this design.


Consider switching pickups on your guitar. Change is good.


Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.


Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC making Damascus the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.


Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.


In 1001, lower caste Indians were conscripted to battle Muslim invaders. The wars lasted for years and when they were finished, the erstwhile soldiers traveled westward. From Byzantium (Constantinople, Istanbul) their trail split into north and south. Some went up into Europe and others went along North Africa. This was the gypsy road.


Every riff you know, learn it in all keys and with all possible fingerings. Each new key sheds a new light on the idea. Same with changing the fingers you use. Look at each new idea you have from every angle. This will lead you to  places that you didn’t know were there.


In France, the first mention of Gypsies is in 1415. They were called Tziganes from a Byzantine word for animal trainers and traders, or Sinti because they came from the river Sind in India. In German Gypsies are called Tzigeuner which is from this same word root.The French word for Gypsies, Gitanes, also has the same origin. And you thought it was just a cigarette?


Roma or Romany is the Gypsy word for “human,” and this is their favored name for themselves. We call them “Gypsies” because there was a belief that they came from Egypt.


Los Angeles’ full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula. This name can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size:  LA.


My next painting is called Hoc Erat In Votis (This Was To Be Wished For). I am going to do a fairly elaborate drawing at first, right on the panel, and then slowly build up the color. That’s the method. I am not sure of the subject matter. Maybe I’ll make it abstract.


Play loudly. If you make a mistake, play it very loudly. Ask yourself why it’s a mistake and then see if you can use it as a non mistake. Every single note, all twelve of them, each single one, has its own validity and its own meaning.


The term ‘The Big Apple’ was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930s who used the slang expression ‘apple’ for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time, The Big Apple. There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin. More Italians than in Rome and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv.


The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn, Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. Miles/4,53 sq. Km. This is MUCH smaller than Okinawa, Japan, which is a prefecture. Also smaller than Saipan.


Stéphane Grappelli was born in Italy but raised in French orphanages. He had a father who was a journalist and left his son to roam the streets. Grappelli père gave his son a three-quarter size violin that he had found in a Montnmartre secondhand store.


Keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressure but not higher than that. Overinflation of the tires makes the car hard to handle and will cause more tire wear. Underinflated tires cause the engine to work harder to maintain the same speed and thus will waste your precious gasoline.


When you come up with a new idea, some conventional person is always going to compare it to something that has already been done, because that’s the only way he or she can keep from creating. It is your duty to ignore such  cynical, shortsighted people. They are lazy and they want everone else to be lazy so they can be comfortable in their laziness. Have faith in yourself. Persist.


“Manouche” is the name for gypsies who found their way down into the south of France and into Spain. The word comes from Sanskrit “manusa,” meaning “true man.” Django Reinhardt was a Manouche. His great grandchildren are still playing in the south of France today and many of them play the same brand of guitar that Django did, the Maccaferri.


The tradition continues.


The first city to reach a population of one million people was Rome in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.


Start your solo on the pick up note, the “and” of one or four. Try to play as softly as you can and still be heard. (Yes, I know this contradicts something i wrote above. Try everything.)


If you look under your rear wheel drive car at the rear axle, you will see a big lump almost in the center of that axle. That’s the differential. The differential allows the wheels to turn at different speeds, which is important when you go around a corner.


Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests. Once upon a time long, long ago, Siberia was a beach but no bikinis in evidence now.


Django Reinhardt toured from the south of France all the way up into Belgium. When he was in the south he would play at Lourdes, for example, and in Cannes at the casino. The club in Cannes was called La Boîte à Matelots (The Sailors’ Club). Django began playing here in 1931.


In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, Algeria. Tidikeit did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically, though, the driest place on earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.


Listen to the drummer if you are lucky enough to have one who plays in time and keeps her eyes open.


If your car shakes or shimmies, this is not good at all. Have it looked at right away. This is not something that should wait.


The third and the seventh of a chord are really all you need, unless there is some alteration, such as a raised 9th or a flatted fifth. The bass player already has the root. Try playing just the third and the seventh. This gives a good spare radical sound which may lead to exciting new ideas.


Spain literally means “the land of the rabbits.” (This dates from a time when “Spain” didn’t sound like España or even Hispania, which is what the Romans called it. The Phoenicians, and who knows how many people named this land before them?, the Phoenicians found rabbits in abundance where they landed in Iberia, and thought the rabbits were hyraxes such as they found in Africa, so, in their Canaanite dialect, they called the land i-sepanim, Isle of the Hyraxes.


In the 1930s, 40s, 50s, there was a zone around Paris where the Gypsies could park their caravans. Now the Périphérique, the belt road that runs around the City, has obliterated the places where Django lived and played. It gives me a strange feeling when I am in this new, sterile, automobilistic land.


The deepest hole ever drilled is the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia. It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles). It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen so massive that the mud coming from the hole was boiling with it. I remember vividly trying to dig a hole “all the way to China” more than once when I was young.


Practice the way a cat eats. Not a lot all at once, but a little bit frequently throughout the day.


The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five be straight. These straight sections are usable as landing strips in times of war or other emergencies.


It’s the right hand, not the left hand. Try circle picking, keeping the pick at the same angle and making a small circle, down and up.


You really want to take care of the steering assembly in your car. This ensemble, steering gearbox, ball joints, center links, steering arms, coil springs, this whole assembly literally holds the front wheels on to your car, so if any of that breaks or just “feels different”, you need to attend to it immediately. You don’t want your front wheels falling off, do you?


When you feel good, take more chances. On a really good night even the mistakes work. In fact, on a good night, the mistakes are the best things that can happen.


The water of Angel Falls (the world’s highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). These Falls are fifteen times higher than Niagara.


Lulu Reinhardt made her début on this recording. She is a powerful player and carries on the tradition. “Do you remember the time?” it says in Romany and German. This quintet played Gypsy jazz in the 1970s and 1980s.


Take care of yourself. See  you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Family Rambles

1 May 2011



Elise in her modeling days. Can you tell she’s Hawaiian?


The reign of Tutankhamun was a “return to normalcy.” After the wild, liberalizing years of Akhenaten, the boy king reversed Akhenaten’s reforms. He changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun, “Living Image of Amun,” signaling a return to Egypt’s traditional religion.


Ted Ashford, Mike Pendergrass, Dave Getz, Kathi McDonald, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew. Big Brother and the Holding Company, 1970s version.


William Marcy “Boss” Tweed, the Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall, died of pheumonia in the jail that he as a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, had authorized to be built in 1859. Ludlow Street at Essex Market Place, 12 April 1878.


Alexa Patton, daughter  of my brother Bill’s daughter Gabrielle.


The future always looks rosy in LaLaLand. Of course, no one can remember the past, so no need to worry about that.


The good guys always wear white hats. Peter Albin.


In a cancer cell, the genetic material has for some reason been changed and that cell can grow abnormally, uncontrollably and invasively. Caner cells can form a tumor and cells from that tumor can break off and travel by blood to other parts of the body. This is called metastasis. The thing to find out is why or how that original genetic material has been changed.


Quick sketch.


The Washington Arch in Washington Square, New York City, like The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, was originally a temporary structure of wood and plaster. Everyone liked the Arch so much that money was raised to make the Arch permanent. I played under this Arch with several musicians and two dancers many times.


Kari Borle, my brother Lee’s daughter.


“I woiuld have made a good pope.”  Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)


Automobile, 1980s.


From the Hebrew for “faint,” chalosh, comes the word chaloshes. A chaloshes meal is disgusting, revolting, nauseating. You know, kind of like how Gefilte Fisch looks.


Diana Andrew, Dan’s daughter, lives in Tennessee.


Even though the District of Columbia is not a state and has only a nonvoting delegate in the House of Representatives, the Twenty-third Amendment, ratified in 1961, gave district residents the right to vote for the president and gave the district electoral votes equivalent to those of the least populous state.


Seriously geeky dudes, but they weren’t geeky enough so they had to form a barbershop quartet. I love four part harmony. Okinawa, Japan.


I will always cherish the first impressions that I had of what’s her name.


Narada Michael Walden and Lynn Asher. I love two part harmony also.


The De Young Museum, San Francisco, is covered with thousands of copper plates, each embossed with designs based on the shadows cast by Golden Gate Park’s canopy of trees. This pattern should become apparent as the copper takes on a green patina in a few years (say, 2015). I’m not sure i quite understand the layout of the new De Young yet. Maybe after twenty more visits?


My sister Lillian’s son Paul Bullis. And the beat goes on.


The sphinx often combines the body of a lion with the head of a human, although ram- and falcon-headed sphinxes (sphinges?) are known. I remember reading a Scientific American article years ago which posited that the sphinx form occurs naturally in the desert where the wind carves the rock, and that the Egyptians merely capitalized on this happy accident when they made the sphinx.


The view from The Hawaiian Village actually looked like this once. 1957.


Sloth, the trait, not the animal, is one very terrible weakness. It engenders many of the other vices that flesh is heir to.


Can you believe how good looking they are? Ben Nieves and Sophia Ramos. Guitar player and singer with Big Brother and the Holding Company.


At the Chambers Street subway station, Chambers and Hudson Streets, New York City, on 22 December, 1984, electrical engineer, Bernhard Goetz, shot four African-American teenagers on an IRT subway train as it pulled into the station. Goetz claimed that they had tried to rob him. One teen was paralyzed and brain damaged. Goetz walked up to him and, although he was already bleeding from a wound, said, “You don’t look too bad, here’s another.” The jury awarded the teen $ 43 million in damages. Bernie Goetz lived in the same building on 14th Street, Manhattan, as Myra Friedman, an old Big Brother and the Holding Company friend, and biographer of Janis Joplin. Myra knew Bernie well. Crime and Race in America. To say there are no easy answers is vastly to understate the situation.


The Woman Problem. I love titles like this.


Mike Wallace: “Why do so many jazz greats seem to die so early?”

Billie Holliday: “I want to bend this note, bend that note, sing this way, sing that way, and get all the feeling, eat all the good foods, and travel all over all in one day, and you can’t do it.”


Here is a man who lives the life he sings about in his song. Tom Finch exemplifies The Age of Aquarius. Truly a good person. He plays guitar too. Quite well.


This is what a pretentious drummer once misquoted to me, both as to source and to actual words:

Reporter: What is jazz?

Louis Armstrong: “Man, if you gotta ask, you’ll never know.”


These islands are to the southeast of Okinawa, Japan. Elise’s father Lui Piliwale  iives on Saipan.


The B vitamin AKA The Enabler:

B1 present in whole grains, nuts, legumes, helps the body release engery from carbohydrates.

B2 whole grains and leafy vegetables helps body release energy from  fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

B3 (niacin) helps release energy from glucose, present in whole grains, fish, dairy products.


Elizabeth Andrew, my brother Stephen’s daughter.


American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West to Columbus Avenue, and West 77th to West 81st Streets, Manhattan.  Radiolariia are here. Apatosaurus lurks.


Cheryl Little Deer. She was a living example of an ancient Chinese curse: May you be born a beautiful woman. I loved her.


A shandeh far di goyim is behavior that is a shame for the gentiles to have to see. Yiddish.


Grace Walton and Anthony Vitale, my sister Paula’s son.


Although the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, the courts have ruled that there are legitimate limits to that freedom. The government may ban libel, restrict obscenity, and punish words that present a “clear and present danger.” The Roberts/Scalia/Clarence Thomas Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the same freedom of speech that individuals do. Shameful and almost as corrupt as the gift to George W. Bush of the Presidency when he had lost the popular vote, and, very likely, the electoral vote as well.


Two great singers, Mary Bridget Davies and Koko Taylor.


Roos House, 3500 Jackson Street, at Locust Street, San Francisco. Bernard Maybeck designed this house in 1909. Leon Roos was a philanthropist who gave California its first seeing-eye dog. His father helped found Roos Brothers, clothiers. When I first went to university, I wore clothes from Roos/Atkins, as did every single other callow youth of that period.


Cathy who lives to the west of Saipan.


The situation is so strange in the theatre today, that an actor is lucky to be miscast.


Ben Nieves and Sam Andrew demonstrating the passion that has enabled them to win the tractor pull in several states.


The Early Dynastic Period in Egypt dates from 3,000 years BCE, or quite a bit longer than we are now living after Christ. This period following the emergence of Egypt as a unified kingdom evolved social and religious institutions that would endure for more than three thousand years. I love the art of Egypt, but especially Coptic Art, characterized by beautiful portraits done in encaustic in the Hellenistic period in Egypt.


This is how Dr. John plays Tipitina. The magic happens in those sixteenth note triplets.


At 350 Fifth Avenue, New York City, on 12 December 1900, Mark Twain introduced Winston Spencer Churchill to an American audience in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Ballroom. “He is the son of an English father and an American mother… behold the perfect man.” Twain wrote an autograph to Churchill: “To do good is noble; to teach others to do good is nobler, and no trouble.”


James Gurley at The House of Blues, Hollywood. James was kicking out the james that night.


All right then, I’ll say it. Norman Mailer makes me ill. Go ahead, ask me, i want to hear it. Who is Norman Mailer? Mwahhhaaahhhaahha.


Why this girl is as pretty as Sophia Ramos. Could it be because they are related? i love her hands.


“I don’t want realism, I want magic!”  Blanche DuBois. (Tennessee Williams)


Bruce Harrah-Conforth, Sam Andrew and Michel Bastian.


Oliver Rousseau built a beautiful series of houses in the Sunset District, San Francisco, 1930s. Henry Doelger built the largest number of them, but Rousseau built the most elaborate, with façades that suggest chateaux, Tudor half timbers, castles in Spain with balconies, grillwork and tiles. Practical and comfortable with living areas above the garage, light bringing atria, step down living rooms and open beamed ceilings. These are works of art for the Irish/Italian, and now Chinese, firemen, plumbers and other working class people who live in them.


Kacee Clanton and Vie Le in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.


In 1938, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must provide counsel for defendants in federal court trials who cannot pay for counsel.


Las plumas. The feathers.


Litvak/Galitzianer: The center of the Litvak world was Vilna (Lithuania), the Jerusalem of the north, a world of study, logic, intellect. Galitzianers lived in Galicia, Austrian Poland, center of prayer and emotions. To Litvaks, Galitzianers were irrational and uneducated. To Galitzianers, Litvaks were dry and cold fish. So it goes. We all need someone to look down on.


Joel Hoekstra is tall, so Tim Robbins must be REALLY tall.


Those California cuisine restaurants where the food is a work of art on the plate? How many hands created this, how many fingers?


Kari Borle lives in Brainerd, Minnesota.


The Flatiron Building, Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 23rd Street, Manhattan, is an antique now. She was built 1901-1903, and was called The Fuller Building. There is a flatiron building in every city that i know of, even San Rafael, California. Big Brother and the Holding Company used to live near the Flatiron Building at The Chelsea Hotel between 7th and 8th Avenues on 23rd.


Very fine guitar player, Chad Quist.


Some antibiotics work by restricting the growth of bacterial cell walls. The bacteria’s increasing mass can no longer be kept intact by its cell wall, and its contents spill out of the cell. Human cells are unharmed since they do not have cell walls. Antibiotics are made from natural substances that micro-organisms produce to hinder other orgnaisms’ growth. Penicillin, for example is derived from a fungal mold.


A dream is a wish that your heart makes.


“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass.


I did this one very quickly and without thinking.


Momzer is Hebrew for an illegitimate child, but it is used in Yiddish for a mean-spirited individual, bitter, vengeful, hurtful, negative, a farbissener. Frau Farbissener in Austin Powers would really be a farbisseneh which is the female version. Gey in drerd, Momzer.


Joan Getz, chanteuse stylistique.


Clark Walker and Stanley Mouse, Petaluma, California, 2009.


The only way to remove a Supreme Court justice is by impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate.


“Which is more musical; a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?”      John Cage 1912-1992


My father and I out by the oil derricks.


The Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill, San Francisco, restored by julia Morgan after the 1906 earthquake. Silver baron James G. Fair’s daughter Tessie replaced his mansion with a hotel. You have to see the Tonga Room in this hotel to believe it. Total kitsch, psychedelic Pacificana. Big Brother and the Holding Company were in the lobby of this hotel for the film Petulia starring Julie Christie and George C. Scott, actually a very good film.


She haunts me from across the street while I am painting.


Irving Berlin died at his longtime East Side home, 17 Beekman Place, 22 September 1989. He was 101 and he was the Howard Hughes of show business. Irving Berlin played everything in F#. He had a piano specially made so he could play in that key but could choose how it would sound in the other keys.


During Akhenaten’s reign in the fourteenth century BCE, the Aten became the one deity officially worshipped in Egypt. Akhenaten ordered that references to other deities be deleted from Egyptian monuments.


Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando and Bill Graham. You notice Bill is doing the talking. That’s a shock.


I’ve only met two perfect people in my life and I didn’t like either one of them.


The preternaturally lovely Dana Anderson, Jim Nichols, a prince among men, and i am sorry I forget this person’s name. She’s cute, though.


The five basic tastes are bitter, sweet, salty, sour and imari, a Japanese word for the taste associated with monosodium glutamate.


Dandy Barrett was the star of our high school class on Okinawa, Japan. She was talented in many directions, and I always wondered what happened to her.


We all know how to get to Carnegie Hall. It’s at 156 West 57th Street in Manhattan and it was built in 1889-1990. I like 57th Street. I used to go to The Art Students’ League, across the street and farther west, to draw from live models. Big Brother and the Holding Company rehearsed at The Steinway Building, also across the street in 1968.


This is a good man and a great photographer, David Peters, San Rafael, California.


“Avoid running at all times.”   Satchel Paige  1906-1982


My friend Ayris Hatton sculpted this at the same time and from the same model as I did when I made the work called Donatella. Ayris’ version is more true to life, and i like the color of clay that she used.


One sure way to invite inspiration into your life. Work regularly at what you are doing, even a little bit a day is good. This makes a good, nourishing environment for inspiration to come and stay.


In the Netherlands with real Netherlanders. This was a good band. 2003.


I asked an Israeli once if people in his country spoke much Yiddish. He practically spat. “Yiddish is a dead language,” he snarled. I understood his contempt because Yiddish is, after all, a dialect of German. The Yiddish word Mentsh is the same as German Mensch. Both mean “human being” and both can have further, more complex meanings. “Yeder mentsh hat zein eigeneh pekl,” a Yiddish saying is perfectly understandable to a German speaker. “Each person has his own pack.”


Jan Sullivan and Elise Piliwale.


When I was about twenty, I returned from Europe, and I was sitting on a bench one day in Santa Monica. There were two women on the other side and they were speaking a very strange German. I understood it, but couldn’t place the dialect. Yes, it was Yiddish. It took me years to realize that.


Murphy’s Law, Photo Division. Have you noticed yet that in a group of people on Facebook, every single person will be identified except for the one who is by far the best looking? (Jeff Beck just put out a wonderful CD with Joss Stone, interesting sounds.)


All congressional districts should be the same size, but for many years state legislatures gave more representation to large, sparsely populated rural districts than to smaller, heavily populated urban districts. In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that all legislative districts must be equal in population.


Peter Albin and Karen Lyberger.


“The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.”   Hannah Arendt  1906-1975


Jennifer Espinoza is getting cuter all the time and her bass playing, always good, is becoming ever more proficient. If she keeps this up, she’s going to make a big noise. I am going to ask her to sing a gig with us in June.


The Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco. William Haas made his money in the grocery business and built this house. His daughter Alice married Samuel Lilienthal and shared the house with William’s widow after 1916. The house was saved from the 1906 firestorm when firefighters blasted a firebreak along Van Ness Avenue.


With the Minnesota Andrews. Edie, Jason, Kirsten Amundson, and Lee.


This is about Clinton Hart Merriam (1855-1942) who was a naturalist:

His field work in the West gradually concentrated on the great state of California not only because it offered many interesting problems but because more than anywhere else his passionate love for forests and mountains was gratified. He explored every nook and corner of it and finally built himself a home in the depths of the redwoods of Marin County near the village of Lagunitas. This house now belongs to one of the Haas family.

Big Brother and the Holding Company are sitting on the porch of this home here.


Steve, Zia, Elise. Beautiful people.


From LIFE magazine 1939. All over the world in the 1930s and 40s there was the cult of the Strong Man. People felt some kind of need for a strong leader. This was the only time we elected a President to three terms. Fascism appealed to a lot of people. This was a close call. These are Americans here. We have to watch out right now, right here in this country because partisanship is becoming more extreme every day. This Fascism is a right wing disease, but, remember, Joseph Stalin came from the left. We need to keep our feelings calm and keep our faith in each other.


Elliot Landy and his wife. Elliot took some very sweet photographs of a lot of well known people. Iconic photographs.


On 6 December 1965 at 213 Park Avenue South, bstween 17th and 18th Streets, Manhattan, Mickey Ruskin became owner of Max’s Kansas City, a restaurant (specialities: steak, lobster, dried chick peas) and music venue that would be the center of underground New york culture for the next sixteen years.


Adriana, really good artist, in Santa Barbara. She’s a sweetheart.


I was a regular at Max’s Kansas City for almost the entire time that it existed. The rest of Big Brother and the Holding Company had gone home to the West Coast, but I waved the freak flag in the 1970s with David Cohen, Larry Poons, Larry Rivers, David Bowie, Deborah Harry, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Divine, Iggy Pop, Sargent Shriver, Sid Vicious, Cary Grant, Television, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the New York Dolls, Tim Buckley, Patti Smith, and a cast of thousands, many of whom were far more interesting than anyone listed here, especially me.


Randal Myler and I watching tech rehearsals for Love, Janis.


Part of the Pacific Exposition in 1915. You can see The Palace of Fine Arts here on the left. It is the only building remaining out of all these. Hard to believe that THe Palace of Fine Arts was originally made out of papier maché. Later the building was remade with more durable materials.


David Rokeach, a fine drummer and a fine human being. Love, Janis rehearsals, San Francisco.


Trying to get a good look at my mother in Salt Lake City.


Happy Trails To You Till We Meet Again.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company