Lovers and Friends

13 February 2011

I like the way Janis looks here. And who is that other woman? There is a kind of surreal quality to this photograph.

James Gurley said, “And now we have the opposite of evolution. The man who became a Monkee.”

Sam Andrew Band, Sacramento, 1990s)

(Peter Tork, Aviva, Snooky Flowers, Sam, Dave Getz, Kristina Kopriva)

“Cave Danaos et dona ferentes.” I hope I am remembering this correctly, “Beware of the Greeks, even when they are bearing gifts.”   (Virgil)

Anthea Sidiropoulos and Bill Laymon

Elise in New York. 2003.

Some people will do anything to get a little reverb. James Gurley.

Sean Ahearn. This man is going to have us play onstage with Janis again.

Very characteristic expression on Janis’ face.

Anthea being a good Greek girl.

Elise with Jan and Danny Sullivan.

Time Is A Foolish Fancy, 11 February 2011, photograph by Max Clarke. This is Peggy Pettigrew Stewart. I have a long way to go on these.

James Gurley playing an F#.

David Levy. He’s always happy, enthusiastic and, why not? He’s married to Solange.

With Phoebe Snow and Peter Albin, New York, Central Park, 2003.

Elise and Wendy, Biloxi, Mississippi, 2000.

Rick Griffin created this one. Beautiful job.

I love this music and these instruments. Australia, where there is a large Greek population.

The beautiful Kim Nomad with the lovely Anthea Sidiropoulos.

Gabriel Rabu comes from an ancient Greek Colony, Masilia, now called Marseilles. Gabriel rides a Harley, visits the Zen Center, and is a counselor. These are traits that ordinarily no two of them will go together. Oh, yes, plus, he is a good artist.

Paul Liberatore in art.

I’m playing bass here, so we’re probably doing Oh, Sweet Mary.

And she really is as good natured and kind as this photo suggests.

Elise 2001.

With Lisa Battle, Peter Albin, Melissa Etheridge backstage at Maritime Hall, San Francisco.

Michael Joplin. He’s got her mouth, her sense of humor and her intelligence.

This restaurant name has a certain ring to it.

This is Joan Getz Payne, or Joan Payne Getz, not sure which. Athens.

Elise had a wonderful radio program on 18th Century Italian Opera. She played some really beautiful works.

Melissa Etheridge and Laurie Shramer

My sister Lillian Andrew, San Antonio, Texas.

Jerry Miller has had that guitar since the late 1950s. Gibson L5.

Ashley Kahn and Rob Clores. I wish I knew who the women were. Ashley writes wonderful books about jazz and Rob is a premier New York keyboard player. He worked on Love, Janis with me.

Peter Levy the plumber meets with his associates every Monday morning and reads metaphysical works, poetry, Thoreau, Washington Irving, and, really, anything that comes to mind. Peter is a famous plumber in Marin County. If you live here and own a phone book, you have Peter’s name on the side of it.

Robert Dries took this rather scary photograph.

Big Brother in Golden Gate Park. We’re playing a G chord. What tune could this be? Janis and I always had a lot of eye contact onstage, and off, too, come to think of it.

I love this photograph.

“A useless remedy. Is it true that the nose grows throughout life?” No. And neither do the ears. It’s just that the rest of the head becomes smaller. Same with fingernails and hair. They don’t grow after death. It’s just that the rest of the body recedes. “But in some conformations,” we are told, “the point of the nose is lowered.” There. That’ll give you something to think about.

Tickle Toe. Ben Nieves and I play this song as part of the solo on Blindman. It’s a good tune. Good arpeggio practice. In that solo section on Blindman, we play Limehouse Blues, move on to Tickle Toe and then to Hall of The Mountain King, all in E minor.

This is right outside the window where I paint every morning. I love to see the whole street and all the life that is there.

“Hey, Janis! Let’s go to the bridge now, OK!”

Sam Andrew Band (Horizons, formerly The Trident), Sausalito, California.

Snooky Flowers, baritone sax, and Cash Farrar, tenor. We had so much fun on these gigs.

Lips standing on the bar, playing her heart out.  Houston. She was the bass player in The Sam Andrew Band, Texas division.

Kate Russo playing with Big Brother. I couldn’t believe Kate when I met her. She was so beautiful and so talented and so natural and uncontrived. I was completely and utterly smitten.

Okinawa 1949. These people are known throughout the world for their longevity. Perhaps there is a hint of this here. They are happy and good. I lived on this Island twice, and have never forgot it. (Thanks to Wesley Freeman for this photograph from LIFE.)

The Fallkirk Mansion, San Rafael, California. When I finish painting, I often walk up here, on this high bluff overlooking the town, facing East and South.

With Karlheinz Böshenz in Germany. I used to live near here in Eschwege.

The poster for our 26 February 2011 gig. The Edge were a famous Marin County  band once. They were going to make it or Huey Lewis was going to make it. The both started at the same time and place, both good.

My first love. Rhoda Watson. I knew her on Okinawa. We had the whole Splendor In The Grass, Last Picture Show, Peggy Sue Got Married experience.

There are entire scenes in each of those films that exactly mirrored our time together.

One of the many ways that people have tried to make guitars louder.

Janisu. That’s what they call her here. Janisu Jopurin.

Sam Andrew Band, Continental Club, Austin, Texas, 1990s. Lips is on bass  and Gloria Meehan did a lot of singing. Detroit Dave on drums. Marcia Ball came down to see us on this evening. It was a thrill to meet such a great player.

Trina Baucom and Kurt Huget. For some reason Trina is completely in focus and Kurt is fuzzy. Now, why would that be?

Another possible reason for Okinawan longevity. These people are having a tomb party. They come and celebrate where the dead are. My brothers and I used to investigate these tombs, one of which  was quite near to our house.

Umberto’s in Little Italy, New York.  Sometimes not so good for longevity. Good idea to keep your back to the wall. Excellent restaurant. The guy looking from behind the lamp post is perfect, non è vero?

Mian Situ is a contemporary painter who has more than a little in common with Norman Rockwell. Superb technique and he likes to tell a story. This story is about a Chinese toymaker in Ross Alley, the oldest alley in San Francisco. Even the lo fan (honkies) come to see his careful, expert work.

Janis and George.

Sam Andrew Band, Fairfax, California. Cash Farrar, tenor saxophone; Kim Nomad, singer; maybe Dave Getz, drums; Diane Dutra, bass; Debi Romek, alto saxophone.

Larry Etkin, trumpet; Joel hoekstra, guitar; Dan Cipriano, tenor saxophone. Wonderful musicians in the Love, Janis, New York band. Dan played with Wilson Pickett for years. Larry played with everyone, rock, jazz, classical. Joel played with me in Big Brother for a long time. Now he’s slumming with Night Ranger, and he does the musical Rock of Ages. Good guys, great musicians.

Chad Quist at the airport. On our Hold Me CD, Chad does an intro to It’s Cool that you have to hear to believe. Clean, well thought out, perfectly played.

Milini Khan on the right, Chaka Khan’s daughter. Milini sang with us in Central Park 2003. I wish I could remember the names of the other beautiful people here. That was a magic day.

Janis’ Porsche in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. David Richards painted this car and he did such a good job. John Byrne Cooke is writing a book about his life on the road, and he will have some interesting things to say about this automobile.

Playing a Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone, the same make that John Coltrane played. I played three or four hundred jazz standards at this time, in any key. Played with some wonderful people. The saxophone world is very different from the guitar world.

Rob and Carrie Clores. Aren’t they beautiful? Carrie is a Ford model and a gem of the first water. The last time I saw Rob he was playing with Enrique Iglesias. He’s even played with Big Brother, which proves he’ll play with anyone, and has.

Kate Pierson of the B52s. She came and sang a tune with us in Central Park. Fey, cute, smart.

Glenn Eldric Coleman, architect, old friend from Okinawa days. We’ve known each other a LONG time.

Peigin. I love her name. That’s the Gaelic spelling. Often spelled Pegeen, which makes me think of John Millington Synge’s Playboy of the Western World and another theatre piece, Auntie Mame, two plays that had a character named Pegeen. Peigin is the first real person I have known by this name. She walks along Fourth Street and says the Rosary on her way to St. Vincent de Paul’s where she does charity work.

Peter Kraemer, a very interesting conversationalist with a breadth of knowledge very seldom equaled. Peter’s band Sopwith Camel had the very first hit record in psychedelic San Francisco. Long before us, Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller, anybody.

Janisu Jopurin

John Byrne Cooke. Alistair Cooke’s son, Harvard educated, Western novelist, and the best road manager Big Brother and the Holding Company ever had. Integrity, honesty, intelligence, courage.

A nice Jewish girl. Remember in Blazing Saddles where Harvey Korman’s character is named Hedly LaMarr and every time someone says Hedy, he testily replies “That’s Hedly.” Mel Brooks will do anything for a laugh.

The Carol guitar, with everyone’s signature, now resides in the Hard Rock Café, San Francisco. Strange destiny for a guitar that began on 48th Street in The Rotten Apple.

See you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Broither and the Holding Company


Callow and Shallow

6 February 2011

Cominciamo dal fondo e risaliamo.

Let’s begin at the beginning and reclimb from there.

Elise and Nina Simone’s daughter, Simone, in Central Park, 2003. Simone was such a great singer, calm self possessed, a good mother and a good friend.


I went to sleep this evening, with my sweet woman Elise.

I went to sleep in Marin, with my darling Elise.

She’s my Beamer woman, BMW, if you please.

Blues in Hawaii, Honolulu in old Marin,

Blue in Seattle, but beige in West Marin,

Blues at the shopping mall, the lighting there is such a sin.

We went to a gallery opening, the artist was from Yale,

She played a lot of golf, yes, she learned her craft at Yale,

She was a trust fund baby, and she had it all for sale.

Amber, Debbie, Heather, come tell me bout your blues,

Tell me bout your Facebook, is it giving you the blues?

Amber, Debbie, Heather, you NEED a few more shoes.

This is Telegraph Hill a long time ago. They called it Telegraph, because when a ship would sail through the Golden Gate (no bridge then) a powerful telescope would be trained upon her, and immediately the telegraph would be set in motion to announce her arrival to all merchants and other interested parties down in the Financial District. We are looking at Montgomery Street or Kearney Street up at the hill where the glass was.

If you can’t win, find out what the loser gets.

Joel Hoekstra and Hugh Jackman. Difficult to say which of these two is the more interesting. I have traveled many miles with Joel and found him to be an inspirational companion, very talented, funny, and, really, in his own way, a genius.

When something is too good to be true:

What’s wrong? The kalleh is tzu shayn?

Was ist los? Die Braut ist zu schön?

What is it? The bride is too beautiful?

Standing in church doesn’t make you a holy person any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

The best thing about any kind of success is that you can make others really happy if you use it correctly.

With Ilya and two of my best friends, in Moscow 1995. We had such great talks, great walks, beautiful times together.

How would you like to spend time with people who

give their genitals a name,

wear loafers without socks and have creases in their jeans,

smell like anything but themselves,

say “Knock, knock” when entering a room, and “beep, beep” when someone is in their way?

Old ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) “mnemonic” :

Your rifle’s for shootin’. Your gun’s for fun.

Men can read smaller print than women. Women can hear better than men.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is having the courage and creativity to put that tomato in a fruit salad and make it work.

This is no lie: My wife Elise just brought home a Greek salad that has watermelon instead of tomatoes in it. (Cue Twilight Zone theme.)

(with Rosemary Leary and Robert Altman)

By the way, both potatoes and tomatoes have an ‘e’ in the plural (pace Dan Quayle).

Mickey Fisher with an Austrian zither made in the 1950s. It’s a wonderful instrument, much in common with the accordion.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts. Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts.

The koto, which I heard so often during the two times that I lived in Okinawa, Japan. Banjo, sammisen, National Steel Guitar, all are relatives.

In California they say “I love you,” and it means Fuck you. In New York they say “Fuck you,” and it means I love you. Whaddya want? It’s a Time Zone thing.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Cathy Richardson, Harvey Mandel, Jeff Pekar, Linda Imperial…Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot…

In her last days Gertrude Stein began to resemble a spoiled pear, and she turned into Picasso’s portrait of her, as he predicted she would.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal ideas from many people is still plagiarism, but you have a better chance of accuracy when you “consult” many people.

John, Yoko, Sean, Kyoto. Big Brother and the Holding Company also lived in this town. I loved it here. We played on the dry river bed (Kawaramachi) for the earthquake people of Kobe. I loved being in old Japan, and loved, too, that John Lennon had been here. He had such a great voice. Every thing he sang was a hit. He deprecated his vocal talent when he was alive, but I just love what he did when he sang, always. Everything John sang was convincing, authentic, well formed and most interesting.

Quo signo nata es?

What’s your sign?

In my family the boys were named Sam, Bill, Tom, Dan and Steve. Today those names would be Sumner, Brandon, Tyler, Dakota and Skyler. Is there a moral to this? Probably not.

A holding company is where you hand someone else the merchandise while the Fed investigates you.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. So, why do they call it a convenience station?

Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed. OK, but Joseph Smith? And an angel named Moroni? And gold plates that no one has found? I mean, how did this thing get off the ground? We won’t even mention polygamy.

Photo: Max Clarke

Politics: a way of keeping people away from what is really important to them.

There are bad governments and worse governments. There’s never been a good government. Government is those people in high school who ran for student body president. Remember them?

Are the people who run for president really the best in a country of 300 million? Wow, who’s the lifeguard in charge of THAT gene pool?

Why do we nominate two people to be president, but fifty people to be Miss America? I can think of more than two presidents who missed America completely.

If Roosevelt were alive today, he’d turn over in his grave. (Samuel Goldwyn)

Self control, dignity,  integrity, truth telling, compassion, wise use of one’s time, wisdom, resolution, discipline, accuracy, responsibility, love. Oh, man, just give me one of these.

Visne saltare? Viam Latam Fungosam scio.

Do you want to dance? I know The Funky Broadway.

A shtreimel is that big wide hat that Jews from Galicia or Poland wear. It is one thing to see a bearded man with long payess, a caftan robe and a shtreimel on the subway, but when you meet one in an airport in, say, Dallas, then you really sit up and take notice.

I stole this one from Wesley Freeman:

I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did. (Joe McCarthy)

Ogni mattina quando mi alzavo andavo pieno di speranza a cercare nello specchio la mia svanita giovinezza.

Every morning when I got up, I went to the mirror hoping to find there my faded youth.

Vedevo molte cose in quello specchio.

I saw many things in that mirror.

One never knows, do one? (Fats Waller)

A bank is a place where they will lend you money, if you can prove that you are greedier and richer than the banker.

Whoever said money can’t buy happpiness didn’t know where to shop.

Credit cards are gnawers with almost invisible teeth. Pay them off if you can. That would be your best investment. It would take you a long time to find a stock that would pay you 18 % interest.

When I think of Nürnberg, the absolute first thing that comes to mind is Albrecht Dürer. I visited his house last time I was there, and actually pulled a print on a press upstairs. This here is a different Nürnberg, where criminals from the 1940s were tried. An excellent film, mostly suppressed when it was made because England, France, USA, Russia wanted to support The New Germany and not make waves. Elise and I saw The King’s Speech recently and were reminded that Wallis Simpson actually consorted with General von Ribbentrop, one of the leading characters here. Puta americana.

Want to start exercising again? Miss a couple of car payments.

What does he do? He sits around all day looking at his pupik.

There is a guy in San Rafael, California, who sells cars. His name is Mike Hunt. The very excellent musician who scores many Woody Allen films is Dick Hyman. These are very courageous people. Imagine a woman asking for one of them on the phone? “Hello, I’d like to talk to Mike Hunt, please?”

In Ireland a writer is looked upon as a failed conversationalist.

Why does someone believe you when you say that there are four billion stars, when it has been recently reported by scientists that there are really six billion, and when any rational person would conclude that the number is far greater than that?

I can sign autographs faster than Kris Kristofferson.

Playing at the Last Day Saloon with John Wedemeyer and Jo Baker, not pictured here. This was probably Jo’s last gig. We had a lot of fun on this one.

There are a lot of people named Rice. There’s even a university named Rice. I was in an actors’ group with author Anne Rice when we were eighteen. Why is no one named Corn?

The only thing you get from rubbing elbows with the rich is a hole in your sleeve.

Anyone who says “the good old days” doesn’t have a good memory.

Have I said this before?

This is the scene of my very first television appearance as a musician. AFRTS Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Okinawa, Japan. We were the house band here.

I don’t have a tattoo for the same reason that I don’t have a bumper sticker.

I have traveled all my life. Most places, when you get to them, are different from what you imagined. Not Vermont. Vermont was exactly as I imagined it would be.

Talking of traveling, here we are backstage in Ko Samui, Thailand: Sophia, Alan, Sam, Elise, Eugene. Good times.

Why do people complain about how much athletes earn? If there were two Barry Bonds each of them would make one half what Barry Bonds makes, but there aren’t two. On the other hand, I can’t believe how much time people waste on sports. I apologize to posterity for living in an age where football, for example, is considered a worthwhile pursuit.

Baseball is what we were. Football is what we have become. (Mary Mcgrory)

When was the last time someone called you “Bub?” How about “Mac?”

What rhymes with orange? What rhymes with nostril?

Pennsylvania Dutch aren’t Dutch, they’re Deutsch. German.

NASCAR: the slow watching the fast.

Wouldn’t it be funny if you went to group therapy and Big Brother and the Holding Company were there? Trying to imitate Mettalica?

Et nunc abeo. Die dulci fruere.

Hello, I must be going.

¡ Que tengas un buen día !

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


30 January 2011

Mi ricordo, or as Federico Fellini would say, in his dialect, Amarcord.


People used to tell me, “Janis, you were so good last night, that was such a good time,” and, I’d say, “Was I? I wish I could remember that.”

A car hit an elderly man. The paramedic says, ‘Are you comfortable? ‘ The man says, ‘I make a good living.’

Equilíbríbrio en el mundo. Busquemos que así sea! En el mundo interior, en el mundo exterior y en el mundo intermedio que integra el Todo. Feliz semana!

Some balance in the world. Let’s look for it to be there. The inside world, the outside world and the world that ties us all together. A good week to all of you.

Doctor: ‘You’ll live to be 69!’

Patient: ‘I AM 69!’

Doctor: ‘See! What did I tell you?’

Shirley Piliwale, Elise’s aunt. Her stage name was Varoa Tiki and she could scat sing like Ella Fitzgerald. Shirley played eighteen instruments in the hotels of Hawaii in the 50s and 60s. The entire Piliwale family were musicians. They played a Hawaiian lounge show in Las Vegas and they would take Elise along with them. Elise’s father Lui was also multi talented. He was a dancer, painter, singer, novelist, musician. Quite a family. I’m listening to Shirley Piliwale sing Moonlight in Vermont now. There are many photographs of her with Jack Benny, Bob Hope, et alia. She was a beautiful woman. She died in 2008 at 77. Aloha, Shirley.

Guy calls his mother in Florida , “’Mom, how are you?’”

“Not too good,’”  said the mother. “I’ve been very weak. “

Son says, “Why are you so weak?’”

She said,”’Because I haven’t eaten in 38 days.”

Son:  “That’s terrible. Why haven’t you eaten in 38 days?’”

The mother answered, “Because I didn’t want my mouth to be filled with food if you should call.”

This is Bob Dill, the Singing Pickle, in The Quonset Hut, Nashville. My brother Dan sent me such a great item about The Hut. Thank you, Dan.

In Texas for mohel or moel, they say “mole.” Moel in “Standard English” usually rhymes with Doyle. The British say “mole.” Peter Sellars said “mole.” The rabbi gets the fees, but the mohel gets the tips. I’m circumcised, but I wager that this strange rite is falling into disuse among the general population. Doctor Dean Edell, just to name one physician, went on a long crusade against young males losing the tip of their penis first thing after they were born. A bizarre and outmoded procedure. Like clipping the ears and tails of Doberman Pinschers. Relics of an unfeeling age.

Sam Levy was driving down the road, gets pulled over by a policeman.

Walking up to Sam’s car, the policeman says, ‘Your wife fell out of the

car five miles back.’

Sam replies, ‘Thank god for that… I thought I’d gone deaf!’

Antonio Pigafetta sailed around the world on the very first world circumnavigation with Fernão de Magalhaes (Magellan), wrote a wonderful journal of his travels and came home to Vicenza, Italy, at last. He put a plaque on the front of his house. It’s still there. “Il n’est rose sans épines.” (There is no rose without thorns.) Signore Pigafetta died in 1535 in Vicenza. If only he would have lived 500 years more, he could have met Antea Salmaso, poor guy.

Nescio quomodo illud in sinum meum intraverit.

I don’t know how that got into my pocket.

A Peter Albin joke:

My wild oats have turned into Maalox, prunes and All-Bran.

I wrote earlier that while Big Brother and the Holding Company were in Saint Dié, France, we stayed in Le Globe, a hotel with an Amerigo Vespucci room. There was an imprimerie (printing shop) in Saint Dié where it was decided to name our continent America after the Florentine explorer. A footnote to that story is that Amerigo Vespucci had a sister Simonetta who was a model. Botticelli used her in The Birth of Venus and Piero di Cosimo painted her many times.

Better ten enemies than one nebbish.

Be’ , non era un bello spettacolo.

Well, not the prettiest thing you would want to see.

I’m listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing “I’m Making Believe” with The Inkspots.

I finally got it all together, and now I can’t pick it up. (Erma Bombeck?)

Boogie In The Dark (Jimmy Reed). What is it that makes this man so interesting? He was all we wanted to know about when we were sixteen. His music was simple and deep at the same time, original, perfect. We all copied him. I understand why now more than ever.

Brook Benton recording at The Quonset Hut, Nashville. (Thanks to Dan Andrew for this.)

On my first day on this earth, I was in bed with a beautiful woman.

If you want to write a hit song, write a guitar line that is simple and convincing, so that a 14 year old would want to play it. Easy, right?

Fac ut gaudeat.

Let her be happy.

This place was so remote. Mary Bridget Davies and I drove here from Frankfort. At least, I think it was Frankfort. We had no maps and we just asked people along the way till we found it. We played the gig that night, wonderful gig, and, through a misunderstanding, I abandoned her and drove home to the hotel in Gfällmühle. So, Mary had to find her way home in a country she didn’t know by asking directions in a language she didn’t know. Life on the road.

You know, it’s strange, I’ve never seen judgment at all inhibited by knowledge, talent, insight. In fact, it seems  the less you have of each of these, the better qualified you think you are to judge someone else.

Ben Nieves. Ben = son in Hebrew. Nieves = snows in Spanish. What does this mean? Not a damn thing, but names are fascinating. They have their own life.

Sophia Ramos, for example, means “Wisdom bouquet.”

Molte anni fa, quando ero giovane e scapolo, andavao matto per le ragazze.

Many years ago, when I was young and single, I was crazy for women.

Into each life some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine.

The Inkspots with Ella Fitzgerald.

Photograph: Max Clarke

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

Oyster, a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

From the church bulletin:

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM.

Please use the back door.

Coming Home (Elmore James)

History teaches us that every day is beautiful, shining, and that Elmore James is a badass guitar player.

Pack Up Your Sins And Go To The Devil (Ella Fitzgerald)

They called him Bird because he flew up so high above the chord changes.

Church announcement:

The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David, the  sin of Rev. and Mrs. Adams.

Put this on my tombstone:

It’s All Over My Head.

Watch My Dust.

Or, in case I wish to be cremated:

What a burn.

Remains To Be Seen.

Conversation on the San Geronimo Valley golf course:

I play in the low 70s.

Me too, but any colder and I go inside.

Maybe just once someone will call me “Sir” without adding, “You’re making a scene.” (Last time this happened I was asking for $ 25 in Tucson so I could go home from the gig on a bus instead of having to walk.) Guess what? I walked. I only wish I could have persuaded my agent to have taken fifteen per cent of that walk.

Two old guys meet on the street:


You’re telling me!

Perhaps worth noting from the 17 January 2011 New Yorker, page 32:

(Happiness) happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you are playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us  covertly every day and year.

Su questo punto ogni uomo deve decidere da sé.

About this matter every person should decide for her/himself.

God, if there is a god, created a universe so grand that we cannot even imagine it, so eternal that we can’t even dream it. Just last week scientists decided that there are certain black holes where time itself stops.  Do you think such a god, if there is such a god, would reveal herself to a person on cable television with a sloppy sentimentality and a bad haircut?

Televangelists: the pro wrestlers of religion.

Caress Me, Baby by Jimmy Reed. Do you know this tune? This is as funky and soulful as it gets.

AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked

“intellectual leadership.” He received a $26 million severance package.

Perhaps it’s not Walter who’s lacking intellectual leadership.

A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Stop, and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

Muddy Waters: Rollin’ Stone.


1. He went into His Father’s business

2. He lived at home until he was 33

3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother was sure

he was God.

This image here is reassuring because:

1.     Jesus has blue eyes.

2.     Jesus has white skin.

3.     Jesus has soft, wavy blonde/brown hair.

4.     Jesus is obviously Anglo-Saxon, thank god.

In the film Avalon (directed by Barry Levinson) there is this line:

“The only Jew they will let in their house is the one nailed on a cross.”

Little  Rain: Jimmy Reed

You just have to hear this guy to realize how great he is.

When I was 14, I wanted to BE Jimmy Reed.

Asked at a library:

Do you have any photographs  of dinosaurs?

Well, only myself with Big Brother, why, you want a date?

Rachmones (Compassion) comes from the Hebrew for  “a mother’s womb” (rechem). We are all connected. There are times when we may not want to be, but we are.

Where were you born?

Hmm, I was so young then. I’m not sure I remember.

Fino all’età di quattro anni, ho ignorato la differenza fra i sessi.

I didn’t know the difference between boys and girls until I was four years  old.


Evangelist     Evil’s Agent

I am a deeply superficial person. (Andy Warhol)

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer: I would not live forever, because we should not live forever,

because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live

forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever.

-Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss Universe contest

At twelve noon, the natives swoon, and no further work is done,

But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday, out in the midday,

Out in the midday sun.     (Noël Coward)

He frantically calls the hospital: My wife’s contractions are only two minutes apart.

Is this her first child?

No, this is her husband!

Dicisne hoc opus artem esse? Quivis infans rem meliorem facere potest.

You call this art? Any baby could do better.

Well, goodbye, everyone. Do me a favor and don’t take any of this too seriously.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company



23 January 2011

Janis (Photograph: Dale Burkhardt)

Robert Altman with that guy who wrote Me and Bobby McGee.

Lucas, Jen, Danielle in a truly relaxed interlude chez nous.

Janis advertising our favorite beverage at that time.

What Wednesdays look like at Aroma Café. I love these people.

Tara Degl’Innocenti borrowing a pose.

An Aroma Café couple, happy, ready for today and tomorrow.

This is an ant holding a micro chip, just to give you some idea of how strong the ant mandibles are. This is magnified 22 times.

Angela Sambrano, a very happy girl, comes to see me with her father, Gil at Aroma Café.

Arianna Antinori and I in Vicenza, Italy, enjoying the moment.

Home of Janis. She lived here with her dog, her cat, her simple life.

This beautiful pair, this crafty couple, this this truly happy and inspiring duo.

Of course this is the Ur Pietà. Michelangelo, 24 years old, conceived, crafted and carved this in a year.

Tara Degl’Innocenti in Bergamo, Italy.

Notice how The Nile is as wide as one arm of The Persian Gulf. You can see Mount Sinai and Palestine and Israel from here. “The Holy Land.” Three religions have fought each other over this real estate for thousands of years. Three or four or five religions and systems of belief. This has gone on for so long. Right or wrong are just ridiculous concepts by now. This whole area that you see is torn by constant strife, sorrow, bleeding, thirst, battles, contests of will, Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad, unbelievable. And, I mean that literally. Unbelievable.

Doesn’t it look as if all the water could run off the globe here? What holds all the water on here. Gravity? What is gravity, really, what is gravity? This  is an incredible photo that I appropriated from Wesley Freeman, who notes that Taiwan is on the left, very clearly visible, and that Okinawa is up there on the left hidden under the clouds. What a small place we call home.

Ahhh, for the old days when they did tattoos with  piece of split bamboo dipped in India ink. Atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Please don’t let television commercials be any indication of who we are as a people.

Instead of a spelling bee, let’s have a contest to decide who would do the right thing in a situation, an ethics bee. Bad as our spelling is, our sense of ethics needs much more work.

Per un momento ebbi paura che scoppiassero in un applauso.

There for a minute I was afraid they would break out into applause.

I am almost 20 degrees Celsius old.

I have a natural inclination towards service to others. I always wanted to be a shabbes Goy.

So, how’s that hype thing workin’ out for ya?

Sarah Song (Last night I thought of you. At least I think it was you.)

I saw her just last Easter,

Still had her sense of humor,

Sitting on her kiester,

Right on that swollen tumor.

She said her name was Tonto,

She needs no surgery,

Said she loved Toronto,

Committed perjury.

You know she’d been manhandled,

By several Hindi nudists,

She never would panhandle,

With any kind of Buddhist.

Beloved by her creditors,

Who wanted her brand new pickup,

Eluding all those predators,

Without a single hiccup.

She ran into a mobster,

Who used her for a doormat,

And stuffed her with his lobster,

And made her be his floormat.

It was a tragic ending,

She was decaffeinated,

Shot and hot and bending,

Finally vaccinated.___________________

Vah! Denuone latine loquebar?

Oops, was I speaking Latin again?

New Year’s. How late can you say Happy 2011? I started around the Winter Solstice. Happy New Year!  I’m still saying Happy 2011, but it’s beginning to pall a bit. You think July is too late to stop saying Happy New Year?

I have lots of Pileated Woodpeckers around my house. They all sound like Woody. You know what a woodpecker is, right? It’s a 17th century prosthetic device.

Bills come through the mail way faster than checks do.

If you have a tattoo you can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery. At least I’ve always heard that. I am at peace with this, because, a.)  I don’t have a tattoo, b.) I am going to be cremated, and, c.)  I’m not Jewish.

Pisha Paysha: card game played by two, one of whom is usually a child.  A version of the English game Pitch Patience.

Not so blank verse:

Moths are crazy. It’s obvious that they have no idea what they’re doing. Flying madly this way and that, they torture the cat. I don’t like that. Moths have no direction in life. Unless it’s to my wife. She jumps and screams and has bad dreams, all because of a misled moth, zigging and zagging to and froth. Crazy moth. I’m waxing wroth.

I don’t deserve to have such a happy and lucky life, but I’m going to die and I don’t deserve that either. So, eh?, win some, lose some.

No man knows what his wife is like until they have gone through some very hard times together. Fortunately such opportunities are seldom lacking.

The good news, we hope, is that only very old, very square, very ignorant people use these terms:

queers, goys, rednecks, bean counters, dagos, gringos, apples (red on the outside, white on the inside), yids, guineas, roundeyes, kikes, curry-slurpers, ofays, gals, anglos, spicks, square-heads, broads, güeros, alter kackers, honkies, cunts, sheenies, bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside), college white guys, schwartzes, shkutzim (plural of sheigetz), fags, sassenachs (Scotland – an English person, honky), bitches, wops, wetbacks, niggers, camel jockeys, whiteys, beaners, towel heads, let’s see, I haven’t left anyone out, have I?   (Sam gaviota)

Tova toireh mikol sechoireh.

Learning is the best merchandise.

Cher and Cher alike:

Of all the sexual aberrations, perhaps the most peculiar is Chastity.

Nullae satisfactionis potiri non possum.

I can’t get no…satisfaction.

Sancho Panza: reality, bore, good, whore.

Don Quixote: dreams, crashes, irresponsible, flashes.

When she invented the wheel, someone probably shouted, “Oh, my god, this is the end of life as we know it!”


Hey, I want to talk to you up close and personal. LOL.

I have a lot on my plate now, but, check it out, works for me.

Ya gotta love it, hey, sounds like a plan, man, you know the drill.

Been there, done that, dude, don’t try this at home.

That rocks totally. Humoungus, awesome.

Easy for you to say. Get with the program, bro, the whole nine yards.

Well, hey, bud, cut to the chase. In your face, lean and mean.

Take no prisoners, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to suss out what I be talkin’ bout. We be boogie, as we speak.

I’m own pop a cap in yo ass, mofo, cause, hey, be some shit.

No problemo. Work with me heah.

Correcta-mundo, hombre, we’re on the same page, that’s a no brainer.

And I mean that in the nicest possible frickin’ way.

No biggie.

You’re a tough act to follow, but don’t give up your day job.

What’s wrong with this picture, José? Ciao, my man.

Yeah, catch you later and tell us how you really feel.

Later. Later. Bye.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


All the Best to You in 2011

16 January 2011

I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.

Money isn’t everything, but no money is nothing.

What is the only food that doesn’t spoil?   Honey.

Mellita, domi adsum!

Honey, I’m home!

All reports are in:  Life is now officially unfair.

Man was god’s second mistake.

It’s going to be 11 11 11 again this year this century. One hundred years ago, that number, the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” was the date of the signing of the Armistice, the end of World War One. Happy.

Women and elephants never forget.

Here’s some eleven magic:

111,111,111 X 111,111,111 =  12,345,678,987,654,321.

I used to live in a county called Medina. In Yiddish medina means country, state, province, area, land, domain, area of involvement. Has rather the same meaning in Arabic too. Oh, well, so much for that.

I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

Minime senuisti.

You haven’t aged a bit.

Your life and your career. They’re not the same thing.

There is a 4-watt incandescent light bulb in a fire station in Livermore, California, that has burned now for over one hundred years.

A person who treats you well,  but who is a snob to “underlings” is not a good person.

When it becomes a “movement” or a “trend” it has already gone too far and should be nipped in the bud.

Use a camera a lot and you begin to see the world in a new way.

“How do you see yourself?“  asked of Sarah Palin at her beauty contest.

“In a mirror.”

When I heard this, I let out a kvitch that you could hear in Maspeth.

I’ve read Marcus Aurelius with astonishment and admiration, I’ve devoured Bocaccio and I have read Waiting For Godot forwards and backwards. I have to say that I understood it better backwards.

Latine loqui coactus sum.

I am forced to speak Latin.

Nat King Cole’s Father: The Lord can do anything.

Nat King Cole (age 6): I bet he can’t sit on that hot stove bare naked.

Good advice is very annoying, but it should be forgiven.

from the Church bulletin:

Thursday night Potluck Supper. Prayer and medication to follow.

Don’t let worry kill you, let the church help.

Pesach only comes once a year, but some people ask questions every day.

Letter to  public utilities commission, British division:

I have had the clerk of the works down on the floor six times but I still have no satisfaction.

This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broke and we can’t get BBC2.

You can measure someone by the people he seeks.

Doctor Kervorkian wants to branch out into the music field, but he’s going to have to do it unplugged.  (What? You got a better joke?)

Okinawa 1945

As long as the judge is happy.

I’m healing rapidly and any day now I’ll be myself again, which is a scary thought come to think of it.

Our first house on Okinawa, even earlier than this, looked very much like the quonset hut here.

Guy walks into a tavern with a duck, and shakes it all over the bar.

Bartender says, “Hey, is that Down On Me?”

Duck says, “Put it on my bill.”    (What? You got a better joke?)

Cave canem. Beware of the dog.

How do you use a duck till you use her up?

Keep her in the sun till her Bill Withers.

Do you smoke after sex?

I don’t know, I’ve never looked.

If an economist and an IRS agent were both drowning and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read The Economist?

Thank you for your Father’s day card. It is so good to learn that I am your father. Many fathers could not say anywhere near as much.

A goyische Gentile joke:

A man calls his mother and says, “Mother, I know you had been expecting  me for dinner this evening, but something important has come up and I can’t

make it.”

His mother says: “OK.”

Since I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my last life, why should I believe in it now?

Exercise kills germs, but how do you get something that tiny to exercise?

Meditation. A respectable way of doing nothing.

Eternal Triad of the Spotted Mind:

1. Cover for me.

2. Oh, good idea, boss.

3. Ita erat quando hic adveni. (It was like that when I got here.)

I haven’t believed in a Supreme being since Florence Ballard was kicked out.

Over half the people you know are below average.

Don’t eat snails. Go for the fast food. Fresh veggies.

“There are really only two painters in the world,” she whispered, “you and Dürer.”

“Please,” I replied, “why drag Dürer into this?”

One person, one vote (may not apply in certain states).

Product Warning on a Nytol Sleeping Aid bottle:

Warning: May cause drowsiness.

Found in  fortune cookie:

War not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

I’d like a hot dog, he said frankly.

My wife always laughs during sex, no matter what she’s reading.

On a Texas ranch during hunting season:

One ball said to the other ball. It was Dick who did all the shooting, so why should we hang?

Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks

like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.

Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company



9 January 2011

Janis and Dorothy Joplin.

Shannon Cinnamon McCloud, Trina Baucom, Rico Hanshaw

(Aroma Café 5 January 2011)

Frankie Norstad, excellent photographer, very intelligent, prepossessing.

Kitty the lover, sweet disposition.

The inside cover of How Hard It Is: And of all our friends and lovers, there is no one to compare with you.

American sailors ate cranberries for the same reason that British sailors ate limes, so why aren’t Americans called Crannies?

Sheila and Brian Newick, my book connections. They bring me all manner of delicious, recondite tomes, and they offer them at a more than decent price.

Janis and Sam, 1968, stark, essential, committed.

Gil in Aroma Café does beautiful abstract drawings and paintings.

I don’t want to say we had a wild time in Athens, but…

Did you know that this is how Brussel Sprouts grow? These have been so sweet and delicious.

I graduated from kindergarten on this paradisiacal island, traveled the world, and returned to graduate from high school here. Not many people can make that statement. Perhaps only one person can make that statement.

This is how I arrived on Okinawa. I learned to swim in these seas.

I had a jolt of an idea this week. I want to do a Pietà. I love the composition and the feeling. I am going to depict Elise as The Blessed Mother and me, always modest, as Jesus. This is a Pietà by an unknown master.

Here is Giovanni Bellini’s very beautiful Pietà.

Even Marc Chagall painted a Pietà.

Michael Berube’s up to the minute take on a Pietà.

Some gender tweaking and very well done too.

Superman Pietà.

Balthus can always be counted upon to startle. He called this La Leçon de Guitare, but we know that it’s a Pietà.

Same compositional idea, although this artist probably didn’t think of the Pietà.

Paul probably didn’t either. He’s lefthanded, so sooner or later he’s going to adopt the Pietà position.

Janis and I, 1969 in Frankfort, Deutschland.

He would be out of his depth in a mud puddle.

A normal person is someone you don’t know.

Carol Cavallon, Putney, Vermont, 1972.

Is “I am.” the shortest sentence in the English language?

Rock music has two dynamic levels. Loud and Unbearable.

We are here to laugh, the rest is chaff.

It was such a beautiful day, I hated to get out of bed.

The first novel written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.

Fortune cookie: Passionate kiss like spider web. Soon lead to undoing of fly.

J’ai passé un accord avec les mouches. Elles ne s’occupent pas de mes affaires. Moi, je ne marche pas au plafond.

I’ve reached an agreement with flies. They don’t bother me, and I don’t walk on the ceiling.

Here’s another word that doesn’t exist in English: Koro (Chinese) the hysterical belief that one’s penis is shrinking.

When a company ships styrofoam, what does it pack it in?

What’s another word for thesaurus?

The oldest living animal – the giant turtle – eats no meat.

A child can learn a lot from a dog: friendliness, trust, and how much better things taste once you’ve dragged them around on the ground for a while.

That’s the whole thing in a nutshell, and what a good place for it.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company



2 January 2011

Elise and I drove down to Carefree, Arizona, this week.

We went to visit Peggy Pettigrew Stewart, a talented glass artist with lots of ideas, very creative.

Elise did all the driving.

We drove by a desert where I was with my mother a long time ago.

By this time, near Los Angeles, the shadows lengthened.

It was good to be in the high desert again. Peggy took this photograph.

This is a sculpture I made. Peggy and Lance Polingyouma are going to cast it in glass.

Peggy Pettigrew played keyboards when she lived in Livermore in the 1960s, and her partner Rich Hill played bass.

Peggy has more ideas per minute than anyone.

This is Peggy’s daughter Lisa, who reminds me of Kate Russo a wonderful violinist who plays with Big Brother now and again. That’s Lisa’s boyfriend Nigel, an American Nigel. You don’t see one of those every day.

I’m checking this sculpture for flaws and cracks. We drove her all the way down to Arizona and the ride was sometimes quite bumpy.

This is a glass sculpture that Peggy made of Lance.

My face being cast in plaster. In the 1960s, I knew two women who made plaster casts of an entirely different part of the anatomy.

A glass sculpture that Peggy made of Michael Jackson during his Thriller period.

This is what the sculptures look like in their intermediate stage. Elise and I felt very privileged to visit Peggy’s world and we have plans for a lot of projects with her. Thank you, Peggy, Lance, Ken, Lisa, Nigel, we had a wonderful time.

Husband: Women talk more than men. Here’s a study that shows that men use about 15,000 words a day, and women use 30,000 words a day.

Wife: Well, that’s because women have to repeat everything they say to men.

Husband: What?

The gene pool. Very shallow at one end and there is no lifeguard.

The next time you meet a psychic, ask what is the capital of North Dakota?

The only tune they play in 4/4 is Take Five.

My friends Clark and Zia.

How do you get a guitarist to turn down?

Put a piece of sheet music in front of him.

Spoonerism: And that will be a blushing crow.

Gentleman: Someone who knows how to play rock and roll guitar, and doesn’t.

Music is the purest art. It only expresses itself. (Sam at The Plaza, NYC.)

La tentation d’une belle femme peut causer votre perte, si vous avez de la chance.

The temptation of a beautiful woman can ruin you…if you’’re lucky.

Just take it one day at a time. Unless a whole month crashes in there at once.

Mel Blanc was allergic to carrots.

(What exactly is going on in this photograph between Janis and me?)

Our Eunuch Dreams (oil on panel) work in progress.

Is this Down On Me again?

I preferred the title Archfiend of the Universe, which is what he called himself when we met.

Typical hashish and champagne conversation:

James Gurley and a bit of John Byrne Cooke

Oh, yes, holy, holy, as holy as Saint James:

Actual restaurant dialogue:

Do you serve crabs here?

Yes, we serve anyone.

Do you have frogs’ legs?

No, I walk this way because I have rheumatism.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Confessions of a College White Guy

26 December 2010

Confessions of a College White Guy

What you see is what you get.

One version of happiness is a new kitten.

Feeling is faster than thinking…by far.

ART: you choose and you restate but you don’t quote literally.

Plunge ahead. If you spend a lot of time thinking of all the consequences, you’ll never do it.

Anyone seen on a bus after the age of thirty is either a failure or highly intelligent, or both.

Are there any jokes in the Bible? Leviticus comes close, but no cigar.

Talk is cheap until you hire a lawyer.

If Noah had been truly wise, he would have killed one of those flies.

Every artwork of any value is a self portrait.

If the other person is making no sense at all and you don’t value his opinion, why discuss the matter any further?

An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks almost as much as you do.

The world is run by C students.

After all is said and done, more is said than done.

God made idiots. That was for practice. Then she made politicians.

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

ART: It’s not what, it’s how.

Passengers in this life, on this earth, when you go, leave a  better berth.

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.

I have a dog because I’m too much of a coward to bite people myself.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Write songs that seem simple and inevitable. Not simplistic. Simple.

If you look like the photograph on your driver’s license, you are too crazy to operate a motor vehicle.

If you make an error in painting, you should correct it immediately. The same is true in life.

Envy is a stronger motivator than money.

The mark of a sophisticated person is the absence of snobbery and pretension.

“The good old days.” Anyone who says this doesn’t have a good memory.

Working as a musician or artist has a lot in common with unemployment.

How do you want to be treated? Treat the other person that same way.

Muzak is to music as Prozac is to tranquility.

When you do wrong to someone, you do wrong to yourself.

She liked him because he was the strong, silent type. She thought that meant he was listening.

Cannibals are humanitarians.

If you get a sudden thought to do something generous, do it.

If I had permission to do anything, I wouldn’t want to do anything.

Solitude is the place for creativity. Society the place to build character.

i’m trying to arrange my life so that I don’t even have to be present.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


Winter Solstice 2010: Will The Sun Return?

19 December 2010

In the northern hemisphere, Winter Solstice arrives around 21 December. This is when the day is shortest and the night longest.

The sun will be the lowest in our sky. In Australia this is the Summer Solstice, the day when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn and seems to stand still as summer begins.

Early humans in the northern hemisphere were frightened at “the disappearance of the sun.” Will it come back? Is it gone forever?

This is the time to keep the faith, to turn on all the lights, to persevere through hardship, to believe that the sun will come back, will be reborn.

So, there were all manner of solstice calculations and ceremonies. Stonehenge and the Anasazi spirals are only two of the many, many attempts to understand the death and resurrection of the sun.

Christmas, the Saturnalia in Rome, Hannukah, the Egyptian celebration of the death and rebirth of Osiris on 21 December. all of these are about the Winter Solstice. A time to be watchful and look for the light.

In ancient Egypt, Osiris was put in the tomb at this time, and then, at midnight, the priests came out of a shrine crying, “The Virgin has brought forth. The light is growing stronger.”

In preclassical Greece, the winter solstice ritual was called Lenaea and a man repreasenting Dionysius was actually torn apart and eaten by “wild women.”

In the film Orfeu Negre there is a vivid retelling of the Lenaea rite where the Harpies attack Orpheus and claw him to pieces.

Babylonians and Egyptians had a twelve or thirteen day celebration at the Soltice, the original twelve days of Solstice. This was a festival of renewal, designed to help the god Marduk tame the monsters of chaos for one more year.

Often this is what the Winter Solstice is to me, a time of monsters of chaos. Everything is so dark, and it feels as if the universe narrows, and, yet, it’s only the beginning of winter.

Although the days begin to grow longer the very next few days after the Soltice, still this seems like the starkest, darkest time of the year.

I’m going to try to keep the lights on this year. Does anyone know anything about solar lamps? I might even get one or two of those. Do they even exist? Where does one buy them? Gro-Lamps, grow-drugs-in-the-closet lamps, I just want something that I can put in the lamp by my computer, and that will actually shed a bit of Vitamin D on me. Where may I buy something like this?

Some Buddhists believe that Buddha achieved enlightenment on 8 December and there is a days long festival to celebrate his feat.

In the Bahamas during the Solstice, there is The Junkanoo, a time of parades, masquerades and festivals which probably have a West African origin.

Atheists are beginning to celebrate the solstice.

A somewhat larger view of what “god” means. God means good. In languages descended from Sanskrit, there is a notion of “day” or “light” in the word god. Dieu, dios, deus, dio, Jupiter (Deus Pater), divine. deiformed, deity. “Day” in Latin is “dies.”

So, what would an agnostics’ Winter Solstice ceremony look like? Probably quite beautiful, multifarious, non prosyletizing, non judgmental. That’s one view anyway.

The old pre-Islamic religion in Iran was Zoroastrianism which celebrates the birth of the sun in a festival called Yalda. People get together and eat watermelons and pomegranates. Bonfires are lit outside to help the light grow and return.

One couple’s name for the Winter Solstice? The Hellidays.

So, I am investing in Vitamin D, solar lamps, and, please tell me, what else?

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


One of the Regular, Weird People

I’m one of those regular weird people.  Janis Joplin.

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.   Somerset Maugham.

Listening to music is to the soul, what bathing is to the body.

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. James Morrow.

You don’t finish a painting. You abandon it.

You can’t reason with someone who never used reason to establish what he believes.

Art is a way of imposing a structure where there is no structure.

Friends are like guitar strings; don’t tune them higher than their natural pitch.

Nothing ever changes and yet everything is always completely new.

Don’t threaten me with love, baby, let’s just go walking in the rain.

Billie Holliday

I just hate you and I hate your ass face.  Corky St. Clair.

Rule For All The Arts:

Start at the start. A little bit after the middle, make something big happen. Solve that, and then go on to the end.

If there’s an empty space, just fill it with a line, that’s what I like to do. Even it it’s from another show. Ron Albertson.

We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation.  François de la Rochefoucauld


I’ve been coming to this circle for about five years, and measuring it. The diameter and the circumference are constantly changing, but the radius stays the same. Which brings me to the number 5. There are five letters in the word Blaine. Now, if you mix up the letters in the word Blaine, mix ‘em around, eventually, you’ll come up with Nebali. Nebali. The name of a planet in a galaxy way, way, way… way far away. And another thing. Once you go into that circle, the weather never changes. It is always 67 degrees with a 40% chance of rain.  (Waiting For Guffman)

Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.

André Gide.

The scientific mind often believes that if you name something, that you then understand its cause and effect.

I did it to myself. It wasn’t society. It wasn’t a pusher.  It wasn’t being blind or being black or being poor. It was all my doing.

Ray Charles.  (This is how a real man talks.)

To know the answer,  you must first know the question.

Weak eyes are fondest of glittering objects.  Thomas Carlyle.

We don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone, but we also don’t know what we’ve been missing until it happens.

I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. Niels Bohr.

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise.  Seek what they sought.  Matsuo Basho.

The word “awesome” should describe something momentous like a woman giving birth. “Awesome” to describe how a pizza tastes takes away all that word’s worth and cheapens the word to the point of rendering it useless. Yes, I do know that this is a lost battle. Awesome.

Jazz is not dead. It just smells funny. Frank Zappa.

Love is like war. Easy to begin, but hard to end.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company