1969 – 1972 The Long Slow Slide Down the Other Side.
2-3 February 1969
7 March 1969 Dale Burkhardt attends a Kozmic Blues Band show and snaps this one.
28 March 1969
The Kozmic Blues Band played at The Royal Albert Hall, so to celebrate, I took a bath.
Queen Victoria baptised the Royal Albert Hall in 1871. And now we came to play here almost a hundred years later.
The Royal Albert Hall, or, as the London cabbies call it, Halibut Oil (‘ albut o’l), is in the north part of South Kensington.
We had a splendid time here which put me in a party mood.
The acoustics in this Hall were originally so bad that people said it was the only place where a British composer could be sure of hearing his work twice. Eric came to see us.
Bob Seidemann, old friend of ours, who did one of our album covers, plus the magnificent Blind Faith album, was there. He looks like this now. He didn’t then.
I thought about the people who had spoken and played in this space: Winston Churchill, Wagner, Verdi, Elgar, Rachmaninoff.
In 1969, engineers installed sound bafflings that were known as “mushrooms” or “flying saucers,” and the sound was vastly improved.
Suzy Creamcheese was so sweet to me in so many ways. She took me out to Hampton Court and gave me the royal tour. Suzy, thank you forever.
29 June 1969
20 July 1969 Snooky Flowers and I saw this event on television as it was happening. The Chelsea Hotel, NYC.
8 August 1969 660 Great Highway Tyrannosaurus Rex and Tongue and Groove.
December 1969 At a Stax/Volt party in Memphis with Janis Joplin, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Al Jackson, Jr., Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and Booker T. Jones who is now a San Rafael resident. Duck Dunn died today, 13 May 2012, in his sleep in Tokyo. He was seventy.
25 August 1969
17 October 1969 Austin
18 October 1969 Hemisphere Arena San Antonio Sharrie Gomez and I doing a Macy’s ad.
24 October 1969 I’m listed as playing on this recording, but I’ve never heard it.
Talking god and the universe with Janis and Richard Kermode.
Richard came out of that Hammond B3 jazz scene in Buffalo. A lot of great players including him.
15 November 1969 This was a huge California demonstration against the war in Viet Nam.
19 November 1969 Fillmore West Steve Miller had to cancel this show so Big Brother played it billed as Mumble, Fumble, Jumble and Dumble.
29 December 1969 Geary Theatre 415 Geary Boulevard San Francisco
Janis said, “I don’t look good in this photo, so I’m putting it in just for you.”
Anthony Edman took this photograph of the Carol guitar.
7 February 1970 Encore Theatre Burlingame California
13 February 1970 Pepperland
20-21 February 1970 Great Highway Rhythm Dukes Jerry Miller Bill Champlin
27 February 1970 Alaskaland Civic Center Fairbanks Alaska
5-7 March 1970 Keystone San Francisco
They had some wonderful shows here, but the place was right next door to the police station in North Beach.
13-14 March 1970 New Orleans House Berkeley Horses in Tiburon.
20-22 March 1970 Family Dog at the Great Highway Kaleidoscope Devil’s Kitchen
28-29 March 1970 Lion’s Share San Anselmo California
4 April 1970 Fillmore West Janis joins us for this one. James Gurley.
This photograph seems to be very heraldic of the 1970s. My overheated imagination sees mistrust here, matters gone awry, loss of faith, paranoia, alienation, loneliness. Am I being carried away ? Probably. Was it a weird time ? It certainly was. Richard Kermode Linda Gravenites Janis George Ostrow Bobby Neuwirth
7-9 April 1970 Matrix
12 April 1970 Winterland Kathi McDonald Nick Gravenites Mike Finnegan David Shallock We had a GOOD band.
23-24 April 1970 Inn of the Beginning Cotati California James Gurley. He’s big, huge.
1 May 1970 Family Dog Great Highway San Francisco I think this is a Randy Tuten poster.
8 May 1970 Merced Fairgrounds Merced California
15 May 1970 City Center Kelowna British Columbia
Kelowna is a vacation spot in British Columbia, on the east side of the Okanagan Valley.
16-17 May 1970 Strawberry Mountain Fair Mission British Columbia
20 May 1970 Pauley Ballroom University of California Berkeley
21 May 1970 Pepperland Bermuda Palms San Rafael California Full Tilt Grateful Dead
With the amazing Meyer sound system.
The event is memorable for many reasons.
This is a Hells Angels party to begin with, so the money will be straight and the sound system excellent.
There will also be more drugs and alcohol than would seem to be prudent.
This will be the first time that Janis’ old band and her new band will be at the same venue, so everyone is a little on edge.
Not exactly a battle of the bands, but not exactly not one either. Janis gets into a fight with an Angel and he punches her. She breaks a bottle over his head. This is the peace and love crowd.
22 May 1970 Keystone Korner Berkeley
29 May 1970 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
9 June 1970 Diamond Head Crater Festival Hawaii
8 June 1970 The Andrews Amphitheater Hawaii This place is used for commencement exercises for the University of Hawaii. I was proud to play here.
My wife is Hawaiian. More Hawaiian blood, as a matter of fact, than most Hawaiians. Here she is with Grant Jacobs, Richard Hundgen, and I wish I knew her name, she has a lovely smile.
The equipment managers that we had at that time, forty years ago, decided to jump ship and become Hawaiian. They are there still.
And of course our President was born there in the same hospital, Queens Hospital, as my wife. Either there or in Kenya, I forget which. Depends on whom you ask, someone who actually knows something, or someone who is incredibly ignorant and backward. President Obama went to Puniho High School, and so did Jonelle DeNike, here with her husband Howard in Paris, old friends from University of San Francisco days.
This proportion may surprise you. It did me, almost as difficult as realizing that the eyes are half way down the head instead of near the top where children draw them.
10 June 1970 Kahului Armory Maui Hawaii
Also called the Pu’unene Armory.
Maui is the island without a military base, so they just had to build an armory here.
My father was in the Air Force, and so I was raised in places like this. Still, it does seem like a rather Spinal Tap place to have a concert.
Remember in Spinal Tap when the lieutenant (Fred Willard), looking at his watch says, “I make it, oh, 1830 hours now, so why don’t you go on about 1900 ?”
And Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) says, “You mean it’s seventy hours until we play ?”
13-14 June 1970 Portland Music & Art Fair Portland Oregon
17 June 1970 Convention Center Las Vegas
19 June 1970 Terrace Ballroom Salt Lake City I have a cassette tape of this gig. We actually played all that music.
26 June 1970 Junction Night Club Kelker Colorado
3-5 July 1970 Euphoria San Rafael California Another Randy Tuten poster.
11 July 1970 Sports Arena San Diego Full Tilt Boogie Band I remember flying home with Janis, Nick Gravenites, Mike Bloomfield et alia from this one. Bloomers was on a roll. He was ranting in that special Bloomfieldian style about taping two baloons full of lukewarm water to a bathroom mirror and masturbating into the sink. You know, typical inflight conversation. It was something else to have Big Brother and Full Tilt in that same small tight space. Good thing we all loved each other. Of course, in those days you could smoke and the flight attendants wore miniskirts. If I remember correctly, there was even a piano bar upstairs. Seat belts were only for taking off and landing, and sometimes not even then.
17 July 1970 Love Valley Festival Love Valley North Carolina There was a counterfeit Big Brother running around about this time. Maybe they played this one ?
I always thought, “Why in the world would anyone want to counterfeit us, when they could just go ahead and be themselves ?”
I mean, it couldn’t be for the money, because we weren’t making any, so how could they ?
Might as well be yourself, as Oscar Wilde noted, everyone else is taken.
31 July 1970 Phoenix Veterans Coliseum Arizona
6 August 1970 Peace Festival Shea Stadium Flushing Meadows New York
13-15 August 1970 Fillmore West San Francisco Commander Cody George Frayne, one of my favorite people. Good artist too.
18-19 August 1970 The Matrix San Francisco No, he wasn’t on the gig, but I love the way he sings, so here he is. Paul supposedly came to the Matrix to see us one time, but when we met him, we asked him about it and he said he wasn’t lucky enough to be there.
26 August 1970 Washoe County Fairgrounds
28 August 1970 Sing Auditorium San Bernardino Mary Swope took this photograph.
25 September 1970 Saginaw Auditorium Michigan
3-5 October 1970 Euphoria San Rafael California
4 October 1970 The Landmark Motel Hollywood A British writer just interviewed me from the very room. He mentioned all of the scrawlings on the bedroom closet wall.
Swimming in the pool, yelling up to the rooms, “Hey, come on down ! Bring Mary Jane with you, OK?”
6-7 October 1970 The Matrix Blues for an old friend.
23 October 1970 Basin Street West Omigawd, we substituted for Sarah Vaughan ? I wonder how that worked ? I can’t remember, but I do know that Combination of the Two doesn’t sound a lot like Over The Rainbow.
26 October 1970 Lion’s Share The Drinks Are On Pearl.
Janis left $ 2,500, a lot of money then, for us to have a party in her honor. We did it right. Music and dancing all night.
27-29 October 1970 The Matrix
30 October 1970 46th Street Rock Palace Brooklyn
2 November 1970 Harding Theatre San Francisco
20-21 November 1970 Winterland San Francisco
5 December 1970 The Birmingham Palladium Detroit
We all signed this one. I was with Carol Cavallon when I bought this guitar on 48th Street, Manhattan, across the street from Manny’s.
8-9 January 1971 Fillmore East Buddy Miles Sweetwater I loved the way Buddy looked when he was on the drums.
17 January 1971 Syria Mosque University of Pittsburgh
18-19 January 1971 Ungano’s New York City
20 January 1971 Capitol Theatre Port Chester New York Carol Cavallon Putney Vermont
29-30 January 1971 ”El Monte” always makes me think of Reuben and the Jets, Frank Zappa.
4 February 1971 Inn of the Beginning Cotati California
13 February 1971 Pepperland 737 East Francisco Boulevard San Rafael California
Whitey Litchfield, millionaire construction magnate, created Litchfield’s Bermuda Palms in the late 1940s. This was “California’s Las Vegas.” I mentioned before that I had played tenor saxophone in numerous big band rehearsals here, little dreaming at the time that Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many other stars of the 1940s had played in that same room.
20-21 February 1971 Pepperland
23 February 1971 Broadcast of television series The Turned On Crisis including an episode with Big Brother: Why Can’t You Hear Through The Noise in Your Ear.
6 March 1971 Shasta College
12-13 March 1971 Friends and Relations Hall Great Highway San Francisco Kathi McDonald.
Also on this gig: Clover I see Alex Call Huey Lewis John McFee Sean Hopper
25 March 1971 New Monk Berkeley
The New Monk was in Berkeley where Shattuck and University make a T. 2119 University. It was a funky place. Freddie Herrera bought it in August of 1971, and it became the Keystone Berkeley in March 1972. I think that this expression could fairly be called supercilious. Or even supersillyious.
9-10 April 1971 Friends and Relations Hall Kathi McDonald, one of the best singers ever… and the funniest.
15 April 1971 Inn of the Beginning Cotati California
19 April 1971 Friends and Relations Hall Hubert Sumlin Snooky Flowers Rich Kirch Freddie Roulette
22-23 April 1971 Bimbo’s San Francisco
24 April 1971 Peace Rally Golden Gate Park
Always a good idea.
26 April 1971 Sonoma WELL ! We know when we’re not wanted. We left in a huff. (Actually, it was a Buick.)
7 May 1971 California Hall San Francisco
17 May 1971 New Monk
21 May 1971 Keystone Nick Gravenites
28 May 1971 Selland Arena Fresno California B.B. King Elvin Bishop Elvin liked to play poker after a gig.
10 June 1971 Fox Theatre Long Beach
9 July 1971 Harlingen Texas
August 1971 Release of How Hard It Is
We had a great B3 player on this one, Mike Finnegan, who can sing as well as he can play. He recorded Buried Alive In The Blues with us and we should release that someday. It’s definitely the best version of that song.
Mike went on to play with everyone, including Joe Cocker performing here on American Idol, another of Rupert Murdoch’s panderings to the lowest common denominator. But, as Mike says, “A gig is a gig.” Hey, maybe Kacee Clanton was on this one too ? I think she was.
9 October 1971 Monterey Fairgrounds Clover Jon Sievert took this one.
7 November 1971 Trying to guard Kathi. Can you hear me barking ?
12 November 1971 Winterland
13 November 1971
9-11 December 1971 Inn of the Beginning Cotati California
31 December 1971 Many photographs of this guitar because she is gone now, playing the Hard Rock Café circuit.
1 January 1972
14 January 1972
30 January 1972 Curtis Hall Tampa Florida Sam Lee Bittner Kathi McDonald Mike Pendergrass Peter Albin
13 February 1972 Mama Einstein’s What do you want ? I was the only one left.
15 February 1972 Valentine’s party The Boathouse Harding Road San Francisco You know, out by Lake Merced.
19 February 1972 University of Iowa Iowa City Allman Brothers Vivid memories of partying with these guys. They had a couple of revolvers from the Civil War. Confederate, of course.
26 February 1972 American Legion Hall Merced California
19 March 1972 You have to watch these rock writers all the time. Kathi was our new singer, not Elvin’s.
13 April 1972
22 or 23 April 1972 Dubuque & Court Street Party Iowa City
Kathi and I went out partying in an old farmhouse, deserted, crackly, in the middle of a cornfield. It seemed as if we were there for days.
25 April 1972 Iowa Wesleyan Fayetteville Iowa
29 April 1972 Upper Iowa Mt. Pleasant
1-2 May 1972 Ace Beer Garden Iowa City
June 1972 Pioneer High School Whittier California
2 June 1972 Fort Homer Hesterly Armory Tampa
June 1972 Schererville Illinois Blue Oyster Cult. These guys were great to hang with. Hysterical as a matter of fact.
June 1972 Catholic High School Niles Illinois
June 1972 Romeoville Roller Rink Romeoville Illinois
15 June 1972 Hersey High School Arlington Heights Illinois
June 1972 Grande Ballroom Detroit
June/July 1972 Louisiana Life becomes quite fuzzy along about now. Note that there are often no specific dates for these events.
July 1972 Miami Spirit
22 July 1972 Marine World Redwood City California I love mingling with wild life, marine or otherwise.
4 September 1972
17 September 1972 A slice of life in the 70s. If you read between the lines, this pretty much says it all.
9 October 1972 Berkeley Folk Music Festival Big Mama Thornton Earl Collins Silver String Macedonian Band Frontier
24 November 1972 Marin County Civic Center Auditorium Quicksilver Clover Yogi Phlegm A Cold Turkey Rock Party
Clover ! Johnny Ciambotti. John McFee is there. Mitch Howe. Alex Call. Huey Lewis. Sean Hopper. Good band. Alex has a beautiful voice.
And, talking of Marin musicians, this is one who has been an inspiration to me for years: Terry Haggerty.
Somewhere in my personal effects I have a Local # Six Musicians’ Union directory from the 1950s. Terry’s father is in there along with Paul Desmond and many other noteworthy players from that era.
Terry and David Shallock came to my house in Fairfax one day, and they did a smokin’ version of Frosty, the Snowman. It was so great to hear that. Especially in August.
It’s the whole person, though, you know ? Terry is a great guitar player, one of the best, but it’s as a human being that he shines brightest.
Thank you for being here, and I’ll see you in a week.
Big Brother and the Holding Company