Part One: We’re going to Illinois

3 July 2011


Backstage in Thailand: Sophia Ramos, Alan Sadd, Sam Andrew, Elise Piliwale, Eugene Skuratowicz.


The infinity character on the keyboard is called the lemniscate.


Sleeping bees.


It is wise to be ignorant of things not worth knowing.


If you have a new car, get the brakes checked once a year. With a more mature model, every six months.


At 151 West 34th Street and Broadway (Herald Square), New York, on 8 November 1902, Macy’s opened its new flagship store becoming “The World’s Largest Store.”


Stela Mandel and Fred Nocella, good artists.


This is the day we found Sopia Ramos who is standing all the way on the left. For some reason, the man who is kneeling center decided that he wanted a lot of women to do “Janis Joplin” songs for his Summer Stage series in Central Park 2003. So he assembled these fine singers and then put Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Kozmic Blues Band together to accompany them. The afternoon worked well and we met some wonderful people. Sophia came on, sang Ball and Chain, and stopped the show. i just couldn’t believe how good she was and I hired her for our next gig. Milini Khan, Chaka Khan’s daughter, is here, bent knees near center. Simone, Nina Simone’s daughter, is second from right. It was so much fun working with all these people, not to mention being reunited with some of the Kozmic Blues Band guys for the first time since 1970.


i was surprised when I started getting old. I thought it just happened to other people. I bet dying is like that too.


On a tombstone:

Invicem Res Bona Est Non Plus Dentharpagarum.

(On the other hand, the good news is no more dentistry.)


Margaret and Michael Joplin.


Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons. His mother was a sixteen year old beauty queen. His best friend growing up was Harper Lee, the fair haired tomboy, who would later write To Kill A Mockingbird.


How Susan Zelinsky keeps from being bored backstage.


Quizzify (to cause to look odd). If this word were stretched across two triple word scores in Scrabble, it would total 419 points, including the 50 point bonus and the double letter bonus for the z.


Sam Andrew, Lisa Battle, Kate Russo.


Bruce Conforth has on his Facebook page a list of events that the media are more or less ignoring. This is one of them:

Members of Congress continue to mention Christians as a threat to national security. For example, during a recent congressional hearing, U.S. Repreentative Sheila Jackson Lee warned that “Christian militants” might try to “bring down the country” and that such groups need to be investigated. Fanaticism and fundamentalism must be closely watched no matter what comforting and familial masks they may wear.


Human beings and the two toed sloth are the only land animals that typically mate face to face.


At 88, on Christmas day 1977, Charlie Chaplin died of “old age” at his estate in Switzerland overlooking Lake Geneva. March 1978, a Pole and a Bulgarian took Charlie’s coffin with him in it and demanded a ransom of $ 600,000. The Pole, who was the brains of the operation, stayed on the phone with Charlie’s widow Oona so long that police were able to trace his call, and the two geniuses were arrested. The Bulgarian was given a suspended sentence, and the mastermind of the kidnapping was jailed for four years.


I love this. The man with the theodolite, the deer, the banjo, the Martin guitar. This is the real Woodstock.


When a Senator dies, the governor of the state fills the vacancy by an appointment, but the Constitution (Article I, Section 2) requires that members of the House be chosen “by the People of the several states.”


Seals can sleep underwater and surface for air without even waking.


Pieter Brueghel did a painting (Childrens’ Games 1560) showing children of his time playing at spinning hoops, patting mud pies, tossing jacks, dressing dolls, teetering on stilts, shooting marbles and other activities. Many of these games were thousands of years old then. Hide and Seek, as I see from watcihing my cat play it, is older than humans.


Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.


“You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” President William Howard Taft said this in a speech in 1909, but this line has been credited to the revolutionary Robespierre (1758-1794), Napoleon, Josef Stalin, Richard Nixon, and several other rascals.


Guadagnava molto facendo divertire la gente, ma la sua più cospicua fonte di introiti era il gioco.

He earned a lot by making people have fun, but his most conspicuous entrée was card playing.


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”    Franklin Delanlo Roosevelt, second inaugural address, 1937.


The Sam Andrew Band, Houston, Texas. Clayton Dyess (on the right) played with Dizzy Gillespie.


John Cipollina, maybe at The Santa Venitia Armory, 1967.


During conscription for World War II, there were nine documented cases of men with three testicles.


Calling card, 1860.


Julie Knight, Christopher Skura, Muir Woods, California.


A decibel (dB) is a logarithmic measure of sound intensity. Zero dB represents the quietest sound that a normal human can hear. A jet airliner 500 feet overhead is about 115 dB, and rock music? Maybe 110? It varies. In the right circumstances, even Lawrence Welk or Burt Bacharach or Barry Manilow, they could ALL be too loud. it’s all relative as we used to say in graduate school. Any music you don’t like is too loud. Isn’t that one of the defining characteristics? Mozart was too loud. Beethoven was definitely too loud. Wagner was agony. They were all too loud. I am proud to carry on this tradition.


Sam Andrew and Ike Turner, Ko Samui, Thailand.


Character is how you act when no one is looking.


Kate Russo and Josie.


Wilhelmina Andrew and Sam Andrew, one year.


Samantha at Aroma Café, 2011.


Rabia Yamazawa, 2011.


Elephants perform greeting ceremonies when a member of the group returns after a long time away. The welcoming animals spin around, like Deadheads, flap their ears and trumpet like Louis Armstrong.


In Egyptian texts, the name Kush alternates with that of Nubia to designate the region extending southward from Aswan to Khartoum. The name Nubia is from the ancient Egyptian word for gold, nub, which abounded there.


A syzygy occurs when three astronomical bodies are aligned. The “zygy” part is a “yoke,” actually the very same word, through Latin “jugum” as in “conjugal.” “Syzygy” is a “with yoking,” rather like the word “synergy,” which is a “with energy.”


At 23rd Street and Broadway, Booth’s Theatre, 8 November 1880, Sarah Bernhardt made her American début. Edwin Booth, America’s greatest tragedian, wanted the USA to hold its own dramatically. He bought a house at 16 Gramercy Park, had Stanford White remodel it, and then made it into The Players Club, a salon for the New York theatrical world. “Sic semper tyrannis!” Which Booth said that? And why?

Our manager Albert Grossman lived in Gramercy Park. He and Janis Joplin and I used to sit in his large bay window during the summer twilight and plan our futures.


Sam Andrew, Janis Joplin, James Gurley, 1968.


Ich mag das hier am liebsten!

(I like this one the best.)  Michaela oder Micaela, wie du willst.


E non preoccuparti se non hai l’aspetto del giovane fusto. A lei piacciono gli uomini maturi.

And don’t worry if you are not a hard body. She likes mature men.


The president can decide not to act on a bill, neither signing it nor formally vetoing it. If the president does not sign and return a bill within ten days of receiving it (not counting Sundays), the bill becomes law.


Lisa Mills and Sam Andrew at Aroma Café. June, 2011.


“Though I am in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.” Vincent van Gogh.


This is only one of the many beautiful things that van Gogh said and felt. His letters to his brother Theo are a testament to the human spirit. Vincent was such a good person, a remarkable man, who, if he had never painted at all, would still be one of the most interesting and passionately interested people who ever lived.


Male boars form harems.


Singers we love: Zelinsky, Christenson, Keating, Morris, Paige, Asher.

La crème de la crème de chez nous. The best of the best where we live.


Bis später, ja? Hasta luego.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


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