29 January 2012


Peggy Pettigrew Stewart made this.

Linda Eastman, a real friend to me when it counted.

Another great photographer, Keizo Yamazawa.

So, THAT’S it.

My friend Bill Rude went to Turkey and came back with these wonderful photographs. I love this alphabet. It is Armenian, I believe.

Candy Kane.

Megan de chez nous.

Elise Piliwale at The Seafood Peddler, January 2012. Phil Lesh recently bought this place and has big plans for it. Among other things, he is contemplating a center for the Latin Americans in the Canal area of San Rafael.

With Kurt Huget.


Bérénice Bejo.

She Shall Have Stars, oil on canvas, 2012.

Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869) was born on 18 January in London. As a wordsmith, Roget collected words and meanings as well as their synonyms for more than half a century.

He did not publish his thesaurus until he was 73.

He was a medical doctor, school teacher and he even contributed to the development of the motion picture.

In a paper written for the Royal Society, Roget explained a phenomenon now known as “the persistence of vision,”

how watching a series of similar, fast-paced images could produce the illusion of motion.

I’m going to use this design motif in a painting. Bill Rude shot this in Turkey.

Lots of Toms:

Tommy Smothers, Tom Constanten, Sam Andrew, Tom Finch.

Aporrhipsis: an insane aversion to clothing. I have a borderline case of aporrhipsis, and walk around naked whenever possible. Not a pretty sight.

Yes, the wrong people walk around naked.

Myropolist:  one who sells unguents. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.

Nocent:  guilty, the opposite of innocent, from Latin nocens.

Guilty. Nocent. They’re going to steal that tank.

Kurt Huget and Lynn Asher.

Cully:  One easily deceived, a companion or mate who is cheated or imposed upon by a sharper, strumpet. Italian coglionare “to foist, to deceive.”

Dooley was a drummer. The real piano player was behind the curtain, rather like the little old man in The Wizard of Oz,.

Thinking of Chet.

Church in São Paulo.

The trickle UP is working just fine, though.

Thanks to my friend Greg for that one.


Dick Cavett.

Kat Patterson has been taking flying lessons.

How to make a rug.

Susan Zelinsky.

… and in a somewhat less inhibited pose.

Clanjamphry:   a company of people, especially a disorderly or vulgar crowd; a mob, rabble; rubbish, trumpery, odds and ends. Nonsensical talk. You know, like backstage.

Harold Ross who more or less created The New Yorker.

Patrisha Vestey and Chet Helms.

Acyrology:   improper speech.

Villakin:   a little villa, a little village.

It is said of a person who is sulky or in the dumps, that she has the peezy-weezies. Great name for a band.

The smallest of a brood is called a niscal, formed like the word nescook from the Anglo-Saxon nesc, tender, delicate. The idea of nestling is here.

With Rabia Yamazawa, 5 January 2012.

Anata wa honto ni go-shinsetsu desu.   (Japanese)   You are very kind indeed.

Bibliothecary:   this word comes from bibios (book) and theka (chest, coffer) both Greek words. A bibliothecary is a keeper of a library. Una biblioteca is Spanish for library.

A discothèque was originally a case where discs were kept. In fact, when I was in France in the early 1960s, a “discothèque” was a record store or a record library, and not a club of any kind.

“Apothecary” originally meant “from the chest, coffer,” so a person who took pills, unguents, powders and other medications from his/her storage chest was an apothecary.

This word is still used in German speaking countries for “drugstore,” just as it was in Shakespeare. In German it is die Apotheke.

A bibliotaphe is one who shuts her books up as if in a sepulchre (taphos = tomb. Think of epitaph, cenotaph.).

George Washington was a book lover. In fact, when he died he had a couple of books overdue, just as I will. On 5 October 1789, President Washington borrowed a couple of books from the New York Public Library, the Law of Nations and the 12th volume of Common Debates from Parliament, never to be returned.

According to a library spokesperson, a 233-year overdue fine was calculated, based on the sizable initial penalty of two pence per day. BUT today’s fine is fifteen cents a day, so, let’s see, that’s something like, and we are being generous here, $ 4,600 due to the Library. Sheesh, I wonder how much I owe.

Ataturk, a remarkable man, brought Turkey into the 20th century.

This is the Charles Van Damme ab0ut 1972. She rests at Gate 5 in Sausalito, California. I have often played aboard this vessel, both as a meditative musician looking out at the Bay,

and with Big Brother and the Holding Company. At high tide, this craft would try to float off into the water, which made for an interesting dance experience.

She was also known as The Ark, although, technically, an ark rests half on land, half in water. This poster is for a gig we played there on the same bill as Moby Grape.

Flexanimous:   Samuel Johnson defined this word as “having the power to change the disposition of the mind.”

Kathi McDonald and Sam Andrew at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, 1978, 1979.

Angeline, great bass player. I hope she will come sit in with Big Brother sometime.

Kurt Kangas and Rob Morse at Aroma Café, January 2012. Rob wrote a column in The San Francisco Chronicle for years. Kurt is the mighty Krowbar.

Beevers:  a portion of bread and beer laid out in Winchester School Hall at beever-time. From French boire, Old French boivre, to drink. From Italian bevere (beverage).

Beever-time was a quarter of an hour’s relaxation allowed to Winchester boys in the middle of the afternoon.

Digamy:   a second marriage, that is, a marriage with a second wife after the death of the first, as distinguished from bigamy.

Mutchkin:    a liquid measure equal to an English pint.

In old England, ale and bread continued to be the chief items, even of the royal breakfast. The quantity of ale consumed by ladies at breakfast was considerable.,

In the reign of Henry VIII the maids-of-honour were allowed for breakfast, “one chete loaf, one manchet, two gallons of ale and a pitcher of wine.”

We’ll see you next week.

James Gurley and Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company

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