George’s, San Rafael, California, 26 February 2011

27 February 2011

Max Clarke shot this rainbow in Corte Madera, so we knew it was a special day.

Big Brother and the Holding Company played last night with Lynn Asher and Tom Finch at George’s, San Rafael, California. A rare gig near where we actually live.

First set:

Down On Me     D

Save Your Love      F#m

Call On Me     E  major

Bye, Bye, Baby      G

Lucille   Bb

Summertime         Am

Bo’s Bio     Bb

Women Is Losers      C

Turtle Blues     D

Piece of My Heart     (begin  F # minor, main song E major)

Peter Albin was there and David LaFlamme, although David didn’t play. He’s had surgery and is recovering well. Dave Getz played.

Second Set:

Combination of the Two  begins in A

I Need A Man To Love      Em – A7

Bobby McGee   G – A

All Is Loneliness     D

Hold Me    ( D – G – A, we visit all of these key centers.)

Blindman     ( E minor)

It’s Cool     ( key center is C    C diminished, or C 7 raised 9th)

Ball & Chain    G minor

(encore: Do What You Love  B minor )

Mercedes Benz

Trina and Elise were there.

Dave Moss and Linda LaFlamme.

Stela Mandel, Anne Garden and Shannon Cinnamon  McCloud. Stela Mandel is a medical illustrator and one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet. Anne Garden is an excellent painter, and Shannon Cinnamon McCloud is an old friend who seems to have a light shining out from inside of her.

I am so lucky to know both of these people.

With Dava Sheridan, Trina Baucom, Elise Piliwale and Shannon.

Elise and my brother Bill.

Steve Keyser who used to book Big Brother from 1986 to 1990 . We should have stayed longer with Steve.

Steve Sodokoff, Mr. First Nighter, bon vivant, man about town, mixer.

Barbara, Steve Sodokoff, Dava Sheridan and Lilli Heart, a jewel of a woman.

Elise and Snooky who played all night with us. Snooky’s band will be at George’s soon. He’s my buddy from Kozmic Blues Band days.

Clark and Zia came, Zia who is a writer and a very good singer. I wish I could have arranged a special song where Zia could shine. It’s difficult when you’re in a band that doesn’t rehearse. Clark and I like to talk about girls and cars, so you can see how mature we are. I’d better grow up soon. I’m starting to get that Zero Mostel look.

Valerie Stoll Schwimmer, Glenn Edric Coleman, Elise Wainani Piliwale, and Albert William Andrew. Valerie had me talk on the phone to Tom her boyfriend in Australia. Tom is a pediatric cardiac saxophone playing surgeon who generously loaned me his operating manual for a realistic painting that I did of the human heart. I wish he could have been there last night at our saxophone fest.

It was a good night. We were rusty, but the warm crowd filled in the blanks in our playing, and it was so  good to see these wonderful friends and family.

Laura Gomez on the right. We lived together a long time ago in New York.

After I paint in the morning, I walk up a hill in San Rafael and look at Mount Tamalpais which is about 2,500 feet high, and has snow on it today.

Elise on the day we were married.

Soon the deer will appear here, there and everywhere.

Janis and Peter Tork at Monterey? That’s where it looks like anyway.

We used to work on a Model A when we were in high school. The car seemed so ancient then, twenty-five years old. That would be like someone in high school now working on a 1985 Ford, which seems like a new car to me. Or at least not a very old one.

At Siné in New York. I don’t remember her name. She was lovely.

Martin Fierro. We had a cat Mr. O’Reilly whom Martin called “Meester.” It took me a while to figure out that Meester was really Martin’s name.

Queen Elizabeth probably somewhere in Saudi Arabia trying to fit in with the local mores. I saw her Coronation when I was in the Fourth Grade or so. My teacher said, “This may be the last one, so we should watch it.” This Queen may reign longer than Elizabeth I, and that would be the record for any monarch. Vivat Regina!

Elise when she first came to California. James is there, Peter, Karen Lyberger,  and Dave. They’re playing cards, right? That’s what they do. Elise doesn’t look this way to me, but I have to assume it is she, since who else could be that beautiful?

Elise’s legs.

Bob Dill the Singing Pickle and Mimi Flour shot by John Byrne Cooke. Bob is Zimmerman, of course, the carpenter. Mimi is Fariña, Portuguese for “flour.” I loved Mimi ever since I met her. I wasn’t the only one either.

Kurt Huget strangling Jen Sterling. Well, that’s what it looks like anyway.

At The San Francisco Theological Seminary, trying to audition for the priest job. I brought along extra clothes, just in case they took me right away.

General Ushijima committed seppuku (or, harakiri, as it is vulgarly known) when he lost the Battle of Okinawa. My father sent me this postcard shortly before we joined him on the Island.

You don’t see an image like this every day.

Kate Russo and Leah Hawkins. Need I say more?

A little Rollins and a big Rollins.

My friend Don Graham out on the beach with his daughter Adyson.

One of the saxophones I played a lot in Sunnyvale, California in the 1980s.

Time Is An Even More Foolish Fancy (Peggy Pettigrew Stewart) oil on canvas (24 February 2011)  Almost finished.

Up on that hill above San Rafael, California.

I saw the Moon Landing at The Chelsea Hotel, New York, with this very funny man, Snooky Flowers.

Charlotte Rampling and Sam Waterston.

Katya Blue, singer, actor, good person.

The way Elise looked when I met her. I loved the way she looked then, and I love the way she looks now.

I don’t want to say that John Byrne Cooke is tall, but here he is, slumping, and still towering over Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Joan Baez and another vertically challenged person.

See? Kitty likes Brussel Sprouts.

I found this at the very top of a high hill in San Rafael, California.

Cousines, at least that’s the way I think of them. My cousins in Alsace, where we played only last October.   Photo: Lillian Andrew.

Photograph by John Byrne Cooke of Debbie Green and Mimi Fariña.

Richard Kermode, Linda Gravenites, Janis, George Ostrow and I don’t know the other man.

Well, that’s it. See you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


What a kerfuffle!

20 February 2011

No bit of doggerl could do this photo justice.

Canis meus litteras scriptas meas comedit.

My dog ate my homework.

Love is a disease and she is the nurse.

La scala sociale di Hollywood è lunga e vertiginosa.

The social ladder in Hollywood is high and it can make you dizzy.

(Beth Hart learning lines.)

John Byrne Cooke, in his first month with the band, pouring champagne for Janis, New Year’s Eve, at Winterland.

Thelma and Louise. Louise had a Bas Mitzvah in Saint Louis where my friend Ann Rinehart knew her in high school. (Janis & Myra)

Time Is A Foolish Fancy (18 February 2011) Photo: Max Clarke.

“Spain” in Hebrew is “Sepharad.” Yasmn Levy is a Ladino scholar and singer. Ladino is to Sephardic Jews what Yiddish is to the Ashkenazim. Yasmin is related to my accountant and she wants to combine Ladino and Flamenco influences in her music.

Living out loud.

Cavalieri quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.

The Cavalieri invented the art of love.

Comedy is not an escape from reality. It’s an escape from despair.

(Slick Aguilar & Tommy Smothers)

Riderà bene chi riderà ultimo.

She laughs well who laughs last.

She’s not an organ donor, but she once gave an old piano to Goodwill.

I told Sophia Ramos that this woman got two, TWO, pages in The New Yorker, and Sophia replied (with a little pout), “Well, I got four.” And she did too. I checked.

Good thoughts are like money. Earn them, keep them and that will be your final balance in life.

You can always tell a Texan, but not much.

Labra lege.

Read my lips.

With Bonnie Tyler in Moscow:

Communism is like Prohibition. It’s a good idea, but it puts too much of a strain on human nature.

Darby Slick wrote Somebody to Love and I hope it’s making him rich.

South ? 69 ? Do you suppose that…oh, never mind.

Per quanto sia divertente, non lo è come ai vecchi tempi. Ma a sessantanove anni, che cosa è divertente?

As fun as life is now, it’s not like in the old days, but, at 69 years old, how much fun are you going to have?

Believe me, she’s a metsieh!

(Hebrew “find” A bargain, a lucky break)

Think with the heart and feel with the brain. (With Aviva, great sax player.)

All creative people should be required to leave California for three months every year. (Gloria Swanson)

Mulier iucunda intellegensque vult obviam convenire alicui sexus adversi qui lingua Latina utitur.

Attractive and intelligent woman wishes to meet a Latin speaker of the opposite sex.

Che palle!   (Thank you, Trina.)

What balls!

A poet is a passionate lover of the language of dreams.

(Elise Piliwale, Tony Seldin, The Theatre of Light)

Bach in an hour. Offenbach sooner.   (sign on a music store)

Oh, so you think that’s corny? How about

Bach in a fugue minuets. (Right now I’m playing Haydn seek.)

Photo: Jack Bawden

Life is like learning how to play a musical instrument in front of thousands of people. (Hey, wait, I had to do that too.)

Peter Tork and Bill Laymon, and Snooky’s red hat, with The Sam Andrew Band at Wavy Gravy’s Camp Winnarainbow. We opened for Big Brother! I felt like The Folksmen opening for Spinal Tap.

Sometimes zaftig, sometimes not.

Energy, talent? She had a lot.

Elise in a B movie. Or maybe even a C movie.

Playing a colorful C# diminished chord.

James Gurley, Michel Bastian, Babeth Chosson, Moscow, 1995.

“There is something of a kerfuffle going on over a recent edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.” (I love this word “kerfuffle.” For one thing, it’s got the always funny ‘K’ in it, and it’s meaning is rather indeterminate.) Chaos, quarreling, quirky quixoticism, quackery, queer querulousness, kvetching and kvitching). Kerfuffle. That’s my definition.

Here’s what The Oxford English Dictionary has to say on the subject:

[Variant of Scots CURFUFFLE]

First citation in English: 1946.   (F. Sargeson That Summer)

“I bet it (sc. the domestic row) ended up in a good old kafuffle.”

Nicole Álvarez between time and money.

Elaine Mays took this noirish shot of Janis.

With Janis on Mount Tamalpais, Marin County,1967.

Milini Khan and Simone with Simone’s daughter, Central Park, 2003.

I love the expression on Simone’s face.

I was involved in the Great Folk Music Scare back in the sixties, when it almost caught on. (Martin Mull)

What Elise had to wear to get into Thailand.

I played more nights with Janis than any other musician in her life.

Kate Russo and friends. Dallas.

Couple number one. (The Sam Andrew Band played a benefit for The Haight Ashbury Medical Clinic and these two won the dance contest.)

Janis in a cape and fishnet stockings. This outfit was much copied when we did the play Love, Janis.

Now Ben Nieves and I routinely use only the smallest amp you see there, the Fender Twin Reverb and the amps are already there in the venue when we arrive. To think that Big Brother used to carry these all amps all over the country. Finally someone figured it out. “Ahhhh, backline! If we had amps everywhere musicians wouldn’t have to bring all that heavy equipement on the airplane. An ecological and environmental win/win game.”

Lisa Mills in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I’m going to try to get her to sing with us in California in June, 2011. I hope it happens.

Cycads by the road to Kayauchi-banta, Okinawa, Japan. This was a coral road, probably paved now.

I’m not sure we played this gig. In fact, I’m fairly sure that we did not. Too bad. I went to high school here. Part of it anyway. And then my family  traveled to Okinawa, where I graduated from Kubasaki High School. Janis came from Port Arthur, of course, near Beaumont and Houston. We may have missed that stop also. For some reason my memory is fuzzy here. Maybe she was ill and we had to cancel? Hey, you can’t remember them all. That was 42 years ago. What were you doing 42 years ago on 21 November? Were you born yet?

Elise, Albuquerque, New Mexico, New Year’s Eve, not last one, but the one before that. So, 2009?

Time Is A Foolish Fancy: This is the small version in its drawing stage. Peggy Pettigrew Stewart. Peggy is doing a glass sculpture of Elise and me, and I am doing three portraits (at least) of her. For me, Peggy is difficult to depict. I think I have her essence here. Typically what happens at this stage is that I then proceed and completely destroy the drawing. Then I’m horrified and despressed and then I continue and slowly, slowly regain the original idea, and almost get the painting back to as good as it was on the second day.

There are painters who work alla prima. That is, they begin and finish a painting in one sitting. I am in awe of these people. Work done this way has a freshness that I admire. Virgil Elliott did this painting alla prima.

Lotus Mahon winning the dance contest. Snooky Flowers is doing the solo right now and Scott Matthews is just about to begin his. Can you hear it? The Sam Andrew Band at University of California San Francisco. A good night. Go, Lotus!

This is my niece Emily Rollins and her brand new baby, Kieran, one day old and fully formed. Most new babies look like Winston Churchill. I admit, I’m a proud grand uncle.

Kate Russo playing with Peter and me. Not sure where.

Thank you and I’ll see you next week.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company


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