And Your Bird Can Sing.

6 September 2011


This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Okinawa,


Don’t try to save money on your bed or your shoes. You will be in one or the other your entire life. Spend more on these things than you think you should.


Peggy Pettigrew Smith did this sculpture of Elise Piliwale.


Samantha Leoni took these beautiful flower photographs. Sam, thank you.


The Gentileschi were great painters, but Artemisia was particularly good.


William Bradford wrote Of Plymouth Plantation, which tells the story of the Pilgrims, from their departure for Holland through the voyage of the Mayflower and the founding of Plymouth, and on to 1646. This is an eyewitness account by an intelligent participant.


Elise Piliwales’s family were musicians in Honolulu during the 40’s, 50’s. They played in the hotels. One of them, Varoa Tiki (Shirley Piliwale), became well known and traveled in the Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, Jimmy Durante circles for years. I see these musicians, whom we met  on the big island, as the continuers of this tradition.


All Along The Watchtower: Dave Mason played 12 atring on this track. Noel Redding walked out of the session because Jimi was, surpise, sure of what he wanted and wasn’t ready to take excuses (or he was an overbearing egomaniac, take your choice. Mine is the former.), and so Dave Mason did the bass, which Jimi finally played himself. Hendrix used a different tone setting for each solo part and used a Zippo lighter to play the slide parts.


Big Brother and the Holding Company played on this FTA tour while it was in California, and I wish we could have gone on to Okinawa, Japan, where this is. Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland.


Brian Lippman (no relation to Walter?) and friends getting down in a Texas roadhouse.


Trivia is the Roman goddess of sorcery, hounds and the crossroads. “Trivia” means “three roads,” just as “Tripoli” means “three cities.”


Catholics feel guilty for what they weren’t supposed to do and did. Jews feel guilty for what they were supposed to do and didn’t.


If you want to be friends with an animal or a small child, let her make the first move, and don’t be too quick to respond.


A great bass player and a dignified stand up guy every time it really counted, Terry Mann.


Virginia Woolf wrote all of her books standing up. Standing up is good for you. It makes your brain stand up. It’s obviously a more alert posture. Not to be macabre, but Virginia Woolf met her death standing up and even walking. She went out into the sea on the year that I was born and she kept on going.


Early Christians understood the term Xmas as an abbreviation for Xristos mass. Later Christians, unfamiliar with the Greek reference, mistook the X as a sign of disrespect (probably because many of these illiterates signed their name with an X), as an attempt by a secular world to rid Christmas of its central meaning. For several hundred years, Christians disapproved of the use of the term. Some still do. And so it goes. HoHum.


All of us in the Love, Janis, Sag Harbor, New York version, met Julie Andrews and worked with her daughter Emma Hamilton, who was intelligent, warm, capable and caring. It was a real privilege to meet Julie and even more of one to work with Emma.


Elise’s grandfather, Silver Piliwale, walked many miles over the Hawaiian Islands. There is a famous hiking trail on Oahu called the Piliwale Ridge.  It is considered one of the most difficult trails on the island. This Maui road is named for the family and there are many more Piliwale landmarks in the former Sandwich Isles.


There’s an old song called Chloe, haunting and mysterious. I want to learn it again.


Melanie Joplin carrying on the family tradition.


Take a bath. Take heart. Take five. Take advice. Take a break. Take a nap. Take a breather.


Laura Mann and Wilhelmina Mann, my mother. Mom, I love the saddle oxfords with the high heels.


The French stock exchange is called the Bourse which came from Latin bursa, the Roman word for purse. Bursa came from Greek byrsa which meant cowhide. These words became “purse.” Janis Joplin used to carry enormous purses made of cowhide. They had a life of their own sitting there on the table menacing everyone.


An Ideal is like a star. You never reach it but you can navigate by it. Elise Piliwale.


America is a mistake, a giant mistake. (Sigmund Freud)


Sigmund Freud was a mistake, a giant mistake.  (Sam Andrew)


Credo di non essere mai riuscito a conquistarmi un posto nelle colonne mondane dei giornali.

I believe i was never successful at winning a place in a newspaper column.


Ledger lines, the five lines that carry the music notes, are called die Hilfslinie in German… helplines.


There are many small towns south of San Antonio, Texas, where German is spoken. Castroville is one of them. My mother’s people who were from Alsace lived in this area. Her father spoke German, English and Spanish. Whoever came to him, he spoke in her language. This was an inspiration to me.


Michael Joplin in the bloom of youth. His salad days. The best he ever looked.


Sam Andrew, Janis Joplin, Brad Campbell and Snooky Flowers. Clark University, 1969.


“Native American” is a term invented by the Department of the Interior in 1970 to keep track of people. Did you know that “Native American” includes Hawaiians, Eskimos, Samoans, Micronesians, Polynesians and Aleuts? My wife is Native American because she is Hawaiian. Tribal names might be a better way of referring to everyone, better and more respectful.


Peggy Pettigrew Smith did this wondrous glass sculpture of Elise and me.


Don Wehr, Bobby Vega, Carmine Appice and Ray White backstage, maybe Winterland.


Kacee Clanton and friends. Kacee y sus amigas.


The first day of Spring in Valparaiso.


My father’s grandfather, Oscar David Andrew.


Republican motto:

Beati pauperes, quoniam tanto plus pecuniae nobis reliquis reliquunt.

(Blessed are the poor, because they leave so much more money for the rest of us.)


Orson Welles was cremated and his ashes shipped to the retired bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez, an old friend in Ronda, España. Orson’s cremains were placed into an old brick well at Ordoñez’ country house, which was then sealed and, per Orson’s request, no designation of any kind marks the spot.


Most of the things that you worry about will never happen, or, at least, they won’t happen at all the way you think they are going to. Did you ever notice that rain looks much worse from inside the house than it actually is when you are out in it?


Wash your car before taking it in for service. Mechanics may have more respect for a car that looks as if its owner respects it.


Morde citharam meam.

(Bite my guitar.)



James Gurley, 1995.


Fiction writing:

Always decide who it is before you figure out what they will do. You can follow a good person through a trivial plot, but no story, however good, is going to work with someone who is uninteresting, or worse, bad and stupid.


The opium traffic, like the sugar trade, seems to have begun in Persia. Both opium and sugar were discovered and introduced far and wide by the Arab empire. it took only a few centuries for these products to pass from medicinal usage to that of a purely pleasurable pursuit. In 1867, opium was grown in Tennessee where Kate Russo and her babies are. During these years and on up into the 1930s, opium, marijuana and cocaine could be, and often were, purchased over the counter from any chemist. I used to sing a song called Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue, walking hand in hand down the avenue. Oh, baby, won’t you have a little sniff on me, have a sniff on me. A very sentimental song to be sure. It had a moral too.


Oh, yes, this is going to happen: For a minimum level of financial security, your net worth (the cash value of all your assets) minus all your debts should equal one year’s income.



Elisenstraße. Elise Street. It’s One Way.


If we all really knew each other, if there were universal telepathy, and, I know this is hard to believe, we would love each other.


Julius Mann and Albert Mann, my grandfather on my mother’s side. Julius, like certain members of Big Brother and the Holding Company, is smart enough to wear a hat. Albert, who very generously passed his hair pattern on down to me, believes in letting it all hang out, just as I do. Well, for right now anyway. Albert Mann is eighty years old here and he doesn’t have gray hair. He gave me that too. These men worked incredibly hard all their lives. Remarkable individuals.


Pole vault poles used to be stiff. Now they bend, which allows the vaulter to go much higher.


My cousin on my mother’s side, Terry Mann, with a couple of overendowed palookas. Tanks for the mammaries, guys.



Good histories are written by people who were actually there. Everything else is just gossip.


Three dimensional printing from digital designs will transform manufacturing and allow more people to start making things. A machine is RIGHT NOW “printing” a complex titanium landing-gear bracket, about the size of a shoe, which normally would have to be laboriously hewn from a solid block of metal.


Kathi McDonald, Bob Mosely and Sam Andrew in Seattle playing a ballad. The same ballad that was in that Jane Fonda, Jon Voigt film Coming Home. Bruce Dern was in that one too. He was good in that. Call On Me.


It serves honor, respect and a certain kind of show business when others discover your good qualities without your help.


Did I take this, or did Max Clarke take this? Remember this film? Diane Keaton did her PhD thesis on the poetry of Rod McKuen and Walter keane was an Old Master. And candy bars and Fritos were the real health food? Ah, those were (will be) the days.



Good night and good luck.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company