Big Brother and the Holding Company, part fourteen. 2002


19 January 2002           Turlock           California


28 January 2002          Chanhassen   Minnesota

31 January 2002               Area 22            Newport        Rhode Island

1 February 2002    Bank Street Café    New London     Connecticut

Every time I play at the Bank Street Café, someone asks me about my brother Dan who went to the Coast Guard Academy in New London.

Study for a painting.

2 February 2002          The Company Theatre       Norwell      Massachusetts

After playing in Norwell, we fly over the amazing Atlantic Ocean to England.

13 February 2002   The Astor Theatre         Deal     UK       I feel as if Charles Dickens may have written about this place.

Right on the English Channel. Dover is a bit farther south down the coast and Southampton more so.

14 February              The Brook         Southampton        UK

Beth Hart played many of these same places just before us. We once followed Yngvie Malmsteen all over Europe in a similar fashion.

I suppose you could call it the Beans and Bangers Circuit.

15 February 2002   The Point  Cardiff   Wales   As we were entering Wales, our driver said, “Do you have your passports?” I started and replied, “No, no one told us to… ” He smiled. We fell for it. I fell for it… and her.

The French call Wales the pays de Galles. It’s a land of singers, poets, actors.


People of the voice.

Charlotte Church

The Point used to be St. Stephen’s Church and it still felt like it.


16 February 2001        The Flowerpot       Derby

Derby is in the north and center of England.

It’s pronounced “darby,” as in Darby Slick.

I asked a Black Country man how he pronounced the name of this big city and he said, “BUH min ghum.” Rather different from “Birming hayam,” as they say in Alabama.

17 February 2002  The Stables  Milton Keynes  UK      Cleo Laine, the American singer, lives here and she and her husband built this place.

Chad Quist   Sam Andrew   Lisa Mills   Todd Vinciguerra   Peter Albin

20 February 2002    The Limelight  Crewe        UK

Crewe is in the northwest of England, in Cheshire, where the cat lives. Crewe is the home of the Bentley automobile.

And the Limelight.

21 February 2002      Picture House        Beverley       UK        This is such a beautiful place.

Beverley is near Hull on the Humber river.

Brierley Hill is in the West Midlands, the Black Country.

Brierley Hill is in Dudley. Samuel Johnson grew up in the town of Lichfield on the east side of Birmingham, the other side.

22 February 2002   Robin Hood    Brierley Hill   UK        This is where Robert Plant came and stole Lisa Mills away from us.     Hood Robin.

Oh, well, I have stolen and I have been stolen from, and so it goes. Paul Kantner paid me the compliment of stealing Cathy Richardson from me.

And then once or twice they took Sophia Ramos also.

I’ll just take it as a salute to my good taste in singers.

Just call me the unpaid talent scout for the Jefferson Starship. But I have stolen many a musician from them, and Jimmy Page saved my life once, so, eh?, we’re even.

23 February 2002        The Boardwalk       Sheffield       UK

24 February 2002       The Mean Fiddler         London

27 February 2002   Piesel    Fulda    Germany

28 February 2002         Theater Rex      Lorsch      Germany

We took this photo in Liverpool, but I’m using it for Lorsch.

Laura Albergante Visconti took this photograph.

Then we went to Schwerin, Germany, way up north. It felt like going to the end of the world.

1 March 2002           Speicher        Schwerin         Germany

2 March 2002          Blues Garage        Hannover       Germany

This is where we met Michael Spörke who wrote a book about our band called: Big Brother and the Holding Company, Die Band, die Janis Joplin berühmt machte. I translated this book and in English it is now called: Living With the Myth of Janis Joplin.  Michael is writing a new book about Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton and I am doing some light translating and editing on that one too. It’s an interesting story. We played many times with Big Mama and she was a fascinating character, so Michael’s book is well worth reading.

“Alte Weberei” could mean “the old weavery.”

3 March 2002           Alte Weberei         Cottbus      Germany

Cottbus is very far east, almost in Poland, and it feels like it.

4 March 2002     Hahn (which means “hen”) is the other airport near Frankfurt, smaller, a lille easier to negotiate. It’s like La Guardia compared to JFK.

Our friend Elena Lichtenberger  (upper left)  is from Kaiserslautern.

Saint Anthony (San Antonio) praying over my head.

Muddy Waters and his wife. She’s playing an A and he’s making it play.

I stole the Muddy image from Jessie Brawer.  Jessie, thank you.

23 March 2002     The Powerhouse Pub    Folsom   California

6 April 2002     Center for the Arts    Grass Valley     California      Drew (great name for an artist, right?) Friedman did this drawing.

20 April 2002          The Majestic Theatre       Streator        Illinois

Alex Call and I wrote a couple of songs together. I recorded one of them with Mary Bridget Davies, Ben Nieves and Jim Wall just last December.

At that same recording session, we did a couple of songs that Wendy Rich and I wrote  just about the time this photograph was taken.

3 May 2002    Avalon Ballroom     San Francisco

23 May 2002           Melba Theatre           Batesville          Arkansas

Beverly Ambort

Thank you, Rona Walstra.

Beverly Ambort         Chad Quist         Help !   Chad has a giant Bud growing out of his head.   No, not that kind of Bud.

An illustration from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam, artist Edmund J. Sullivan.

Some singers sound like they have a microphone in their throat. She sounds as if she has the whole PA in there.

24 May 2002   Pop’s     Sauget  Illinois

26 May 2002    The Waterfront    Covington  Kentucky

From my fingerpainting period.

“Tatemae honne,” the title of this painting, is Japanese for the public face and the private self.

Sam Andrew                     Lisa Mills

1 June 2002    The Thirsty Ear    Columbus   Ohio

One of my first sculptures.

2 June 2002    Motown Harley Davidson    Taylor      Michigan

14 June 2002  Constable Jack’s   Newcastle  California

Two good friends of the band:   Judy and Todd Bolton.

15 June 2002    Lake County Fairgrounds   Lakeport  California      On the west shore of Clearlake.

Sam Andrew          senior year       Kubasaki High School    Okinawa     Japan

29 June 2002       Tussey Mountain Amphitheatre      Boalsburg       Pennsylvania

7 July 2002

Musicians for Love, Janis in San Diego.

12 July 2002   Festival Grounds At The Pier     Buffalo     New York

27 July 2002    Kronberg    Germany       In a gemütliches Gasthaus.  Very typical post gig scene.

31 July 2002    Woodstock Swiss style

8 August 2002        Point Breeze          Webster         Massachusetts

9 August 2002       Fall River Celebrates         Fall River       Massachusetts

10 August 2002      Ocean Beach Park         New London      Connecticut

15 August 2002       Coeur d’Alene Casino       Worley      Idaho

16 August 2002      Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheatre      Darrington    Washington

17 August 2002        Grant County Fair       Moses Lake         Washington

4 October 2002        The Landmark Hotel, room 105         Los Angeles

12 October 2002     Avalon Ballroom      San Francisco      I was watching Manhattan (Woody Allen) in this cinema when Alan Weiss approached. “Recognize the place ?” I looked around and it slowly dawned on me that this was the Avalon, a place where I had been caught in the broom closet with Dany and a joint. I swallowed the joint and tried to swallow Dany too.

Sign for our road when we lived in Lagunitas, California.

19 October 2002       Center For The Fine Arts          Grass Valley        California

20 October 2002        Spirit of Peace                San Francisco Civic Center

26 October 2002        The Brookdale Lodge          Brookdale         California

Marie-Hélène Castelain

Françoise Hardy      When I lived in Paris, Françoise Hardy and Johnny Hallyday were the king and queen of the scene.

I was barely aware of them, but in restaurants I would see them on Scopitone, a kind of proto MTV, video jukeboxes that would play a song for a franc.

27 November 2002       When musicians play snatches of other melodies during a solo, they are said to be “quoting.” These are some of the quotes I use when s0loing on Blindman.

Next week, part fifteen. Thank you for being here.