Big Brother and the Holding Company, part sixteen. 2004


2 January 2004    The Docksider    Erie   Pennsylvania

See how Pennsylvania made that little portal out to Lake Erie ?   Croatia has outlets to the Adriatic Sea much narrower than this, maybe a mile in length.

The Erie Canal, dug in the early 1800s, and connecting the Hudson River to Lake Erie, is what made New York New York. Many other ports, Savannah, Boston, were more important at the time, but with a way to get goods over the Appalachians (Alleghenies) and to Ohio and points farther west, New York City became the dominant Eastern doorway to and from the rest of the country.

Even today transport by barge on the Erie Canal uses a tenth of the fuel of a truck.

I used to sing this song in my folk music days. This printed music, however, is very odd, with B# going into C. Both are the same notes. I’ve never seen anything like this. Anyway, I loved this haunting melody and the history embodied in the song. This song is rather like what The Volga Boatman must have been to the Russians. Minor key, strongly pentatonic, a chant, really, primitive, strong, good for keeping time while rowing.

This version makes a lot more sense. This one’s in E minor. I think I used to sing it in D minor. There is a lot of history in songs, all songs.

Caro Viaggiatore.   The title means “Dear Traveler.” It’s a kind of a pun on Caravaggio because this is a copy of his painting. I put Elise and me in there. I learned how to paint by copying painters before me.

Rodney Albin            Ellen Cavanaugh       Peter Albin

3 January 2004        Sellersville Theatre         Sellersville    Pennsylvania

Self portraits are invariably serious because the artist is looking so intensely into the mirror.

I bet Ant Knee took this photograph.

Liverpool lad pours a Bud in the Sausalito harbor.

Sharrie Gomez and I in San Francisco.

21 April 2004          Kellogg Foundation   Lake Tahoe  California      At this event, I met Don Graham the neurosurgeon who since has gone from this…

… to this.             He and Sarah made Adyson Graham who is impossibly beautiful.

24 April 2004  Wild Hog Festival  Helena   Arkansas         It rained so hard at this event that she could have almost gone swimming in the audience.

We really thought we might be electrocuted. Everything was soaking wet.

Peggy Pettigrew Stewart created this image.

25 April 2004      Rosy’s Jazz Hall       New Orleans

Cool New Orleans dudes backstage.

Meanwhile, farther upstream, the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are flowing together at Cairo, Illinois.   “We pronounce it Karo, like the syrup.”

And I am swearing that I will learn how to draw a hand in any position, any lighting.

When I think of Florida, I think of the coasts. Sarasota where Elise used to live and Melbourne, home of my brother Stephen and his family.

Orlando, where the Carol guitar was stored in a vault for a while, is an inland place.

13 May 2004   The Vault  Orlando Florida           The Carol guitar travels around the country and is in San Francisco now, I believe.

When we played there in Orlando, I took the guitar out of The Vault and put it on stage.


The Musical Instrument Museum near Phoenix.

Mujeres floridas.          Flowered women.

The Vault in Orlando.

Elise and I moved into this house where we live now in 2004. It’s a small house on two and one half acres, a hectare.

All of Us      (oil on canvas)

I drew these profiles in Pahala, Hawaii.

The Hawaiian archipelago is actually much longer than this, extending some 1,200 miles over the Pacific.

Midway Island, that small two mile long dot there on the globe, is at the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago. It is one third of the way to Tokyo from Honolulu. My family traveled once in a propeller plane that actually refueled at Midway en route to Okinawa. We refueled again at Wake Island too, if I’m not mistaken.

Chad Quist, guitar    Kacee Clanton, singer     Todd Zimberg, drums

Sam Andrew                              Elise Piliwale

11 June 2004        Kona Brew Pub      Kona    Hawaii


Kona Brew Pub

Colin and Wayne and Wayne’s lovely wife.       Erstwhile equipment managers for Big Brother, now far richer than we are, PLUS, they get to live in Hawaii.   Así es la vida.

James Gurley and I lived on the beach at Makena off and on for a couple of years. I wrote the song Maui there.

Every autumn, humpback whales swim 3,500 miles from Alaska to Maui for their winter vacation in the Au’au Channel between the islands of Maui County. Summer in Alaska, Winter in Maui, not a bad life.

Double Happiness.

Regina and Kacee were with us.

Regina is Austrian. Her name means Queen.  Vivat Regina !

Alexandria               Virginia

19 June 2004  Red Cross Waterfront Festival Alexandria  Virginia         Judy and Todd Bolton, so good to see them again.

Tristan Avakian played guitar with us and Todd Zimberg was on drums.   Tristan is now with Jennifer Espinoza in some incredible Queen scene.

Jefferson Starship:   Slick Aguilar   Diana Mangano   Paul Kantner   Marty Balin   Tim Gorman   Prairie Prince   Jack Casady          Photo:   Tim Sylvan

30 June 2004     Stop 345      Memphis     Tennessee

Right on the mighty Mississippi.

31 July 2004   Magic Springs Theme Park   Hot Springs    Arkansas

Sam Andrew              Elise Piliwale

6 August 2004   Sellersville Theatre      Sellersville    Pennsylvania

Sellersville is a borough in Bucks County in the Philadelphia-Camden metro area.

7 August 2004   South Park Concert Site    South Park   Pennsylvania

Eve and Adam     (oil on canvas)

13 August 2004   Gray’s Harbor Fair        Elma      Washington

I always wanted to open for a parrot.

A beautiful place.  Actually, when you think about it, the whole world is a beautiful place.

Kate Russo and I passed this one with ease.

14 August 2004   Berbatti’s Pan     Portland     Oregon

You can see why I decided to learn how to draw hands.

18 September 2004    Tree Frog Music Festival     Fairibault    Minnesota

Primavera Elisiana.

24-25  September 2004     El Dorado Hotel & Casino      Reno


Na’alehu Theatre

Kainani    Kahaunaele

2 October 2004

Jessica’s crown.

Chad Quist goes Hawaiian.

Peter Albin                    Karen Lyberger

2 October 2004    Hamakua Music Festival      Honoka’a       Hawaii

Chloe Lowery  and Elise

The banyan tree downtown Lahaina, Maui. This tree just keeps on going and growing. It’s all one tree and it covers this entire very large block.

4 October 2004       The Landmark Hotel       Los Angeles                      Photo:  Howard Sounes

16 October 2004    Largo Cultural Center   Largo  Florida       Wendy Rich

This was a local gig for Wendy. She lives nearby in St. Petersburg.

Peter Albin                Photo:   Jan Jenson


19 October 2004  The year I set out to learn how to draw hands. I filled notebooks with them.

21 october 2003    The main thing is to draw each joint, each bone in the hand. You can’t slur over it or it’s not going to look right.

24 October 2004

November 2004          Four More Years      (oil on canvas)

20 November 2004

31 December 2004    Coco’s in Ko Samui, Thailand.      set list      This was a happy period of  musical adventure for the band.

Señor Blues      (oil on canvas)

Sam  (I’m so excited I can barely breathe)  Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company