Big Brother and the Holding Company, part twenty-four. July – December 2012

July to December 2012

13 July 2012     What Peter Albin has in his pockets. Some candy, a couple of cigar cutters, ballpoint pens, SuperGlue, it’s a lot of stuff.

We’re in the Detroit Airport waiting for Sophia Ramos and nevously wondering if they ever found Jimmy Hoffa.

Rosa Parks helps balance things out a little bit.

Sophia shows up and orders a tripio.

In the lobby in London, Ontario.

Then, we drive back to Windsor and stay in a hotel right on the Detroit River.

14 July 2012

I take a walk along the river to the Festival.

There were some truly great blues musicians at this event.

It was good to be playing with Ben Nieves again.

And other giants of the blues.

We did a 75 minute set, which is just about the perfect length.

She has a Janis tribute band.

Au revoir au Canada.

San Rafael, Fourth and C Streets, looking east.

It’s always that last leg of the trip home that is the diciest, because that’s where I go into the redwoods to our home on the hectare.

Today I was practicing some scales out on my deck, when I noticed a vivid movement in the bush. It was a fawn gamboling all over the hillside as a new kitty would. Jumping over trees, running through woody paths, leaping over rocks, the young deer gave me a show that I won’t soon forget. She owned the hillside.

Lynn Asher                        Sam Andrew

9 August 2012       Londonderry          New Hampshire

Ben Nieves

John Kane came and interviewed me because he is writing his PhD thesis on Bill Hanley who did sound for us at The Monterey Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, Fillmore East and several other venues.

Bill Hanley has been called the father of festival sound. He designed and built sound systems for the Newport Folk Festival and Woodstock among many other events.

When the Rolling Stones played at Madison Square Garden, Bill Hanley was the one who made their sound exciting and immediate to the audience.

When Big Brother and the Holding Company played at the very first night of Fillmore East, Bill was doing the sound. He also worked at The Bitter End and many other places where we played, so it was an honor to talk about him with John Kane.

John Kane

John did this illustration of Janis.

Ben            and          Lynn

I thought about this ale name recently on Mayan day.

Erin, Sam and Kelsey       10 August 2012     Foxborough      Massachusetts

Lynn Asher                        Peter Albin

11 August 2012       89 North        Patchogue               New York

We took the ferry from New London, Connecticut, to Orient Point on Long Island.

The trip lasted maybe an hour and fifteen minutes.

When he was in the Coast Guard Academy, my brother Dan sailed on this vessel, The Eagle, to the Mediterranean, literally to “learn the ropes.”

A ferry is alike the world over. She is noisy, clanky, massive, painted many times, disconcertingly punctual and involved with a lot of heavy metal.

You are a captive while on board, which can be a pleasant sensation for some people, an escape from life on land.

While others might feel a slight bout of panic or claustrophobia.

I have played music on ferries in Acapulco Bay, México, and in Puget Sound up in Washington.

We disembark at Orient Point on the north fork of eastern Long Island and drive to Patchogue on the south shore.

Kerry Kearney lives in Breezy Point, Long Island, which is just across from Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, but he has become something of a mayor of greater Long Island. Kerry sat in with us and played some marvelous guitar, including a fine slide solo on Bobby McGee. It was good to see him again.

Lynn Asher sang well and made a lot of friends. She is optimistic, outgoing, cheerful and she laughs a lot. A good traveling companion.

Joe Healey     Peter Albin     Sam Andrew     Bo Healey     Kerry Kearney

Ben Nieves played some great guitar as always.

All of these photos that have a great look? That look as if they were taken by someone who knows what she’s doing? They were done by Danielle Filasky of Yellow Girl Studios, and, Danielle, thank you so much.

Peter Albin sings Blindman.

I loved playing at 89 North.

It’s a noisy place, friendly, open, like the beach. You feel as if there is sand on the floor.

Everyone seems to be related and there is a loud camaraderie that is quite engaging.

Kerry Kearney brought his Long Island “family,” all of whom were cheerful, hearty and boisterous.

Lynn Asher was uninhibited, happy, having a good time.

And Ben Nieves was his usual shy, retiring self.

Thank you to everyone at 89 North but especially to Danielle Filasky…

You rocked our world until it was upside down.

We hope to see you again soon.

The next day, Ben and I drove to Queens and around the western tip of Long Island into Westchester County.

Past Armonk, New York.

We’re going to Litchfield, Connecticut, through some very beautiful country.

Every town has its church, public house and cemetery.

Ben and I stopped at this one to lay some flowers on a grave and find the stories of those who lie here.

I mentioned earlier that the Romans often wrote on their tombstones: Ubi es eram, Ubi sum eris. (Where you are, I was. Where I am, you will be.)

We come to our Inn which is so beautiful that it reminds me of the Seeschlössl in Velden, Austria.

Later we drive to Norfolk, Connecticut, where I get quite a scare.

The Infinity Hall is such a beautiful place. Mark Twain spoke here. Ben and I visited the little room where he waited to go onstage.

I meet an old friend Mary Carotenuti and her husband Richard.

“Carotenuti” almost sounds like “holding someone dear.”

12 August 2012                    Infinity Music Hall    Norfolk              Connecticut

Peggy Getz

A couple of years ago, for a Heroes of Woodstock tour, Tim Murphy tried to “dress us up” in Ed Hardy clothes. To a man we refused. Our bodies have, er, changed a bit, but there is one body in the band that does just fine with Ed Hardy.

Good night, everybody!

That was a good time.

The Litchfield Inn reminded me of Samuel Johnson who was born and raised in Litchfield, England.

We go home for almost a week and then we play one night in St. Charles, Illinois, but, first, we have dinner.

Elena Lichtenberger                   Jim Wall

Tim Murphy

Tim                             Ben

18 August 2012       The Arcada Theatre      St. Charles              Illinois

We did Bye, Bye, Baby also.

Lynn Asher

Jim Wall                        Bill Graham

29 September 2012        The Monterey Summer of Love Festival       Monterey    California

Stefanie Keys, right, with Nick and Bella de Ville.

Gail Muldrow                  Ed Earley

Laurie Jacobson   Linda Laflamme   David Laflamme   Joli Valenti   Glenn Herskovitz

Tom Finch               Sam Andrew

Galaxy Channel

Rock Scully

Ruth Copland came from England, interviewed me and asked some very good quetions delivered in a most charming manner.

Ed Earley, Sam Andrew Band alumnus from the mid 1990s.

Here we are in July of 1993.

Joli Valenti              Gail Muldrow          I am pestering Gail to come sing with us sometime.

Min Min Anderson      Amani & Grayson Arellano

It’s Groovy Judy!

Allen Weiss and I go  back a long time to pre Big Brother days in San Francisco.

We had a GOOD time at Monterey.         Donna Patterson shot this one.

4 October 2012          The Landmark Hotel          Los Angeles                      Photo:  Howard Sounes

6 October 2012       The Sam Andrew Band       Last Day Saloon        Santa Rosa     California

25 October 2012         The Sam Andrew Band           Sweetwater           Mill Valley       California

Marc Carmi Smith

Kurt Huget

Tom                 Lisa              Sam               David

Marc Carmi-Smith        Stefanie Keys        Rich Kirch

28 November 2012        Sam Andrew Band              19 Broadway          Fairfax, California

Our set list is looking a little more adventurous.

Rich Kirch came along and played guitar on this one, because Tom Finch was in Bali with his wife Tara.

We are doing a Memorial for Kathi McDonald on 8 December, and so this gig is something of a rehearsal for that night.

Marc Carmi-Smith played some excellent drum solos.

Kurt Huget usually plays guitar, but he was on bass tonight.

Glenn Herskowitz came by to talk about the Kathi McDonald Memorial. Always good to see Glenn.

1 December 2012          Palace Hotel     Ukiah Brewing Company         Ukiah       California

Norman and Jane Hudson are restoring this beautiful building.

Sam Andrew                 Jane Hudson

This basement/theatre in the Palace Hotel reminds me of 1090 Page where Peter Albin and I started playing as Big Brother.

Norman Hudson was our host.

Terry Haggerty             Jo Miller

Jerry Miller fingering his Gibson L5 which he has played since the 1950s.

Stefanie Keys         Katie Guthorn

Jody and Chastity Wells

Peter Albin                        Sam Andrew

Katie Guthorn sang with Terry Haggerty and Jerry Miller.

And Ed Vance played the keyboards. That was a very enjoyable set.

Keith Graves                       Stefanie Keys

At our motel, this Moroccan man, Yoba Bouabid, played my guitar in a Django way. Beautiful.

Stefanie Keys

Glenn Herskowitz (left) made the Kathi McDonald Memorial happen.

Steve Keyser

Kathi McDonald

8 December 2012         Kathi McDonald Memorial          Georges       San Rafael      California

Diana Mangano sang As The Years Go Passing By and I’d Rather Go Blind, Kathi’s theme song.

Kristina Rehling sang More and she played a beautiful violin on the rest of the tunes.

Prairie Prince sounded so good.

Prairie, Stefanie Keys, Tom Finch, Elise Piliwale

Call On Me

Linda Imperial  (left with Katie Guthorn and Darby Gould) did How Hard It Is with me.

Darby Gould sang Black Widow Spider.  This was a great moment.

Darby sang Buried Alive In The Blues too.

Linda Imperial and David Freiberg did a beautiful duet on My Romance.

Joli Valenti came up and sang a song by his father Dino… Come on people now smile on your brother, everybody get together, gotta love one another right now. Then Darby Gould sang Heat Wave and Etta James’ Lovin’ Arms.

Linda Imperial                       Diana Mangano

Prairie Prince

Prairie Prince played drums and Peter Albin shared the bass spot with Kurt Huget.

Kurt Huget, Richie Kirch, Lynn Giovaniello and Kristina Rehling

Richie Kirch played some great guitar for his old friend Kathi.

Prairie Prince, Sam Andrew, Tom Finch, George Michalski

Ed Perlstein and Steve Keyser took all of the photographs that look good here. I took the rest.

Snooky Flowers. Ed Perlstein took this classic photograph.

Elise Piliwale and Jerilyn Brandelius

Peter Albin

Barry Melton, Robert Altman, Sam Andrew and Barbara Langer Melton

Vicki Leeds, Jeanne Anderson, Marlene Dupont, Jim Anderson, Sam Andrew

Ann Cohen’s drawing of our band. I see Terry Haggerty there. He did some godlike guitar playing.

I loved playing with Diana.

12 December 2012          Lawrence Shore’s Seminar at Ondine’s            Sausalito      California

Ondine’s is upstairs from the Trident, scene of many an adventure from the late 1950s on.

I read on a plaque that Dave Richards painted the ceiling of the Trident. It doesn’t look like his work to me, but whoever painted it did a beautiful job.

I’m showing you a rainbow, Belvedere, and Angel Island is over my head, if you’ll pardon the expression.

Larry Shore wanted us to have a spirited, freewheeling discussion about the counterculture and what we all meant to each other.

Jesse Bloch came along and filmed everything. He showed me some footage of the Chet Helms Tribute where Kathi McDonald was singing… lovely, sharp, high quality.

Terry Haggerty and I talked about the Sons of Champlin and Big Brother and the Holding Company and our interactions over the years.

Joel Selvin put his Mickey Spillane spin on everything that has happened in the last fifty years.

And Eric Christensen, who has a vivid historical sense, pulled it all together and made it make sense.

18 December 2012      Today I became even older than I already was.

Carla Piliwale (left), my mother-in-law, called me at five in the morning (I was up as I usually am at that hour) and she sang Happy Birthday to me. Her husband Edd said I should put Carla’s rendition on my next album, and, by gosh, maybe I will.

Elise and I drove into San Francisco to find some stairsteps in the inner Sunset District.

These stairs were created by local residents and they are beautiful.

It was fun walking around this neighborhood and looking at things old and new.

We kept climbing and climbing.

There was a huge outcropping of Franciscan rock that I plan to describe in a future writing about the geology of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Elise took some samples and talked about them with me. There was blue schist, chert, sepentenite,

but mostly a lot of Franciscan.

This is the way some of the houses up here are supported.

Narrow steps going higher and higher.

We found the Grandview steps leading still higher.

All this stairclimbing made us hungry so we drove to Clement Street and had some flat noodles at our favorite little Thai spot.

After that, a short trip to Green Apple Books where I couldn’t find a book I have been looking for.

But I did find an edition of the Commentaries of Caesar on the Gallic War which I plan to use soon. Always interesting to be in Green Apple.

Then we made our way home, happy that we had electric power, which we didn’t have when we left, and I heard a phone message from my brother Lee, and so to bed after a happy day.

The audacity of Hope.

Happy 2013 to all of you, my friends…

Rich Kirch                  Jim Anderson