Big Brother history, part eleven – 1998


Lynn Asher


Big Brother has been blessed with great singers:  Janis Joplin, Kate Russo, Lynn Asher, Sophia Ramos, Kacee Clanton, Andra Mitrovich, Cathy Richardson, Lisa Mills, Lisa Battle, Kathi McDonald, Jeri Verdi, Jane Myrenget, Halley DeVestern, Darby Gould, Arianna Antinori, Stacy Bauer, Jennifer Espinosa, Melissa Etheridge, Eileen Humphreys, Valerie Johnson, Mari Mack, Kristina Kopriva Rehling, Francine Sama, Mary Bridget Davies, Wendy Rich, Jody Joseph, Desirée Le Mieux, Diane Lotny, Chloe Lowery, Magdi Ruzsa, Boudicca, Michel Bastian, Shiho Superfly, Trish Burke and Maria Stanford.

Janis David Gahr b&w

Now, before the History Police come and break down my door to inform me that, for example, Melissa Etheridge was never in the band and she sang only a couple of tunes, I hasten to add that several of these singers were only with us briefly.

darby gould 3 oct 2014

Each of these people sang very well when they were with us, and I love them all.

Kathi Robert Altman

I am very fortunate to have performed with people of this caliber.     Photo:  Robert Altman


23 January 1998   Six Rivers Brewing Company    McKinleyville   California



6  February 1998    Bay Brewing Company     Milwaukee   Wisconsin


7 February 1998   Marquette University  Milwaukee   Wisconsin

Margaret Nelson Gurley.

10 February 1998   Tuxedo Junction  Danbury  Conneticut     “See ya, James.”   “Not if I see you first.”       Typical Gurley exchange.


20 February 1998    The Emelin Theatre   Mamaroneck     New York


21 February 1998    The Call   Providence    Rhode Island


22 February 1998  Bodles Opera House  Chester   New York

Sam James Pimper's Paradise 1995

“James, you’re a great guitar player.”   “Takes one to know one.”

26 February 1998  Manny’s Car Wash  New York City    Oh, man, I love being in New York and meeting people like Kate Russo.

27 February 1998  Mexicali Blues  Teaneck  New Jersey    Catherine Cavalieri and Carl Peachman took LSD that night. That was interesting. We all drove home together. To show you how stoned they were, I was doing the driving. There was a still, meditative feeling in the car. Rather different from Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer On The Wall.

Having passed her acid test, Catherine begins booking the band.   Typical sweet, helpful note from her.


28 February 1998   Van Dyck    Schenectady   New York             Don Wilcock was a jazz writer attuned to the passing scene.

With  Lisa Battle


1 March 1998   Khyber   Philadelphia


2 March 1998   Letter from Jack Ortman.

Jeannie Anderson    James Anderson   Elise Piliwale   Margaret Joplin

Dusty Street                Gilbert Klein

7 March 1998                    Bammies

Koko Dree.

14 March 1998  Cocodrie   San Francisco


22 April 1998   Dave’s CC Club   Tallahassee   Florida   This was a real juke joint out in the woods. The owner Dave is a good man.

24 April 1998     Ray’s Downtown Club     West Palm Beach


25 April 1998       Cheers       Fort Lauderdale

26 April 1998     Mr. Pub     Ocala    Florida

1 May 1998   Trader’s  Lakeland  Florida   May Day ! May Day !  This pilot’s distress call from World War Two was originally M’aidez !  Help Me !


2 May 1998   Sebastian Beach Inn    Sebastian Beach   Florida

12 May 1998

15 May 1998   President Casino   Biloxi    Mississippi


16 May 1998  Tipitina’s      New Orleans

anne arlen

12 June 1998     Mount Tabor     Portland      Oregon     The Mt. Tabor Theater was named after an extinct volcano located within the city boundaries of Portland, Oregon. The theatre was operating prior to 1941 and was still open in 1950. Although it closed and fell on hard times, it still displayed the name on the marquee and some unique neon tubing. It is situated across and down S.E. Hawthorne Street from the Bagdad, which has fared much better.


The colorful gentlemen who used to build, finance and own these places in the 1950s called them “carpet joints.”

jennifer espinosa

13 June 1998   Reno Hilton      Reno


19 June 1998   Six Rivers   McKinleyville     California

With Peter Walsh and George Michalski

20 June 1998  Altamont  Speedway  Livermore  Caliifornia


25 June 1998     Manny’s Car Wash   New York City

Look at the people who played here in one month’s time: Kerry Kearney, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmy Vivino.

Talking to Daniel Aloi.

Eighth Ave 977

kelsey ozga

26 June 1998   West Strand Grill   Kingston   New York



Kingston is on highway 87 almost due north of Manhattan.  Woodstock is a little to the northeast of Kingston.


Buffalo is in the western part of New York state between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, where the Falls are.

27 June 1998    Mohawk Place   Buffalo  New York   Someone made such a great recording of us here, including a fugue that Tom Finch and I played.

Elise Wainani Piliwale

28 June 1998    Stanhope Blues Fest     Stanhope    New Jersey

1 July 1998   Kingsbury’s   Elmira   New York        Mark Twain’s wife Olivia Langdon grew up in Elmira.

The Clemens family lived in Hartford, Connecticut, but they summered at Quarry Farm, Elmira, New York.

Livy’s sister Susan Crane lived here. She built a study in the form of a pilot house for the author. This is where he wrote his best known books. Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and The Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. He would breakfast in the main house and then walk down to the study to write all day.

…since we have perched away up here on top of the hill near heaven I have the feeling of being a sort of scrub angel & am more moved to help shove the clouds around, & get the stars on deck promptly, & keep all things trim & ship-shape in the firmament than to bother myself with the humble insect-interests & occupations of the distant earth.

Twain’s study in the form of a pilot house out in back of the main house where Susan Crane, Livy’s sister, lived.


3 July 1998   Godfrey Daniel’s      Bethlehem       Pennsylvania



4 July 1998       Burke Estate     Hastings-On-Hudson  New York


Catherine Cavalieri, who had begun to book us, decided to have us perform near her home in Hastings-on-Hudson. We performed on the grounds of the Burke Estate which has quite a history.


The place had belonged to Billie Burke, perhaps best known as Glinda, the good witch, in The Wizard of Oz.



Billie Burke was married to Florenz Ziegfeld, the preeminent showman of his time.


Flo Ziegfeld hired all of the famous actors of the day for his regular theatre times, but at midnight he had a special set of shows which featured performers like Will Rogers who was a kind of latter day Mark Twain, wise, funny and talented. Billie, herself quite gifted, helped her husband keep track of all these luminaries.


So, Catherine Cavalieri brought us to play on the grounds of Billie Burke’s estate. It was a beautiful sunny day and there were a lot of children with their families.

Two women relaxing on rock

19 July 1998   Uncle Henry’s 90th Birthday Celebration   Guerneville   California       Peter played stand up bass, and I sang How Long Has This Been Going On at this event.


24 July 1998     Atom Club     Tokyo


26 July 1998   Shizuoka Royal Hotel    Shizuoka    Japan    Our hotel is at the ‘H.’


28 July 1998             Rag Club               Kyoto


31 July 1998     Casanova   Makawao     Maui    Hawaii


1 August 1998      Hapa’s        Kihei                Hawaii

2 August 1998     Anna Banana’s       Honolulu     This is Fort Street, about 1930.


Anna Banana’s.


15 August 1998    St. Paul’s River Feast    St. Paul    Minnesota

16 August 1998   The Twisters    Kenosha    Wisconsin

Cinc HH

19 August 1998     Mad Frog      Cincinnati


20 August 1998  Wilbert’s  Cleveland    I liked this place. Friendly people.


22 August 1998   B.B. King’s    Los Angeles


23 August 1998            House of Blues              West Hollywood


11 September 1998   Teatro Metopolitan   México, D.F.    One of the best gigs ever. Kate Russo came along and sang and played so beautifully.


I did several interviews in Spanish and they seemed to understand me, which is good, because they often don’t understand me in English.

Frida Kahlo museum photography restoration project

Danny Uzilevsky came along and played some great guitar.

Sound check:    We were here with Fito de la Parra and his merry men, and that is always fun.


Elise was with me, so this trip was extra special.

Playing a couple of tunes at El Tianguís del Chopo, signing autographs and selling CDs.


¡ Saludos a México !

Kate Russo.

9 October 1998   The Call  Providence     Geri Verdi sang these gigs with us.


10 October 1998              Harpers Ferry Boston      Halley DeVestern sang with us.


11 October 1998  Consolati Performing Arts Center    Sheffield    Massachusetts

14 October 1998    Ram’s Head   Annapolis    Maryland


15 October 1998      Friar Tuck’s      Norfolk     Virginia

16 October 1998      Jaxx    Springfield    Virginia

17 October 1998      Stanhope House     Stanhope     New Jersey


18 October 1998      The Schoolhouse   Croton Falls  New York


22 October 1998       Milestones      Rochester    New York

Susan Paul Alan

23 October 1998    The Van Dyck     Schenectady   New York

a wash

24 October 1998      Sandy’s    Glen Falls      New York

vag 2

25 October 1998                Riverstreet Jazz Café              Wilkes-Barre              Pennsylvania


27 October 1998      Hard Rock Café    Atlantic City   New Jersey

This is when the Carol guitar entered the Hard Rock system. She now travels all over the world visiting all the Hard Rocks.

28 October 1998      Khyber                      Philadelphia

30 October 1998    Mexicali Blues Teaneck New Jersey      Kate Russo


A major marketing mistake?  Or did it not matter much that Columbia Records released five singles at once? One thing is for sure. They are all great songs.


Peter Lewis. Great voice. Really very good guitar player.  Hard worker.


Look at the guy on the right.  Same guitar that he plays today.

We did these tunes and many others as well.




With Jerry Miller and Bob Mosly at Wetlands, New York City.

sutro baths


27 November 1998  19 Broadway  Fairfax   California      I love the Russell brothers.


These guys can burn the house down in fifteen minutes.


5 December 1998   Boulder Theatre   Boulder  California


kathy peck

See you next week?

Tom Bernard Purdie Sam Halley 1993

Tom Finch, Bernard Purdie, Sam Andrew, Halley DeVestern