Exposé Online banner

RIP Sam Andrew

Sam Andrew, guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and The Holding Company, passed away on February 12th, at the age of 73. His death stemmed from complications related to a heart attack ten weeks earlier that left him in critical condition.

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-17

As the son of a military father, Andrew moved a great deal as a child. Shortly after he graduated from high school, his father was transferred to Hamilton Air Force Base in northern California. It was during this period that he started attending classes at the University of San Francisco, becoming involved with the San Francisco folk music scene of the early 1960s. However it was not until he returned from a two-year stay in Paris that he met Peter Albin at 1090 Page Street. As Big Brother and the Holding Company came together, Andrew brought many songs into the band. He has been a prolific songwriter all of his life, penning his first tune at the age of six. Of his early compositions, "Call on Me" and "Combination of the Two" have been two of Big Brother’s most enduring classic tracks. Until up until his final illness in early 2015 Andrew continued in his original role as the musical director of the band. Janis Joplin was recruited by band manager Chet Helms to join Big Brother as lead singer on June 4, 1966. The band released their first album on Mainstream in 1967, and their second Cheap Thrills on Columbia Records the following year. At the end of 1968, Andrew and Joplin left Big Brother to form the Kozmic Blues Band. After about nine months and one album, I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!, Andrew returned to Big Brother.

Filed under:

Related artist(s): Big Brother & the Holding Company

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tarántula - Tarántula – Tarántula was part of the first wave of Spanish progressive bands from the 70s. This first album from 1976, heretofore a difficult find, has just been reissued on CD in Korea. A five-piece of...  (1994) » Read more

Corrosive Media - Speakeasy – Speakeasy is a maxi-CD single of three techno-house tracks from German duo Benedict Wyneken and Uwe Wienke. Tracks 1 and 3 clock in at just over fibe minutes each while the centerpiece, "Tommy Gun,"...  (1999) » Read more

Zao - Akhenaton – Zao should need no introduction for progressive fusion fans, as they were one of France's best groups of the 70s, releasing five albums, four of them essential listens. While Zao has reformed...  (1995) » Read more

Chas Smith - Nakadai – For lack of a better term, let’s say that when we produce or listen to sounds that an instrument was not principally designed to generate, we are playing or hearing “beyond the instrument.”...  (2009) » Read more

Tipographica - The Man Who Does Not Nod – After Tipographica's amazing 1994 debut, the big question was: could these guys pull it off live? Well, here's the living proof. Actually, Tipographica has been together since around 1989, gigging...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues