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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Dick - Third Stone from the Sun – Robert Dick is probably the world's leading proponent of avant-garde flute techniques. His recordings and teachings, including the well-known The Other Flute have opened up literally a whole new...  (1995) » Read more

The Collectors - The Collectors & Grass and Wild Strawberries – The Collectors hailed from Vancouver, Canada, not exactly a hotbed of the worldwide psychedelic scene, which maybe helps explain why they didn’t make a bigger impact. Their two albums, though...  (2005) » Read more

Goma - 14 Abril – Goma was a five piece in the grand Spanish tradition, mixing a hard rock sound with elements of folk, in many ways similar to bands like Triana and Bloque, but Goma came several years earlier, and...  (1996) » Read more

French TV - I Forgive You for All My Unhappiness – This is the tenth album by bassist Mike Sary and company, which this time (for the most part) includes ex-Boud Deun / current Prester John guitarist Shawn Persinger, drummer Jeff Gard, Adam Huffer on...  (2011) » Read more

Grandbell - The Sun and the Embryo – My immediate snap-judgment upon first listening to this was "Yes-clone." This was mainly based upon hearing vocalist Renato Jardim, who is unapologetically influenced by Jon Anderson....  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover

Merkaba streaming



Print issues