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Mike's Rants

Big Bro Show

   Peter Albin & I

Big Brother & the Holding Company, Yes!   Big Brother has always been one of my favorite of the great San Francisco bands. One upon a time as a teenager I attended the "Santa Clara Folk Rock Festival" at the fairgrounds back in May of 1968 (hey Tom you will also remember that). Many of my favorite "hippie bands" of the day were on the bill; Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead (my first Dead show), Steve Miller Band (back before his cheese days) and the Youngbloods. The event was quite small compared to festivals these days. The concert area was just a patch of grass outside the fairground office, a space about the size of the lawn at Rio Nido Roadhouse or Monte Rio Amphitheater. There were people but you could easily walk up to the front of the stage and lean on it. That was where I first heard  the Dead ( about two feet from their feet). Around the side I was able to bend a bit of cyclone fence and enter "backstage". From there I climbed some steps and was able to watch the Steve Miller Band from the stage. Some short lady kept bumping me with her huge hat though. I turned to look and it was Janis Joplin. I was petrified! Anyway, all was cool and I eventually returned to the front of the stage and from inches away enjoyed Janis & the band right in my face.

 So when we got the chance to play with the band in Sebastopol this past July it was quite a thrill for me. Even though Janis is gone as well as the two guitar players, James & Sam the band still makes some great music. Original members Dave Goetz and Peter Albin provide a solid foundation for the newer members and dynamic vocalist Darby (not a Janis clone). This band plays the classic Big Brother repertoire in a slightly modern yet faithful way. They are the last of the great San Francisco/Haight Ashbury bands ( Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, The Charlatons(Dan Hicks on drums), Quicksilver Messenger Service & Big Brother) to still be playing today with at least some of the original members. So for our band, which we bill as old time psychedelic music, it is a nice connection to the source of it all. I am looking forward greatly to our next gig with them which will be on our home turf in Rio Nido on 9/22/18

Comments Section

That was indeed a fun festival, Mike. You, Lippy, and me. Amazing bands. KLIV owner, Gale "Mother KOIT" Garnet, funded. I remember you and I jammed w/ Nik Gravenitis and Peter showed and played bass on a tune or two. I'm stoked that your show was a hit! Good on you and the THUGZ, Mike! Cheers!

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