Big Bro.’s Sam Andrew Dies

Sam Andrew, 73, a guitarist who co-founded Big Brother and the Holding Company, died Feb. 12 in San Rafael, Calif., of complications from an open-heart surgery that followed a recent heart attack.

From his YouCaring fundraising campaign

Andrew and bassist Peter Albin formed the group in 1965. With the addition of Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company found a recipe for success, and performed a famed set during the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 before releasing its self-titled debut later that year and Cheap Thrills a year later.

Andrew left Big Brother to help Joplin with her solo project before returning a year later. The group disbanded in 1972 but reunited several times over the years, and Andrew also led his own solo project dubbed the Sam Andrew Band.

A memorial and medical expenses fundraiser page has been set up at