Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills

Big Brother & the Holding Company Cheap Thrills

(1968) Columbia label. Purchased new (probably a reissue) in 1979 from Gillette’s Records in Riverside, California.  Gatefold jacket with Robert Crumb artwork detailing songs and band members.  Indicative of the time is a label on the cover proudly declaring “Approved by Hell’s Angels Frisco”.  Big Brother and The Holding Company were James Gurley on guitar, Peter S. Albin on bass, Dave Getz on drums, Sam Houston Andrew III on bass and guitar, and Janis Joplin on vocals!  This album has live material recorded at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium.


  1. Combination Of The Two (5:47)
  2. I Need A Man To Love  (4:54)
  3. Summertime  (4:00)
  4. Piece Of My Heart  (4:15)


  1. Turtle Blues  (4:22)
  2. Oh, Sweet Mary  (4:16)
  3. Ball And Chain  (9:37)

In 1979 I had my own job and I could drive.  My folks would let me borrow the Oldsmobile and I would shop for records. At that time all of my purchases were either done in Riverside at Licorice Pizza, Music Plus, Wherehouse, Gillette’s Records, downstairs at Woolworth’s, or mail order from the Columbia Record House.

As a high school student I always felt as if I was born 10 years too late.  I understood what was happening in the 1960’s.  Unlike my mother, I embraced the counter cultural revolution of the hippies, rock and roll, and anti Vietnam politics.  But, at the time these issues were in the limelight, I was, what 6? 7?

No, I was safely ensconced in Riverside.  Running around barefoot in the downtown area, saving pop bottles and living vicariously by watching what my babysitters were going through. With names like Debbie, Jeanie, Ginger, or Penny they were 14, 15, or 16 and living the hippie life.

“Mommy how come Jeanie can’t babysit for us today?”

“Because she ran away.”

I remember when Jeanie came home after being gone.  Her once long and beautiful black hair was so tangled and full of knots (we called them rats).  She was so skinny.  She was so sad.  Her mom promptly got her a pixie haircut, bought her a bunch of new clothes and re-enrolled her at North high school.  She could babysit again.  Then within a couple of months, she was gone.  Her mom cried and cried.

Jeanie loved Janis Joplin.  Janis’s voice kind of scared me at first.  She didn’t sound like a girl the way Diana Ross or Dionne Warwick did.  But Janis was like a virus you caught.  Once in your system she was tough to shake.  I remember when the news said Janis Joplin had died.  I remember my mom talking about the dangers of being a hippie and a runaway and taking all those drugs. I remember thinking about my babysitters.  I don’t know what ever happened to any of them.


Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s