LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  —  RollingStone.com is reporting the death of Sam Andrew, legendary guitarist and founding member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the band that launched Janis Joplin.

Andrew was 73.

Rolling Stone reported Andrew died on February 12 following complications from recent open-heart surgery following a heart attack.

“Yesterday, ten weeks after his heart attack and the open-heart surgery that followed it, Sam lost his gallant fight to hold onto the life he lived so well. He died peacefully in [wife] Elise’s arms at 5:15 pm. There will be much more to say about him in the days to come and there will come a time when we will gather together to remember him… For now we can all remember him in our own ways until we can remember him together. He lived his life in music and art and a loving marriage. It doesn’t get much better than that,” said a message posted Friday on the band’s Facebook page.

Andrew composed many of the group’s hits (“Call on Me” and “Combination of the Two”) and was known for his psychedelic guitar playing. The group also had monster hits with “Summertime” and what was probably Joplin’s signature song, “Piece of My Heart.”

He formed Big Brother (along with bassist Peter Albin) in 1966. Band manager Chet Helms asked a then-unknown Joplin to join the group and the rest is music history.

Andrew and Joplin remained close friends and collaborators until her death in 1970. He toured with various bands though the 1990s.

 

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