Thursday, April 10, 2014

'A friend of a friend of ...': Dave Getz

Unless you look closely at some of the names in my Facebook friends list -- those "friends of friends of" actual friends -- you might not give much thought to who some of these people are or what they've done.  When you look at their biographies, that's when pieces of modern music history can hit you like a freight train going full-speed.

Dave Getz
Such is the story with Dave Getz.  He's a gifted visual artist.  That's basically what took him to the Bay Area, to study art and try to make a name for himself with his talent holding a brush and creating works of art that are appealing to the eyes.  Before that, he'd shown serious chops as a drummer in the New York area.  He went on to study art in the San Francisco area, and met Peter Albin, who was with a band called Big Brother and The Holding Company.  Dave let Peter know that he played the drums, Dave soon became a member of Big Brother himself.

Later on in 1966, there came a singer from Texas who would join the group as well.  She would set the world of rock music on fire and become a legend with her powerful voice.  Her name was Janis Joplin.

Big Brother's album "Cheap Thrills" went to No. 1 in 1968 and stayed there for eight weeks.  Playing in that band which had already started establishing itself on the instrumental side, having Janis Joplin bolster it vocally ... it was a defining moment.  Janis left the band in 1968, and Getz went on to play with Country Joe and The Fish.

That association with Big Brother and Janis Joplin will stay with Dave Getz forever.  He's still playing, teaching others how to play, still working on his visual art.

Looking behind the names can paint a fascinating picture of a person's life.


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