Guitarist Sam Andrew, a founding member of Big Brother and the Holding Company and later the Kozmic Blues Band, passed away Thursday, 10 weeks after suffering a heart attack and complications from an open-heart surgery. He was 73.

A post on the Big Brother Facebook page says, “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. He lived his life in music and art and a loving marriage. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Andrew assembled Big Brother in 1965 in San Francisco with bassist Peter Albin. Their manager, Chet Helms, hooked them up with singer Janis Joplin in 1966. They recorded two albums together — a self-titled debut in 1967 and Cheap Thrills in 1968. At the end of ’68, Andrew and Joplin jumped ship and formed the Kozmic Blues Band. Andrew stayed on for a year before returning to Big Brother. That line-up lasted until 1972, when the band broke up. They reformed in 1987 and played together until October. Andrew also led The Sam Andrew Band.