Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jerry's House, 436 Hamilton Street, Palo Alto, CA

"Dave Parker was a relatively new addition to the gang when he moved into the house. He was born in Santa Barbara but grew up mostly in San Francisco and Menlo Park, where he attended Sequoia High School, Tiff Garcia's alma mater. He went to UC Berkeley for a year to study engineering, but he did poorly and was placed on academic probation, so he moved back to the Peninsula and went instead to the College of San Mateo, where he met Rodney and Peter Albin, and then David Nelson. Like just about everyone else in this early part of the saga, he loved both Beat writers and folk music, which quite naturally led him into Garcia's wide circle of friends. Parker and Garcia became close friends that autumn, and they spent a lot of time hanging out and talking to Garcia at Dana Morgan's, which was just a few blocks from Hamilton Street. "He'd just be sitting around waiting for his next student to show up," Parker says. "Jerry always had some fascinating perspective on something. Then when his student would show up I'd go out in front and look at the instruments or talk to Dana, who I went to high school with.
"He was always an amazing guy," Parker continues. "I hate to use a word like charisma because it's so overused, but he just had a certain force to his personality and character — he was a very strong, magnetic person, and yet he was never looking to dominate anybody or any scene. He always had that thing of 'I'm not the leader,' yet ironically, he always was; he couldn't help it, just because of being him. It was natural."[2]

Jerry lived and rehearsed here in 
1963 The Chateau was sold and Jerry, David Nelson, Robert Hunter and Willy Legate moved into 436 Hamilton Street, just a block away from St. Michael's Alley.[3]
This is the house where the Wildwood Boys turned into the Black Mountain Boys in September. Hunter was fired from the band and replaced with Eric Thompson. The Black Mountain Boys were first called Elves, Gnomes, Leprachauns and Little People's Chowder and Marching Society Volunteer Fire Brigade and Ladies Auxiliary String Band.[1]

1964 Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions
Deep Elem Blues;Washington at Valley Forge;Beetle Um Bum;K.C. Moan;I'm Satisfied
Jerry Garcia, guitar and banjo
Bob Weir, washtub bass, jug and guitar
Pigpen, harmonica
David Nelson, guitar
David Parker, washboard and kazoo
Bob Matthews, washboard and kazoo.

 1.)^Troy, Sandy, Captain Trips, p. 54-5
2.)^Jackson, Blair, Garcia, An American Life, pg 59.
3.)^McNally, Dennis, A Long Strange Trip:The Inside History of the Grateful Dead, pg. 51.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the 'Hamilton Street House' was on Hamilton between Cowper and Waverley. That would put it a block from the old post office (also on Hamilton). If I'm correct, the house was long since torn down and replaced by a bank (now a Wells Fargo).

    Dana Morgan's was on Ramona, two blocks West, between Hamilton and University.