Friday, July 6, 2012

Stone, 412 Broadway, San Francisco, CA

1964, 412 Broadway, San Francisco, CA

Capacity 700

Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, had a connection to 412 Broadway in San Francisco. On July 27, 1963 Ruby called San Francisco, EX 7-6488, for 3 minutes from the Carousel Club (this is the owner of the Moulin Rouge 412-B Broadway, Dave Rapken)(7) Dave Rapkin, owned a string of topless clubs on Broadway.(8)

This address was known as Moulin Rouge/Casa Madrid, a topless club, in 1963-67.
S.F. Chronicle, April 2, 1967

Tony Bennett opened this room in 1967 when it was called Mr. D's, an elegant supper club.(4)

The San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder says that this building was built in 1968. Maybe there was a fire?(12)

Bobby Darin opened San Francisco’s huge Mr. D’s with a 23-piece orchestra.(2)

June 12, 1968---MR. D's--Mr. D's , San Francisco's newest supper club and touted as the largest, opened grandly with a classy, polished one man show by Bobby Darin, backed by a 23-piece orchestra.
For openers, Darin gave them an impressive solo show. Like that other Mr. D,  Sammy Davis Jr., who the club was named for as he had a modest interest in the club. 
 Darin is the complete entertainer. He sings extremely well out of every pop bag from ballads to a hard rocking "Splish Splash" , his own composition, and at his best, as in "If I Were A Carpenter" with a thrilling guitar and flute backing is great. He accompanies himself on occasion on a very competent guitar and piano, moves like a dancer ,snaps patter, clowns and does imitations,especially funny ones of Rex Harrison and Tony Bennett. One imitation,that of Ray Charles was unannounced and serious.
The audience demands his own "Mack The Knife" and rather than just run through again, he brings freshness by mocking and playing with it.(3)

Mr. D's was a supper club, offering dinner, drinks and two shows a night. They shared headliners with Reno and Tahoe. Motown acts were booked regularly, like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations or Martha And The Vandellas, and they typically played a week long engagement.
Three Dog Night performed here on November 7+8, 1969. Hoyt Axton was the opening act.(1)
The only live recordings from Mr. D's are some 1968 tracks collected on the album The Charlie Brown Suite and Other Favorites by Vince Guaraldi.(13)

By 1972, the club had passed through several hands before Peter Abrams of the Matrix reopened his historic Fillmore Street club on the premises. Original Matrix owner/operator Peter Abram (along with John Barsotti and Dave Martin) re-opened the club at this new site in late Summer 1973 . Although the second Matrix was not really a success, there were a number of good shows there in the second half of 1973.
The New York Dolls played there in September (Sep 4-6), and the then-unknown Bob Marley and The Wailers played some legendary gigs there in October (Oct 19-20, 29-30) when booker Scott Piering took a chance and flew in an unknown group of Jamaican musicians who were stranded in Las Vegas after being fired from a Sly And The Family Stone tour. Called The Wailers, the group surprised everybody-including themselves-by packing the place for two consecutive nights. It was these 1973 dates that first showed Bob Marley he could be successful in the U.S.

In retrospect, an equally legendary gig has to have been the Halloween 1973 show featuring Iggy and The Stooges and The Tubes. The ad (from the Fremont Argus of October 26, 1973) says "Halloween Party with Iggy and The Stooges, The Tubes and Sugardaddy." Iggy Stooge--as he was known in those days--was a notorious engine of destruction. His new album Raw Power featured original Stooges Scott Asheton on drums and Ron Asheton (on bass), along with new guitarist James Williamson (whose presence nudged Ron Asheton over to bass). Iggy's stage act typically featured frenzied madness and self-mutilation. If I remember correctly--I cannot find the direct reference--Joel Selvin's review (he was the SF Chronicle rock critic) could barely describe the lunacy of Iggy's show, including a young lady in the audience performing a certain act (which wasn't described).(5)

The next incarnation of the room was The Soul Train, a joint venture of Oakland-based concert producer Dick Griffey and television personality Don Cornelius, whose Soul Train television show was just starting it's long and successful run on the airwaves. Their club did not last long but it did stay open long enough to host  a number of great soul shows by the stars of the day like Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes. Comedian Richard Pryor cut a scorchingly funny 1974 live album here.

I grabbed these matchbooks from ashtrays at The Stone, 412 Broadway, San Francisco on February 1, 1980.
From 1975 to early 1980 the club was called The Hippodrome. Lewis Chin, a 49 year old, was the owner and manager of The Hippodrome on Broadway.

KPIX TV reported a 20 alarm fire at The Hippodrome on October 21, 1975.

The Hippodrome is listed in the 1977 Theater section of Polk's City Directory. It lists Lewis Chin as the owner.

The Hippodrome presented a farce called "Bullshot Crummond" in it's 350 seat cabaret theater for two years.(9)
Modesto Bee, August 1, 1977

Modesto Bee, April 13, 1979

1995 photo by Keta Bill Selvin

When Freddie Herrera and Bobby Corona took over the lease in 1980 to establish The Stone-Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker were the opening bill, followed by two nights of The Jerry Garcia Band-the new partnership suddenly represented a small fiefdom of three clubs, including Keystone Berkeley and Keystone Palo Alto. For the next several years, the Broadway club was a thriving alternative to the Bill Graham-run clubs. (Bobby Cochran, in fact, sued Graham for unfair competition and Graham settled out of court.)
The Stone

The club presented a full array of musical styles. Prince made a memorable 1982 appearance. Soul greats from Wilson Pickett and James Brown to The Four Tops and The Temptations worked the room.
After ten years, Herrera and Corona split their partnership, having already sold their Palo Alto and Berkeley clubs, and unloaded the lease on John Nady, inventor of the wireless guitar who was already running an Oakland club called the Omni. Nady never enjoyed the success of the Keystone chain, and within a few years he vacated the lease and left a sign on the marquee reading "Bye".

Relix Magazine: Issue 17-02 -- March/April - 1990 


 by Jim Juanis

So Long Freddy: The big news on the Bay Area music scene is the sale of the Stone nightclub in San Francisco by founder Freddy Herrera to East Bay club owner and technical wiz John Nady. Herrera got his start in the club business back in 1968, when he opened the Keystone Korner, located at the corner of Vallejo Street and Emery Lane in San Francisco's North Beach, with the help of some of his musical friends, among them Michael Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites, Elvin Bishop, Boz Scaggs, Jerry Garcia, and Merl Saunders. The legendary club and its basement provided temporary lodging to many a musician, including Bishop, who lived there for a time when he first decided to make the Bay Area his home.
In 1971, Herrera heard that the New Monk, the Berkeley club famous for breaking Creedence Clearwater Revival, was for sale. After getting the good word from Bloomfield and Gravenites, Herrera bought the nightspot, and the Keystone Berkeley was born.

In 1972, Herrera sold the Keystone Korner to Todd Barkan, who converted it into San Francisco's premier jazz club.

Across the bay in Berkeley, the Keystone was really happening, boasting an incredible lineup of musicians. Take for instance a 1975 handbill announcing shows for February. Performing at the club during that memorable month were, in order of appearance: the Sons of Champlin, Eddie Money, Elvin Bishop, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Kingfish with Bob Weir, Howard Wales, the Good Old Boys (Jerry Garcia, David Nelson, and Frank Wakefield), and Legion of Mary (Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders, Martin Fierro, and John Kahn). Garcia and Saunders recorded their classic Live at Keystone (Fantasy) at the club in 1973.

In 1976, Herrera took on two new partners, Bobby Corona, Jr., and Bobby Corona, Sr. (Big Bob), and opened another Keystone club in a converted supermarket in Palo Alto.

Herrera returned to San Francisco in January, 1980, opening the Stone at the corner of Broadway and Montgomery in North Beach. Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker opened the club.

During the 70s and '80s, the Keystones provided the best in national touring rock and blues acts. As late as 1986, you could catch the Jerry Garcia Band playing two long sets in an intimate atmosphere for a mere seven bucks! But higher talent costs, competition in the limited Bay Area market, and some disagreements with his partners, began to take their toll on Herrera. Slowly, he began to sell his beloved clubs. The first to go was his favorite, in Berkeley, and then the Keystone Palo Alto. Finally, in January, he sold the Stone to John Nady.

Nady is the inventor of the Nady Wireless, a device that allows electric guitars and microphones to operate without cords. The Nady Wireless is standard in the rock industry. Nady has operated the Omni nightclub in Oakland for over four years and is looking forward to putting on shows on both sides of the bay.

Freddy Herrera had his last hurrah at a party held at the Stone in mid-January, as hundreds of his friends gathered to commemorate his more than 20 years as a clubowner. Old portraits of Michael Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites were taken out of storage and hung on the hallowed walls one last time, as Gravenites, Boz Scaggs, Merl Saunders, and many others reminisced about the good old days. So long, Freddy! Thanks for the memories.

412 Broadway mostly remained a nightclub, as it does today, even though it changed names and formats. Briefly, its history seems to be
  • 1965: Mother's, owned and DJ'd by Tom "Big Daddy" Donohue, opened July 4(14)
  • 1964-67: The Moulin Rouge(10) (moved from 540 Pacific Avenue, 1957)(11)
  • 1967-69: Mr. D's
  • early 70's: The Seven Divinities
  • Aug-Dec '73: The Matrix (sometimes known as The New Matrix)
  • 1974: Don Cornelius's Soul Train (yes, the very same)
  • late 1975-80: The Hippodrome
  • 1980-90: The Stone (Keystone overview is here)
  • 1990s: mostly empty
  • 1999: Broadway Showgirls Cabaret(1), opened March 15, 1999
  • 2000: Boys Toys(18), opened January, 2000 
In 2012 it's called The Penthouse Club & Steakhouse (yes, that Penthouse).

Jerry performed here on
11/?/65 Warlocks (Mother's)
"The Only Time is Now" is one of several unreleased demos by the Emergency Crew (previously the Warlocks) before they renamed themselves the Grateful Dead, with Phil Lesh on vocals. Note the folk-rock sound and the lack of a lead guitar -- Jerry Garcia was still playing folk-style chords like the Byrds. This recording was part of a two-track demo session for Tom "Big Daddy"Donahue-Mitchell's Autumn Records, recorded at Mothers (Tom Donahue's club) in SF in Nov. 1965.(1)
2/1/80 Jerry Garcia Band
2/2/80 Jerry Garcia Band
3/7/80 Jerry Garcia Band
3/8/80 Jerry Garcia Band
7/18/80 Jerry Garcia Band
7/19/80 Jerry Garcia Band
2/21/81 Jerry Garcia Band
2/22/81 Jerry Garcia Band
2/23/81 Jerry Garcia Band
4/25/81 Jerry Garcia Band
5/31/81 Jerry Garcia Band
6/1/81 Jerry Garcia Band
7/23/81 Jerry Garcia Band
9/19/81 Jerry Garcia Band
9/20/81 Jerry Garcia Band
10/27/81 Jerry Garcia Band
12/18/81 Jerry Garcia Band
2/28/82 Jerry Garcia Band
4/25/82 Jerry Garcia Band
4/26/82 Jerry Garcia Band
9/6/82 Jerry Garcia Band
9/7/82 Jerry Garcia Band
10/21/82 Jerry Garcia Band
1/8/83 Jerry Garcia Band
1/14/83 Jerry Garcia Band
1/15/83 Jerry Garcia Band
1/25/83 Jerry Garcia Band
3/6/83 Jerry Garcia Band
3/7/83 Jerry Garcia Band
5/7/83 Jerry Garcia Band
7/21/83 Jerry Garcia Band
7/22/83 Jerry Garcia Band
11/13/83 Jerry Garcia Band
11/14/83 Jerry Garcia Band
1/8/84 Jerry Garcia Band
1/9/84 Jerry Garcia Band
3/4/84 Jerry Garcia Band
5/12/84 Jerry Garcia Band
5/13/84 Jerry Garcia Band
7/31/84 Jerry Garcia Band
8/1/84 Jerry Garcia Band
8/24/84 Jerry Garcia Band
9/15/84 Jerry Garcia Band
9/16/84 Jerry Garcia Band
11/14/84 Jerry Garcia Band
12/2/84 Jerry Garcia Band
12/3/84 Jerry Garcia Band
12/10/84 Jerry Garcia Band
3/2/85 Jerry Garcia Band
3/3/85 Jerry Garcia Band
6/1/85 Jerry Garcia Band
6/2/85 Jerry Garcia Band
8/4/85 Jerry Garcia Band
8/5/85 Jerry Garcia Band
8/9/85 Jerry Garcia Band
9/27/85 Jerry Garcia Band
10/13/85 Jerry Garcia Band
10/14/85 Jerry Garcia Band
12/14/85 Jerry Garcia Band
12/15/85 Jerry Garcia Band
1/18/86 Jerry Garcia Band
1/19/86 John Kahn acoustic
2/21/86 Jerry Garcia Band
3/10/86 Jerry Garcia Band
4/28/86 Jerry Garcia Band
5/13/86 Jerry Garcia Band
5/30/86 Jerry Garcia Band
5/31/86 Jerry Garcia Band
10/4/86 Jerry Garcia Band
10/5/86 Jerry Garcia Band
10/18/86 Jerry Garcia Band
11/10/86 Jerry Garcia Band
11/11/86 Jerry Garcia Band
11/30/86 Jerry Garcia Band
12/3/86 Jerry Garcia Band
12/8/86 Jerry Garcia Band
12/21/86 Jerry Garcia Band
1/24/87 Jerry Garcia Band
That coma was like a rude awakening. He could not believe he could not play the guitar. It was like starting over. We'd practice every day. He loved playing Gershwin, Duke Ellington. He loved "My Funny Valentine." (Merl Saunders, keyboardist and friend)

1/25/87 Jerry Garcia Band
2/10/87 Jerry Garcia Band
3/8/87 Jerry Garcia Band
3/9/87 Jerry Garcia Band
3/10/87 Jerry Garcia Band
4/23/87 Jerry Garcia Band
4/24/87 Jerry Garcia Band
5/27/87 Jerry Garcia Band
5/28/87 Jerry Garcia Band
5/30/87 Jerry Garcia Band
5/31/87 Jerry Garcia Band
If you went to enough JGB shows at the Stone or Keystones and made it down front he most definitley knew you. Nothing like a Jerry smile...
In one of the Taper's Compendium's, there is featured an interview with Betty Cantor Jackson in which she describes being backstage (in 1980 perhaps) and experiencing Garcia singing 'for her' especially....the way she tells the tale is very poignant and totally relatable to anyone who experienced the GD in all of their glory.

1.)^Rock Archaeology 101, 2011-03-17, 412 Broadway, San Francisco, CA, Mr. D's,
2.)^Fontenot, Robert, The Bobby Darin Story,
3.)^Goldsmith, John, Kellhlar, Bruce, Bobby Darin:Concert Reviews,
4.)^Richards, Rand, Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past, pg 296,,+sammy+davis+jr.&source=bl&ots=fdREM9g7p4&sig=f-g8P-WY1TfJ0mJniOi9t66lTL8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=x6u5T5acFubniAKkqeDGBg&ved=0CGYQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=mr.%20d%27s%2C%20sammy%20davis%20jr.&f=false
6.)^Purdy, Donald A., Jr., and Lichtenfels, Beth Anne, JACK RUBY CHRONOLOGIES: 1940-64 AND NOVEMBER 22--24, 1963, Vol. 25, p. 254; CD 4, p. 691.,
7.)^Thomas, Steve, 2004-09-14, Ruby's connection to San Francisco,
8.)^Passman, Arnie, 1971-09-02, Sych Sweet Thunder, Rolling Stone,
9.)^Ledbetter, Les, San Francisco Chinatown Spills Past Boundaries, 1977-01-23, Sarasota Herald-tribune, pg 65,,3591076&dq=hippodrome+san+francisco&hl=en
10.)^Tillmany, Jack, San Francisco Theaters, Cinemas, Dancehalls, after 190,
11.)^Polk's SF Directory, 1957,
14.)^Perry, Colin, The Haight-Ashbury: A history,
16.)^Bay Area Radio Museum, 
17.)^Light Into Ashes, 2011-10-01, 
18.)^Curiel, Jonathan, 2000-03-28,


  1. Nice!

    I think you have 10/17/87 and 12/4/87 mistakenly appended to the end of your list.

  2. Thanks, corrections and additions greatly appreciated!

  3. My uncle was David Rapken who owned Mr. D's and the club was named after David (hence, Mr. D's). David, my mom and I came up with that name! It was not named after Sammy Davis Jr. and I'm curious as to where you got that idea.

  4. Hi Carol,
    It seems that both Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin had opening nights at Mr. D's. Did it close due to fire or something and then re-open? I also have to ask if you have any news clippings or any paperwork of any kind related to club. Trying to find out opening and closing nights, who performed there when and other anecdotal stuff.

    Thanks for commenting. I've added my reference for the Sammy Davis Jr. issue below. Thank you!

    Richards, Rand, Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past, pg 296,,+sammy+davis+jr.&source=bl&ots=fdREM9g7p4&sig=f-g8P-WY1TfJ0mJniOi9t66lTL8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=x6u5T5acFubniAKkqeDGBg&ved=0CGYQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=mr.%20d%27s%2C%20sammy%20davis%20jr.&f=false

  5. Carol,
    Dave Rapken owned both Moulin Rouge and Mr. D's? Did he also own Casa Madrid next door? Please help us to fully understand his involvement in 412 Broadway.

    I'm also curious about the Lee Harvey Oswald phone call. Did Dave Rapken know him?

  6. you missed out boys toys which was before showgirls, i live next door btw

  7. Numbers,
    How long have you lived next door? I'm curious about the Mother's incarnation.

  8. Thanks for the article, The Stone was a special place, especially when Jerry played there. I met and talked to both Bobby Peterson (Unbroken Chain) and Stephen Gaskin (The Farm) at separate JGB shows there just hanging out in the crowd. One very special show not listed here was Jerry solo acoustic in the early 80's. Everyone sat down on the floor, like we were in his living room, 1st time seeing that dance floor so quiet and attentive. Another wild night Bobby and The Midnights played with George Thorouhgood acoustic between sets. Bobby belted out a falsetto "You'd Better Shop Around". Jer played on his birthday there once and a cake was brought out to a very red faced guitar player. He'd drive his BMW to these shows so I got to watch him parallel park once and say howdy to him on the street, suitcase in hand, many times. Thanks Freddie!!! SF