Friday, June 29, 2012

Opera House, 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA





Boston Theater-1901
B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre-opened October 29, 1928
RKO Keith Memorial-open late 1940's-closed June 13, 1965
The Savoy-August 3, 1965
Savoy II-1971-1973
Opera House-1982
Opera House re-opened July 16, 2004


Capacity-2907 in 1950 (The Film Daily Yearbook)


The confusing history of the Opera House begins with its original incarnation, built on Huntington Avenue in 1901. The venue was a popular spot for local and traveling opera troupes. Unfortunately, the building fell into disrepair in the time between the Great Depression and World War II. The first and second demolition companies gave up in frustration, as the opera house resisted their demolition efforts. It was eventually demolished; a Northeastern dormitory building sits where the old Opera House formerly did. This can be the first confusion.

The second confusion is that there was an original B.F. Keith's Theater that sat across from the Boston Common in the city's theatre district, with an entrance on Tremont Street and another on Washington Street.[3]

The third confusion is that Keith's Memorial Theater later sat on the former location of B.F. Keith's Boston Theater.

The current Opera House's entrance facade on Washington Street is in the exact location of the Boston Theatre's entrance. 
After about 1908, the Boston was run by the Keith organization. Next to the Boston's north wall on Mason Street was a firehouse, which later closed. When Ed Albee decided to build the Keith Memorial Theatre, he acquired the firehouse and demolished both it and the Boston Theatre. This provided a larger site which means that the Opera House is wider than the Boston Theatre was.




Horse drawn carriages and cars!

"The main floor was full so we had to sit in the balcony. As we started up the grand staircase, I noted with glee that some wit had placed two pieces of popcorn in the eyes of the B.F. Keith bust on the stair landing making it appear that he had two cat eyes or lion eyes. (Well, he was a lion of show business!) This big heavy bronze bust was removed for safekeeping in the mid-1970s and was stored at the Teele Sq. Theatre in Somerville. Now, it's back in place where it belongs."(Ron Salters)

The building permit was issued on December 3, 1925, but demolition of B. F. Keith’s Boston Theatre to clear the site delayed construction for nearly a year. Construction was well-advanced when the cornerstone was laid on August 25, 1927.(1)

A ceremony  took place on August 25, 1927 at the foundation of the Keith Memorial Theatre  14 months before the theatre opened. The description does not describe exactly where along the foundation site the ceremony took place. It was led by Malcolm Nichols, mayor of Boston. Other speakers included Henry Chesterfield of the National Vaudeville Association, noted show folk George M. Cohan, Julia Arthur and Raymond Hitchcock, followed by Ed Albee himself. Old vaudevillian and musical comedy star Fred Stone then spoke briefly. He handed a trowel to his daughter, actress Dorothy Stone, who then sealed a memorial stone and plaque. The ceremony was concluded by the Boston Meister Singers choir. Fred Stone performed many times at the old Keith's Theatre (Normandie); he played 5 weeks at the old Boston Theatre in "The Wizard of Oz" (he originated the role of the Scarecrow) in Oct. 1904.(2)

A Wurlitzer theater organ opus 1910 style 250 special was installed in Keith's Memorial Theater on July 20, 1928.
It opened on October 29, 1928 with the film "Oh Kay" starring Colleen Moore. The opening was attended by many theatrical luminaries, among them George M. Cohan, Lew Fields, Joe Weber, Fred Stone, Maggie Cline, Al Jolson, Julia Arthur Cheney, May Irwin, Raymond Hitchcock, James McIntyre, Tom Heath, Will Cressey and Eddie Leonard. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was represented by Governor Alvan T. Fuller, and Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols represented the City of Boston. Former Mayor James Michael Curley was also a guest of honor. The Radio-Keith-Orpheum organization which by that time owned the theatre was represented by the host of that great occasion, Edward F. Albee and none other than Mr. Joseph Kennedy, CEO and the father of the late president and the former Senator from Massachusetts.(1)

The entrance on Tremont Street was located right next to the south wall of Tremont on the Common. It was constructed in the mid-1890s for the original Keith's Theatre which had opened in 1894.



It was very ornate in appearance.  One went in, purchased a ticket, and then went downstairs into a tunnel under Mason Street and then up into the north side of the Keith's Theatre.


The entire structure including the tunnel was beautifully decorated.






In the spring of 1929 it dropped the films and was presenting two-a-day vaudeville shows only. In September of that year the vaudeville was discontinued, and a return to pictures was made. The theatre then continued to remain a first-run picture house, but with the advent of the Depression the stage was used with less and less frequency.(1)
In February 1935, however, there was offered a gala, month-long stage event to celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of B. F. Keith’s entrance into the exhibition business. Personalities famous throughout the great days of vaudeville appeared onstage, as was the feature film “The Good Fairy” which starred Margaret Sullavan.(1)

When the Keith Memorial was built, this entrance on Tremont Street was adapted for it. At some point the tunnel ceased to be used, and one had to go outside and cross Mason Street on the surface. Sometime in the mid-1940s, the structure was "modernized" inside and out. The tunnel staircase was covered over. There was a boxoffice there- you bought a ticket, then went out the rear door and crossed Mason St. to enter the rear of the Keith Memorial arcade. The two doors on Mason street were not opposite one another- you walked a diagonal in a northeasterly direction. But at night, both doors were brightly lit, in contrast to the general darkness of Mason St. You could not get lost ! You then walked east down the arcade and turned left to enter the Grand Foyer and have your ticket taken. The arcade and Tremont St. entrance continued in use right into the Opera Company of Boston era. However, there was no longer a box office in the structure. 

On October 7, 1953, the first CinemaScope feature, The Robe, opened here, on a screen 51 feet wide and 20 feet high.
It became RKO Keith's in the 40's.


The RKO Keith Memorial closed on June 13, 1965.

The theater was renamed Savoy by Ben Sack when in 1965 the D'Oyly Carte Company came to Boston to perform Gilbert & Sullivan; they were originally set to use the old University Theater (later the Harvard Square), which was deemed unfit for their productions at the time. Ben Sack bought it and reopened it as the Savoy Theatre on August 3, 1965. The new owners refurbished the building, making great efforts to restore its opulent beauty.


In May 1967, a crowd of 15,000 people gathered for a free promotional showing of Casino Royale -- scheduled for 4 am! Obviously that number of people could not fit into even this theatre, and a riot ensued.

In September 1971, Sack bricked up the proscenium arch and a second auditorium was installed within the stagehouse and the dressing rooms into apartments, temporarily ending the theatre's use for live shows.

In the early to mid 70s when it was the Savoy Theatre, the Sack Theatre Executive Offices were housed on the second floor. The only access was via a small elevator located in the mirrored wall across from the main box office.

"As a former employee, I have a couple memories: 
1. Jerry Lewis was performing in town and came to see a showing of King Kong (the 1976 remake) 2. Through the generosity of the maintenance crew, I got a tour of the building including the catwalk in the space between the roof of the building and the dropped dome ceiling. As I recall, there was a hole right in the center of the dome that you could look through and see the seats far below. Also the basement was like the backdrop for Phantom of the Opera - old brick arches and tunnels and I think there was even an open canal."
ConnieZ, January 3, 2006

The twinned theatre continued to operate as a pair of film houses until 1978.

When Savoy II, the second screen of the Sack Savoy, was created on the stage of the theatre, it was accessed from the west end of the arcade. It's possible that the Opera Company of Boston used this access doorway for their new stage entrance for performers, musicians and technicians. 

Sarah Caldwell's Opera Company of Boston bought the Savoy from Sack for $885,000 on October 19, 1978 and burned the mortgage the following August. Caldwell and company produced 12 seasons in the hall, some of them spectacular.
But the Opera Company's finances have historically been a shambles, and its lack of money for maintenance showed in the beautiful building, which deteriorated throughout the 1980s.

In 1983, the lobby, fashioned after the Paris Opera, was beautiful and was used for a series of lunchtime and holiday concerts. [A kitchen was tucked under the grand staircase.]
Offices were located in a five-story attachment to the back of the theatre. Some of the rooms had full baths, which implied they could double as overnight accommodations for visiting artists. The most wonderful aspect of the theatre was it's perfect acoustics and clear sightlines. That made suffering all the house's mechanical problems worthwhile.

Under the stage, off of the dingy orchestra "green room," was a tiled room with a large rectangular tub in the center. The room, which was a mess, appeared to be a slop room and was filled with discarded buckets of paint. I asked our tech director one day what the room originally was for and he replied, "It was the seal room." "The seal room...?" I repeated. "What was that?"

At the stage's pin rail, one end was a bricked up opening. It had originally housed a small elevator, which lifted the animal acts from the basement "seal room" to the stage. [The place was fascinating!]

A nursery, whose mirrored walls concealed closets for toys and other supplies, floated above the theater's entry hall. This was one of the remnants of the services the theatre offered in its day as a movie palace.[

 On April 11, 1984 it was used to leave after a performance of "Madame Butterly". A large number of  audience members exited through it. The original stage door of the KM was on Mason Street, just north of the arcade entrance. But the Opera Company did not use it; instead they created a new stage entrance in the west end of the arcade itself. 

The old tunnel was still there in the 1980s: You could access the east end of the tunnel from the basement under the arcade and stage. It was still fancily decorated, but pitch-dark.
In March 1987, the Tremont St. lobby was demolished. Heaps of bricks had been pushed into the west end of the tunnel. What happened to the east end of the tunnel when the Opera House stage was reconstructed in 2004? 
In 2003, the Tremont Street lobby building had been recreated on the original site. Although not fancy like the 1895 original, it has a theatrical look. It is possible that the developers for that site were required to recreate the entrance, even though the Opera House no longer has access for audience members from Mason St.  (Ron Salters)











Built in the Mediterranen Baroque/Beaux-Arts tradition, the 26-foot-wide by 96-foot-high, high-relief façade on Washington Street is of glazed white terra cotta. The theatre extends 307 feet through the block to a rear entrance on Mason Street. The original bronze ticket booth, bronze poster display cases, and ceiling chandelier and wall sconces are intact. The sumptuous interior combines elements of the European Baroque and English "Adam" styles, with a color scheme of white, red, and gold.

The building has experienced only minor alterations and is in relatively good condition throughout. The stair landing on the second floor is referred to as Memorial Hall because it was originally the location of the bust of B.F. Keith, theatre developer and impresario.

Dedicated to Benjamin Franklin Keith (1846-1914), the founder of vaudeville, the theatre was planned by his successors as a lavish tribute to his memory. During the 1890's Keith established a chain of popularly priced theatres, which by his death numbered 400. He is buried in the Newton Centre Cemetery, his grave fittingly marked by an enormous Corinthian column.


The New Theatre's former entrance at 547 Washington Street still stands and is now a pizza place called The Proper Slice.

Caldwell's company produced its last local opera, "The Balcony," at the Opera House in 1990.

The last performance, by Yanni, took place in May 1991.
The following year, the building was seriously vandalized. Boston Edison shut off the utilities, and the building became so decrepit it came close to being condemned.

After a flood destroyed nearly everything contained in the venue in 1991, interest in restoring the original opulence of the Opera House grew. The theater, unheated, fell prey to a catastrophic flood, [6] destroying the electrical system. The roof, under which decades of costumes were stored, allowed the elements to wreak havoc with them.

The current incarnation of the Opera House opened on July 16, 2004. The theater was renovated, restored, and reopened at a cost of $54 million, in July 2004 by Clear Channel Entertainment, and is now a site for touring Broadway shows and other live entertainment, known as the Boston Opera House.


According to Douglas Tucci, in an article titled 'The Boston Rialto'
The terra cotta entrance on Washington St. served as entrance to 3 theaters, the Opera House, the Bijou, and an older 'B.F. Keith' theater, the auditorium of which apparently ran along Mason St. The Bijou was a small second floor theater whose main attraction was a waterfall enclosed in a glass staircase. All 3 could be accessed from the main corridor that runs from Washington to Mason St. The older 'B.F. Keith was demolished years ago. All 3 could also be accessed from Tremont St. by a passageway that originally went in a tunnel under Mason St., it was only a passageway through some buildings, so you had to come outdoors again, cross Mason St. and enter the current corridor. 1n 1997 that part of the glass waterfall stair was still there, under carpeting, at the rear of a shoe store fronting on Washington St.

To review:
The original B.F. Keith's Theater is not the same as Keith's Memorial Theater and
the Boston Theater was torn down in order to build the Keith Memorial Theatre, which is now called Opera House. The new Opera House does indeed sit on the site of the old Boston Theatre (1854-1925), a big legit house with over 3000 seats, 3 balconies and a huge stage.

Jerry performed here on
6/28/82 John Kahn (acoustic)





1.)^http://www.bostonoperahouseonline.com/History.htm
2.)^Fields, Armon, Fred Stone, pg 236, (McFarland, 2002)
3.)^Keith's Theatre, no.547 Washington and no.163 Tremont. Boston Register and Business Directory, 1918, 1921
4.)^Cohen, E.J., New York City.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Landmark Theater, 362 South Salina Street, Syracuse, CA

Capacity 2908

The Landmark Theatre was designed by Thomas W. Lamb and was christened Loew's State Theatre on February 18, 1928. Groundbreaking began on March 15, 1927 and less than a year and 1.4 million dollars later, Loew’s dream and Lamb’s vision had become a reality. It is the city's only surviving example of the opulent theatrical venues of the 1920s.
Often labeled Indo-Persian, architect Lamb further described the theatre as "European, Byzantine, Romanesque – which is the Orient as it came to us through the merchants of Venice."
Every surface is heavily decorated with persian/hindu/oriental themes.

1938 photo by ?


There is a huge mural taking up one wall of the main lobby, and the whole thing was once illuminated by a chandelier which Louis Tiffany had originally designed for the Vanderbilts. Unfortunately the chandelier was sold when the theatre closed in the mid 70's, its' been replaced by a smaller moorish style fixture, which matches the decor, but it's not the same.


Advertised as “the last word in theatrical ornateness and luxuriousness,” the grand opening drew hundreds of curious patrons eager to see the newest and most anticipated addition to Syracuse’s motion picture emporiums. Twenty five cents not only provided admission to a silent movie, but also transcended them into a world of colorful murals, exquisite lighting, and fascinating furnishings. This was more than just a night at the movies, it was a major event.(5)


Audiences were ushered into Lamb's exotic world through the main lobby, which boasted a chandelier designed by Louis Tiffany for Cornelius Vanderbilt's mansion, and the grandest of the theatre's several huge murals.  The Musician's Gallery, located over the front doors, featured quartet serenades as intermission entertainment during the '30s.  Patrons who ascended the grand staircase reached the promenade lobby, where they delighted in finding a fishpond with a Japanese pagoda fountain.  The main auditorium, which houses 1,832 of the theatre's 3,300 seats, was decorated in rich reds and golds and accented with wall ornaments throughout.


The 1,400-pipe Wurlitzer organ offered its own exotic flavor, treating patrons to such sounds as a glockenspiel, marimba, bird whistles, hoof beats and surf sounds.

Crowds flocked to Loew's State throughout the Depression and World War II and yet, like so many other great movie palaces (including six razed in Syracuse), the theatre's attendance began dropping steadily in the '50s.
Photo courtesy of Amy Arch

During the first performance of "Love Me or Leave Me" starring Doris Day, being presented in CinemaScope and 6-track Sterophonic sound,  midway thru the film, Doris Day is presented live, singing "Shaking the Blues Away".
According to Peter Baum of SALT, Loew's State was the first great "Oriental-style" movie theater, predating Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.
Mezzanine Level statues
1973, ahem...

By 1975, it seemed that the pride of Syracuse would fall prey to the wrecker's ball to allow for parking/shopping complex.  However, in 1977, a group of concerned citizens banded together to form the Syracuse Landmark Theatre, or SALT.  SALT had the local landmark placed on the National Register of Historic Places, opening the door to government funding. By the end of 1977, the group had acquired the theater and began restoring its original splendor. 
Shortly after renovations were completed in 1978, employees began reporting the apparition of a pale young lady, dressed entirely in white, in the upper balcony. Sometimes she seemed so real that ushers asked her to leave the area, only to see her disappear from sight. Psychics say she is a spirit of someone who worked at the theater and spent all her life wanting to be an actress. The ghost of Oscar Rau, who worked as an electrician at the theater, has been observed near the lightboard. A ghostly blue light has been seen by many witnesses near the banister that runs along the back of the auditorium, in the catwalk access hallway, and on the stairs leading to the downstairs dressing room. Psychics say the Turkish Room, also known as the Red Room, is haunted by the passions of a violent love triangle. Scary events have occurred in the basement catacombs, but the most negative area in the theater is the Walnut Room. Employees report feeling extremely uncomfortable in the room, where fires have erupted and unusual cold spots appear.(1)


Jerry performed here on
2/19/80 Jerry Garcia Band (Robert Hunter opened)





1.)^Hauck, Dennis William, Haunted places: the national director, pg. 309.
2.)^"Landmark Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Cinema Treasures.
3.)^"Landmark History". Landmark Theatre web site. Landmark Theatre.
4.)^Goche, James (February 22, 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Loew's State Theater"
5.)^Puzey, Babette, freethegeorge.com, Syracuse’s Landmark Theatre: A True Downtown Gem
6.)^ National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jefferson Airplane House, 2400 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA



The Colonial Revival style home at 2400 Fulton Street was like no other in that part of San Francisco, perhaps in all of the city. Directly across the street from the northern border of Golden Gate Park, near Stanyan Street at the eastern end of the park and within walking distance of the Haight, it was designed and built circa 1904 by R.A. Vance, whose family owned the large Vance Lumber Company of Eureka, California.

A three-story building, it boldly declared its preeminence through its Ionic columns with heavily ornamented bargeboard and a balustrade above. To drive the point of its grandeur home, it further featured simulated Doric columns embedded in the front wall, slanted bays at the side and decorated cornices.

Inside were materials from all over the world. From India came mahogany wood paneling, and the wooden furniture was from Santo Domingo. The 17-room mansion had crystal chandeliers, lace curtains, exquisite carpeting, a stained glass window at the second floor landing, as well as tapestry wallpaper, ornate scrollwork and eight fireplaces. On the octagonally-shaped third floor were five oddly-shaped bedrooms, and a fresco on the ceiling of the second story master bedroom depicted reclining, semi-nude women. The basement was huge and behind the house were three separate gardens.

In April 1906, when the earthquake hit, it spared the new building and, for many years, it has been believed that Enrico Caruso, the great operatic tenor, sought shelter that night inside its walls. 

That claim, however intriguing within the context of the building's history, may be only so much myth. While some accounts of Caruso's journey after leaving the Palace Hotel do have him wandering westward in a daze toward Golden Gate Park, Caruso's own diary entry regarding that fateful evening placed him nowhere near 2400 Fulton. Caruso himself claimed that he remained in the eastern part of San Francisco, doing all he could to escape the destruction and the fires, finally paying a ferryman a small fortune to take him across the Bay to Oakland, never to return to San Francisco. Nevertheless, the story has resonance.

Enrico Caruso & the 1906 Earthquake

Enrico Caruso 
Italian opera star Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), considered by many to be the greatest operatic tenor of all time, was in San Francisco performing, the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera Company’s San Francisco engagement, the role of Don José in Bizet’s opera Carmen on the evening before the earthquake struck. His account of the experience first appeared in The Sketch, published in London, with illustrations drawn by Caruso. It was reprinted in the July 1906 edition of The Theatre magazine.

Caruso's Reactions & Observations

I was stopping at the [Palace] Hotel, where many of my fellow-artists were staying, and very comfortable it was. I had a room on the fifth floor, and on Tuesday evening, the night before the great catastrophe, I went to bed feeling very contented. I had sung in “Carmen” that night … .
But what an awakening! … on the Wednesday morning early I wake up about 5 o’clock, feeling my bed rocking as though I am in a ship on the ocean, and for a moment I think I am dreaming… Then, as the rocking continues, I get up and go to the window, raise the shade and look out. And what I see makes me tremble with fear. I see the buildings toppling over, big pieces of masonry falling, and from the street below I hear the cries and screams of men and women and children ….
I remain speechless, thinking I am in some dreadful nightmare, and for something like forty seconds I stand there, while the buildings fall and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea. And during that forty seconds I think of forty thousand different things. All that I have ever done in my life passes before me… .
Then I gather my faculties together and call for my valet. He comes rushing in quite cool, and, without any tremor in his voice, says: "It is nothing." But all the same he advises me to dress quickly and go into the open, lest the hotel fall and crush us to powder. By this time the plaster on the ceiling has fallen in a great shower, covering the bed and the carpet and the furniture, and I, too, begin to think it is time to "get busy."
… I make my way to Union Square, where… my valet succeeds in getting a man with a cart, who says he will take us to the Oakland Ferry for a certain sum, and we agree to his terms. We pile the luggage into the cart and climb in after it, and the man whips up his horse and we start. We pass terrible scenes on the way: buildings in ruins, and everywhere there seems to be smoke and dust.

The Palace Hotel, where Caruso and many others in the company were staying, would collapse by late afternoon, but not before all of its guests managed to escape safely.

The St. Francis Hotel stayed open and served what it could to anyone who came through its doors for free until the food ran out (including Enrico Caruso with a fur coat over his pajamas, smoking a cigarette and muttering, " 'Ell of a place! 'Ell of a place!" reported survivor and famous photographer, Arnold Genthe). 

Caruso—or, rather, his unbelievably devoted valet—even managed to remove the bulk of his luggage, which included 54 steamer trunks containing, among other things, some 50 self-portraits. "My valet, brave fellow that he is, goes back and bundles all my things into trunks and drags them down six flights of stairs and out into the open one by one." That same valet would eventually find a horse and cart to carry the great Caruso and his many belongings to the waterfront Ferry Building—no mean accomplishment on a day when tens of thousands were attempting to escape the fires ravaging the city.
"We pass terrible scenes on the way: buildings in ruins, and everywhere there seems to be smoke and dust. The driver seems in no hurry, which makes me impatient at times, for I am longing to return to New York, where I know I shall find a ship to take me to my beautiful Italy and my wife and my little boys." By nightfall, Caruso was across the bay in Oakland and boarding a train headed east—news that reached anxious New Yorkers the following day.
Caruso was signed for a lucrative recording contract with the Gramophone and Typewriter Company in 1902 for ten arias at £10 per take. In May the same year he debuted at the Covent Garden in Rigoletto, and his Met debut came in November 1903. He sang with the company the next 18 seasons, appearing on 607 occasions in 37 different operas. "His name was to become synonymous with greatness, a household word, and his movements were followed fastidiously by public and media alike" [Roland Vernon].

At the height of his career he fell ill with bronchial pneumonia which later developed into chronic pleurisy. After several misfortunate attempts of surgery, he died in his native Napoli on August 2nd 1921, 48 years of age.





In the 1930s, Vance sold the house to his niece, Mrs. T.E. Connolly, and it remained in the Connolly family until the late spring or early summer of 1968, when it was sold by its then-present owner, a gentleman in his eighties or nineties, to a local rock group called Jefferson Airplane.
They moved all of their personal, musical, business, and pharmaceutical possessions into the building and promptly painted the exterior black. The mansion soon became the epicenter of the hippie scene with Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, and Marty Balin holding court over the whole crazy circus. But times change and so do bands, the Age of Aquarius turned into the age of the Me Generation, Jefferson Airplane turned into Jefferson Starship, and the band put the mansion up for sale in the mid- 80s.
The group quickly customized the interior, installing a 4-track recording studio in the basement, putting in ping-pong and pool tables, strewing electronic gadgets everywhere, throwing posters on the walls, taking in stray cats.

Immediately the house, henceforth known in rock lore simply as 2400 Fulton, or the Airplane House, became a magnet for all manner of visiting fans, musicians, groupies, dope dealers, snake oil salesmen, oddballs and those simply curious about what the house and its occupants might offer them.

And the parties became legendary.
Barbara Langer: I remember one banquet when there was a big fat joint on every plate. And a roasted suckling pig with an apple in its mouth. It was incredibly lavish and extravagant. Ridiculous at certain points.
Shortly before purchasing the mansion, Bill Thompson had hired Jacky Watts, the young English woman who had seen Marty perform solo years earlier on her first night in San Francisco, to serve as his and the group's clerical assistant. Her job duties were to include creating itineraries, banking, handling the phones, the bookings–whatever was needed to keep the band's affairs running as tidily as possible, and to give Thompson a break from the day-to-day tedium of paperwork and other managerial drudgery.
Jacky Sarti: Thompson actually sent his girlfriend Judy over to see if I was hip enough. Was I really straight? And then he gave me a typing test! I passed the hipness test. I had a great little house, I had black light posters all over the place, I had a kitty cat, I was wearing paisley. I got the job. He and Judy lived in this little apartment in San Francisco and I used to have to go over there. I had a little dinky table, with a purple typewriter, and a telephone, and that was it. It was in their dining room, and I used to have to go in and usually they would still be in bed when I got there. But that's how I started.

Bill Thompson: When I hired Jacky, she came to my house on Rivoli Street, and we would work out of there. I didn't like it. So I thought, we've got to find another place. We were looking at office space and Jacky, I think, went to a real estate agent. I remember that we went to 2400 Fulton Street, and we met this lecherous old guy who lived there. He liked her right away. So he sold it to us for $70,000. And it was the greatest investment we ever made. We had $20,000 in cash, which I put as a down payment, and I think the payments were like $358 a month. We used it to rehearse in the basement. We had our offices there. We had parties there. Just about everybody lived there. But I got a lot of shit from the band when I first bought it. "What are you doing, buying a house? What are you, crazy?" But it was such a great house. Everybody went through that house.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ngvt9tPROzc#at=22" target="_new"Have You Seen The Saucers (Early Flight 1974)</a>





Jerry performed here
10/21/68
10/28/69

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lion's Share, 60 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo, CA

Capacity 200
Before it was Lion's Share,  it was a hardware store. "Highland Hardware". That little district was referred to as Highland from the 1910's thru the 40's.
San Anselmo was home to Marin's premiere rock venue located near United Market after it's move from Sausalito.
Pacific Sun, February 12, 1970

The Lions Share was a tiny club at 60 Red Hill in San Anselmo. It was mainly a musicians hangout.
Lion's Share was on the north side of Redhill Ave. (Miracle Mile), in between what is now Redhill Auto and what was Hatt's Custom Choppers. It's a "modern forties retail" looking, one story. It's got a weather-beaten coat of green paint on it now. Lots of oleander growing in front. Just a block toward San Rafael, from United Market.

It's now some sort of manufacturing facility or a machine shop of some kind. Lots of big, floor-standing tools that I don't recognize.


The atmosphere is dark with beam ceilings, brick walls, tiffany lamps and relaxed. There are some problems with the sound system, but none with the performers. Saturday night, for example, the bill included guitarist Jeffrey Cain, Universal Medicine, and Dan Hicks. All were smooth, accomplished acts that worked well with a surprisingly full house.

Throughout much of 1970, the house band had been called Nu Boogaloo Express, featuring Mike Finnegan or Bill Champlin alternating on keyboards and vocals, and other local players like Danny Nudalman (guitar) Dave Schallock (bass or guitar) and Bill Vitt (drums), but I do not know if they were still featured there. Local residents like Phil Lesh or Van Morrison regularly hung out or played there.

When Janis Joplin died, she left enough money in her will for a funeral party. It was held here at The Lion's Share on October 26, 1970. The Grateful Dead performed.

Michael Considine was the original owner. "In November 1968, the main complaint from the neighbors was noise, but the understood beef was the long haired types who hung out at the Share. Considine and his friends packed the Sausalito Council meeting and convinced the village elders that he was not too noisy. They voted 5-0 to keep him open. Mysteriously, the next night the Lion's Share burned down.
In July1969 Considine reopened the Lion's Share at the 60 Red Hill Avenue address. The atmosphere is dark-with beam ceilings, brick walls, tiffany lamps-and relaxed."[11]
"Nobody minded the bare tables and floors, the wrought iron chairs, a bar that was not fifteen feet from the stage, which the owner refused to stop operating when the bands played, so that the ringing of the cash register became an integral part of the music. The owner at that time was a fleshy older man, not a cigar smoker, but he wore t-shirts that smelled and showed his beer belly. It was a cold room to play in, except that it was one of the few clubs North of San Francisco in Marin County that hired the hip acts and paid them and that had a sound system and piano."[14]
It was mainly a musicians hangout. Mike Hunt and Michael Considine were the owners. Throughout much of 1970, the house band had been called Nu Boogaloo Express, featuring Mike Finnegan or Bill Champlin alternating on keyboards and vocals, and other local players like Danny Nudalman (guitar) Dave Schallock (bass or guitar) and Bill Vitt (drums), but I do not know if they were still featured there. Local residents like Phil Lesh or Van Morrison regularly hung out or played there. His parents owned a music store in Fairfax.
Various groupings of the Sons and their friends played just about every Sunday night under several names, such as the Nubugaloo Express.(2) One night The Sons were smoking up on the hill behind the club and the cops came up to bust 'em. Bill Champlin told the cops that they could arrest him, but that they (the cops) just HAD to smoke that pot---it was too good to waste!
Janis Joplin was a regular on "Tuesday Audition Night" where she would jam with whatever band was playing.
"On one particularly memorable night, Champlin and The Sons (in their ‘Yogi Phlegm’ incarnation) launched into a wild fusion jam that cleared out every patron and employee in the bar, leaving only Phil Lesh to dance by himself at the bar."[7]
It was in business at least until April 25, 1975 when Kathi McDnald and Quantus performed there.
In later years after being Lion's Share, it was a health food market called Campolindo. Then it became some sort of manufacturing facility or a machine shop of some kind. Lots of big, floor-standing tools.
As of May, 2011, the place is now an optical shop.
The marquee is still clearly visible while driving between San Rafael and San Anselmo on the Miracle Mile.

"It was this crowded hot room with kind of a low ceiling. For some reason I was walking down the street about two years ago and I went by there and said, “Hey, this is the Lion’s Share!” I walked in and it (had become) this metal refinishing shop or something. I asked them, ‘Do you have any idea what used to go on in here?’ … I said, ‘Mose Allison was in this room. We had a party for Janis Joplin after she died in this very room and everyone was snorting coke in the bathrooms. It was insane.’[
In later years after being Lion's Share, it was a health food market called Campolindo.
The it became some sort of manufacturing facility or a machine shop of some kind. Lots of big, floor-standing tools.

As of May, 2011, the place is now an optical shop.

Jerry performed here on
8/69
New Riders Of The Purple Sage

7/31/70
New Riders Of The Purple Sage (electric) and Grateful Dead[3](acoustic only)
I: Hello Trouble, Glendale Train, Kaw-Liga, Sailin', Lodi
II: Superman, Down In The Boondocks, Cecilia, The Bottle Let Me Down, I'll Come Runnin' Back To You, Connection, Lady Came From Baltimore, Live And Let Live, Garden Of Eden, The Race Is On, Cathy's Clown, El Paso, Mama Tried, Louisiana Lady, Me And Bobby McGee,Honky Tonk Women
Grateful Dead Acoustic opened for The New Riders.
Bob weir sits in with the New Riders for The Race Is On, Cathy's Clown, El Paso, Mama Tried and Me and Bobby McGee.

8/1/70 New Riders Of The Purple Sage (electric) and Grateful Dead[3](acoustic only)
Grateful Dead Acoustic opened for The New Riders.[6]
Jerry's 28th birthday.
"The acoustic Grateful Dead played a number of shows at the Lion's Share. They played two or three nights in a row, on a weeknight in the middle of the Summer of 1970. She knows--she went. These shows were utterly unpublicized, and only friends of the band were given the heads up."[26]

9/3/70 New Riders Of The Purple Sage
9/4/70 New Riders Of The Purple Sage

10/26/70
Grateful Dead (Janis Joplin's wake)
Janis Joplin left enough money in her will for a funeral party. The invitations read, "The drinks are on Pearl."

1/11/71
New Riders Of The Purple Sage[9]
Nazgul, Chico David Blues Band and Mendlebaum Blues Band opened.[17]
Jerry was recording at Wally Heider's Studio earlier in the day with Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra.

9/24/71 early and late Merl Saunders
(Early) Save Mother Earth, Imagine, One Kind Favor, I Was Made To Love Her, Baby What You Want Me To Do?, Biloxi
(Late) Hi-Heel Sneakers>Man-Child, Summertime>That's The Touch I Like>Annie Had A Baby, WPLJ
Jerry Corbitt, Billy Cox and Charlie Daniels opened.

9/25/71 Merl Saunders
Jerry Corbitt, Billy Cox and Charlie Daniels opened.

1/14/72 Merl Saunders[19]
1/15/72 Merl Saunders[19]
I: How Sweet It Is, Save Mother Earth, One Kind Favor, Expressway, Mystery Train
II: It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry, I Was Made To Love Her, That's The Touch I Like, Who's Loving You Tonight, Man-Child, She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye, Hi-Heel Sneakers, Tupelo Honey, That's All Right Mama

1/19/72 Merl Saunders
It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry>Expressway, Imagine, That's All Right Mama, Save Mother Earth, I Was Made To Love Her
Tom Fogerty did not perform. Paul Butterfield sat in for Save Mother Earth.
"I was in a quandary. As I listened, the thought occurred to me that this organist was either the best player on earth, or journey that seemingly had no boundaries whatsoever. This was the first time I had ever heard anything like it. One moment Howard would set up a dramatic slow bluesy passage and the Roll would sing something; then he would transition into a frantic tempo, with dynamic flurries of notes almost too fast for the human ear to follow. For certain, he was master of the drawbars. I never hear anyone, even the great Jimmy Smith, pull tones out of the instrument like this fellow did How did not look like your typical musician. He looked more like someone you might see working in a bank, except for his casual attire. In that moment, U felt that I was observing someone who was one of those true "originals" we occasionally run across in our lives, if we are fortunate.
On their break I went over to "the Roll" and through we had never been real close friends, he greeted me like it was "Old Home Week" and invited me into the dressing room to meet Howard and Jerry. I made my way through the thickest layer of cigarette and marijuana smoke I had ever encountered and sat down with the boys. Jelly said he had known Howard from many years earlier, when Howard had played with an infamous lounge band from the Midwest called "Little Roscoe and The Green Men."  They had all dyed their hair green and Howard now blamed that practice for the premature loss of his hair. At the time they met, the Roll was playing with Lonnie, Mack, Jelly and Jerry Love were originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Roll Told me that Howard had just finished an album with Jerry Garcia call "Hooteroll." Howard had brought them out from back east to do another album for Douglas Records, which was being produced by a man named Alan Douglas. Apparently, Alan had a distribution deal with Columbia Records and had worked with such luminaries as John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Jimi Hendrix and John McLaughlin, before he became famous. There was even talk of a tour with Jerry Garcia upon the release of the "Hooteroll" album.
Just about then, I was handed the most gargantuan "joint' I had ever seen, one that would make even a Rastafarian green with envy. The Roll asked if I had brought my guitar along so I could sit in, and as I had my gear, I eagerly accepted. The moment I did so, it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea how to approach playing with a band that jammed without much in the way of obvious structure. I would have to "wing it." Suddenly, I experienced a mental flashback to my LSD trip with Aorta at the Fillmore, as the hits off of that "joint" made me wonder if someone had slipped me some acid. I couldn't believe how high I was. I had never smoked much pot up until then, and what little i had imbibed in the past hadn't had much affect on me, but his stuff was way into the 'major leagues' in potency, and the fact it was the thickness of a man's thumb qualified this joint as the proverbial 'killer." Already "wasted," I stumbled onto the stage and joined them for their next set.
I don't recall the details of what the four of us played that evening at the Lion Share, but I would equate it with a kind of group therapy or encounter session. The only difference is that we used our instruments to communicate, rather than our voices. All the dynamics one could imagine were present in the sounds coming off that small stage. Of course I was soaring like a condor, so I can only hope the audience perceived these dynamics with the same sense of wonderment as I.
There was no question that Howard led the direction of the music for the most part, with the Roll occasionally asserting himself in order to bring the music down to earth, usually in a blues-like direction. These were the few moments in which the audience seemed to find something they could hang on to before we exploded into yet another far-out cerebral groove, reminiscent of nothing of Earthly origin. I had the musical roller coaster ride of my life that evening, and I knew Howard liked what he heard. He signaled me to take several solos during that set, and I would hear him make guttural, otherworldly sounds of approval through the music. My adrenaline was flowing, and the band overwhelmingly approved of my addition to the music. The Roll asked me for my phone number and as I started my forty0five minute drive home that evening, I felt satisfied and renewed. A sense of change was on the horizon once again.
The very next morning the phone rang, and it was no real surprise to hear Jerry Roll's voice on the other end. He said that Howard wanted me to come over to his house in Lagunitas, out in Western Marin County. Without delay I hopped on my Norton and made the hour-long journey. Upon arriving at the large, rustic house, I found the whole band hanging out with a few friends. After a bit of chatter, Howard called me aside into a little room and we sat eye-to-eye across a small table. He proceeded to roll up a 'fat one' in an almost ritualist manner. Unlike the pot I had seen loosely contained in small bags, this marijuana was on a large pod-like stem, oozing with resin and a beautiful gold color.
After only a few hits, I felt pretty well incapacitated. I could tell that Howard was amused by my susceptibility to his 'killer weed." He questioned me about my opinion of the music of the previous night and was very complimentary about my playing. He relayed in greater details what the Roll had told me regarding the Alan Douglas and Jerry Garcia projects, and he said he felt his time had come to carve out his own niche in the music 'biz." He stated that if I joined up with him there would be plenty of session work and gigs as well. During this informal meeting, we discovered that not only did Howard and I have the same birthday, - February 8, but also that we were born the same year, - 1943, only nine minutes apart, and in the same time zone. This connection blew his cosmic mind and cinched the deal, and I must admit to finding it a curious thing as well. "[13]

1/20/72 Merl Saunders
I: That's The Touch I Like, Man-Child, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Expressway, That's All Right Mama
II: How Sweet It Is, It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry, My Problems Got Problems, Lonely Avenue>Save Mother Earth, Imagine, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

2/3/72 Merl Saunders
2/4/72 Merl Saunders
8/5/72 Merl Saunders[15]
8/6/72 Merl saunders[15]
12/27/72 Merl Saunders
12/28/72 Merl Saunders
I: After Midnight, It's Too Late, Baby Please Don't Go>Expressway>Jam>Space, Georgia On My Mind, That's All Right Mama
II: When I Paint My Masterpiece, Second That Emotion, Jam, Sweet Cocaine, Baby What You Want Me To Do?, Further On Up The Road, The System


1/7/73 Merl Saunders, Tom Fogerty
Broadcast live on KTIM-FM

3/2/73
Old And In The Way
Goin' To The Races, Dark Hollow, Katie Dear, New Camptown Races, Two Little Boys, Home Is Where The Heart Is, Down Where The River Bends, Knockin' On Your Door, Old & In The Way Breakdown
The Rowan Brother opened.
KSAN FM broadcast.
Jerry plays a RB-250 Gibson Mastertone banjo.[12]
"Marin County's newest bluegrass band, Old and In the Way, was playing at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo, California, and smoothly moving into "The Hit Parade of Love" when Jerry Garcia gave it away: It was their first time out. He had gone into his banjo solo before he realized he wasn't plugged into an amplifier. He grinned and quickly took a long step up to the microphone so the folks in the back could hear. The goof was understandable, because Garcia, along with the rest of the Grateful Dead, had only the day before returned from a two-week tour of the Midwest."[4]

Interviewed for Robert Greenfield's Dark Star book, Pete Rowan remembered the same moment at the same show:
"I remember Garcia's first solo at our first gig at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo. I don't know if it was a sight gag or what, but he was looking for knobs to turn on his banjo... He was standing there turning knobs on his banjo that he did not have."

3/3/73 Old And In The Way
The Rowan Brothers opened.
Jerry plays a RB-250 Gibson Mastertone banjo.[12]
“I was the cook at the Lion’s Share around 1972 – Mike (Considine) was the owner and he needed to serve food so minors could be allowed in (mo money) he gave me a little room to the side of the liquor bar with a serve through window, and a cutting board – he explained the minor situation – and didn’t want to be bothered by anything food related after that. The music and the scene was just so very hip. Van Morrison was there at least monthly it seemed – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee – Herbie Hancock – Sun Ra – Jerry Garcia picking in a bluegrass band called ‘Old and in the Way’ – I cooked and served Jerry a cheeseburger at an afternoon sound-check – a very big moment for me."[25]

3/14/73 Old And In The Way
4/19/73 Old And In The Way
4/20/73 Old And In The Way
I: Land Of The Navajo, Where You Are Tonight, Instrumental, Down Where The River Bends, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Instrumental, Instrumental
II: Home Is Where The Heart Is, Love Please Come Home, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Lost, Instrumental
The George Edwards Duo opened.[21]
Jerry plays a RB-250 Gibson Mastertone banjo.[12]

4/21/73
Old And In The Way
(Early) Goin' To The Races, The Willow Garden, Katie Hill, 'Til the End of the World Rolls Around, Panama Red, Hard Hearted, Soldier's Joy, Wild Horses, Lost, Knockin' On Your Door, Lonesome L.A. Cowboy, Fanny Hill, White Dove, Land Of The Navajo, Blue Mule
The George Edwards Duo opened.[21]
Jerry plays a RB-250 Gibson Mastertone banjo.[12]
Jerry also performed at the Record Plant and was broadcast on KSAN. (See Record Plant, Sausalito, CA)

7/5/73
Merl Saunders
I: After Midnight, Someday Baby>She's Got Charisma, That's All Right Mama, The System, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
II: Second That Emotion, My Funny Valentine, Finders Keepers, Money Honey, Like A Road>Merl's Tune, Jam, How Sweet It Is
"I think it's Luis Gasca on trumpet. He was signed to Fantasy Records at  the time (same label Fire Up and Heavy Turbulence were released on) & in one tune on this set he quotes John Coltrane's A Love Supreme which was the first track on his 1974 Fantasy album Born To Love You."[22]

7/21/73 Old And In The Way
Rehearsal
Jerry plays a RB-250 Gibson Mastertone banjo.[12]
Jerry also performed at Keystone Berkeley later this night.

1/4/74 Merl Saunders
1/5/74 Merl Saunders
6/4/74 Merl Saunders
I: Ptah The El Daoud, Expressway, Second That Emotion, Wondering Why, Soul Roach
II: All Blues, New York City*, The Harder They Come, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Alice Stuart sits in on New York City.

6/5/74 Merl Saunders
I: That's What Love Will Make You Do>Instrumental>Space, Second That Emotion
II: La-La, Finders Keepers, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Kansas City Blues, The Harder They Come, That's All Right, Mama
Tony Saunders replaces John Kahn on bass.
Alice Stuart sits in on The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Kansas City Blues, The Harder They Come, That's All Right, Mama.
"No real stage in the place- or if there was, it was a riser about a foot high. I was dancing about ten feet from the band. "[23]

6/12/74 Great American String Band
I: Colored Aristocracy, Cedar Hill, I'll Be A Gambler If You Deal The Cards, My Plastic Banana Is Not Stupid, Moonlight Waltz, Swing '42, Methodist Preacher, Limehouse Blues
II: Bud's Bounce, Dawg's Bull, Russian Lullaby, Virgin's Lament, Sheik of Araby, Billy In The Low Ground, Dawg's Rag, Sweet Georgia Brown, Swing '42
Good Ol Boys opened.
"On Moonlight Waltz, Garcia plays Spanish guitar beautifully. Garcia, of course, is splendid. He takes a muzzle and visual back seat in this band, soloing on banjo and guitar plenty, singing a bit, but never thrusting his way into prominence. His banjo, interesting enough, is more jazz oriented than bluegrass style."[16]
Jerry was also scheduled to play Keystone Berkeley on this date.[20]

"This Lion's Share gig (their closing week) was the first week of July, 1975. The Garcia-Saunders Band played two nights; the last night featured Elvin Bishop and John Lee Hooker. Along with Hooker doing his patented take-no-prisoners thing, Bishop and a couple other guitar players pulled of a sublime version of "East-West" in the closing set."
I'm still trying to find the exact closing date for the Lion's Share, it was some time in 1975. I saw/heard Garcia & Saunders play on two consecutive nights there, during closing week. There were not very many people there, that's the funny part. And I can't find any reference to them doing those gigs anywhere. But it did really happen!"[23]

The Garcia/Saunders Band performed at the Great American Music Hall on July 4, 5, 6.

7/25/75 Merl Saunders
It’s unclear if Jerry performed.



Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA
1.)^Yellow Shark, Berkeley In The Sixties blog, http://berkeleyfolk.blogspot.com/2010/06/lions-share-san-anselmo.html
2.)^Kelly, Charlie, Yogi Phlegm: A New Era, http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/yogi_phlegm.htm
3.)^Calendar, Berkeley Tribe, vol. 3, no. 4, (no 56), 1970-07-31-8-7, back page.
4.)^Grissim, John, Garcia Returns To Banjo, 1973-04-26, Rolling Stone, http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2012/09/march-2-1973-old-and-in-way.html
5.)^“Datebook/Opening Today,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 1970, p. 41;
“’Purple Sage’ At Lion’s Share,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 30, 1970, p. 41., http://jgmf.blogspot.com/search/label/1970
6.)^New Riders of the Purple Sage and Acoustic Grateful Dead: Lion’s Share, San Anselmo, July 30-August 1, 1970, 2012-02-21, http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-riders-of-purple-sage-and-acoustic.html
7.)^North Of San Francisco, 2009-12-07, http://www.chickenonaunicycle.com/SF%20North%20Art.htm
8.)^Michelle Mc, comments, GD/NRPS19700731-19700801: Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA, 2011-04-20, http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2011/04/gdnrps19700731-19700801-lions-share-san.html
9.)^Wasserman, John L. 1971. John Lennon's Windy Candor. San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 1971, p. 38, New to The List, 2013-05-12, http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2013/05/new-to-list.html
10.)^Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Tour Itinerary July-August 1969, 2010-01-30, http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2010/01/grateful-deadjerry-garcia-tour.html
11.)^Curtis, Dale, Lion's Share, 1969-10-03-09, Berkeley Tribe, Vol. 13, No. 13, pg. 16.
12.)^Schoepf, Frank, 2014-04-16, email to author.
13.)^Vincent, James and Robert J. Macoy,  Space Traveler: A Musician's Odyssey, pg.59-61, Joseph Jupille Archives.
14.)^Sward, Diane, Fillmore Management Clips Off My Career as an Artist Manager, 2013-06-26, https://homesweetjeromedrapaport.wordpress.com/2013/07/
15.)^Who's Playing Where, 1972-08-04, San Francisco Chronicle, pg. 52, JGMS August 5-6, 1972 Lion's Share - new to The List, http://jgmf.blogspot.com/
16.)^Elwood, Philip, From Country To Jazz-a snap, 1974-06-14, San Francisco Examiner, pg. 27, Joseph Jupille Archives.
17.)^Wasserman, John L., San Francisco Chronicle, 1971-01-11, pg. 38, Joseph Jupille Archives.
18.)^The Night Times, 1971-09-01, pg. 7, Joseph Jupille Archives.
19.)^Night Times, 1972-01-12-25, pg. 6, Joseph Jupille Archives.
20.)^Rock and Jazz, San Francisco Chronicle, 1974-06-12, pg. 62, Joseph Jupille Archives.
21.)^Scenedrome, Berkeley Barb, 1973-04-20-26, pg. 18, Joseph Jupille Archives.
22.)^vibemeister, comments, 2014-05, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSClc5_D8Q
23.)^cabdriver, Jerry folder, deadnetcentral.com
24.)^Andrew, Sam, comments, http://www.marinnostalgia.org/portfolio/lions-share/
25.)^Wells, Tom, Memories from the Chef, http://www.marinnostalgia.org/portfolio/lions-share/
26.)^Michelle Mc, comments, GD/NRPS19700731-19700801: Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA, 2011-04-20, http://jgmf.blogspot.com/2011/04/gdnrps19700731-19700801-lions-share-san.html

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Old Waldorf, 444 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA


Capacity 550

Formerly a folk club in a residential neighborhood.
It was created in 1976 in a building that before that date had been an old Foster's cafeteria.
The Old Waldorf was at 444 Battery Street, on the second floor of a building in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, a shopping mall and office complex near Downtown.
Jeffrey Pollack opened the 600-seat nightclub in 1976. With his background in the bar and restaurant business, he changed the price structure of nighclub booking across the country.
Pollack booked all the acts he could find to play at this glass-and-brick venue, among them Elvis Costello, Dire Straits, U2, Metallica, Journey…
May 1983


A number of practices set the Old Waldorf apart from other rock clubs in the Bay Area. In the first place, all Old Waldorf shows were advertised as having two shows, usually at 8:00pm and 11:00 pm. However, the club generally let people stay for both shows, unless the late show was completely sold out.

The Old Waldorf had rows of tables at a 90 degree angle from the stage. There was an open dance floor, but it was off to the side with poor sightlines.

In 1980, Bill Graham bought the club for an alleged price of three-quarters of a million dollars.
The Old Waldorf had the WORST acoustics for live music.

In 1983, Graham closed down the venue and moved to North Beach to open Wolfgang's in a place he bought from Pollack again.

Today, the building is the home of the first full-time comedy club, The Punch Line.
Punch Line

Jerry performed here on
4/23/79 early and late Reconstruction
5/18/79 Reconstruction
5/19/79 Reconstruction
1/27/81 JGB
1/11/82 Reconstruction
1/13/82 Reconstruction

Friday, June 22, 2012

Madison Square Garden IV, 4 Penn Plaza (between 7th and 8th), New York, NY

On Nov. 27, 1910, Pennsylvania Station opened in New York City, with trains entering Manhattan for the first time by way of tunnels under the Hudson River.
The original structure of Penn Station was made of pink granite and was marked by an imposing, sober colonnade of Doric columns. The colonnades embodied the sophisticated integration of multiple functions and circulation of people and goods. McKim, Mead and White's Pennsylvania Station combined frank glass-and-steel train sheds and a magnificently proportioned concourse with a breathtaking monumental entrance to New York City. From the street, twin carriageways, modeled after Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, led to the two railroads that the building served, the Pennsylvania and the Long Island Rail Road. Its enormous main waiting room, inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla, approximated the scale of St. Peter's nave in Rome, expressed here in a steel framework clad in plaster that imitated the lower wall portions of travertine. It was the largest indoor space in New York City and, indeed, one of the largest public spaces in the world. Covering more than 7 acres (2.8 ha), it was, said the Baltimore Sun in April, 2007, “As grand a corporate statement in stone, glass and sculpture as one could imagine”.[16] In her 2007 book, Conquering Gotham: a Gilded Age Epic – The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels, historian Jill Jonnes called the original edifice a “great Doric temple to transportation”.[17]

Alexander J. Cassatt, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was determined to “somehow send the Pennsylvania Railroad across the mile-wide Hudson River and bring its elegant gleaming passenger trains triumphantly into the heart of Manhattan,” writes Jill Jonnes, author of “Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and its Tunnels.”

His first project, later abandoned, was to construct a huge bridge across the Hudson. In 1901, he announced plans to enter New York City by tunneling under the Hudson, an ambitious and incredibly expensive project. At the center of his grand project was Pennsylvania Station, to be built on Seventh Avenue just south of 34th Street.

Cassatt hired architect Charles McKim of the French Beaux Arts school to design the station. Though neither Cassatt nor McKim was alive when it opened in 1910, they left an architectural masterpiece that changed train travel in New York.

“Penn Station was the greatest of them all,” says Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker. “Penn Station emerged out of a time when the whole act of travel had a kind of ritual ceremony to it. The beauty, really, of coming into a city or leaving a city with a great piece of architecture, a great gateway was really what it was.”

During the more than half-century timespan of the original station under owner Pennsylvania Railroad (1910–1963), scores of intercity passenger trains arrived and departed daily, serving distant places such as Chicago and St. Louis on “Pennsy” rails, and beyond on connecting railroads to Miami, Florida, and the west. In addition to the Long Island Rail Road, other lines using Pennsylvania Station during that era were the New Haven and the Lehigh Valley Railroads. For a few years during World War I and the early 1920s, arch rival Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passenger trains to Washington, Chicago, and St. Louis also used Pennsylvania Station, initially by order of the United States Railroad Administration (USRA), until the Pennsylvania Railroad terminated the B&O's access in 1926.[18] The station saw its heaviest usage during World War II, but by the late-1950s intercity rail passenger volumes declined dramatically with the coming of the Jet Age and the Interstate Highway System.
The Pennsylvania Railroad began looking to divest itself of the cost of operation of the underused structure, optioning the air rights of Penn Station in the 1950s.

Plans for the new Penn Plaza and Madison Square Garden were announced in 1962. In exchange for the air-rights to Penn Station, the Pennsylvania Railroad would get a brand-new, air-conditioned, smaller station located completely below street level at no cost, and a 25% stake in the new Madison Square Garden Complex.

The demolition of the original structure — although considered by some to be justified as progressive at a time of declining rail passenger service — created international outrage.[16] As dismantling of the grand old structure began, The New York Times editorially lamented:
"Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age of Roman elegance.[19]"
Its destruction left a deep and lasting wound in the architectural consciousness of the city. A famous photograph of a smashed caryatid in the landfill of the New Jersey Meadowlands struck a guilty chord. Pennsylvania Station's demolition is considered to have been the catalyst for the enactment of the city's first architectural preservation statutes. The sculpture on the building, including the angel in the landfill, was created by Adolph Alexander Weinman. One of the sculpted clock surrounds, whose figures were modeled using model Audrey Munson, still survives as the Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain in Kansas City, Missouri. There is also a caryatid at the sculpture garden at the Brooklyn Museum, and 14 of the 22 original eagle ornaments still exist.[20]
The public in New York and around the world was outraged that such a beautiful and historic structure could be demolished. As a direct result, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission was established to protect historic buildings. 

“Largely because of the destruction of Penn Station, a million buildings nationwide have been saved,” writes CBS News. “One thousand in New York City alone have been spared.”
 The Penn Plaza complex remains one of the most controversial in New York City history because it involved the destruction, beginning in 1963, of the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station (1910), a revered piece of New York architecture. Its replacements were what architects and civic purists regard as mediocre office and entertainment structures.
The demolition of the first Penn Station led to the city's landmarks preservation movement and helped save another landmark of railway architecture, Grand Central Terminal.[2]
What also earned the Penn Plaza critics' ire was the relatively secretive way the decision to raze the old Penn Station came about, even though it was well known that the station's owner, the Pennsylvania Railroad, was losing significant amounts of money and viewed the sale of the Penn Station air rights as a financial boost. (The railroad eventually failed anyway, after its disastrous merger with the New York Central).
Still, with the sports arena and railroad station at its hub and 34th Street retailers (including Macy's) nearing the complex, Pennsylvania Plaza remains one of the busier transportation, business and retailing neighborhoods in Manhattan.
Additional controversy has been stirred up due to the proposed, and recently approved demolition of Hotel Pennsylvania. The hotel was built back in 1919 for the original Penn Station as place to house the exiting passengers of the station. Due to the controversy of Penn Station's demolition, and the relation the hotel has with the station, some feel that the demolition of the hotel will be as if New York were demolishing Penn Station all over again.

The numbering of the Penn Plaza addresses around the area does not follow a consistent pattern.[1]


Penn Station under construction

Penn Station Before It Was Demolished To Make Room For Madison Square Garden




I've limited this page to the address where Madison Square Garden IV is located but here's the short history of the Company itself.

2011 Phase one of the three-phase MSG Transformation is completed



Located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station. MSG IV opened on February 11, 1968, it is the longest active major sporting facility in the New York Metropolitan area, and is the fourth incarnation of the arena in the city. One Penn Plaza stands at its side.


“The World’s Most Famous Arena” derives its name from the park where the first two gardens were located (Madison Square) on Madison Avenue at 23rd Street.
Madison Square Garden IV, designed by Charles Luckman Associates. This may surprise no one, but their other claims to fame include designing both Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Texas. The firm also designed Los Angeles's convention center which was partially demolished over a decade ago to make room for the Staples Center.
It was opened after the Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the above-ground portions of Pennsylvania Station and continued railway traffic underneath. The new structure was one of the first of its kind to be built above the platforms of an active railroad station. It was an engineering feat constructed by Robert E. McKee of El Paso, Texas.
Public outcry over the demolished Beaux-Arts structure led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Bruno Sammartino's first match at Madison Square Garden, January 2, 1960
Bruno Sammartino headlined more Garden cards than any other wrestler (211), including 187 sellouts.


The Knicks won the NBA Championship here in 1970.

Many large popular-music concerts in New York City take place in Madison Square Garden. Particularly famous ones include George Harrison's Concert For Bangladesh, The Concert for New York City following the September 11 attacks and John Lennon's final concert appearance (during an Elton John concert on Thanksgiving Night, 1974) before his murder in 1980.
August 1, 1971, photo courtesy of Thomas Monaster


Olivia Harrison, August 1, 2006 photo courtesy of Richard Corkery


The "Fight Of The Century", 1971



August 30th, 1972 John Lennon recorded two concerts at MSG to raise money for charity and on November 28th, 1974 he joined Elton John on stage for what would be his final major performance.

 In 1991, Garden owners spent $200 million to renovate facilities and add 89 suites. The process involved hundreds of upper-tier seats being removed to make way. The project was designed by Ellerbe Becket.

The Rolling Stones performed at The Garden a total of 24 times between the years 1969 and 2006.



Jerry performed here
with The Grateful Dead
3/18/73 New Riders Of The Purple Sage
1/7/79 Grateful Dead
1/8/79 Grateful Dead
9/4/79 Grateful Dead
9/5/79 Grateful Dead
9/6/79 Grateful Dead
3/9/81 Grateful Dead
3/10/81 Grateful Dead
9/20/82 Grateful Dead
9/21/82 Grateful Dead
11/11/82 early and late shows Jerry Garcia Band
10/11/83 Grateful Dead
10/12/83 Grateful Dead
9/15/87 Grateful Dead
9/16/87 Grateful Dead
9/18/87 Grateful Dead
9/19/87 Grateful Dead
9/20/87 Grateful Dead
9/14/88 Grateful Dead
9/15/88 Grateful Dead
9/16/88 Grateful Dead
9/18/88 Grateful Dead
9/19/88 Grateful Dead
9/20/88 Grateful Dead
9/22/88 Grateful Dead
9/23/88 Grateful Dead
9/24/88 Grateful Dead
9/14/90 Grateful Dead
9/15/90 Grateful Dead
9/16/90 Grateful Dead
9/18/90 Grateful Dead
9/19/90 Grateful Dead
9/20/90 Grateful Dead
9/8/91 Grateful Dead
9/9/91 Grateful Dead
9/10/91 Grateful Dead
9/12/91 Grateful Dead
9/13/91 Grateful Dead
9/14/91 Grateful Dead
9/16/91 Grateful Dead
9/17/91 Grateful Dead
9/18/91 Grateful Dead
11/15/91 Jerry Garcia Band
9/16/93 Grateful Dead
9/17/93 Grateful Dead
9/18/93 Grateful Dead
9/20/93 Grateful Dead
9/21/93 Grateful Dead
9/22/93 Grateful Dead
11/12/93 Jerry Garcia Band
10/13/94 Grateful Dead
10/14/94 Grateful Dead
10/15/94 Grateful Dead
10/17/94 Grateful Dead
10/18/94 Grateful Dead
10/19/94 Grateful Dead







  1. ^ Lyons, Richard D. (May 22, 1988). "How Builders Invent Vanity Addresses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  2. ^ Collins, Glenn (October 28, 2003). "40 Years After Wreckage, Bits of Old Penn Station; Ghosts of a New York Marvel Survive". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-22.
  3. ^ "Compuware Around the World". Compuware. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
  4. ^ "New York". McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
  1. ^ a b Rasmussen, Frederick N. (April 21, 2007). "From the Gilded Age, a monument to transit". The Baltimore Sun.
  2. ^ Jonnes, Jill (2007). Conquering Gotham: a Gilded Age Epic – The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 9780670031580.
  3. ^ Harwood, Herbert H. Jr. (1990). Royal Blue Line. Sykesville, Md.: Greenberg Publishing. ISBN 0-89778-155-4.
  4. ^ a b "Farewell to Penn Station". The New York Times. October 30, 1963. Retrieved 2010-07-13. (The editorial goes on to say that “we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed”).
  5. ^ Lee, Jennifer 8. (September 11, 2009). "New Aerie for a Penn Station Eagle". New York Times City Room Blog. The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2010
  6. Additional sources:
    The Late, Great Penn Station by Lorraine Diehl (My favorite book on Penn Station.)
    Forgotten NY has a lot of digestible facts and pictures
    Library of Congress digital photo archive