Tag Archives: Grateful Dead

A Roof Over Their Heads

While in San Francisco I walked around and found places where certain people lived and loved and fried their brains and most certainly held excellent music jams and parties.

A big shout-out to Google for the addresses.

Keep in mind, Victorian houses in San Francisco are all historic landmarks now, so it’s up to the present owners to keep them nice. When the folks I’m talking about lived in these places, I’m sure they weren’t quite as lovely. With different smells that lingered.

I think these homes rented for only a few hundred bucks a month back then, so a gig or two at the Fillmore took care of the rent nicely.

Let’s get started. Welcome to the Haight-Ashbury 1960s rock stars (and one criminal) house tour.

Below, although there’s some debate about this, this crappy looking apartment, at 1524A Haight, only a few steps from the corner of Haight-Ashbury, is apparently where Jimi Hendrix lived at one time. Whether it was before or after the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, I’ve no idea.


Next (below), just a few houses up Ashbury from Haight at 638 Ashbury (the perfect location), is where Country Joe and the Fish lived and learned licks they’d use at their future Woodstock gig.


Next (below), a couple of houses up from Country Joe’s pad, is where the Grateful Dead held court (710 Ashbury). This is a big deal for Deadheads!


Next, directly across the street from the Dead’s place is where the San Francisco Hell’s Angels lived (719 Ashbury). Imagine the parties.

Biker clubhouses aren’t usually this cool, that’s for sure.


Below, and obviously fixed up over the years, is where Janis Joplin lived, at 122 Lyon. Janis’ place wasn’t as close to Haight-Ashbury as the others, and it probably took her more than 15 minutes to walk.


About a twenty minute walk away is this incredible place at 2400 Fulton, where Jefferson Airplane burned their incense and had Timothy Leary over for tea and crumpets. I don’t know if they had the run of the entire place, or maybe just a floor or two.

I’m pretty sure that most San Francisco rock stars weren’t filthy rich at that time, although this place looks like the Airplane might have been.


And finally……in 1966 and ’67, a greasy ex-con found his way to the Haight and began to charm young and batshit crazy runaways, mostly female. Soon after, he and his handful of youngsters made their way to Los Angeles and created their evil carnage.

Yes, this place, at 616 Page, about a 25 minute walk from the corner of Haight-Ashbury, is where Charles Manson and his new friends lived. Nice place, but I’ll bet it wasn’t so great back then.


Tim Thomas Was Never A Member Of The Grateful Dead

We’ve learned recently that Bruins’ netminder Tim Thomas is a hard-core rightwinger, and this doesn’t mean he wants to play forward or study Maurice Richard’s or Gordie Howe’s moves down the right side.

It means he’s an ultra-conservative type who would’ve wanted to grab me and cut my long hair if he was around at that time. That’s what rednecks did, called us girls and threatened to cut our hair. Tim Thomas would have worn cardigan sweaters, kept his hair short and a mickey of rye in his pocket, and went out on Saturday nights to see if he and the boys could stomp some liberal pinko hippies in a back alley.

Thomas would have hated draft card burners and draft dodgers, and lived and breathed the lyrics from Okie From Muskogee. (no offence to Merle Haggard). In fact, he and Don Cherry would’ve hit it off, I’m sure, if they were closer in age. They could sit around and complain about all the fags and freaks and devil music, and when a waitress walks by, they could pinch her ass.

He’s the kind of guy who would swerve at hitchhikers and just miss them and laugh like crazy, think that people in foreign countries should learn English and just stay where they belong, and yes of course, he would bomb the living hell out of that God-forbidden Russia, where everyone ate their young, spoke in some alien, evil tongue, and didn’t even have the same goddamned alphabet..

C’mon Tim Thomas, loosen up. Smoke some pot. Go to a Dead concert. Heck, you can even borrow some of my Jack Kerouac books. But then again, hopefully you’ll never get another chance to say no to the White House anyway, so carry on.


Gaston Was Won Over By A Bunch Of Street People

It all started when I took Gaston to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. I had been there as a teenager for a short while, when the streets were alive, and wanted to see it again. The Haight is where it all began, beginning in about 1966 and lasting several years until people like Charles Manson, hard-core bikers, and drugs like crystal meth ruined it. It was ground zero for the hippie movement. Bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin created their music in the neighbourhood. And 1967’s Summer of Love had its roots there.

Even today, some of the atmosphere exists. There are still head shops, psychedelic clothing, and young people roaming around with guitars and trying to re-create what they missed because they weren’t born 40 years ago.

Gaston, however, wasn’t impressed. He would shout out at long-haired guys, asking them if they were a boy or a girl. He’d tell them to get a job, and they smell, and all kinds of embarrassing things. But then, a transformation occurred. Gaston saw that everyone smiled at him, gave him bits of pizza, and embraced him, all of which the little bugger wasn’t expecting. Now, when you look at the photo of Gaston below, you’ll see how he’s a changed man.