|The Lion's Share nightclub, at 60 Red Hill Avenue in San Anselmo, some time in the early 1970s|
The Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Performance List April-June 1971
The Lion's Share, a nightclub at 60 Red Hill Avenue in suburban San Anselmo, was the principal live rock nightclub in Marin County in the early 1970s. As all rock fans know, Marin County was where all the San Francisco musicians had moved at the end of the 1960s. By the 70s, the thinly-populated county seemed to have more rock musicians per capita than anywhere. So the Lion's Share was not only the principal rock nightclub, it was also the musicians hangout, and there were a lot of them. In 1971, the live rock music was still mainly about concerts, and it was just starting to expand into nightclubs as a viable option. For 1971, and really just 1971, the Lion's Share was big enough to draw touring rock bands while still providing a local venue for the resident musicians.
Although it has been difficult to find a full list of performers at the Lion's Share, I have recovered enough listings to provide some perspective. This post will review the known bookings at The Lion's Share from April through June 1971, when the club was both a helpful pit stop for touring bands and a regular booking for the many local groups.Marin County In The 1970s
Up through the 1960s, Marin County was kind of a hybrid area. On the Southern edge, many residents commuted to San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, but that wasn't true of the whole county. Much of Marin County was agricultural, and there was still a little fishing, so San Rafael also acted as a kind of farm town, with feed supply and other establishments typical of a major agricultural town. Plenty of farming and resource extraction took place in Northern Marin (and further North), so Marin wasn't at all just the satellite of San Francisco that it ultimately became.
Of course, by the 1980s, the rock musicians who had become famous--Jerry Garcia, Grace Slick, Huey Lewis, Van Morrison--pegged Marin as the destination for successful rock and rollers. It didn't hurt that George Lucas was already there. But it hadn't always been that way. Originally, rock musicians went to Marin County because housing was cheap and the bridges made nightclub gigs easy. There were plenty of old farmhouses and empty ranches for free-thinking rockers. There was also plenty of cheap housing, and easy trips to San Francisco and East Bay. Plenty of musicians, most of them not remotely famous, found that Marin was cheap and a good location. By the early 70s, there was a surfeit of rock musicians in the County.
|A 1939 Northwestern Pacific Railroad map shows how San Anselmo residents could commute by train into San Francisco|
San Anselmo was just 2 miles and 10 minutes West of Highway 101 in downtown San Rafael (and Front Street, for Deadheads). In 1970, the population was 13,031. San Anselmo wasn't even an incorporated town until 1974. The Lion's Share was at 60 Red Hill Avenue--also known as "The Miracle Mile"--the main drag in the little community
The land in and around San Anselmo was mostly pastoral until 1874, when
the North Pacific Coast Railroad (NPC) added to its line a spur track
from San Anselmo to San Rafael. In 1875, the railroad completed a line
from Sausalito to Tomales and north to Cazadero via San Anselmo. For a
few years, the town was referred to on railroad maps as "Junction," but
in 1883 the name San Anselmo came back into use. The San Anselmo post
office opened in 1892.
From 1902 until the early 1940s, San Anselmo was part of Marin's Northwestern Pacific Electric Train system (in 1907, investors formed the NWP). The Miracle Mile's and Center Boulevard's current "raised roadbed" were the railroad's right of way. Becoming unprofitable as a result of competition from the automobile, and the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, the railway was officially closed on March 1, 1941. San Anselmo had always been a sort of bedroom community for San Francisco, but after the 1940s people had to drive to the city across the Golden Gate Bridge, rather than take the electric train to the Ferry.
Initially, the Lion's Share had been a folk club in Sausalito. There apparently had been a complaint about the noise, but owner Mike Considine and his supporters persuaded the Sausalito Town Council that the club was not too noisy. Mysteriously, the club burned down the next night. Considine moved the Lion's Share to a former hardware store at 60 Red Hill Avenue on the "Miracle Mile" in sleepy San Anselmo. Artist manager Diana Sward (now Rapaport) wrote
"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.. 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."
The Lion's Share in San Anselmo opened in July, 1969. It was generally open from Tuesday through Sunday. In general, there were auditions and local performers on Tuesday and Wednesday, although although at times they would book touring acts who had an open date. Of course, it being Marin County and all, sometimes "the locals" had a rock and roll pedigree as well. The club served beer, wine and bar food. Nominally, per California law, it was a restaurant with entertainment, rather than a bar. Realistically, what that meant was that a 22-year old guy could bring a 19-year old date, no small thing given the age of rock fans at the time.
At this distant remove, it has been fairly difficult to construct a list of performers for the Lion's Share. 1971 was probably the peak year for the club, when despite its limited capacity of 250-300, it was still viable to book touring acts. Also, of course, the local musicians were always available for gigs. In the next few years, clubs like Keystone Berkeley, the Boarding House, the Great American Music Hall and the Orphanage offered more exposure and more money, so the Lion's Share had fewer touring acts and less prominent call on the locals.
To give a flavor of the Lion's Share in 1971, I have just reviewed the known acts from April to June 1971, to the extent that I can identify them. In the appendix, I have listed every show that I could find for the whole year. While I suspect I am not missing bookings by any touring acts--they are the most likely to have been listed in the local papers--it is an irony of the Lion's Share that we are just as interested in the local bands that played there. Many of them may have been booked on little or no notice, but we would be very interested in them now. Booker Sally Henderson, a transplant from the Cambridge, MA scene, was well-connected across the country. According to an SF Chronicle article (May 23, 1971), Considine said that touring acts were offered a guarantee, while local bands got a percentage of the door. This was needed because otherwise local bands would let in too many of their friends for free, which in Marin was a genuine consideration.
The Lion's Share, 60 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo, CA: Known Performers April-June 1971
The week of April 5, 1971, had started auspiciously for the Lion's Share. Marin County was not yet the fully hip enclave it was to become. Some residents were not happy with a hippie rock club in downtown San Anselmo, and had challenged the use permit of the club. When the Lion's Share had moved to San Anselmo from Sausalito, back in 1969, their use permit was conditional on providing 21 night-time parking spaces. San Anselmo was not a town yet (that wouldn't happen until 1974) but there was a hearing at the San Anselmo Planning Commission on Monday, April 5. On April 6, however, the Marin Independent-Journal reported that the Commission ruled that there was plenty of parking, and the Use Permit remained in force.
At the Lion's Share, Tuesdays and Wednesdays were "Audition Night," for local bands. Unless there was a touring act on one of those nights, the acts do not seem to have been listed in the papers. Of course, in 1971 Marin County, members of "local bands" very well might have gone on to great success, but for now we can only hope for better sources to arise. I could not find a listing for the weekend of April 1-3, and that too will have to wait for improved sources (for the balance of this post, I will skip over days where I have no listings).
April 9-10, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Loading Zone/Sorry Muthas (Friday-Saturday)
The first band we have a date for in this period was The Loading Zone, playing Friday and Saturday night. The Loading Zone had been an original psychedelic band, going back to the Ballroom days of 1966. The Zone were based in Oakland, and they were the first Fillmore band to blend soul music with psychedelic guitar solos. They were a popular opening act, and as such they opened a door that bands like Sly And The Family Stone and Tower Of Power walked through. In our detailed history of the Loading Zone, they had an intriguing shot at the big time around 1968, and it didn't work out. The band had kept going however, in various incarnations.
In mid-1970, the original Loading Zone fell apart when founder/organist Paul Fauerso left the band. Lead singer Linda Tillery, however, the best known member of the band, reformed the group as a quartet. Tillery's singing was backed by a trio of organist Tom Coster, his brother Al on drums and bassist Mike Eggleston. Contemporary reviews suggest that the 1970 Zone had some soulful singing from Tillery, mixed with jazz interludes from the Costers. They were a popular band in Bay Area clubs at the time.
The Sorry Muthas were apparently a local jug bandApril 16, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan and Friends/One (Sunday)
Organist and singer Mike Finnegan was from Wichita, KS. Unlike most musicians, the 6'6" Finnegan had gotten a basketball scholarship to the University of Kansas. He had moved to the Bay Area around 1969, and he had been a member of The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, who had put out a highly regarded 1970 album on Columbia. Unfortunately, the album went nowhere, and Finnegan had left the band. At this time, Finnegan had another band with singer Jerry Wood, and he worked with the re-activated Big Brother and The Holding Company as well.
Finnegan had long
been a regular at The Lion's Share. In late 1970, he had run the Sunday
night jam sessions every other week or so, with an informal band called
The Nu Bugaloo Express, which included guitarist Danny Nudalman, bassist
Dave Schallock and drummer Bill Vitt (on the alternate Sundays, Bill
Champlin had run the jam session with the players that would become Yogi
Phlegm and then the reformed Sons Of Champlin). It's possible that
there were still regular Sunday night jams during this period, but this night was the only listing I found.
For club gigs, Finnegan pretty much played blues. He was a powerful vocalist as well as a great organ player, so he could play with any combination of musicians. It being Marin, some of his "friends" might have been had notable musical pedigrees and would definitely have been good players.
The pretentiously named One was apparently a Bolinas resident, and a friend of Paul Kantner's. Since he was a friend of Kantner's, he got to release an album on Grunt Records, the Airplane's RCA imprint. The music is credited to Reality D. Blipcrotch. Supposedly, the album is a peak example of rock stars indulgently releasing albums by their pals. I have not heard the record. I know of only a few other performances by One (or Reality, if you were on a first-name basis), such as at a Grunt Records party several months later.
April 20, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Sopwith Camel/others (Tuesday)
Tuesday night was an audition night, but the April 20 booking was interesting enough to be noted in the paper. The Sopwith Camel was an original San Francisco psychedelic band, with roots going back to the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, NV and 1090 Page Street. The Sopwith Camel had been one of the first Fillmore bands to sign a recording contract, and they had perhaps the first hit single of the scene, as well, with "Hello Hello" in February 1967. That record was in the Lovin' Spoonful jugband style, which has hot at the time (and the Camel were produced by Spoonful producer Erik Jacobsen). The Camel had to face the grumblings of locals who felt that they had "sold-out." The band had ground to a halt in late 1967.
However, Sopwith Camel had reformed in 1971. This Lion's Share one of the earliest shows for the new incarnation (they had debuted on March 5 at the Matrix). The re-formed group had 4 of the 5 original members. The original songwriting partnership of guitarists Peter Kraemer and Terry MacNeil was intact, along with bassist Martin Beard and drummer Norman Mayell. In the meantime, Beard and Mayell had played on the hit single "Spirit In The Sky" with Petaluma's Norman Greenbaum.
One of the ways that San Francisco's rock scene stood out from that of other major music cities was the willingness of big rock stars to play small clubs. Guitarist Mike Bloomfield had set the trend around 1969, foregoing his star status for casual club gigs. But Bloomfield, though a true star, was no longer in a major band. Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of the Jefferson Airplane had also started playing tiny clubs in Fall '69, and Jerry Garcia had become a regular at The Matrix by Spring 1970. In early 1971, Van Morrison moved from Woodstock, NY to Fairfax in Marin County, and he too adopted the local practice.
By the end of 1970, Van Morrison had released his third album on Warner Brothers, His Band And Street Choir. The album had two substantial AM hits, "Domino" (reaching #9 on Billboard) and "Blue Money" (which reached #23). More importantly, however Morrison's three Warners albums--Astral Weeks, Moondance and Street Choir--all received wide, constant airplay on FM radio. So Morrison was a genuine rock star, and many of his songs were familiar to even casual rock fans. In the Spring of 1971, Morrison had been recording his next album (Tupelo Honey) in San Francisco.
Since Morrison lived just up the road in Fairfax, the Lion's Share was the nearest nightclub to his own house. Van Morrison playing the tiny Lion's Share was big news in the rock world, and the show was reviewed by San Francisco Examiner critic Phil Elwood the next Tuesday (April 27). The weekend booking at the club was probably the first time Van Morrison had played a Bay Area nightclub, and certainly the first time it had actually been publicly acknowledged. Van Morrison would go on to play Bay Area clubs for the next dozen years, and each time it was seen as an "only in San Francisco" special. More or less, that was true. While Van didn't play Bay Area clubs as often as Jerry Garcia did--no other rock star ever would--Van was a worldwide star in the 1970s, in a way that Garcia was not.
Elwood's review describes Morrison fronting a nine-piece band with horns and backup singers. Elwood singles out guitarist Ronnie Montrose for praise. Montrose had been playing lead guitar on the Tupelo Honey sessions, and while his guitar parts on songs like the title track and "Wild Night" are embedded in our memories now, they would have been absolutely striking the very first time. Ironically, Montrose would go on to fame as a hard rocking guitarist with the Edgar Winter Group (he was on "Frankenstein") and then the group named after him, with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals. Morrison would go on to play three more dates (April 30-May 2) the next weekend at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco, but he would return to the Lion's Share a number of times in ensuing years.
April 30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Barry Melton and The Fish (Friday)
According to Joe McDonald and Barry Melton, "Country Joe and The Fish" was a duo featuring the two of them, with or without additional band members. That's not how the music world saw it, however. Country Joe and The Fish had called it a today in early Summer 1970, and both leaders had gone solo. Still, when Barry Melton played live with a band, it was usually called Barry Melton and The Fish, to give listeners a hint that it was electric Melton backed by a group.
Melton, who had moved from Berkeley to Marin by this time, had released a solo album on Vanguard in 1970 called Bright Sun Is Shining. It had been recorded in Chicago and New York with veteran session pros like Phil Upchurch, rather than with Fillmore West guys. The album had mostly been covers of blues and old R&B songs. This was actually quite consistent with Melton's musical history, but it may not have been entirely expected by 60s fans who were used to songs about politics and drugs. I don't know who was in Melton's band at this time.
May 6-8, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Jim Kweskin Jug Band (Thursday-Saturday)
The Jim Kweskin Jug Band had formed in 1963 in Cambridge, MA, and they had been unusually influential. Besides playing fairly authentic "jug" music, then a fairly unknown style, the Kweskin band had a significant influence on young musicians. The band's late 1963 debut on Vanguard single-handedly made jug band music nationally popular. More importantly, in the early 60s, musicians in all styles were supposed to be "entertainers," wearing matching stage clothes while they performed their "show," and had scripted "patter" between numbers. Certainly The Beatles, truly revolutionary musicians, had the matching clothes and acted like entertainers on stage.
The Jim Kweskin Jug Band appeared on stage in their regular clothes, played whatever songs they felt like at that moment, and casually chatted with themselves and the crowd between songs. This was what folk music was like in the living room, and the crowd was just invited in with them. Jerry Garcia and his friends had seen the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in Berkeley (on March 11, 1964) and instantly decided that was how it was going to be: play what you want, when you feel like it, and wear whatever. David Grisman and other young musicians had the same reaction.
The Jim Kweskin Jug Band had a fairly successful run in the mid-60s, although ultimately rock music and its fans passed them by. Lots of good musicians had been in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and many of them would end up in Marin, including Geoff and Maria Muldaur and Richard Greene. More unsettlingly, however, by around 1968 one member of the band, harmonica player Mel Lyman, had taken on an outsized role in the bandmembers lives. The whole story of the Lyman Family, as they are known, is quite unnerving, and you can google it yourself if you have an interest.
In 1971, Reprise Records had released a Jim Kweskin solo album with the ungainly name of Richard D Herbruck Presents Jim Kweskin's America Co-Starring Mel Lyman And The Family. I presume that a tour had been arranged in support of the album. The "Jim Kweskin Jug Band" name was probably used bcause it was familiar. The whole Mel Lyman saga is not for the faint, so there has been little reflection on Kweskin's musical activities at this time.
May 13-15, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Sopwith Camel/Loading Zone (Thursday-Saturday)
Sopwith Camel returned for a weekend headline booking, joined by The Loading Zone. Two years after this, the Sopwith Camel would release their second album, just six years after their debut, The Miraculous Hump Returns From The Moon. Erik Jacobsen also produced the 1973 Reprise Records release.
May 18, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Shanti (Tuesday)
Tuesday was another audition night, and yet another fascinating Marin band was booked. Shanti was a conscious attempt to fuse rock music with Indian music. Zakir Hussain, the son of tabla master Ustad Allah Rakha, and himself a brilliant tabla player, was a Marin resident. Along with Sarod player Aashish Khan and tabla player Pranesh Khan, they combined with some conventional rock musicians to form an "electric" Indian/Rock fusion ensemble. Guitarist Neal Seidel was joined by singer/guitarist Steve Haehl, bassist Steve Leach and drummer Francisco Lupica. In the 60s, Lupica had played with Lee Michaels and had been in bands like The Travel Agency and the Loading Zone (where he used the name Frank Davis).
Shanti put out an album on Atlantic in 1971, recorded at Pacific High Recorders in San Francisco. PHR was probably actually Alembic Studios by this time, but they seemed to prefer to use the outdated name in some instances. I don't know when the Shanti album was released, but I believe it was actually in the Summer of 1971 (there was an event that seemed to be related to the album release at Mickey Hart's ranch in August). I have not heard the album, but descriptions of it suggest an intriguing experiment that didn't entirely succeed, a mixture of psychedelic rock songs with Indian embellishment, along with genuine efforts to merge electric rock and Indian music in an amplified setting.
Shanti played around the Bay Area until they broke up in 1972. Some of the Shanti members went on to have interesting careers, and many of them were Grateful Dead-adjacent. Zakir Hussain was perhaps the key figure in the Ali Akbar Khan School Of Music, which had moved to Marin in 1971. An offshoot of the school was the Diga Rhythm Band, a percussion group that included Mickey Hart, who produced their album for Round Records in 1975. Diga Rhythm Band played a few public shows, and Jerry Garcia came and played at one in Golden Gate Park (on May 30, 1975). Francisco Lupica was the inventor of The Beam, and Mickey Hart and Dan Healy adopted the concept as part of the Grateful Dead's concert setup. Guitarist Neil Seidel seems to have had a substantial music career, although I think it was mostly in soundtrack work. Bassist Steve Leach became somewhat known as a producer, as Steven Wold, and in the 21st century, as a performer, as Seasick Steve.
|Ian and Sylvia Tyson's band Great Speckled Bird, with Amos Garrett and Buddy Cage (r)|
May 27-30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Ian And Sylvia/Rowan Brothers (Thursday-Sunday)
This weekend's booking at the Lion's Share was another seemingly casual event that seems quite remarkable today. Headliners Ian and Sylvia Tyson had been a popular Canadian folk duo going back to 1959. When folk music faded away in the mid-60s, the duo easily made the switch to country-rock, both because of their talent and their excellent songwriting skills. Ian And Sylvia's early 1968 album Nashville, on Vanguard, was one of the first collaborations between rock songwriters using Nashville session men, preceding The Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. In late 1969, Ian And Sylvia had evolved into the band Great Speckled Bird, releasing an album of that same name on Ampex Records in October.
Ian And Sylvia and Great Speckled Bird, always popular in Canada, had joined the legendary Festival Express train tour across Canada. On that epic journey, Jerry Garcia and the New Riders Of The Purple Sage discovered Great Speckled Bird pedal steel guitarist Buddy Cage. By early 1971, Garcia was looking to extract himself from the Riders so that they could have their own career. After Garcia recorded the band's debut with them throughout 1971, he stepped aside so that Cage could took his place. By this time, Cage had left Ian And Sylvia, and was mainly playing sessions in Canada. Cage would move to Marin in September 1971, and his live debut with the New Riders was in Atlanta on November 11, 1971.
Opening act The Rowan Brothers had recently been signed to Columbia Records. Chris and Lorin Rowan were the younger brothers of Peter Rowan, all from Massachusetts. Peter had played in Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys from 1964-67, and then had formed the usual post-folkie psychedelic rock band with mandolinist David Grisman. Earth Opera had fallen apart after two albums on Elektra, and Peter Rowan had ended up joining the band Sea Train. Meanwhile, Grisman had ended up as producer of Peter's two younger brothers.
David Grisman had been friends with Jerry Garcia since they had met at a bluegrass festival in Union Grove, PA in 1964. Grisman had moved to the Bay Area for a while, and had a bluegrass group in 1966-67 called The Smoky Grass Boys. By 1970, after the demise of Earth Opera, he had reconnected with Garcia. Grisman had played on the 1970 Grateful Dead album American Beauty (playing mandolin on "Ripple"), and he had joined the Dead for an acoustic set at Fillmore East (September 20, 1970). At Fillmore East, Garcia had encouraged Grisman and his manager Richard Loren to bring the younger Rowans out West, and by 1971 they had moved to Stinson Beach. The Rowan Brothers, along with Grisman, had started playing some low-key gigs as a trio.
Phil Elwood of the Examiner reviewed one of these Lion's Share shows (almost certainly May 27, reviewed on May 31), and mentioned that the Rowan Brothers were backed by Grisman and "a couple of members of the Grateful Dead." In fact, the Rowan Brothers stage band this night would have been the two of them on guitars and vocals, with Grisman on mandolin and keyboards, co-producer Bill Wolf on bass, Bill Kreutzmann on drums and Garcia on pedal steel guitar. The Wednesday show was the debut of this configuration of the Rowan Brothers. They would play several more gigs around the Bay Area, culminating in a high profile show at Fillmore West, broadcast on the radio. Although the duo had been signed to Columbia, they had not yet recorded an album.
This wasn't Garcia's first appearance at the Lion's Share. The Grateful Dead had quietly tried out their acoustic configuration by playing three nights at the Lion's Share (July 30-August 1, 1970). The band was preparing to record American Beauty, and seems to have wanted to get a little live work in. Similarly, the New Riders Of The Purple Sage had played a surprise Monday night gig on January 11 (1971). The timing suggests that the Riders wanted to break in new drummer Spencer Dryden prior to recording their debut. The pattern seems similar here: the Rowan Brothers were thinking about recording, so producer David Grisman brought along some friends for a live rundown.
The Lion's Share was a modest place, but here was an opening act that featured two members of one of the biggest rock bands in San Francisco. It was just another weekend. Garcia's activities are accounted for on the next few nights, so he did not play at the Lion's Share on the 28th and 29th, and since he was sick enough to cancel a Grateful Dead show (the 28th), it's highly unlikely that he played there on the 30th. Presumably the Rowan Brothers reverted to their trio format for the rest of the weekend.
June 3-5, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: John Stewart (Thursday-Saturday)
John Stewart (1939-2008) had been a member of The Kingston Trio from 1961 to 1967. The group had been very popular, but they were passed by when the likes of The Beach Boys and The Beatles came along. Stewart had gone solo, and released a variety of well-received albums, such as 1969's California Bloodlines. Although he had written a hit for The Monkees ("Daydream Believer"), he was well known at this time. but not particularly successful. His most recent album would have been Willard, released on Capitol in 1970. At some point in the 1970s, Stewart would actually move to Marin, although I'm not sure exactly when. He ended up having a productive, successful career as a songwriter and performer into the 21st century.
June 9-12, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Bola Sete (Wednesday-Saturday)
Bola Sete (1923-1987, born Djalma de Andrade) was a Brazilian jazz guitarist who had been prominent in the 60s. Bola Sete (which means "Seven Ball"), after a substantial career in South America in the 1950s, had ended up playing at the Sheraton Hotel in San Francisco, where he captivated Dizzy Gillespie (it turned out that Gillespie's piano player, Argentinian Lalo Schifrin, had played with Bola Seta in Rio). Brazilian jazz was hot at the time, and Bola Sete had recorded and toured with both Gillespie and Vince Guaraldi. Guaraldi and Bola Sete had made some very popular albums for Fantasy Records in the mid-60s. After about 1968, however, Bola Sete had reduced his presence and largely stopped recording and performing, although he hadn't actually retired. Bola Sete did continue to play periodic Bay Area shows.
The Lion's Share wasn't a jazz club, but there weren't any jazz clubs in Marin County, either. Bola Sete lived in the Bay Area--possibly in Marin, I'm not sure--so if he was going to play a Marin gig, the Lion's Share was the obvious choice. Bola Sete did have a 1971 album on Fantasy, called SheBaba. It's an anomaly, and may have been released for contractual reasons. Probably Bola Sete just accompanied himself, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Lion's Share booking was a warm-up for some higher profile shows later.
Organist Howard Wales had gained some level of notoriety from playing weeknights at The Matrix in San Francisco with Jerry Garcia. He had recorded an album with Garcia in the Fall of 1970, but Hooteroll? would not be released until later in 1971. Wales, a phenomenal player who was way, way "outside," would have pretty much just jammed. It's not impossible that the same players worked with both Wales and Finnegan that night (side note: the Grateful Dead were on their way to France, so Garcia would not have dropped by). In early '72, Wales put together a quartet with Jim Vincent on guitar (ex HP Lovecraft), Roger "Jellyroll" Troy on bass (an old pal of Wales' from Cincinnati) and Jerry Love on drums, so this booking might have been with that combo.
June 18-20, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Denny Zeitlin Trio (Friday-Sunday)
Marin resident Denny Zeitlin is a pretty remarkable musician, and the type of player who set Marin County apart from other places. Zeitlin had been a piano prodigy since his youth. In 1963, although he was in medical school at Johns Hopkins, he had been signed to Columbia Records as a jazz pianist. He made four well reviewed, forward-looking jazz albums on Columbia through 1967. In 1968, young Dr. Zeitlin accepted an internship as a psychiatrist at the University Of California at San Francisco, and his musical career was put in abeyance.
By 1971, Zeitlin was performing around the Bay Area--in between his full-time medical work. Earlier in the 60s, Zeitlin had been a sophisticated player in the mode of Bill Evans. Now, he had added electric keyboards to the mix, playing a Fender Rhodes and a clavinet along with his grand piano. Drummer George Marsh and electric bassist Mel Graves had been in the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood--broken up due to Mike Finnegan's departure--so they had a bit of a rock sensibility to go with some serious jazz chops.
The Bay Area had always had a thriving jazz scene, even though successful players (like Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader or John Handy) had to go to Los Angeles or New York to hit it big. It's no surprise to find out that plenty of interesting electric jazz experiments were underway in the Bay Area in the late 60s and early 70s. Most of them were under the radar, however, and there was very little recorded evidence. Some groups like The Fourth Way, the Loading Zone, South Bay Experimental Flash and a few others were trying on new hats for jazz, and the Denny Zeitlin Trio was as well. The Trio from that era got sensational reviews, but they never recorded to my knowledge.
|Kris Kristofferson's 1971 Monument Records album, The Silver-Tongued Devil and I|
June 24-27 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Kris Kristofferson (Thursday-Sunday)
In the 1960s, Kris Kristofferson was only known as a Nashville songwriter, albeit a quite successful one. He had written hits like "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and "Me And Bobby McGee" for various artists. Kristofferson had only released his first album in 1970, Kristofferson, on Monument Records. It featured his own versions of many of his hits for others. He had toured around clubs a little bit, but he wasn't yet a polished performer. In July 1971, he would release his second Monument album, The Silver-Tongued Devil and I. It would include his first big hit for himself, "Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do)." The way records were released in those days, the new album was probably already getting radio airplay, and might have been available in some stores.
The previous year, Kristofferson had toured with a backing trio, with Zal Yanovsky (ex-Lovin Spooful) on guitar, Norman Blake on dobro and guitar, and Billy Swan on bass. Presumably he had a similar backup combo, but I don't know if he had the same musicians in 1971.
|How Hard It Is, the 1971 Big Brother And The Holding Company album, with Mike Finnegan|
Appendix: Lion's Share, 60 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo, CA: Known Performers--1971
January 1-2, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Elvin Bishop/Home Sweet Home (Fri-Sat)
January 7-9, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Barry McGuire and The Doctor (Thur-Sat)
January 10, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Big Mama Thornton/Chico David Blues Band (Sun)
January 11, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anelmo, CA: New Riders Of The Purple Sage/Chico David Blues Band/Nazgul/Mendelbaum (Monday)
January 14, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Boz Scaggs (Thur)
January 15-16, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Joy Of Cooking/Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen (Fri-Sat)
January 17, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen/Loading Zone (Sun)
January 21, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Charlie Musselwhite (Thur)
January 22-23, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: The Sons/Sunset (Fri-Sat)
January 28-30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Jerry Hahn Brotherhood/Mike Finnegan Trio (Thur-Sat)
February 4-7, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Tim Buckley Quintet with Buzz and Bunk Gardner (Thur-Sun)
February 18-21, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Doc and Merle Watson (Thur-Sun)
February 24, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Syzgy (Wed)
February 25, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan's New Group and Lane Tietgen (Thur)
February 27-28, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan with Jerry Wood/Lane Tietgen (Sat-Sun)
March 4-5, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Kate Taylor/John Stewart (Thur-Fri)
March 6-7, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Eric Andersen/Kate Taylor Quintet (Sat-Sun)
March 11-12, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Big Brother and The Holding Company (Fri-Sat)
March 19-20, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: John Lee Hooker/Cooking Mama (Fri-Sat)
March 26-27, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Denny Zeitlin/Ofoedian Den (Fri-Sat)
April 9-10, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Loading Zone/Sorry Muthas (Fri-Sat) Sorry Muthas Jug Band
April 16, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan and Friends/One (Sunday)
April 20, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Sopwith Camel/others (Tues)
April 23-25, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Van Morrison w/Montrose (Fri-Sun)
April 30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Barry Melton and The Fish (Fri)
May 6-8, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Jim Kweskin Jug Band (Thur-Sat)
May 13-15, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Sopwith Camel/Loading Zone (Thur-Sat)
May 18, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Shanti (Tues)
May 27-30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Ian and Sylvia/Rowan Bros w DG (reviewed May 31 Examiner)
June 3-5, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: John Stewart (Thur-Sat)
June 9-12, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Bola Sete (Wed-Sat)
June 17, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan and Friends/Howard Wales (Thur)
June 18-20, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Denny Zeitlin Trio (Thur-Sat)
July 1-4, 1971 Mike Finnegan and Friends (Thur-Sun)
July 7-11, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Country Joe and Pitschel
July 15-18, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Eric Andersen/Joyous Noise (Thur-Sun)
July 30-August 1, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mose Allison Trio/Ron Douglas (comedy) (Fri-Sun)
August 4, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Van Morrison (Wed)
August 12-14, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Taj Mahal/Mississippi Sam Chatman (Thur-Sat)
August 21, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Yogi Phlegm/Uncle Vinty (Sat)
September 2-4, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: New Riders Of The Purple Sage (Thur-Sat
September 8-12, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Ian Matthews/Shawn Phillips
September 16, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Flying Circus/Peter Spelman
September 17, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: James and The Good Brothers/Uncle Vinty/Cris Williamson (Fri)
September 23, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Gideon & Power (Thur)
September 24-25, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Jerry Garcia, Tom Fogerty, Merl Saunders/Charlie Daniels, Jerry Corbitt, Billy Cox (Fri-Sat)
September 29-30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Hookfoot/Barley at The Hop (Wed-Thur)
October 5, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Earthrise (Tues)
October 7-10, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan and Jerry Wood Band (Thur-Sun)
October 16-17, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Grootna
October 19-21, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Dave Van Ronk/High Country (Thur-Sat)
October 24, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen/Clover
October 28-30, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Doug Kershaw/Shanti (Thur-Sat)
October 31, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Doug Kershaw/Charles River Valley Boys (Sun)
1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Clover/Joyous Noise (Thur)
November 11-12, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: John Hammond Jr/Your Own Backyard(Thur-Fri)
November 13-14, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: John Hammond Jr/Real
Charles Ford Band (Sat-Sun)
November 18-21, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Friends (Thur-SuN)
November 26-28, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Van Morrison and Friends (Fri-Sun)
December 1, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mike Finnegan and Jerry Wood, plus Jellyroll
December 5, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Mke Finnegan and Jerry Wood, plus Jellyroll (Sun)
December 16-18, 1971, Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Merry Clayton and Band/Sunset (Thur-Sat)
December 23, 1971 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Special Christmas Show (Thur)
Dec 30-31 Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA: Joy Of Cooking (Thur-Fri)
Appendix 2: Other Posts in the 1970s Rock Nightclubs Series
3138 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA: The Matrix January-June 1970 Performers List (Matrix I)
Bay Area Rock Nightclub Survey: Berkeley, January-April 1974 (Bay Area '74 I)
The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA: January-April 1970 Performers List (Troubadour I)
3138 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA: The Matrix July-September 1970 (Matrix II)
The Troubadour, West Hollywood and San Francisco: May-August 1970 Performers List (Troubadour II)