Latest Update: September 13, 2011


Copyright © 2004-2011 Ross Hannan and Corry Arnold. All Rights Reserved.




Copyright for this photograph of Max Scherr is vested in Robert Altman

Thanks are due Robert who kindly gave permission for it to be reproduced here.


If it had not been for the Berkeley Barb, the research for the various Berkeley related pages would have been based solely on scanning copies of various surviving posters and handbills plus the memories of those who were there. Max Scherr had founded the Barb to provide a voice against the war in Vietnam and to report on local topics from a moral perspective.  The first issue came out on Friday, August 13, 1965 - the same day that the doors of the Matrix coffeehouse first opened across the Bay in San Francisco. It provided details of local events and happenings in both a listing format and, more importantly, as fine black and white advertisements for the venues that have become an art form equivalent to the handbills distributed to advertise the events themselves.  


For this, and for his foresight, we truly thank Max Scherr.


A Brief Background


Over the few years since the Berkeley Art page was first compiled, it has become clear that something more needs to be done.  This whole web site began just before Christmas 2004.  I had a day to spare and a large pile of posters, handbills, papers and other artefacts (primarily from the Bay Area) spread around the house.  The artefacts needed sorting out, categorising and, at the suggestion of Anne, perhaps putting away neatly.  It struck me that there was probably something wrong with me keeping all of this nice stuff to myself; so why not take the opportunity to share it all on a non-commercial basis?  Half an hour later I had the domain name set up, a scanner, Microsoft FrontPage fired up, a cup of coffee, a pack of untipped Gitanes and a clear focus on the period between 1965 and 1968.  Corry Arnold and I had been working, separately and together, on various lists for sometime before this.  The lists were effectively tabulated information related to either individual venues or individual artists - probably the most complete at the time was the list of Country Joe shows.  This gave me a pretty good starting point.  Initially the work concentrated on the San Francisco ballrooms (the Avalon, Fillmore etc.), the Matrix coffeeshop and I made a trip up to Vancouver to visit the Retinal Circus.  By early June 2005 the Jabberwock was in hand - this was the first sign that maybe something more had to be done.  Bill "Jolly Blue" Ehlert, owner of the Jabberwock, got in contact and let me have some corrections and additions; Earl Crabb (who with Rick Shubb produced Humbead's Revised Map of the World) did the same.  Tom Weller, Jef Jaisun, David Bennett Cohen, ED Denson, Jesse Cahn and Evelyn Miller Kerr were happy to recall their memories for me.  Country Joe McDonald, together with everyone else, provided encouragement.


 So what needs to be done?  Well, first this page is way to big for for all but the fastest connections, so I need to do some restructuring.  This is not difficult and I will get to it reasonably soon.  The Berkeley Barbs have started to arrive with a wealth of further information and a selection of wonderful artwork advertising local Bay Area shows.  These need to be scanned and collated and that does take time - it took several hours just to put together the 1968 advertisements for the New Orleans House - shown somewhere further down this page.  Ignore any "thumbnail" problems that appear - the pictures are there but the folk at Microsoft just don't seem to keen to let me have my thumbnails back.


The second thing that needs to be done is far less clear at present.  For posterity and completeness we need to keep writing all of this down, collecting as much information as possible, and making it available for anyone who wants to research, understand or remember Berkeley in the 1960s - with the focus on the art, the music and the detail.  To the best of our (mine and Corry's) collective knowledge this has not been done before.  We still need to figure out if we should be doing anything differently, or doing anything else to supplement this work.  Whilst we are committed to continue to work on this, we need the continued commitment of those who were there to keep providing the input.  So a big thank you to everyone who has helped.  If you would like to provide some input (particularly any photographs), you can do so by just clicking here.  The biggest "thank you" of all goes to my good friend Cactus Pete Anderson of Tucson, Arizona - whose generosity in donating his entire collection of Berkeley Barbs to me will ensure his friendship will never be forgotten. 


Ross Hannan

August 8, 2008


Some information about the a number of Berkeley bands is beginning to be gathered: Mad River, Sky Blue, Loading Zone, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, Wildflower, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Phoenix


Corry Arnold and Ross Hannan are responsible for the contents of this page - blame may be equally shared.  Some of the content belongs elsewhere and will no doubt be moved as part of a transition to something more tangible. Thanks are also due to Sandy Rothman, Obert, Jef Jaisun, David Bennett Cohen

The Great Folk Scare

When Folk Music became popular in the late 1950s, it was roughly divided into two strains: popular folk music, typified by the Kingston Trio, which borrowed folk tunes and styles for enjoyable and successful pop music, and a smaller and more serious interest in real folk traditions. Some fans of popular folk music were driven to learn and play bluegrass, blues, old-time and other types of music in a form closer to its original. For many such fans, records were hard to come by, and songs were learned from others, making it a received folk tradition in its own right. By the early 1960s, rock and roll had become trivial—after all, Elvis was in the army, Buddy Holly was dead, and Jerry Lee Lewis was blackballed—and serious teenagers listened to jazz and folk, even if they danced to rock and roll.

In the early 1960s, there had been a “folk circuit” anchored by Cambridge, Massachusetts and Berkeley.  Folksingers could play the Club 47 in Cambridge, go down to Greenwich Village, and work their way across the country, possibly hitchhiking, and sleeping on the couches and floors of other folkniks. The history of this circuit is well covered in the book Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Eric von Schmidt and Jim Rooney, UMass Press 1979). 

Berkeley Folk Roots

Folk Music Venues in Berkeley

The initial venues in Berkeley were the Blind Lemon (at 2362 San Pablo), founded in 1958, and later The Steppenwolf (at 2136 San Pablo), founded in the early 1960s. The Cabale Creamery (2504 San Pablo at Dwight in Berkeley), which opened, as The Cabale, on January 4, 1963 by Rolf Cahn, Debbie Green, Howard Zeem and Red Dog Saloon alum Chandler A. Laughlin III (later known as Travus T. Hipp), was a crucial stop on this circuit.  By 1965, the club was partially owned by Carroll Peery, manager of the Chambers Brothers (later, after their souls became psychedelized, to hit with Time Has Come Today), who subsequently moved to Cambridge themselves (Bay Area bluegrass musician Sandy Rothman has a brief but excellent memoir of the Cabale online, cited in the below).

When the Cabale finally folded in mid 1965, there was still a need for a folk club in Berkeley. While there were various venues—The Steppenwolf was still open, and the venue at 2504 San Pablo became The Good Buddy, Caverns West and then The Questing Beast--The Jabberwock, which had regularly featured music in any case, soon became the premier folk venue in Berkeley.  The Jabberwock was located at 2901 Telegraph at Russell (near Ashby) and was owned and run by Bill "Jolly Blue" Ehlert, who had bought the club earlier in 1965.  The Jabberwock was the primary folk club in Berkeley at the exact moment when Bob Dylan and The Beatles made musicians and fans alike realize that music could be serious, authentic and popular all at once. Combined with other cultural changes occurring at the time, the Bay Area folk scene largely disintegrated in a crowd of funny colored smoke. The house band at The Jabberwock was a casual jug band called The Instant Action Jug Band, several of whose members formed Country Joe and The Fish. The Jabberwock story is told in elegant detail here. Suffice to say, while The Jabberwock closed on July 8, 1967, the legacy of the tiny club was fondly remembered by the musicians who played there and the fans that attended—who were often the same people.

In mid-1967, rock music was dominant over all, but there were still folk musicians. A Berkeley venue called The New Orleans House (at 1505 San Pablo), which had opened in August 1966, became the popular local venue, and it booked a wide variety of music. Today, the booking policy of The New Orleans House would be called “Roots Music,” but since the term was not yet invented, the booking policy would be best described as “Music”. However, while folk music was booked at the New Orleans House, and not unwelcome, the venue was more of a bar and restaurant, and noise, dancing and good times were the order of the day (note--we have completed the early history of The New Orleans House, but it has not yet been published on the Web). 

Traditional Music in Berkeley in 1968

Traditional (‘Folk’) Music was at a peculiar crossroads by 1968. On one hand, the serious young practitioners of traditional acoustic music in the early 1960s had largely followed Bob Dylan and gone electric. Jorma Kaukonen and Jerry Garcia, for example, had been among the leading pickers in the Bay Area in the early 1960s, and now their bands were headlining at the Fillmore and the Monterey Pop Festival. Rock music was a rising art form, and commercially successful at that. Many fine musicians joined rock bands simply because it was a way to make a living playing music. On the other hand, prior to 1965, only musicians and aspiring musicians thought seriously about music; after Bringing It All Back Home and Rubber Soul, ‘popular’ music became Art, and magazines like Rolling Stone helped listeners take music very seriously indeed.

As knowledge about folk music in general increased, and older records became increasingly available through re-release, interest in traditional music took on a new form. Whereas once young pickers had cheerfully lumped various strains of music under the vague rubric of “Folk,” now they appreciated how different traditions had different (if related) roots and styles, and musicians focused more narrowly on those specific traditions. Paradoxically, while the rock explosion had moved popular attention away from folk music, at the same time it broadly encouraged listeners to take so-called ‘popular’ music seriously in a way that had been previously reserved for classical and jazz.

By 1968, Berkeley, always a Petri dish for whatever was new, different and provocative, had a significant population of musicians who had been playing folk music for most or all of the decade, and well versed in a variety of traditional forms. Most or all of these musicians were Berkeleyites in every respect, longhaired, supportive of the politics, and participating in the various admirable and ill-advised activities of the era. The musicians did not have any hostility to rock music—indeed many of them had been or were currently in some kind of rock band. Nevertheless, their increased knowledge about traditional music forms left them with a need for a venue to play that music, even if their commercial prospects were slight.

Berkeley Music Venues, San Pablo Avenue in 1968

The dominant Bay Area rock venues were all in San Francisco (Bill Graham’s Fillmore, the Grateful Dead-managed Carousel Ballroom, soon to become Graham’s Fillmore West, Chet Helm’s Avalon Ballroom and the Straight Theater). Berkeley’s rock audience mostly went to San Francisco for big events. Bill Graham and other promoters sometimes used the Berkeley Community Theater (on Grove and Allston), but it was a High School building, so its use was constrained. Occasional shows at UC Berkeley venues (the Greek Theatre or Pauley Ballroom, for example) were similarly limited. The lack of a major rock venue may have created an audience a little more willing to seek out the unusual at smaller venues.

However, the University of California dominated the area nearest to campus, and by 1968 the existing venues were well West of the campus, nearer to the Bay and in a somewhat downtrodden old industrial district. San Pablo Avenue, once US Highway 40, had been known as Music Row during World War 2 and afterwards, as well-paid defence workers from all over the country enjoyed a wide variety of music. The changing economy and the rise of Interstate 80 still left San Pablo Avenue as a major thoroughfare, but considerably reduced in importance. As a result, however, there were spaces available for music venues, with few residential neighbours to complain. The most prominent Berkeley venues along San Pablo Avenue in the Summer of 1968 were the New Orleans House, Mandrake's, Tito's, the Lucky 13 and the Freight and Salvage.




The Albatross, 1822 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA


The Albatross was opened by Bill Scanlon and Phil Randall as a "pub" in 1964. It soon hanged hands coming under the ownership of brothers Val and Bob Johnson for the next 30 years. It remains open today.


1837 Alcatraz, Berkeley, CA


1837 Alcatraz is now the home of the Most Worshipful Sons of Light Grand Lodge.


1845 Alcatraz, Berkeley, CA


1845 Alcatraz is seemingly in the same building as 1837 Alcatraz.  Strangely, this whole end of Alcatraz Street has adopted a somewhat bizarre numbering

scheme for the properties.


Bear's Lair, Lower Sproul Plaza, University of California, Berkeley, CA


The Bear's Lair opened in 1962 and remains open to this day.



Blind Lemon, 2362 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA


The Blind Lemon has a history dating back to the mid-late 1950s when it was founded by Rolf Cahn who would go on to open the Cabale.  The opening show saw Cahn performing with KC Douglas (who had penned Mercury Blues), Odetta and Larry Moore.  After a brief renaissance re-opening as the Blind Lemon/New Works, today the premises are an office machine repair store.


Cabale Creamery, 2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley

[see also Questing Beast, Tito's and Longbranch]

None of this would be possible without the input from Jesse Cahn, Evelyn Kerr and Sherwood Donahue

This is an excerpt from Sandy Rothman’s brief memoir of the Cabale, written as part of a project on the great Clarence White, which is well worth reviewing.

The Cabale Creamery

Sandy Rothman

It was on San Pablo Avenue, a main north-south thoroughfare parallel to Telegraph on the opposite (west) side of town, at the southwest corner of Dwight Way and San Pablo. I don't recall how "Creamery" got attached to it -- maybe from the steamed milk that was in the cappuccinos and lattes? The name "Cabale" was taken from "Cabala," a medieval system of Jewish mysticism. (Other dictionary definitions are: "a traditional, esoteric, occult, or secret matter" and "an esoteric doctrine or mysterious art." Do any of those terms resonate with bluegrass, nearly a cult in itself?! Hahaha.)


California Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA


Most Berkeley academic buildings had a large lecture hall, and 101 California was the lecture hall for this building. It seated about 400.



Canyon, Berkeley, CA


The tiny town of Canyon, CA was in the hills behind Berkeley (between Berkeley and Moraga). Canyon, a very out-of-the-way town, was a peculiar outpost for avant-garde filmmakers like Robert Nelson, and there were many Berkeley connections, not least folk singer Paul Arnoldi who was a regular on the Bay Area "scene" and local resident.  The two known concerts in Canyon in 1967 were held outdoors, one at a private school and the other in a Eucalyptus Grove.



Community Theater, Milvia and Allston, Berkeley, CA


 Berkeley Community Theater serves as both the Auditorium for both the city and the high school.  It is located at the high school on Milvia and Allston.  It has seats for 3,691 and is still in use today.



Finnish Brotherhood Hall, Chestnut off University Avenue, Berkeley, CA


The Finnish Brotherhood Hall was a small hall just West of downtown, on Chestnut off University Avenue (University Avenue runs from San Francisco Bay to the Campus).  The Finnish Brotherhood Hall is still used today as a community resource with regular meetings, dance classes etc.. 



Folk Festival, Berkeley, CA


The Folk Festival at the University of California was a major event in the 1960s, when its organizer was Barry Olivier. Numerous venues all over campus (many listed here) were used. By 1967, many of the primary acts were rock groups such as Country Joe and The Fish and Kaleidoscope, but they were often made up of former folkies. The Festival ran at least from 1958-69, and possibly somewhat later.



Freight and Salvage, 1827 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA (at Delaware Street)


The Freight and Salvage was the synthesis of the preceding folk music venues in Berkeley. Unlike its predecessors, the Freight and Salvage has remained opened continuously since its debut in 1968. Although it moved from its original location, and will move again shortly, it has remained a Berkeley institution almost since its inception. The Freight and Salvage has been an incubator for both traditional music and newer forms of music rooted in those forms. While the Freight has a proud tradition as a locus for the Appalachian music—bluegrass, old-timey and so forth—it has in fact been a primary venue for numerous kinds of traditional music in the Americas and Europe, and has found room for the occasional rock band as well.


A separate page has been created to show the art of the Freight and Salvage and to discuss and list performances that took place there.



The "Golden Sheaf Bakery Series", Berkeley, CA


Nifty Little Factoid:  The Golden Sheaf Bakery was actually a production company named after the historic Berkeley landmark (which is in downtown Berkeley, at Addison and Adeline).  I know of only a few shows promoted by the Golden Sheaf Bakery in early 1967, each at a different location.  The first set were on January 6, January 13 and January 14 at the Finnish Brotherhood Hall (1970 Chestnut Street).  There then came two nights (January 27 and 28) at 1845 Alcatraz and finally two nights (February 10 and 11) at nearby 1837 Alcatraz.  The Finnish Brotherhood Hall is still used today as a community resource with regular meetings, dance classes etc..  1837 Alcatraz is now the home of the Most Worshipful Sons of Light Grand Lodge.


Tom Weller adds "There was at least one concert held at the Golden Sheaf Bakery building itself. I was there. Don't remember the date, but I think it was prior to the shows you list - subsequent concerts had to be held elsewhere but kept the same name. The building has been rehabilitated as a theatrical arts school associated with the Berkeley repertory Theater down the street."



Greek Theater, University of California (at Gayley Road) , Berkeley, CA


The Greek Theater is an amphitheatre modelled in the style of architecture from ancient Greece with a rising bowl of stone seats.  It opened in September 1903 as the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre.  It was remodelled in 1957. It has a capacity of 8,700. Despite its pretension, it is an elegant venue in a very pretty setting, and has spectacular sound.  Its University affiliation limited its use as a rock venue.  It was not used regularly for rock concerts until the 1980s.



Harmon Gym, University of California, Berkeley, CA


Harmon Gym was the Men’s Basketball Arena.  All events on the University of California had to be sponsored by a student group, but in turn the University often had funds to pay the musicians.  In the 1990s, the gym was torn down and replaced by a much larger venue that bears the same name.



Hearst Gym, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Hearst Gym is the smaller UCB Women’s Gym, on Bancroft and Bowditch.


Helmet Club, Berkeley, CA



Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA


The Jabberwock, at 2901 Telegraph at Russell (9 blocks from campus) was initially a Coffee House called Tsubo’s (Wes Montgomery recorded his Full House there on July 25, 1962).  It changed its name to The Jabberwock by 1963, and regularly presented folk music. By mid-1965, after new owner Bill "Jolly Blue" Ehlert took over the club from previous owner Belle Randall, it became the premier folk venue in Berkeley.  For the history of The Jabberwock, see here;  flyers from the Jabberwock can be seen here; a list of shows and performers from The Jabberwock can be seen here.




Jefferson Auditorium, Rose and Sacramento, Berkeley, CA



Little Theater, Berkeley, CA



Live Oak Park, Berkeley, CA

Live Oak Park, at 1301 Shattuck (at Oxford), was a small park on the North side of campus.  The park was built in 1916.  It was used mostly for local events. 


Longbranch, 2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

[see also Cabale, Cabale Creamery, Questing Beast and Tito's ]

The Longbranch was the same venue as the folk club Cabale Creamery, the Questing Beast and Tito's.  It was reborn in the early 1970s as a rock club.  It primarily provided a home for established East Bay bands before they graduated to bigger stages.  Bands such as Asleep At The Wheel, Earthquake and The Rockets (featuring lead singer Eddie Money) were regular performers at the club. 

The Longbranch was also a tour stop for little known national bands on the lowest rung of the ladder, often touring behind their first album.  Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Bob Marley and The Wailers both played the club in their earliest days of touring.


Longfellow School, California at Ward, Berkeley, CA


The Lucky 13, 1106 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA (at San Pablo)

The other direction, on San Pablo and Solano (in the city of Albany) was a somewhat mysterious place called The Lucky 13. “Lucky 13” was the tag for a popular Oakland soul station (KDIA 1310 AM), and the Lucky 13 was an after hours teen club, only open between 2-6 am. East Bay soul groups (like Tower of Power) would play there, promoted by the radio station, but the history of this venue has been very hard to unravel.

Mandrake’s, 1048 University (between 10th and San Pablo)

Mandrake's was open as early as 1965 and some Country Joe and the Fish shows may have taken place when it was primarily a pool hall with occasional shows.

Many groups played both New Orleans House and Mandrake’s, but Mandrake’s featured more blues while New Orleans House veered more towards rock and general eclecticism. Mandrake’s opened in later 1968, although exactly when is not yet certain. From March 21, 1969, Mandrake’s was owned and booked by Mary Moore, the wife of a jazz musician, featured blues, soul and rock groups.

Miramonte High School, Orinda, CA


Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA


Moe’s Books was a huge bookstore that also sold used records  in Berkeley, at 2476 Telegraph between Dwight and Haste.  Not only is it still a great store today, but it was a great place for graduate students and others to hang out and look at books for hours when they couldn’t afford to do anything else.  Legendary proprietor Moe Moskowitz occasionally helped out local musicians and artists by holding events in the store (probably in the cavernous basement).


Moe Moskowitz is fondly remembered by Tom Weller "The great Moe Moskowitz was a great friend of music and musicians.  In addition to having concerts at his store, he helped many musicians financially when times were tough, as they often were.  He helped out Country Joe and the Fish, John Fahey, and Robbie Basho, and I know he financed one of Basho's albums."



New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA


The New Orleans House was located at 1505, San Pablo in West Berkeley. Kitty Griffin, the proprietor, taught handicapped children by day across the street and ran the club at night. The club was open from August 1966 to 1975 as a restaurant and music venue, shifting quickly from the traditional jazz that gave it its name to a rock venue. While the New Orleans House always had a diverse mixture of music, including blues and zydeco, its principal focus was on rock. Rock bands playing original music dominated the bookings, and there was usually a light show on weekends. Bands that were 2nd or 3rd on the bill at The Fillmore or The Avalon would headline at the New Orleans House, and newer bands would get their start there also. Since the concept of “Roots” or “Americana” had not yet been invented, the New Orleans House was known as a “Music” club. In the mid 70s, the new Orleans House briefly becomes West Dakota.


Hot Tuna recorded their first album here in September, 1969. Most of the images shown below have been taken from the Berkeley Barb where they appeared as advertisements.

A separate page has been created to show the art of the New Orleans House and to list performances that took place there.

Open Theater, 2976 College, Berkeley, CA

The Open Theater, at 2976 College, was a venue for “Happenings” that would now be called Performance Art.  The directors were a Berkeley Drama School dropout named Ben Jacopetti and his wife Rain.  Among their innovations were a light show that featured significant (if arty) nudity.  When the performers auditioned for Tom “Big Daddy” Donahue’s psychedelic nightclub Mother’s on Broadway (home of Carol Doda and numerous topless clubs), Donahue rejected the show for having too much nudity.

The Open Theater seemed to be only open for a year or 18 months, but it was an important part of the scene, as the Open Theater was a big part of the Bay Area underground prior to the Fillmore.  Berkeley comedy duo The Congress of Wonders got their start as part of the Happenings and Gary “Chicken” Hirsch (later in Country Joe and The Fish) sometimes played in the house jazz group.  George Hunter and Alton Kelly artwork graced the lobbies.  Thus the fact that Big Brother’s first public show (on January 15, 1966) was a benefit for the Open Theater seems only fitting.  Charles Perry in his book Haight Ashbury - A History (Vantage 1985) has a brief but excellent history of the Open Theater.


Pauley Ballroom, University of California, Berkeley, CA


 Pauley Ballroom is a modest sized Ballroom in the Student Union building, near Telegraph and Bancroft.  The building would have been almost new in the mid-1960s.  Although Pauley Ballroom was well-sized (about 600 people could be crammed in) and well-located, not only was its use limited as a result of being a University building, but a very low ceiling guaranteed poor sound for electric music.



Print Mint,  Berkeley, CA


Provo Park, 2151 Grove Street, Berkeley, CA

Provo Park, built around 1940, was originally called Constitution Park, and was located at 2151 Grove Street between Allston Way and Center Street.  In the 1960s, the Park was known as Provo Park during the years of the anti-Vietnam War movement, after the progressive political group of that name which was started in Amsterdam (this is typical of Berkeley sensibilities).  The park was designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in 1983 in honour of the slain civil rights giant, and Grove Street is now called Martin Luther King Junior Way.  Provo Park was right at the centre of town, across the street from the high school and the Berkeley Community Theater.

Provo Park featured free concerts on many weekends in the 1960s (remember, it never snows). While many of the groups were simply Berkeley High School groups, many of the Berkeley bands like Country Joe and The Fish and Mad River played for free in Provo Park for publicity and fun, much the same way the Grateful Dead or Quicksilver played for free in the Panhandle in San Francisco.


Questing Beast, 2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

[see also Cabale, Cabale Creamery, Tito's and Longbranch]

The Questing Beast took over at 2504 San Pablo (at Dwight) once the mainstay Berkeley folk club, the Cabale Creamery, closed.  From surviving issues of the Berkeley Barb, posters and handbills, it appears that The Beast was only open for a few months between late 1965 and May 1966 with its downfall well documented in the May 6 (Vol 2, Number 18) and May 13 (Vol 2, Number 19) issues of the Barb.

2504 San Pablo later became home to Tito’s and then the Longbranch Saloon. According to Joel Selvin, at one time 2504 San Pablo was also home to a folk club called Babylon. Today the building houses a business called “Good Vibrations” (more Duracell than the Beach Boys).

One day, when King Arthur stopped to rest by a spring, he was surprised by a sound like thirty baying hounds. A strange animal with a snakes head the body of a leopard the back legs of a lion and the hooves of a deer burst through the underbrush, pursued by King Pellinore. Pellinore had hunted the Questing Beast, as the creature was called, all his life but never managed to capture it. Malory describes it as "the strongeste beste that ever he [Arthur] saw or herde of."


This strange beast reappears frequently, beginning with Suite du Merlin and Perlesvaus, in French, Spanish, and Italian romance and in Malory. The Questing Beast also goes by the name of "Beste Glatissant".



Starry Plough, Berkeley, CA



Steppenwolf, 2136 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA


The Steppenwolf was located at 2136, San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley and run by Max Scherr from 1958 to 1965, founder of the Berkeley Barb.


Tito's, 2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA (at Dwight Way)

[see also Cabale, Cabale Creamery, Questing Beast and Longbranch]

Tito’s was the site of The Cabale Creamery, Berkeley’s primary folk venue in the early 1960s, and later it was The Good Buddy and then the Questing Beast. By Spring 1967, it was Tito’s, and it featured local soul and rhythm and blues groups. Almost none of the groups who played Tito’s seem to have recorded (at least at the time they played Tito’s), and it appears to have been a dance joint and hangout.


2000 Life Sciences Building, University of California Campus, Berkeley, CA


2000 Life Sciences Building, known as “2000 LSB” by decades of Berkeley undergraduates, was the main lecture hall of the Life Sciences Building, seating a few hundred.  This is the only known instance of it being used as a performance venue.  Tom Weller recalls "The 2000 LSB concert was Country Joe and the Fish's live performing debut. The Fish got some UC students to form a fake student group so they could get the venue for free - hence the Pretentious Folk Front."


The 2000 Life Sciences Building since been remodelled and named the Chan Shun Auditorium.


Peter Voulkos Studio, 1306 3rd Street, Berkeley, CA


Peter Voulkos was a an accomplished potter and artist who taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 until his retirement in 1985.  In the early sixties he shared at studio on Shattuck around Ashby with Jimmy Suzuki and another guy "that was going blind from Glaucoma"Jesse Cahn remembers when he first visited Peter Voulkos' studio in 1961 or 1962 "really big canvasses .... already decorating in Ballentine scotch bottles and girlie pix...".  Later Voulkos moved the 3rd Street off-Gilman studio ... "with poker and basketball and ....well.... you can imagine".


On November 27, 1965 Voulkos hosted a performance by the Mystery Trend, a group from the San Francisco Art Institute scene and one of the founding father bands of the San Francisco Scene.  The line-up of the Mystery Trend included San Francisco ceramicist Ron Nagle (vocals, clavinet), Bob Cuff (guitar, vocals), Larry Bennett (bass), and John Luby (drums, vocals).  Named after a misinterpretation of the Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" line, "the mystery tramp", the Mystery Trend's musical legacy was the Verve single Johnny Was A Good Boy b/w House On The Hill released in March 1967.  Subsequent archive releases include an EP released by the nice folk at Sundazed in 1996 and and album of studio recordings put out by Big Beat in 1999.  Ron Nagle went on to perform with the Durocs.


Wheeler Auditorium, University of California, Berkeley, CA


Wheeler Auditorium is the main lecture hall of Wheeler Hall, which houses the English Department at UCB.  Wheeler Hall was (and is) historically the "showcase" lecture hall for high-profile academic lectures on the Campus.  It seats about 400.


Copyright © 2004-2009 Ross Hannan and Corry Arnold. All Rights Reserved.