Latest Update: April 6, 2013
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Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band - Family Tree
Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band - Some Photographs
Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band - Some Art
Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band - A Live Performance History
The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band was formed out of the casual membership of Berkeley’s Instant Action Jug Band. In 1964 and 65, The Instant Action Jug Band was the house band at a Berkeley Coffee House called The Jabberwock. The Jabberwock was located at 2901 Telegraph Avenue at Russell (near Ashby) and by 1965 was owned and run by Bill "Jolly Blue" Ehlert. It was on the site of a former jazz club called Tsubo’s, where the Montgomery brothers had been the house band. Berkeley jazz station KJAZ-FM was housed in the same building. The name had changed to The Jabberwock by 1963.
A typical month’s bookings at The Jabberwock at the time appears to have been mostly blues and folk, with some jug and bluegrass mixed in. Although the Jabberwock usually had a monthly entertainment calendar (a simple poster with artists and dates), flyers for individual shows did not become ‘collectible’ until later, when the club started booking rock bands as well as folk groups.
The Instant Action Jug Band was The Jabberwock’s “house band” from about August 1964 through late 196May Most, if not all of the members of the group—including Joe McDonald and Barry Melton--lived in the apartment complex that was part of the same building. There were about a dozen ‘members’ of the group. The joke was that whichever members did not have a gig or a date were in the band for the night, and ready to spring into action instantly—hence the name. The band in particular played on nights when no one else was booked, so that locals coming in for a cup of coffee had something to listen to. However, despite the historic status of this group, no poster or handbill survives advertising any Instant Action performances at The Jabberwock. The existence of the group was only known from interviews with McDonald and Melton, and a few peripheral references in local periodicals.
According to esteemed historian Pete Frame (in his 1975 Tree for County Joe McDonald), the membership included Melton, McDonald, Bruce Barthol and Paul Armstrong (all later in Country Joe and The Fish), Alice Stuart (briefly in The Mothers, and then a solo artist), Larry Hanks (of San Francisco’s The Committee improvisational troupe) and several other members, although Alice Stuart does not now recall it.
The Instant Action Jug Band has since passed into legend since some of its members became Country Joe and The Fish (one reason for that group’s willingness to play The Jabberwock even when they were a regular act at the Fillmore and Avalon). A secondary group arose from the Instant Action Jug Band, however, which had its own claims to local fame and infamy. Among those other members of the Instant Action Jug Band were guitarist Phil Marsh, bassist Richard Saunders and singer Annie Johnston, all of whom would end up in the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band.
The complete performance history of The Jabberwock, by extension a snapshot of the mid-60s conversion from folk to rock, is presented elsewhere as is the performing history of Country Joe and The Fish, the first by product of The Instant Action Jug Band.
The performing history of The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, as best as can be determined, is presented here. Many thanks to harmonicist extraordinaire Brian Voorheis and noted cartographer Earl Crabb, the band’s soundman, without either of whom this chronicle would be considerably thinner.
Skiffle music arose in New Orleans in the early 1900s. Similar in many ways to jug band music, it could be played on homemade instruments (like a washtub bass or a rub board) along with guitars and other stringed instruments, and could feature a fluid number of members of differing musical skills. Just as String Band music allowed for a variety of ‘Appalachian’ styles to be cheerfully integrated, Skiffle music similarly wove together jazz, blues and ragtime.
Skiffle music had largely disappeared from America by the 1940s, but rather unexpectedly it became a popular music style in England in the 1950s. Lonnie Donegan set off the British Skiffle craze in 1956 with his version of Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line.” The simplicity of Skiffle music and the minimal equipment requirements allowed many 60s rock stars to form their first teenage skiffle groups (for example, the Quarrymen, formed in 1956 by Liverpudlian teenagers Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
Forming a Skiffle Band in Berkeley in 1966 may seem a somewhat artificial choice, but almost all Californian and East Coast folk musicians had made a conscious choice to adopt a musical style that was far from their own personal experience, such as Bluegrass, Delta Blues or “Old-Timey” music. All the “folkies” of the 60s, from Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia, down to every nameless college kid, were driven by a mixture of scholarly sincerity and blind love. A Skiffle Band was indeed a rarer artefact, but Berkeley prides itself to this day on being more advanced and more obscure than its contemporaries, so a band performing in a musical style forgotten in America since the 40s and outdated in England since the 50s makes perfect sense. In any case, The Jabberwock, on Telegraph and Russell, was in South Berkeley, so it was that much nearer to New Orleans.
The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band featured the vocals of ‘Dynamite” Annie Johnston and Phil Marsh, with all the band members providing instrumental support and vocal backup. While the group had a somewhat conventional instrumentation for a Jug Band (washtub bass, harmonica, a few guitars, some banjo or mandolin), the songs were done in a swinging, jazzy style, much closer to New Orleans than Mississippi or Chicago.
According to Earl Crabb, the original line-up of the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band was:
Annie Johnston playing guitar and vocals; Phil Marsh on guitar and vocals; Will Scarlett playing harmonica; one time Jabberwock manager Danny Paik on guitar; Carlin Arriola on banjo and guitar, and Richard Saunders on bass
The exact instrumentation can not be determined from this distance, and in any case, there was plenty of switching of instruments and group vocals. According to surviving photos, Paik and Arriola mostly played guitars and other stringed instruments. Everybody in the band played a variety of kazoos, jugs and percussion instruments. Saunders (an Instant Action alumni) had played bass at the first “electric” Country Joe and the Fish performance (on November 6, 1965).
Most of the early dates I have been able to uncover from the early period are at The Jabberwock.
December 6-7-8, 1966 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Robbie Basho, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Dan Paik Dan Paik, although probably a member of the group, was also a regular solo performer at the club.
February 7, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
February 21, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
March 21, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Campbell Coe took numerous black and white and colour photos of the group’s performance at The ‘Wok this month, and they were recovered by Tom Weller and posted on the Yahoo Jabberwock group. Some of them are online at the Yahoo Jabberwock group site.
March 28, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
April 4, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band
April 9, 1967 New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA: The Orkustra, The New Age, Congress of Wonders, Annie Johnston and The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Malvina Reynolds, Paul Arnoldi, Larry Hanks, Notes From The Underground, Eric Vaughn The New Orleans House was 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. New Age and Notes From The Underground were Berkeley bands. The Congress of Wonders was a Berkeley based comedy duo. Orkustra (also known as Electric Chamber Orchestra), was a Haight Ashbury group that featured violinist David LaFlamme (subsequently the leader of It’s A Beautiful Day), bassist Jaime Leopold (later with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks), Henry Rasof on oboe and guitarist Bobby Beausoleil (subsequently a follower of Charles Manson).
April 12, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band
April 19, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band
April 28-29-30, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band
April 29, 1967 Hearst Gym, UC Berkeley The Pretentious Folk Front present the First Annual Hippie Fair and Bazaar at the Hearst Gym, University of California, Berkeley, CA: with Country Joe and The Fish, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band and much other strangeness. Hearst Gym was the smaller Women’s gym, on Bancroft. The Pretentious Folk Front was the name of the bogus student group that ED Denson used to cadge funds out of the University for the first group (as opposed to duo) performance of Country Joe and The Fish on November 5, 1965 (at 2000 LSB). Bassist Richard Saunders, then a Berkeley student, was the student whose name was on the application (Saunders had played with Joe and Barry at the November 6, 1965 show). Creating bogus student groups for funding various selfish enterprises was a common practice at Berkeley well into the 1970s (and may still be, for all I know).
May 21, 1967 Finnish Brotherhood Hall, Berkeley, CA: Country Joe and The Fish, Loading Zone, Afro Blues Persuasion, Motor, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, The Haymarket Riot The Finnish Brotherhood Hall was a small hall on Chestnut off University, near Berkeley’s putative downtown. The Loading Zone, while associated with the San Francisco scene at the Fillmore and the Avalon, was in fact based in Oakland. Haymarket Riot was a band of Berkeley High School students (they later changed their name to Lazarus). Afro Blues Persuasion was a Berkeley soul-jazz group, featuring pianist Ulysses Crockett. Motor was a Berkeley group, but its music and membership are unknown to me.
June 22-23-24, 1967 The Jabberwock, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
June 30-July 4, 1967 UC Berkeley Folk Festival >June 30, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Crome Syrcus, Richie Havens, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, The New Age (Dance Concert 10:30 pm) >July 1, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, Doc Watson, Charley Marshall, Robin Goodfellow (Kids Concert 10:30 am) >July 1, 1967 Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley Doc Watson, Steve Miller Blues Band, Sam Hinton, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, Charley Marshall, The New Age (Freedom Concert 8:00 pm) >July 2, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Kaleidoscope, Charles River Valley Boys, James Cotton Blues Band, Tony Thomas, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band (Family Concert, kids free, 2:00 pm) >July 2, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Red Krayola, Doc Watson, Crome Syrcus, Tony Thomas, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band (Dance Concert 8:00 pm) >July 4, 1967 Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley w, all bands and artists (Jubilee Concert 2:00 pm) The Red Crayola were an extremely loud power trio from Texas. When Brian Voorheis joined the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band in 1968, band members were still complaining about how loud and bad the Red Crayola had been (the Crayola would have been very pleased to know folk musicians found them jarring, but that’s another story).
The Jabberwock closed on July 8, 1967 Nonetheless, according to Crabb, the group continued to gig at places like the New Orleans House. Since posters are the primary source of research for the 1960s, the absence of known dates is not a reflection of a band’s gigging history. It is not widely known that many groups opened shows at the Fillmore and the Avalon who were not on the posters, so many local bands played gigs at these venues even though they were not immortalized on posters. The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band apparently played both the Fillmore and the Avalon a number of times, but do not appear on any Fillmore posters.
Jabberwock impresario Bill “Jolly Blue Giant” Ehlert became was the manager of the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, shepherding the band through their various adventures until their demise in 1970.
July 7, 1967 69 Highgate, Kensington, Berkeley Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
A party with a $1 donation for the Berkeley Draft Information Committee.
July 8, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Mad River, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Hastings Street Opera “We Won’t Go” Rock Dance Resistance Benefit
Somewhere along the line, Ariolla and Danny Paik leave, and Hank Bradley joins. Bradley mainly played fiddle, but doubled on mandolin and guitar as well. Bradley, an East Coast transplant, regularly played informally with other musicians, and joined banjoist Rick Shubb to play as an old-timey trio with Doc Watson when he played the Bay Area. Although a Skiffle group, every band needed some sort of amplification at least some of the time, and their friend Earl Crabb acted as soundman for the band (since he had some equipment).
September 22, 1967 California State College, Hayward, CA Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band (A "Freak Out" by all accounts)
Hayward's Daily Review for September 23 mentions the previous days "freak" out and accompanies the brief review with a photograph of CGSB member Phil Marsh accompanied by belly dancer and wife to be Deanna Hunt together with guitarist and friend Gary Peterson who probably sat in for the show.
October 9, 1967 Pauley Ballroom, UC Berkeley Lightning Hopkins, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Clifton Chenier & His Louisiana Zydeco Band The Pretentious Folk Front Presents Blue Monday Once again, the Pretentious Folk Front is reactivated to gain access to campus venues. Some photos exist of the band playing at Pauley Ballroom, probably from this gig (although possibly from the July show).
February 18, 1968 New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA Wildflower, Charles Musselwhite, Congress of Wonders, Dominic Cummins, Paul Arnold, Short Yellow, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band [Peace and Freedom Benefit]
March 1-2, 1968 The Poppycock, Palo Alto Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band The Poppycock was in Downtown Palo Alto, at 135 University Avenue at High Street (really—could you make this up?). It was a sort of mini-ballroom, and along with the Matrix and The New Orleans House formed a sort of secondary circuit for newer bands that were not yet at headline status at the Fillmore or Avalon.
March 17, 1968 LeConte School Auditorium, Berkeley Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Purple Earthquake, Haymarket Riot
March 22, 1968 The Lion’s Share, Sausalito Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band The Lion’s Share was a tiny folk club, on 100 Caledonia Street, that opened in 196June It burned down later in 1968 (possibly early 69) and the club reopened as a musician’s hangout in San Anselmo in June 6September
March 31, 1968 New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA: Benefit for Port Chicago Vigil Mad River, Frumious Bandersnatch, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Notes From The Underground Mad River had relocated to Berkeley from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH. Frumious Bandersnatch were an East Bay band then based in Lafayette, in Contra Costa County, just East of Alameda County. Through various permutations, Frumious Bandersnatch’s members (after stints in the Steve Miller Band) were a critical predecessor to the group Journey (see the Pete Frame tree for details). Notes From The Underground were a Berkeley folk-rock band that had released an album on Vanguard, but were already past their high point.
At some point in the Spring of 1968, The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band also signed a contract with Vanguard Records. Unlikely as an amplified Skiffle band might seem as a candidate for stardom, Vanguard had great success in signing Country Joe and The Fish, so there was every reason for them to hope lightning would strike again.
Soon after the Vanguard contract was agreed upon (if not actually finalized), Will Scarlett left to tour with bluesman Brownie McGhee. Scarlett had become a Jabberwock regular straight out of high school, and had only just turned 1September He had already become friends with legendary guitarist Steve Mann, which is how he came to know Jorma Kaukonen and intermittently appear with Hot Tuna. In any case, Scarlett was replaced by transplanted New Yorker Brian Voorheis. Voorheis took over harmonica duties, and sang and played guitar as well. The line-up by mid-1968 was:
Annie Johnston-vocals, guitar Phil Marsh-guitar, vocals Brian Voorheis-harmonica, guitar, vocals Hank Bradley-fiddle, mandolin, vocals Richard Saunders-bass
The group also played in the street on occasion. Telegraph Avenue at the time was like an ongoing Street Fair every day, so Skiffle bands playing live on the street would be quite normal to local residents. Brian Voorheis recalls:
We did it quite a bit - Phil had experience "busking" as he and [Phil] Greenberg did it in Metro subway in Paris. So we'd saddle up an drive up to UC campus in time for noon and play around Sproul Plaza, pass the hat, make good $$. I paid my room rent that way for quite a while.
April 25, 1968 Upper Sproul Plaza, UC Berkeley Rally Some photos taken by Oaklander Dave Vandre show the band playing for a few hundred folks at a rally in Sproul Plaza (site of the famed Free Speech Sit-In). Events like these were common during the 60s. At one of them, the CGSB ‘opened’ for Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers, but Brian Voorheis no longer recalls if it was at this event.
July 4, 1968 Big Trees Camp, Anthony Chabot Regional Park, UC Berkeley Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, West Berkeley Unified Underground Sound System (Berkeley-Albany Chapter of the ACLU Celebration)
July 21, 1968 Provo Park, Berkeley, CA: Sky Blue, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Crome Syrcus Provo Park (formerly Constitution Park) was at Grove and Allston, in the center of downtown Berkeley, across from Berkeley High and the Civic Center. It served the same function as the Panhandle did for the Haight Ashbury, and bands often played for free in the park. Sky Blue were a popular Berkeley band, featuring singer Anna Rizzo and guitarist Vic Smith. The bassist was Jack O’Hara, and the drummer was Tom Ralston. They all lived in a house on Warring Street, above College Avenue.
July 25-26, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band After the closing of the Jabberwock, there was interest in the musical community for another folk club, as The New Orleans House had become more of a rock place. A venue was found at 1827 San Pablo Avenue and named The Freight and Salvage. The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band played the opening night at the Freight, and many other nights as well.
August 19, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band The Barb listing just says “Jug Band.”
August 24, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
August 31,September 1-2, 1968 Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair Sultan, Washington All Men Joy, Buddha, Congress of Wonders, Easy Chair, Freedom Highway, Gale Garnett, It’s A Beautiful Day, Muddy Waters, New Lost City Ramblers, Pink Floyd, Billy Roberts, San Francisco Mime Troupe Marching Band, Alice Stuart Thomas, Youngbloods, Country Weather, John Fahey, Marvin Gardens, Dr. Humbead’s New Tranquility String Band and Medicine Show, Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck, Mystic Knights of The Sea, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Richard Pryor, Santana, Steppenwolf, Buffy St. Marie, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Black Snake, Sandy Bull, Country Joe and The Fish, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Frumious Bandersnatch, Mitch Greenhill, Kaleidoscope, My Indole Ring, Nina and Kotana, Phoenix, Salvation, Sons of Champlin, Blues Feedback, Cleveland Wrecking Company. The Grateful Dead, not billed, showed up to perform anyway. Hank Bradley misses the gig because his day job as an engineer for BART (then under construction) does not allow him to get away. The Sky River Rock Festival was the first outdoor rock festival of any significance. Although it was held on an organic raspberry farm outside of Seattle, booking agent John Chambless (a former UC Berkeley lecturer in philosophy, newly-employed at the University of Washington) had worked with the Berkeley Folk Festival, so Sky River was dominated by Bay Area bands, and was a sort of Bay Area ballroom band road trip, with a heavy emphasis on Berkeley bands. Originally, the organizers wanted to have a festival featuring balloon rides (hence “Lighter Than Air Fair”) but Country Joe and The Fish were invited to provide musical entertainment, and the whole event escalated. Besides the usual suspects, note Pink Floyd, Steppenwolf, Muddy Waters and Richard Pryor. Easy Chair, Black Snake Blues Band, Mother Trucker’s and My Indole Ring were well-known Northwest hippie bands from Seattle and Vancouver. Frumious Bandersnatch and Country Weather were bands originally based in Contra Costa county, although by this time regulars on the Bay Area circuit. Santana at this time (a year from Woodstock and their debut album) was simply a promising local band with a good guitarist, not yet the powerhouse they would become. All Men Joy was a San Francisco group, and did not feature Duane and Gregg Allman (they were in Los Angeles in The Hour Glass). Dr. Humbead’s New Tranquility String Band and Medicine Show was an “old-timey” string band, based in Berkeley.
September 13, 1968 Iceland Skating Rink, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
Oakland Tribune from September 7, 1968: Teen Age listing Young people are invited to skate and listen to rock bands. This was supposed to be the first of multiple shows. The shows were produced by Buried Treasure Productions at 2415 Warring Street, where some band members lived. Brian Voorheis still has a poster for this show.
September 14, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
September 29, 1968 Live Oak Park, Berkeley, CA: Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company perform "The Quest for the Inner Eye of Truth". Bands: Sky Blue, the Purple Earthquake, Friend, and the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band (Festival of Peace and Love)
October 25, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Scorpio Fest and Rumors of The Coming of Scorpio Man
November 3, 1968 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Notes From The Underground, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Mad River (Dick Gregory Benefit) Mandrake’s was a newly opened club on 1048 University (between 10th and San Pablo). The venue was a pool hall and beer bar, which had hosted occasional shows in the past, but now had evolved into a more formal venue.
November 4, 1968 Provo Park, Berkeley, CA Notes from the Underground, Mad River, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Sky Blue, Country Weather
November 5, 1968 Helmet Club, Berkeley, CA: Benefit for Allen MacLeod The Helmet Club was at the foot of Addison Street, near Berkeley Aquatic Park. Mark Spoelstra, Clarence Van Hook, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Paul Arnoldi, Dr Humbead's New Tranquility String Band and Medicine Show, Larry Hanks, Sandy and Jeannie Darlington, John and Deidre Lundberg, Campbell Coe, High Country, Johnny Sunshine, Pipe Joint Compound, Erik Frandsen, John Shine, Richmond Talbott, New York Slue, KC Douglas, Mike and Debbi, Gil Turner, Dave Allen
November 6, 1968 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
November 8-9, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
The UC Berkeley “Campus Report” of October 30, 1968 (Volume 3, #3) features a picture of the group playing for free in Sproul Plaza. By late 1968, Gary Salzman had joined the group, playing dobro and mandolin, among other instruments, and Hank Bradley had departed. Salzman actually played on one track on the album, and Bradley had left when the album was complete. Bradley has continued as a professional musician, and is widely regarded as a fiddler in many styles.
In late 1968 Vanguard Records released the group’s debut album, The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band’s Greatest Hits (Vanguard VSD 79285). Calling a group’s first album “Greatest Hits” is a trite joke today, but I believe this was the first instance of a band doing this. The release date of the album is uncertain, but a comparison of Vanguard record numbers suggests it is very late in the year. The album featured a song from the repertoire of New England’s Double Standard String Band, called “Chinese New Year Waltz.” Hank Bradley had learned the song from the song’s co-writer Les Daniels, who had written that song (and many others) with fellow band member and Rhode Island School of Design student Martin Mull. Mull was still some years away from his career as a solo artist, much less an actor.
Country Joe and The Fish drummer Chicken Hirsh, a friend of the band, played drums on a few tracks. Since he is better known than any actual member of the group, almost all future references to the group (mostly based on a single entry in an English reference work called Fuzz, Acid And Flowers) refer to Hirsh as the band’s drummer. In fact, the band in mid-1968 did not appear to have a regular trap drummer, and in any case Hirsh was with The Fish up until early 1969.
Late in 1968, Tom “Pookie” Ralston joins the group as drummer. As the group plays larger venues, and more rock-styled clubs, the need for a firmer rhythmic foundation requires a drummer. Ralston had been in Berkeley band Sky Blue, and indeed lived in their house on Warring Street. Ralston was from Michigan, and had been in the group The Renegades. As one of a long line of Michiganders relocating to warmer Berkeley, he was thus friendly with some recent transplants from Ann Arbor who had the irrational (though ultimately correct) concept that what the Berkeley music scene needed was a dose of redneck honky tonkin’ (as a result of his guilt by association, Ralston later participated in the Berkeley debut of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. The newly relocated group played on Telegraph Avenue, for free, on July 4, 1969, with Ralston sitting in on percussion (George ‘Cody” Frayne played accordion)).
December 15, 1968 Liberty House, 1986 Shattuck, , Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Pitschel Players, Puppets, more
December 27-28, 1968 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
By early 1969, the line-up was:
Annie Johnston-vocals, guitar Phil Marsh-guitar, vocals Brian Voorheis-harmonica, guitar, vocals Gary Salzman-dobro, guitar, mandolin, bass Richard Saunders-bass Tom Ralston-drums, percussion
January 16, 1969 Pauley Ballroom, Berkeley, CA “Support the Oakland 7 Benefit Dance” Steve Miller Band, Sons of Champlin, Mad River, Mint Tattoo, Frumious Bandersnatch, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, All Men Joy, Other Half, Little John, The Lamb, emcee: Chet Helms This flyer is in the A Young Man’s Song CD by Frumious Bandersnatch, but no venue is named.
Earl Crabb remembers gigs at:
• The Inn of The Beginning in Cotati (8201 Redwood Highway—opened September 22, 1968)
• The Poppycock in Palo Alto (on 135 University Avenue see March 1, 1968)
• The Londonside Tavern in Glenn Ellen, and
• The Catalyst in Santa Cruz (this would have been the old Coffee Shop, not the current venue).]
• A week of shows in Vancouver, British Columbia.
February 9, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
March 2, 1969 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA Love, Mad River, Zephyr, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Sound Proof Presents. Chet Helms and the Family Dog were no longer the promoters at the Avalon. Although CGSB was not on the poster, the opening acts were identified in an ad in The Berkeley Barb - with the CGSB replacing Pulse who had played the previous two days.
March 7, 1969 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Ace of Cups, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
March 8, 1969 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Ace of Cups, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
March 9, 1969 Le Conte School, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Dementia, Lazarus, Maggie’s Farm
Brian Voorheis retained copies of the flyer (thinking of the interests of future prosopographers). Admission was sixty nine cents. LeConte School was on Russell and Ellsworth, near the site of the old Jabberwock. Brian recalls: The LeConte School gig, you'll note, was titled "Indoor Sunshine" to connote relief from the winter rains. That was the day I became a Lazarus fan ... they kicked ass! I remember Dave Carpender jumpin' up on his Fender Twin - backwards without lookin' - while still playing!
March 21, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
March 28, 1969 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, CA Melting Pot, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Linn County, 4th Way, Deadly Nightshade
April 5, 1969 Humboldt State College, Arcata, CA Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Mad River, Larry Hanks, Lights by Sandoz (Youth Educational Benefit)
April 11-12, 1969 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
Spring or Summer 69 The Matrix, San Francisco, CA Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady and Joey Covington, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle
Band Brian Voorheis recalls playing The Matrix with (in his words) “Loud Hot Tuna.” Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady’s extracurricular jamming did not yet go by this name, and it has been difficult to pin down the exact date. The Matrix was informal enough that the fact that Jack and Jorma may not have even have been billed. Joey Covington played drums when Jorma and Jack played electric, and the trio played extremely loud. Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart showed up the first night, probably to see (and possibly play) with Jack and Jorma, and was intrigued by percussionist Tom Ralston’s garbage can, which he had modified so that he had a 3-foot deep galvanized steel can inverted on a drum stand. Hart offers to return the second night with his washboard, and indeed does so, sitting in with the band.
April 30-May 3, 1969 New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA: Charlie Musselwhite, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
Brian Voorheis recalls jamming with Musselwhite and his band during these gigs.
May 9-10, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
May 15, 1969 Norse Auditorium, San Francisco, CA: Sons of Champlin, Cold Blood, Country Weather, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Tree Wizard, Behemoth From a handbill. Norse Auditorium was at 275 Hayes (at Van Ness).
May 23-24-25, 1969 practice field, San Jose State College, San Jose, CA: Aquarian Family Festival with Ace of Cups, All Men Joy, Birth, Beggars Opera, Boz Skaggs, Crabs, Crow, Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, Devine Madness, Denver, Scratch, Elgin Marble, Flaming Groovies, Frumious Bandersnatch, Gentle Dance, Greater Carmichael Traveling Street Band, Glass Mountain, High Country, Jefferson Airplane, Joy of Cooking, Last Mile, Libras, Lamb, Living Color, Linn County, Mother Ball, Morning Glory, Mad River, Mt. Rushmore, Nymbus, Old Davis, Red Grass, Green Smoke, Rubber Maze, Rising Tide, Rejoice, Sunrise, Sable, Sons of Champlin, Sounds Unlimited Blues Band, Sandy Bull, The Steve Miller Band, Stoned Fox, South Bay Experimental Flash, Throckmorton, Tree of Life, Weird Herald, Womb, Warren Purcell, Zephyr Grove,
A free concert put on in conjunction with (and in contrast with) the Folk-Rock Festival at the Fairgrounds, less than a mile away. By all accounts, terms of the agreement with the University required that people could be present only during the performance of music. Because part of the purpose of the concert was to provide a safe place to stay for tens of thousands of people travelling to town to attend another concert being held in town about a mile away at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds, music had to be performed continuously from the start at 12:00pm Friday until the close of the festival at 4:00pm Sunday afternoon. Thus the festival featured 52 hours of continuous music. The festival was produced in 10 days at a total cost of $968 by approximately 30 people who were volunteers with the Institute for Research and Understanding whose Dirt Cheap Productions unit produced the concert. Assistance was also given by the musicians' cooperative Druid Corporation House and the San Jose Free University. Legal services were paid for by the band Led Zeppelin which did not perform at the [free] festival. Independent sources estimated attendance at 200,000 people, with 80,000 spending the night on Saturday.
There is some uncertainty as to which groups exactly played. Mad River, for example, had just broken up (possibly they were contacted, and then broke up). Most of these groups are “second-tier” club bands from the South Bay or East Bay. Two stages were constructed so that bands could set up while another was playing, in order to fulfil the obligation that people could be present only when bands were playing. According to one of the organizer’s website however, the Airplane showed up Sunday morning and played an extended set. Jimi Hendrix dropped by, hoping to jam, just as the stage was being dismantled and never got the chance.
June 10, 1969 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
June 11, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band CGSB are in the Barb ad and not the Freight calendar, and its hard to be certain if they actually played.
June 13, 1969 Family Dog At The Great Highway, San Francisco, CA: Jefferson Airplane, Charlatans, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Chet Helms re-started his Family Dog venue at the old Edgewater Ballroom (built 1926), at 660 Great Highway, near Ocean Beach. The Airplane and The Charlatans opened the venue. CGSB played at the party on the outdoor patio during the show.
June 24, 1969 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
June 27-28, 1969 Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, Santa Rosa, CA: Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Joey Covington, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Jerry Garcia played pedal steel guitar with CGSB during one of these shows, probably the first night. Kaukonen and Casady were not yet calling themselves Hot Tuna. On the first night, Mickey Hart had not arrived at the show on time, and Tom Ralston joined Bill Kreutzmann in drumming for the Dead for the first few numbers. One song from June 27, 1969 (“Dire Wolf”, with Bob Weir on lead vocals and Jerry Garcia on pedal steel) was even released by the Dead, on the 2003 CD re-release, but it is unclear if Ralston actually played on it. Since it appears to be the 8th number in the set, foggy memories suggest that Hart had arrived and retaken his drum chair by this time. At the time, Jerry Garcia had just purchased his pedal steel guitar and was just beginning to work with John “Marmaduke” Dawson and David Nelson on the band that would become the New Riders of The Purple Sage. During Grateful Dead sets, Garcia played pedal steel guitar on a few numbers with the Dead, but he was clearly looking for new opportunities to test his chops, and thus he offered to sit in. Brian Voorheis doesn’t recall the precise set list, but he does remember the country styled songs they were playing, some of which Jerry would have sat in on:
Who Will Buy The Wine (from Skiffle album), A-11 (a Buck Owens tune about a jukebox selection that makes him cry ), How High's The Water, Mama? (a Johnny Cash classic sung by Gary), County Fair (a Gary Salzman original ),and I may have done Johnny Cash's There You Go - can't remember if I was doin it yet. There could also have been Gary's other originals, (It's Hard To Keep Your Head Above The) Waterline, and I Couldn't Marry Juana (Cause I Couldn't Get Her Out Of Mexico).
Shortly after this gig, Richard Saunders quit the group. Gary Salzman took over full time duties on bass, although of course everyone played numerous instruments. Saunders remains a well-regarded bassist in jazz and klezmer circles today.
June 29, 1969 The Barn, Rio Nido, CA: Grateful Dead, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Joey Covington, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Posters are widely available on eBay and elsewhere for this show, but Brian Voorheis is sure that this show was cancelled. After two memorable nights with the Dead, he believes he would have clearly remembered the long drive to the third show.
July 1, 1969 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
July 4, 1968 Big Trees Camp, Anthony Chabot Regional Park, UC Berkeley Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Dancing by "Salome" (Berkeley-Albany Chapter of the ACLU Celebration)
July 4-5-6, 1969 Family Dog at The Great Highway, San Francisco, CA: Flying Burrito Brothers, Big Mama Thornton, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
July 22, 1969 Family Dog at The Great Highway, San Francisco, CA: Congress of Wonders, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
July 24, 1969 Gymnasium, St Mary's College, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Frumious Bandersnatch, The Minks, Paul Arnoldi
July 25-26, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band Since the Freight was a coffee shop, rather than a bar, teenagers were welcome. One regular teenage visitor was Marin County teenager Hugh Cregg III, at the time a Cornell University student (majoring in engineering), but a budding harmonica player. He regularly jammed with Brian Voorheis and sat in with CGSB on occasion. Later, after dropping out of Cornell and returning to the Bay Area, he started calling himself Huey Lewis and went on to fame and fortune.
August 2, 1969 , Jefferson Auditorium, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
May have been part of a performance put on for children by the Looking Glass Theatre.
August 2, 1969 , Poppycock, Palo Alto, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Joy of Cooking
August 9, 1969 Synanon Street Fair, Oakland, CA Country
Joe and The Fish, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Freedom Highway, Vince
Guaraldi, and Others
Rock stage (10:00am-midnight, scheduled order): VeeJays, Southern Comfort, Phananganang, Marvin Gardens, Country Weather, Transatlantic Railroad, Synanon, Frumious Bandersnatch, Joy of Cooking, Flamin’ Groovies, Everyday People, Country Joe and The Fish, Morning Glory, Womb, The Crabs
Concert stage (10:00am-midnight, scheduled order): Johnny Mars Blues, Ice, Murray Music Co, Martha Young, Eddie Henderson, Gentle Dance, Harley White Sextet, Afro-Jazz Quartet, Gospel Tonics, Sounds of Synanon, Esther Phillips, QueQeg, Sebastian Moon, Orion
Source: Oakland Tribune August 7, 1969, July 22, 1969, July 29, 1969, August 9, 1969, August 10, 1969 articles
This event was supported by the city of Oakland. The Tribune reported that the city expected 100,000 people to attend the fair. An extensive area near 7th and Market Streets (next to where the Grove Shafter Freeway meets Highway 880) was cordoned off for the event. The August 9 article also lists the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band as performers. The August 10, 1969 article estimates attendance of 75,000 (the Trib had a stake in exaggerating, mind you) and included a picture of Country Weather performing before a large crowd.
August 12, 1969 Mandrakes, Berkeley, CA Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
August 14, 1969 California Ballroom, Modesto, CA Joy Of Cooking, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, The Brothers And
August xx, 1969 Beach, CA Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, (Check Barb)
August 30, 1969 Second Sky River Rock Festival Rainier Hereford Ranch, near Tenino (south of Olympia), WA: Anonymous Artists of America, Black Snake, Blue Bird, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Collectors, Congress of Wonders, James Cotton, Country Weather, Country Joe and The Fish, Crome Syrcus, Crow, Dovetail, Floating Bridge, Flying Burrito Brothers, Frumious Bandersnatch, Grapefruit, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Guy, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, Dr. Humbead’s New Tranquility String Band and Medicine Show, Juggernaut, Kaleidoscope, Los Flamencos de Santa Lucia, Fred McDowell, Steve Miller, New Lost City Ramblers, Pacific Gas and Electric, Peter, Terry Reid, Mike Russo, Sons of Champlin, Rhythm Dukes, Mark Spoelstra, Alice Stuart, Yellowstone, Youngbloods, Dino Valenti, Elyse Weinberg
September 1969 Cody's Books, Berkeley, CA: The September, 1969 issue of Tran-action (a Social Science journal out of Rutgers University) features a picture of the band playing outside of Cody’s Books, on Telegraph Avenue, at night.
September 20, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band The September 1969 Freight calendar has CGSB for this date, but a more current Berkeley Barb ad has Commander Cody and Alice Stuart in their place.
September 21, 1969 Provo Park, Berkeley, CA: Maximum Speed Limit, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, The Crabs
October 18, 1969 The Masked Marauders:
The October 18, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, making fun of the spate of “Super Session” album, prints a satiric review of an imaginary bootleg album called The Masked Marauders, claiming to be a recording of Dylan, The Beatles, Mick Jagger and others recording in Hudson’s Bay, Canada. The review, written under a pseudonym by Griel Marcus, is a self-evident joke (featuring, for example, George Harrison and Bob Dylan doing a sensitive version of “Kick Out The Jams” on acoustic guitars). Nonetheless, in a tribute to the power of Rolling Stone at the time, record stores are inundated with phone calls. Marcus and Rolling Stone editor Langdon Winner rapidly put together an album to spoof the review. Although actually on Reprise, the label said ‘Diety’ to parallel the nonsense in the review. The album, simply entitled Masked Marauders (Deity , Reprise 6378), did not have pictures of any of the musicians. Surprisingly, the album, released in November 1969, featuring skiffle versions of some of the music described in the review (including the touching “I Can’t Get No Nookie”), supposedly sold over 100,000 albums, and peaked at 114 in the Billboard charts. According to “sources” (no doubt Marcus and Winner), the musicians were “members of The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band.” Soundman Earl Crabb was present at these historic sessions (apparently held in a garage), and confirms that the group were the primary musicians on the record. Brian Voorheis recalls that Anna Rizzo, singer for the Berkeley band Sky Blue, handled the drum chores. The Masked Marauders LP is often listed (rightly or wrongly) as the second or “other” album by The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band. Since the group appears to have ground to a halt by 1970, it was a peculiar legacy for the band. In a strange footnote, a Berkeley band called Grootna, featuring the aforementioned Ms Rizzo, performed a live version of a song called “I Can’t Get No Nookie” which appears to be the same song as the Masked Marauders ‘classic’ (there is an extant recording from Grootna’s KSAN-fm broadcast of the closing of The Fillmore West on July 1, 1971).
November 18-19, 1969 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Joy of Cooking, The Magic Theatre perform Michael McClure's "The Charbrou Chinchilla". Mandrake’s was at 1048 University (at 10th, near San Pablo Avenue).
November 25-26, 1969 Mandrake’s, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Peter Rowan & Richard Greene The Barb advertises Rowan and Greene as “of Seatrain.” Seatrain had initially been based in the Bay Area, and Tom Ralston drummed for them for a period of time.
November 27-28-29, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
December 12, 1969 Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band
January 19, 1970, Pauley Ballroom, University of California, Berkeley, CA: Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, New Riders of The Purple Sage
In early, 1970, gigs for the CGSB were few and far between. Often enough, different members of the group would play casual gigs at the Freight and Salvage (in different combinations with their friends), because there wasn’t much else going on. The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band ground to a halt in early 1970. Brian Voorheis recalls a tour in early 1970, where they played Santa Barbara, Long Beach and San Diego, and Lance Dickerson (of The Lost Planet Airmen) filled in on drums. He also recalls Dave Getz (of Big Brother and the Holding Company) sitting in on drums for the odd gig or two, but the band ground to a halt in mid-1970, when Annie Johnston left the group. She formed a duo with David Garthwaite (the brother of Joy of Cooking’s Terry). Phil Marsh and Brian Voorheis, along with organist Louis Aissen and a few others, played a few gigs under various names (Brian recalls the moniker Ten Months Later being used at a Mandrakes' show) but nothing much came of it.
Nonetheless, the Freight and Salvage has stayed open (although moving to 1111 Addison Street). In June, 1993, the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band reformed to play the 25th Anniversary of The Freight and Salvage. The group has continued to reform in subsequent Junes to play the Freight, most recently on June 14, 2008 (with Phil Marsh, Hank Bradley, Will Scarlett, Brian Voorheis and Richard Saunders).
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