Amoeblog

San Francisco's "Russian Embassy" is a House of Legends

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 30, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment
house of legends russian embassy fulton street alamo square Some know San Francisco’s Westerfeld Mansion as the “Russian Embassy,” the site of an infamous brothel run by Czarist Russians in the 1920s. Some know it as a ramshackle boarding house for Fillmore district jazz performers of the 1950s. Most remember it as the magical crash pad of 1960’s counterculture luminaries that inspired Tom Wolfe, Janis Joplin, Ken Kesey, Anton LaVey, Bobby Beausoleil, and Kenneth Anger alike to fly their freak flag from the turrets of this Victorian palace.

For all of us who have wanted to know what mysteries Invocation of my demon brother kenneth anger house of legendsare contained within the walls of this Alamo Square manion, F for Fake Pictures brings you House of Legends, a feature-length documentary that explores the making of a legend by investigating the history and the myths behind San Francisco's Historical Landmark #135. 123 years in the making, the Westerfeld Mansion has a brilliant story to tell through many of its famous, infamous, and colorful inhabitants and visitors over the past 12 generations.

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REMEMBERING LORD BUCKLEY 1906 - 1960

Posted by Whitmore, April 7, 2008 09:45am | Post a Comment


Here’s the deal. As it was happening -- nothing happened, and when it happened it wasn’t happening anymore – I have to knock out this note before the day wiggles away. Lately, living has been bent from the front, so next go round I’m pinning this date on my wall, whip it around my prehensile wits; flip the switch that says stick. So done, so be it, now shout yeah! All the what’s and who’s and why’s jump out from everywhere and serenade the guru of gone! Happy Birthday! Belated or not, to the original gasser, the original hipster saint, the most far-out cat that ever stomped on this Sweet Green Sphere, who’s wailin', groovy hipsemantic orations tramped through the wiggage in our graciously affluent playground: the wordland we call the English language! The man, the years, the most flip embodiment of a life lived cool … none other than His Majesty, His Hipness, Lord Buckley! Birthday 102 …and though he found “the theme of the beam of the invisible edge” back in ‘60, they’re still digging his scrabble and his mad heart, looting strange truths from the head, all truths, even the feral truths, scribbling, splattering jive laid down to his bop ... as his Royal Flipness’ once said - “they supersede and carry on beyond the parallel of your practiced credulity.”

Though Lord Buckley is known for his "hip-semantic" interpretation of history, literature, and culture, sporting a waxed mustache, dressed to the nines and expounding on life in the manner befit of British aristocracy, intoned by way of Jazz riffs versed by hemp-headed hepcats, Lord Buckley was actually born in a coal-mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada on an Indian reservation in Tuolumne, California, in 1906. Richard Myrle Buckley worked as a lumberjack as a kid and entered the world of showbiz by way of the medicine, carnival, and tent show circuit, eventually gigging in the speakeasies of Chicago during the 1920s, emceeing dance marathons and vaudeville shows, even playing on Broadway during the Depression. By the 1940’s he was working steadily in Jazz clubs, befriending many of the greatest musicians of the era. During the Second World War Buckley toured with the USO Shows and became close friends with, of all people, Ed Sullivan. By the 1950’s the unclassifiable Lord Buckley was cast as a comedian, his humor combined his incredible detailed knowledge of the language and culture; his true hepcat persona became one part stump preacher, one part raconteur, another part grifter and huckster, producing one of the strangest comedic personas ever invented.

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