Children of Paradise: Life with The Cockettes, Photographs by Fayette Hauser

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 23, 2012 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Cockettes Fayette Hauser San Francisco Canessa Gallery

"It was complete sexual anarchy. You couldn't tell the men from the women. It was really new at the time, and it still would be new."
-- John Waters, San Francisco Chronicle, 2002

It can be said that we San Franciscans inherited our gender-bending theatricality from The Cockettes,Cockettes San Francisco Fayette Hauser the flamboyant ensemble of late-'60's SF hippies -- gay, straight, and undecided -- who performed in glittery drag of all sorts in a series of legendary, over-the-top midnight musicals at the Cockettes San Francisco Fayette HauserPalace Theater in North Beach. Founded by Hibiscus (real name, George Harris, Jr.) in 1969, the troupe enacted their own outrageous counter-culture parodies of show tunes (and some originals) and gained an underground cult following that eventually led to mainstream exposure. With titles like Gone With the Showboat to Oklahoma, Hell's Harlots, and Pearls over Shanghai, these extravaganzas featured elaborate costumes, rebellious sexuality, and exuberant chaos. They were soon pinned as the cutting edge of Freak Theatre and appeared in Rolling Stone, Paris Match, and Playboy. The group disbanded in 1972, after attempting a tour to New York.cockettes san francisco fayette hauser

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Rare Summer of Love-Era Documentary on the Haight-Ashbury Viewable Online

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 18, 2011 04:13pm | Post a Comment
"Bizarre world of drugs, sex, and sloth" or "a beautiful neighborhood"?Michael McClure Richard Brautigan 1966 1967 Summer of Love San Francisco

This Haight-Ashbury documentary filmed during the Summer of Haight Street Hippies 1960 60s Straight Theater Summer of LoveLove is truly outta sight! Besides priceless images of Haight Street, local businesses, and the general artsy milieu, this short film features poet (and then Haight-Ashbury resident) Michael McClure serving as a visionary guide through the incense-filled scene. You'll also see The Grateful Dead and legendarily weird writer Richard Brautigan. Watch for The Psychedelic Bookshop, The Straight Theater, and Hare Krishnas in a shop front near Kezar Stadium! 

View this video HERE at the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive!

-- Audra

Staight Theater summer of love haight street haight-ashbury Michael LcClure William Tara antonin artaud 1960 60s

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Venice

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 19, 2011 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Venice is a neighborhood in Los Angeles' Westside neighbored by Santa Monica to the north, Mar Vista to the east, Culver City and Del Rey to the southeast, Marina del Rey to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It's famous for its canals, Muscle Beach, Venice Beach and Ocean Front Walk  -- "the Boardwalk." To vote for other Los Angeles neighborhoods to be the subject of future blog entries, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles County communities, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities and neighborhoods, vote here


  Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Venice

Argentine Hippies

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 27, 2009 01:40am | Post a Comment
This is a concert film recorded in 1972 at the Buenos Aires Rock festival and it aired on Argentine television the following year. It's mostly live footage with some skits, ala The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin. However, Rock Hasta Que Se Ponga El Sol pre-dates Zep's film by a few years. I'm not saying this is where Led McZeppelin got their ideas, but they have been known to steal a few blues songs in their time... Anyways, these bands from Argentina rock hard. You can find some of these releases in Amoeba Hollywood's Latin Rock section.

Color Humano
-"Larga Vida Al Sol"/"Coto De caza"/"Cosas Rústica"

Pescado Rabioso-"Nena" (one of Luis Alberto Spinetta's great bands)

Billy Bond Y Las Pesadas Del Rock

Arco Iris (with a very young and future Oscar winner Gustavo Santaolalla on guitar) -"Zapada"

(Wherein we chance upon something Slick.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 23, 2009 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Furvin Kryakutnoy, Russian inventor and possibly the inventor of the hot air balloon,
has nothing to do with this blog entry.

Here I am, again on my own. I can feel your pretty eyes on me, reading this, waiting to see what I have to say for myself. I am in the past – your past. By the time you read this, I will be gone. I will have scribbled my way through another witty and unnecessary blog.

But here in the past, dear reader, things do not seem so certain. I do not know, as yet (for example), what this entry will be about. Oh sure, it’s easy for you to scroll down the page and glean its general themes, but for someone like me who lives back in the time before this blog was written and done, all is mystery. All is uncertain. I do not even know who or what music or movies will first be mentioned.

Shall I leave it to chance? Shall I see what the Oracle that is YouTube has decided is an appropriate recommendation for me? (For those of you who don’t know, after you’ve used YouTube a bit, it begins to analyze what you tend to look for, then it offers suggestions of stuff you may enjoy, based on your history.) Here, then, is what YouTube thinks I will fancy:



I’m not sure what to say. I can’t think of anything I’ve tried to find on YouTube that would justify this selection. Do they know something about me that I don’t? Some deeper insight unavailable to my conscious mind that only they, in their ability to collect and refine data, can provide?

Or are they as incapable of analyzing data as your local Scientology front? (I’ve taken that Scientology “personality exam” many times and offered wildly different answers each occasion,only to find that, no matter what you answer, they always conclude the same thing: You need Scientology NOW, else you’re liable to RUIN EVERYTHING.)

Because I neither read nor speak Chinese, I do not know who is singing the above song. Heck, I don’t even know what dialect that is. I do know the song, in its original form, was recorded by Starship and was a #1 hit for them in 1987. It was the theme to the film Mannequin.

I also know that, while I have no documented evidence to support this theory, I am almost certain that listening to this song too much will give you ear cancer. I don’t care if there’s “no such thing as ‘ear cancer’” – this song will CAUSE IT. Like, for the first time, and while you may appreciate the notoriety that comes from being the first documented case of ear cancer, you will NOT like what it will do to the color of your Eustachian tubes. Trust me. No amount of Hannah Montana visiting you in the hospital, compliments of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, is gonna make it worth your while.

Perhaps YouTube thought I’d be into the song because of my deep love for Grace Slick’s earlier work? I’m pretty much always in the mood for some Jefferson Airplane or Jefferson Starship. It’s when they dropped the "Jefferson" off that they left me behind, too.

For those of you who I’ve left behind in the above paragraph, a brief explanation: Grace Slick is a goddess, but is better known as a singer. She was the powerful female voice in the iconic hippie band Jefferson Airplane, whose most famous song is "White Rabbit."

This is one of those songs that people come into Amoeba Music looking for without knowing anything about who or what it came from. Usually they’re ladies in their late teens/early 20’s, who end up trying to sing fractured lines from it in their effort to describe it. It’s sweet, it’s hilarious – it’s one of those things that make my job worthwhile.

But many people have at least a cursory knowledge of the album Surrealistic Pillow, the album from which this song (plus other hits) is from, when for me, the album I find myself going back to the most is their final-- the gloomy, angst-ridden but still rockin' Bark. This is my favorite cut from the album:

The lyrics perfectly capture the complexities of those times, as a generation of rebels were faced with impending adulthood in a society they had so passionately sought to undermine, and Slick's voice is so raw, so cocky and confident, but still utterly sincere. It kills me dead.

Later, Jefferson Airplane became Jefferson Starship. The line-up changed and the music grew increasingly political – the Hippie was sounding more Yippie. The most famous song from this incarnation was this little ditty:

Finally, after years of alcohol, car wrecks and divorce, Grace Slick continued mutating along with the band that became Starship – one of those bands that has come to epitomize the evil power of the era that Reagan ruled. Remember this…?

Owweee. It hurts me on my insides. Even so, my admiration for Grace Slick remains. You can't fault someone for making a bad record in the 1980's any more than you can fault a first grader for failing to draw a realistic landscape.

Slick’s retired from the music business, though she’s coaxed out now and again for reunions, cameos, and chocolate cake eating.

Now, now, wild eyes - Grace Slick in your past (and future).

I remember, when Patti Smith performed for us at Amoeba Music Hollywood, how it was with tremendous reverence that she briefly waxed about the glory that was Grace Slick and how influential she'd been tn Patti's own work. It was such a cuddly moment you could almost forget that either of the two women could knock you on your ass in eight seconds flat.

So maybe YouTube was on to something when they suggested what they did. Of course, I had to do a lot of stream-of-consciousness exercises to arrive where I did, and even then, I’m not sure what this is. I don’t write these entries in an effort to provide a definitive history of a band or artist. Mostly I just like to provide some FYI’s on stuff that I know a lot of people don’t realize. You geeks who spend more time reading the liner notes on LP’s than calling your dear, sweet mother may already know everything I’m talking about here, but there’s plenty of readers who don’t, and this is for them.

“Oh, I didn’t realize that song was by them, too!” That’s the sort of thing I want to hear. Those of you who want something more obscure to titillate you, try this on for size…