This was one of the many things going on celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘The Summer of Love’ here in SF. If you saw my recent post on Susanne Ciani at the Berkeley Museum you might remember I shared a photo with some friends including V.Vale. from Re/Search Pubs. This post features him speaking in front of a photo taken by Jim Marshall during the summer of 1967. He is featured in the foreground of the photo and just the look on his face captures the awe and wonder of what it might have been like to arrive at that infamous corner of Haight and Ashbury at that time. While most of those people have moved on in life or have since passed, Val manages to still have that curiosity in life and culture/counterculture and remains in a perpetual state of awe and inquisitive-ness.
The first few minutes of this video is from part of the guided tour of the photos that line the hall in the basement of SF City Hall including a couple of bits of insight to what was happening in some of the pics, such as the story behind the Moby Grape album cover that was censored and how Otis Redding really stole the show at Monterey Pop. There were plenty of photos of The Dead and Jefferson Airplane as well as some great pics of various Hippies and Diggers and counter-culture icons like Ginsberg and Ken Kesey.
Val’s talk was mostly a deconstruction of the photo he was in which provided some really cool behind the scenes info about the original line up of Blue Cheer. Not a lot of people know that Val was a founding member let alone that Blue Cheer was originally a 6 piece (that was news to me too). They just happened to be on the way to Golden Gate Park for a proper band shoot when this was captured.
Enjoy this first hand account of the Summer of Love SF by someone who was there:
SFAC also has a show up called Tiny Bubbles a group show that Val also has a bunch of photos in which is up until August 19th.
In my post covering this recent set of mine, the video I shot is missing the last 7-8 minutes. Matt who puts on the event had a camera set up as well and he captured the set in it’s entirety. The footage is of a much better quality as well, enjoy!
As promised in my previous post, here is a follow up with some coverage of Susanne Ciani’s appearance at The Berkeley Museum a week after the main festival of performances celebrating the work of Don Buchla. This was a sort of auxiliary set and also coincided with the ‘Hippie Modernism’ exhibit that runs through May 21st.
I met up with my friend Eric M. and the brilliant folks behind RE-search Pubs V.Vale and Marian to experience this special event.
Susanne came out and took in the crowd which had an obvious overwhelming effect on her as she was back ‘home’ in Berkeley again where she originally worked with Don Buchla back in the early days of her discovery of synthesized music. She had an emotional response which set the mood for the event and made it that much more special. She spoke a bit about meeting Don and how he influenced and affected her whole approach and philosophy about music making and perhaps maybe a bit about life in general.
Something happened during her set as well, it was that feeling you get when someone hits you with a really personal and emotional performance, which usually only happens in a conventional music scenario involving perhaps heavy lyrics or a soul wrenching melody. I’ve never gotten that from a synthesizer set and I realized the same thing happened during her set the previous weekend, I just didn’t really acknowledge it until it happened again, the hair raising on my arms etc. I told her as much afterwards and she almost cried right there! It was an amazing connection.
Enjoy her full set here:
See my previous post for more from Susanne as well as additional footage from The Don Buchla Memorial Shows