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Friday, January 20, 2006

San Francisco Revival Redux

Not my artwork - it was done by one of the Mutants to promote their upcoming show at the Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. That's in a couple weeks. Make sure you get your tickets. This show will sell out fast!

Even better news, however is that a couple months later, the very same Mutants will be part of a big punk rock show that you absolutely cannot miss. April 8 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, its the Dead Kennedys, Flipper, Avengers and Mutants.

I don't think that San Francisco has ever gotten enough props or notice in the recent years that punk rock itself has been enjoying another moment in the sun. But this is the city that nurtured the Dead Kennedys (and remember how Jello Biafra ran for Mayor in 1980?), Mutants, Avengers, Nuns, Dils, Romeo Void, Peter Case, Chrome, The Offs, Negative Trend, SSI, VKTMS and of course, Flipper, among others. As the more cosmopolitan of California's two big cities, San Francisco was also more arty, more political and less adamant about its place in the picture. People from around the world love the city by the Bay and just about every punk band that mattered passed through and made an impression, whether at the renown Mabuhay Gardens, Target Video, Deaf Club, Fillmore and other performance places.

Of course, it seemed to me that every time I was visiting San Francisco (and it was often, as my boyfriend from high school was going to San Francisco State University, which meant I had a place to stay and a heads-up when something cool was happening), I would run into people and bands from LA. I've probably seen the Alley Cats at the Mabuhay more times than at any LA venue. Then again, I probably saw the Avengers in LA more often than in San Francisco...them crashing on my floor notwithstanding...I could never get enough of them.

San Francisco had then, and has now, so much to offer the world culturally. In 2006, Punk Turns 30 is going to give more space to SF bands and stories. I can't wait to be reunited with my archives in NYC next week so I can start making some new pictures.


Last time I was in San Francisco was 2003. I was conducting research and interviews for a premium cable tv biopic and in between meetings, I snapped some pics of anachronisms and unique San Franciscanisms. Like the "Donuts and Chinese Food" pictured above.


And when I was snapping this brightly colored motor lodge on Polk St., I was approached by this fabulous transvestite, Grace.


"Are you a professional photogrupha?" S/he asked me. "Well, I get paid for my photos, so I guess I am." "Take my pictcha, girl!"

That was the exchange between Grace and myself. S/he told me all about the current tranny scene on Polk St. Of course, while I was there, in March of 2003, this nation was on pins and needles about when we were going to be thrust into another senseless war.


San Francisco's finest were posted everywhere, just in case riots broke out. Which they did not.

It was not the San Francisco I knew from the 70s.... any excuse for a protest.

Stay tuned this year for more on San Francisco...


lonesome-cowgirl said...

i love the donuts and chinese food! i passed that sign theother day.

John VKTM said...

Yeah. We got the greatest cuisine. Chicken and waffles, or Donuts and Chinese Food.
You can always find the best food in the Bay Area.

And of course being SF punks we got to eat humble pie all the time....