Sunday, August 16, 2009

2504 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA--Cabale Creamery, Good Buddy, Caverns West, The Questing Beast, Tito's, The Longbranch


2504 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley (at Dwight Way) was a music venue in Berkeley more or less continuously from 1963 to about 1976. Use Permits in California make it a lot easier to open a venue in a building that has already received permission to be a live music venue.

This photo was taken August 11, 2009. 2504 San Pablo is the building with the brown facade, behind the bus stop. For many years it has been a retail store called Good Vibrations. You can google it, but don't do it at work.

2504 San Pablo Site History

January 1963-Early 1965: Cabale Creamery
A folk club founded by Rolf Cahn, Debbie Green, Howard Zeem and Chandler Laughlin, one of the principal folk stops on the West Coast in the early 60s.

Mid 1965; The Good Buddy

Fall 1965: Caverns West

November 1965-May 1966 The Questing Beast
A folk club with a psychedelic twist to it. A few local rock bands played there, including an embryonic Country Joe and The Fish, and there may have been an Owsley Stanley connection. A Grateful Dead tape listed as "Questing Beast Rehearsal 2-11-66" is spurious, but the Dead may have been considering using the Beast for a rehearsal hall prior to their departure to Los Angeles with Owsley in February 1966. The city Public Health department closed the club.

1967-69 Tito's
Tito's was more of a "joint", a place that featured dancing to local bands. Most of them were unknown, although a few (like The Loading Zone) became well-known later. The bookings--at least of bands that were known--seemed to lean more towards R&B or funky jazz.

1970-76 (approximately) The Longbranch
The Longbranch was a hard rock club. East Bay bands like Earthquake, Greg Kihn and Eddie Money were regulars at the venue. At one point in the early 70s, a lot of reggae bands played at the club, including groups like Toots And The Maytals, then quite unknown. A few touring acts filled in their itinerary with gigs at the club, usually when they were opening a show at Winterland or a similar venue, and had room for an extra gig.

4 comments:

  1. Regarding "Good Vibrations", I have always thought that "Questing Beast" would be a great name for a store dealing in the speciality market that keeps them in business.

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  2. A nifty little factoid: The one time notoriety of the Cabale/Cabale Creamery coffee house led the local vice squad and FBI to ban the licensing of any business under the name "Cabale" in the future. However, Chan Loughlan (Travus T Hipp) still retains Cabale News Service as his business cover. His broadcasts can be found on kpig.com.

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  3. Travis has passed away.
    http://santacruz.patch.com/articles/kpig-s-alternative-newsman-travus-t-hipp-died-friday-morning

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  4. Actually we were on the corner where Cafe Trieste is now. The biggest draws were Asleep at the Wheel and Tower of Power. The Long Branch was really happening.

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