Sunday, December 20, 2009

January 29, 1967 Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco (Taylor & Ellis) Gallery Opening

Part of San Francisco's schizophrenia about the Summer of Love is easily viewed in the 1967 San Francisco Chronicle. While the news sections were full of almost daily reports about LSD freakouts, drug busts and runaways, the Arts and Entertainment section cheerily reported the doings of the San Francisco psychedelic underground. The major San Francisco rock bands were definitely Art and Entertainment, and worthy of the paper's attention, even if the News section implicitly scolded their fans for being menaces to society.

This brief listing from the January 27, 1967 edition of the Chronicle offers a tantalizing taste of something that would be quite valuable now. Many of the members of SF rock bands saw themselves generally as Artists, with music being just one part of their self-expression. Glide Memorial Church, with its forward looking minister, the Rev. Cecil Williams, was always sympathetic to the hippies, so its not surprising that the church temporarily became an art gallery. The article reports
A showing of painting and photography by members of San Francisco rock bands is now open to the public at Glide Memorial Church, Taylor and Ellis.
The exhibition, open to 6:30 pm, includes works by members of the Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and The Holding Company, the Sopwith Camel, the Quicksilver Messenger Service and The Loading Zone.
My limited knowledge in this area suggests that the likely artistes from those groups would include Grace Slick from the Airplane and James Gurley (RIP) from Big Brother. I don't know who the artists might have been in the other groups. While not exactly lost vase paintings from the city of Troy, to whatever extent they may have been great art in their own right, I'll bet all of it would fetch a pretty penny now--here's to hoping that one way or another all the artifacts did indeed do so, and the band members or their family members are enjoying the fruits of that.

1 comment:

  1. Upon reflection, I think the final sentence "Selections by W C Thompson will also be on display" refers to Jefferson Airplane manager Bill Thompson. It was also kind of a joke, since just 17 months earlier he had been a Chronicle copy boy who had managed to get his roommate's band (Marty Balin and the Airplane) mentioned in Ralph Gleason's column.The Chron staff was probably tweaking him a bit, but then of course Thompson was the one who made sure it got in the paper.

    By early 1967 he was effectively the Airplane's road manager, altho that term didn't entirely exist yet, and he would soon become the outright manager of the band, which he remains today.