it suddenly occurred to me how much san francisco had towered over my rock and roll life with it’s trailblazing visions.
in the present tense there’s the simple elegance of apple computers ,which have helped a dumbo like me to continue making music without the big budgets from record labels….thank you!
then there’s the attitude san francisco promoted towards the serious creative possibilities of drugs …thank you timothy leary…i did indeed ‘tune in,turn on and drop out’…[it was good advice]
then there’s lawrence ferlinghetti ,who in his late eighties STILL has his *city lights* bookstore up and running..he selflessly published ginsberg’s *howl*and saw it spin out into a big bold court case regarding what is or isn’t allowed to sit freely on todays bookshelfs……..then there’s the all important sex…thank you harvey milk..you were the first one who opened that big can of political worms that no one else would dare go near,and my life is all the better for it…you got murdered for the likes of me…you were more of a politician than david cameron could ever be…in my eyes david cameron is nothing more than a media cousin to simon cowell.
i know things were happening elsewhere too,but so much of the groundwork and cultural fine tuning that enhanced my life, was laid out right here in san francisco… it flips me out to bear in mind that in england at exactly the same time,tom robinson was doing similar brave work.
on a sunny day in frisco the sense of freedom and absence of judgement is palpable..
nudists are allowed to walk freely in the daylight..and it makes a neat statement,even if i personally don’t think the human form is altogether flattered wearing nothing but shoes and shoulder bags.
a great thing about california in general is that older people don’t have to slide out of view when the skin looses it’s bounce …that miami/south beach neurosis simply isn’t here.
no one needs to hide their age in this town.
there’s a bar at the top of the castro with huge windows called twin peaks..only the worst ageist wankers nickname it the glass coffin cause of the oldsters…but the truth about that famous bar is the really old and the turned on younger ones mix in a very very groovy way there……the oldest regulars in that place actually knew harvey milk ..it’s authentic…not some hard rock cafe tourist trap.
and let’s not forget levis are born out of frisco…one of the last great american business’s that doesn’t reek of corporate greed…it’s still in the family,and i’m told it’s one of the very first business’s that sorted out a good union deal and comfort for the workers…i love levis..they’re sexy…. look at those album covers…*sticky fingers*….*after the gold rush*….these things are my life.
there really is nothing hornier to me than thick blue levi denim stretched tight across a good meaty arse….male or female.
soooooo…thomas leaves london for frisco and i keenly fly up from the desert to meet him …
the plan is that he would sleep off his jet lagg and i would go out to a pan sexual s&m club called the citadel for a bit of a trip….
i’d been last year , and had the time of my life…
there’s a cool man there who has a big hand in running the place…he conducts orchestras and studies jazz…
after he’d giving me a right ruff sorting, i sat with him while he generously genned me up on the life of billy strayhorn…
billy strayhorn was a sweet shameless talented black homosexual in the 1940’s who wrote *lushlife*, plus various other jazz standards,but also did those great arrangements for duke ellington’s big band.
there is no alcohol on the premises or unkosher drugs…no drunks or tweakers get in….and there are sex police making sure nothing unsafe or stupid happens…
it’s a million times cleaner than any leather bar,and no one is allowed to leave a mess…you clean up after yourself.
there are prison cells and all sorts of things to galvanize the head trip…it’s shameless.. buzzy without any music..intense and relaxed all at once..refreshingly unapologetic……a million miles from my northern irish roots.
one hungry big hairy guy was getting off on being tayzored by another handsome chap in a cop uniform…..japanese rope bondage..mirrors..cages…the scene truly rocked
i get back to the hotel..thomas is out for the count..plugs stuffed in his ears,so i run a hot bath … sink into the water and feel the sting.
we wake up early cause thomas likes his breakfast.. his favourite place is called ‘cafe flore’
it’s been there since the 70’s,and if you ever want to get a sense of this glorious city,go eat there..hang out there…the food is terrific and healthy…cafe flore
after that, it’s time for thomas’s afternoon cocktail,and high times for me..we nash down to twin peaks where the afternoon just rolls by…great to be with thomas again after all this time.
the earthy smell of legal marijuana drifts down the street..the nudists are relaxing on the sidewalk , while business men in suits shuffle about in an easy way…what a fine fine city?!
my other little jonz is haight ashbury..quite different from the castro….i like the guitar store down there…. the amoeba record shop…..the colour…the hippies..the history…fillmore..janis joplin…grateful dead
malcolm mcclaren was wrong….he said ‘ never trust a hippie’…well i’d trust a hippie easily as much as any punk…infact…there’s really not much difference..
three days of pure sunshine past in a second…i am still tripping on it….
here’s some photographs.[click on them to enlarge]