Note from STYX on the Road #45
Wear Some Flowers...
Hello Rock Fans,
STYX performed this past Sunday at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco. It was another of those nights we will never forget. So much incredible history lives within those walls and now we can say that we are a part of it.
When I was a kid growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, I was letting my hair grow, smoking pot, trying like heck to get on board the sexual revolution train and the San Francisco scene was the Holy Grail of the day. Although my hormones had kicked in and I was free enough to sneak around and get high I was still living at my parents and thus had no shot at actually going to this West Coast Mecca, but I certainly knew all about it and the music that came from there. The Fillmore was such a hot bed. From the classic and now collectable posters to the cosmic amoebae overhead projection light shows it was the flag of freedom for us kids who grew up under the strict influence of postwar (WW2) parenting. The drugs of those days made you stupid and giggly mostly, and where I lived there was no heroin or cocaine--but plenty of cheap pot and acid. So we didn't die, we were just bleary-eyed and mentally absent half the time. No one really knew the long term effects of these substances and because we were young, we assumed we were invincible. San Francisco just seemed to be leading the way and we were eager to follow, right up until the day a little musician by the name of Manson, and I don't mean Marilyn, became famous for some downright dastardly deeds using Beatles music as his soundtrack. Even then we watched and waited to see how the world had changed for us all.
Sunday night was magic. Just because I stopped smoking dope over a decade ago (yes it took me a while to realize it wasn't working any more) it doesn't mean that everyone else did! There was certainly an old familiar odor in the air, but unlike the old days, I was not desperately seeking out the source to get a hit! Actually I was thinking how bad it is that the smoker is going to miss out on some of the finer points because of the mind altering aspects of their choice of smoking materials.
For the rest of us, it was a natural high, better than I could have ever dreamed of in the 60's looking at San Francisco on the small screen. Right in the middle of downtown and near the bay, a 10 minute ride from our luxury hotel through streets of high-dollar shops, Oriental Massage Parlors, Strip joints and people from every rung of the social ladders out on their personal missions, The Fillmore is a totally unassuming building. But inside, the spirit of Bill Grahm looms large. The walls are lined with posters from all the eras since the building opened, closed and opened again. Breathtaking photos of acts such as The Who, The Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Smashing Pumpkins, ad infinitum, keep you constantly looking up with your mouth hanging open. A living museum.
Bill Grahm always was an artist advocate. His backstage hospitality is far superior to any rider a band would dare send when advancing their show. Those of us who know, don't even submit our normal requests, because the promoter, in keeping with B.G.'s spirit, is far more creative. I personally left there with my pockets crammed full of dressing room goodies that now live in my studio.
If you ever go to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair. But don't forget to check the paper, see if a band is playing at the Fillmore, and go let your heart be filled with all the good from that era. Take in the effect it is having on the band onstage. I don't care how cool they claim to be, you can be sure a part of them is thinking just how awesome it is to be standing on that spot performing.
This note originally posted on www.paradisetheatre.com
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