By Peter Hartlaub / Posted at;Source: – SFGate – Welcome to Our San Francisco, a yearlong project looking at 150 years of the city’s history. Each week a different chapter will be explored in the newspaper, on SFChronicle.com, in Peter Hartlaub’s The Big Event blog on SFGate.com, and on social media at #OurSF.
This week’s chapter: San Francisco Sound and the Summer of Love.
The first time the words “San Francisco Sound” showed up in the San Francisco Chronicle, they appeared under (of all people) the byline of the television critic.
He was not a fan.
“There’s nothing wrong about enjoying the ‘San Francisco Sound,’ but don’t tell me it’s good music.” Terrence O’Flaherty wrote in a May 29, 1967, column. “ To get serious about it is like attributing philosophical and sociological undertones to ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’”
The 1960s birthed a cultural revolution that changed San Francisco forever, and it was fueled by the music. From the emergence of bands such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead in 1965, to the Summer of Love in 1967, musicians and promoters challenged a complacent society, then weathered the storm that followed.
Looking at newspaper articles from the era, it’s clear that this scene was created by institutions that protested the artists as much as the artists themselves. Even within the pages of The Chronicle, there seemed to be a civil war of words going on, which helped stoke the movement’s notoriety. “Ear-Splitting Sound of SF” read one Spring 1967 news headline, on the same day that music critic Ralph J. Gleason wrote a column praising the artist-fueled revolution.
“Who owns the street? Who owns the country?” Gleason wrote. “(The music scene) is a continuous color TV be-in with the greatest cast of all — human beings in full flower of exotic delight.”
While the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin are the names most commonly associated with the San Francisco Sound, the true forefathers were two lesser-known bands: the Charlatans and the Beau Brummels.
The first mention in The San Francisco Chronicle of the musical wave to come was a July 25, 1965, notice for the Charlatans’ upcoming gig at the Red Dog Saloon, describing them as “five oddly-named young men with shoulder-length hair and other Edwardian affectations.”
A few other important early dates:
August 13, 1965: Marty Balin opened the Matrix, which featured, according to a Chronicle listing, “J.C. Burris playing the harmonica; also, a folk-singing group called jefferson airplane.” (In these early days, few even tried to describe the sound, let alone spell anyone’s name right. “The Jefferson Airplane, a folk-singing group led by Marty Balan … will use material of a Bob Dylan nature,” The Chronicle reported.)
Read and view more via…Source: Our SF: Music from the 1960s fuels a social revolution – SFGate