When Sharon Zugay was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the late 1970s, her many Coastside friends offered help and supportâbut mostly they gave their hearts.
I remember Sharon as a beautiful young womanâone of those very special young people who are like fairy dustâ-
She and her twin sister, Karen, were simply stunning.
Sharon lived with other artists in an historic house (the artichoke king Dante Dianda’s home) which stood next door to the “Sun House” where jewelery and beads were sold (now
At the time there werenât many of us on the Coastsideâand I define âusâ? as outsiders or newcomers, around college age, with similar reasons for being here. The loss of Sharon was devastatingâ¦it was as if we were one body and Sharon represented a living, vital part that we were going to have to live withoutâ¦
I will never forget the âfarewellâ? disguised as a benefit concert held for Sharon at the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society. (As usual, Pete Douglas, was generous, turning over his Miramar âdigsâ? to the locals for what was a memorial service with the lovely lady who was soon to be mourned present.)
My last image of Sharon was of her being rolled out in a wheelchair, the Dennis Swensen painting you see in the printed notice hanging on the stage behind her.
On that sizzling hot weekend a few days ago, Coastside musician/artist Fayden drove from Half Moon Bay to Redwood City where he had a musical reunion with friends he hadn’t seen in 38 years.
The guys rented a hall that wasn’t air conditioned “so playing acid rock four-feet up on a stage full of Marshall amps was brutal—— but fun!!!”
When I arrived on the Coastside in the early 1970s, everybody knew Fayden. Well…I’ll let him tell his story as a musician, filled with sweet memories…..
“The band I played with was called “Time”; we were a major player on the peninsula,we played with Country Joe and the Fish, and released a 45.
Before this (and what really made me want to be in music) I knew a wonderful
Italian family who lived down the street from where I grew up.They kind of adopted me
(my parents weren’t home much) and I was there more than not.
The dad was in partnership with two other guys who managed the “New Bedouins”.
He would take me to their performances, and sometimes the group would let me sit in for the
warm-ups as the drummer usually didn’t arrive until the last minute
from his regular job.
This group became the original “Grassroots” that did “Where were you when I needed you?”, and “Mr.Jones”, by Bob Dylan.
Anyway, I popped my lung singing with the band “Time” (acid rock),and so had to start playing more acoustically/folk type music,
I went to Hollywood and worked with Jackson Browne, Dobie Gray, Karen Gunderson (New Christy Minstrels), Lee Mallory (Millennium).
Half the time I was in Hollywood, the other half in the Bay Area– when up here I lived with Ron and Sue Wickersham. Ron was the main
engineer/electrical genius for Pacific recording on El Camino Real and Hwy 92. I got to work with a lot of the people from the Avalon/Fillmore, Tony Lenzini (Steve Miller) Cork Seagull,
Fred Catero, David Rubinson (San Francisco records),
Backin the sixties musicians ran around like a bunch of quaking ducklings whoever was around played, and it was wonderful!!!
I had a little shack in El Granada, and was playing over at the Miramar beach Inn (then called the Shelter Inn, then the Spouter Innor visa versa). Patrick Simmons, and Tyranne (went on to be DoobieBros.), and Peter Grant (played with the “Dead”), and I played there.
Also Mike Mindell (Uncle Jim’s music), Sonny Terry, Brownie Mcghee,Jesse (the lonecat) Fuller (wrote San Francisco Bay Blues), TomScribner(played musical saw on a Beatles song), Hot Tuna and the list goes on.
Clay Fountain, Mike Conrad, Bill Middlejohn, Harry Moore, Kay Quadra,Anthrax (Electra records), so many people (the regulars) played atthe Shelter/Spouter Inn and we all played together later in the
I went to Europe and cut a solo album while on tour with a groupcalled “Steam Hammer”. This was a side group for Ion Anderson. While there I was offered a chance to be in the “Doobie Bros.” by the man who gotthe front money from Warner Bros., His name was Paul–he was one
of the guys from the group “The Mojo Men” who took their royalties and built and owned Pacific Recording where just about all of thesixties albums were made.
If I had known Pat, and Ty were going to be in the group, I would have probably not opted for the solo l.p. andcome back to the states. My l.p. went to the Cannes music festival (representing Bellaphon records.)
I was the first American to write against the Viet Nam War (outside this country). This l.p was blacklisted in the U.S.A.–however it did really well every where else.
When I got back to the U.S.A., I hooked up playing in smaller coffee houses again, recording and working with other folks, who, like myself, were largely the wind beneath the wings of folks most people have heard of.
Chuck Portz was the bassist in the Turtles– he and I had a little band in Montara in the early 1970s. The last time I played (using my union card) was with Waylon and Willie, substituting
for and “Outlaw”, at the Concord Pavillion in 1976.
Then I started building/repairing guitars instead of playing them.
P.S. I play guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer,keyboards, handsaw, and vocals. A little drums, brass, and fiddle.
I’ve written hundreds of songs.
I play and write in a John Fahey, Leo Kottke, style however usually
end up jamming with people in a bluegrass or blues capacity.
No……..I can’t talk about any cases…I’m just waiting in the Redwood City Jury Assembly Room.
I didn’t know ’til this morning that I had to drive from the Coastside to the courthouse–and I wasn’t looking forward to it–but I must praise (and highly praise), Sara, whose job it is to organize the jurors and tell them which papers to signed and exactly where– and who answers all questions efficiently and kindly.
BTW: There’s wi-fi in the room. I brought my computer and worked the entire time. There’s also several computers available to anyone who want to use them. (And for soap opera lovers–one of the tvs was switched to a “Guiding Light” type show…some of the potential jurors who had brought books to read became riveted, instead, to the unfolding script on the screen.
Yesterday, Sunday, one of the hottest days EVER, Burt and I went to watch the Giants play the San Diego Padres.
We were taking friends from Boston (HUGE Red Sox fans) to see the new (for them) ball park and we didn’t know it was going to be a boiling cauldron–we bought the tickets a while back.
As anyone who has lived in northern California knows, July is traditionally a foggy month for us–and especially for those of us who grew up in the mild climates of San Francisco and the Coastside, hot hot hot weather is something we just don’t know.
As we left the Coastside (via good old Hwy 92) to pick up our friends in San Francisco, we couldn’t help feeling sorry for the endless line of cars heading for the “cooler” Coastside. And the line WAS endless–at about 10 a.m.
(Later another friend who lives in Burlingame cleverly escaped the Peninsula heat by driving to Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, where, he said, there was no traffic. Imagine that! No traffic in Pacifica–and there are stretches of beautiful beaches to cool off on there.)
Why do people stand in lines of cars, in overheated cars, on the hottest days of the year, sometimes for hours–why do they jam Highway 92 when people could have gone to Pacifica where Rockaway Beach is delightful? Why? Why? Why?
It’s fair for you, the reader, to ask why Burt and I went to the ball game on the hottest day of the year…If the hottest day ever ever returns, Burt and I won’t go the ball game again. We think, we hope, we learned…..
It was so hot at ATT&T Park in the City that by the 3rd inning we retreated into the cool of the building where we found seats in the restaurant and were revived by several lemonades. Later, a very nice usher appeared with a spray bottle filled with water–and he spritzed anyone who asked. Thank you, usher. I got several spritzes.
I had turned lobster red. Burt was feeling shakey. Our friends from Boston were more familiar with heat than we were and they didn’t have to leave their seats (also blazing hot to the touch but they complained a lot.
But–as usual I had my eye out for “stars”–and I wasn’t disappointed. Seated directly across from us in the restaurant was CCH Pounder, a favorite actor from The Shield, the daringly different cop show on the FX channel.
(Earlier Ms. Pounder was on the field, throwing out the first pitch, but she was really there to help raise funds and public awareness for AIDS–(It was the 13th annual “Until There’s A Cure Day” at the park. We purchased six raffle tickets.)
You know me–I couldn’t resist.
(Photo: At ATT&T Ball Park yesterday, CCH Pounder, star of “The Shield” on FX)
She was everything a star should be. Composed, gracious and very attractive. I not only got an autograph but two photos, one with me and my lobster red face (I won’t show you that one).