Jerry Garcia Street

Jerry "Captain Trips" Garcia

This spring, me and the missus brought our kids up to the City from LA for the first time, via Big Sur, Monterey and Santa Cruz. It was our best family trip ever--wild turkeys and great hikes in the Sur, hanging on the boardwalk in Cruz and finally, SF. Stayed a few nights in Japantown, climbed Mt Tam, watched the fog envelope the Golden Gate--touristy stuff (I passed on the cable cars, however--they loved them).

Naturally, we had to show our children where we once lived and as we'd been up to Twin Peaks already, the Haight was nice and easy. Plus, I had to make a stop at Amoeba to consign some music.

Our old neighborhood has changed since the middle 90's, but mostly in subtle ways. Still a bunch of panhandlers about (carrying banjos and ukes now as opposed to guitars), the wonderful Pork Store and the panhandle itself. The biggest change is the proliferation of parents--I don't recall many strollers back in the Clinton era, but there was much pram pushing down Haight Street (sorry, Mick) all the same. Saw lots of that in SoMa parks, too--kiddie city.

When I was dropping off the discs at Amoeba, me and the counterman started jawing about the changes underway and he shocked me by saying that a great deal of the shop's foot traffic was tourist based. People that came up to that neck of the woods solely for the history. And I got to thinking and I wondered--why is there almost nothing named after the area's most famous export and certainly its magnet, John Jerome "Jerry" Garcia?

The Dead and their compatriots made this little corner of SF the most famous place in the world for a spell and yet very little commemorates the fact. That they carried on for 28 years past the "summer of love" spreading their loping groove around the world means that the rest of the world (a lot of it) comes to SF to try and absorb a little of that long gone good feeling. In other words, more tourism and more business.

I wonder, wouldn't it be something if upper Haight Street--from Divisidero to the terminus at Golden Gate Park (I would say Cala Foods, but that too is gone) be renamed "Jerry Garcia Boulevard?" If Army Street can become Cesar Chavez, why not? 

And please spare me the incoming crapola about "honoring junkies". Garcia's personal habits have nothing to do with his work and the idea that he represented the "corruption of youth" gives someone that eschewed being a role model way too much power. 

There's already a "Joey Ramone Place" in the Bowery in NYC. As there should be. It's high time (no pun) that San Francisco did the same for the creator of its underground scene as well. 



Thank you for the address, it is good to know it!

Posted by Marmaris on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 1:35 am

It was somehow sad, but interesting in the same time to read it!

Posted by Sizilien on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 1:27 am

I'm sorry... You want to rename HAIGHT STREET as Jerry Garcia Blvd?
Uh. I love the Grateful Dead, I think Garcia was a genius, and I certainly think he's made an incalculable contribution to San Francisco, but you can't seriously want to rename the entirety of Haight Street after that one person. As a previous poster stated "There would be no Jerry w/o the Haight, not the other way around."

This is an atrocious idea.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 19, 2013 @ 1:55 am

Interesting - Tim hired Johnny a month ago (they were apparently friends).

Johnny is non-local, the main attribute of his postings is belligerence, and he is so insecure that he has a raft of utterly transparent sock puppets praising his posts.

The more I think about it, I think that giving Johnny so much space on the SFBG's web page was Tim's way of giving a big FU to Examiner management.

Anyone wanna bet that come Tuesday morning, Johnny isn't posting here anymore?

Posted by Rip on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

I don't think Johnny has much longer on this blog, with the new management...

Posted by Rip on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

There's the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in the Excelsior. Which is perfect for Jerry, a local outdoor music arena. But now some misguided turdsticks are trying to rename it. I'd like to see Loose Lucy Lane or Dark Star Freeway. Rosemary, Ramblin' Rose, or Scarlet Begonias Garden, US Blues Plaza, China Cat Sunflower National Park, The Golden Road(To Unlimited Devotion)Road.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

Or maybe some celestial bodies would be more approprate... The Other One Crab Nebulae...

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

a great musician and a genuinely good person whatever you think of the Dead. The city he loved should name something after him

Posted by Katzelmacher on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

If you were to name the top ten performers/bands of the post WW2 era, or even the top twenty, not one band from the Bay Area would feature.

Here's my top 10:




Led Zeppelin

Interesting that the US artists are all individuals, and the UK ones all bands, huh?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 5:04 pm


Not around long enough I suppose and country rock was only a major thing for a few years, genre also screwed by the shitty status of the Eagles.

Posted by matlock on Jun. 16, 2013 @ 11:24 am

Excluding female artists anyway, which he did.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

than the Beatles or the Who.

Posted by matlock on Jun. 16, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

For "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", which was my favorite Byrds album.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

If art is "experimental" and "cutting edge", it is good.

Word. If it doesn't pass the test of time, it wasn't good.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

its musical legends.

There are no streets, parks, or schools named after Frank Zappa in Los Angeles, even though there are in other places in the world. Nor is there anything named after Jim Morrison.

Maybe you should look in your home city before commenting on San Francisco.

Posted by Sawney Beane on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

hum in my head a single song of theirs, which I cannot say for any other major band of the 60's and 70's.

I guess, as they say, you had to be there and you had to be high. Absent those two, I hate to say this but the dead were kinda average.

The Magnolia Brewpub at the corner of Haight and Masonic used to have some Dead murals on the well but they painted over them in their rehab. The world moved on, I guess.

As for naming something after that, we haven't waiting long enough. Will anyone know who Jerry was in 2060?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

Yes, too bad you weren't there (I was). It was great fun. The Dead had an incredible following. In years to come any astute musicologist will know and appreciate the genius of Garcia.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

But the problem is that "if you had to be there" then how "famous" will the dead be when everyone who was "there" is, er, dead?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

i am a Deadhead, extremely.. When Jerry died first thing we all did was head up to HAIGHT ASHBURY to commiserate. it is the HAIGHT not "the Jerry" this is a terrible idea. There would be no Jerry without the Haight, not the other way around,

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

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