Rock History at the Old Mint

Backstage Pass: A sweeping History of Rock 'n' Roll at the Old Mint is happening now through Sunday at the Old Mint on 5th between Market and Mission Streets. Reproductions of Fillmore and Winterland posters and pictures of the rockers who graced those stages are scattered throughout the first floor and the basement vaults.

Check out Otis's supporting acts...
I really would have liked to have seen this one... in fact, I still would go see this one:

Then again... Stevie Ray Vaughan opening for Huey Lewis and the News? WTF????

Local favorites like The Grateful Dead, Santana, Boz Scaggs and the Jefferson Airplane have vaults downstairs dedicated to them. So do Huey Lewis and News. Nothing's perfect, right?
The door to the stage for Winterland (how come there are no plastercaster exhibits?)...

As I mentioned, the posters are reproductions, though they are a lot of fun to look at from at least three perspectives; artistic, sociological, and musicological. It's interesting and amusing to see bands you've never heard of that had Led Zeppelin as their opening act for way back when. Others are souvenirs of what must have been a rock enthusiast's dream. I'm sure that there are at least 25,000 people in The City who can remember being at a gig that really had maybe 1000 people who actually were there. I was never really a fan of Bill Graham as a person, so his "legend" leaves me largely indifferent, but his impact on the Bay Area music scene is irrefutable and there's ample evidence on display here.

Of course no one under the age of 30, maybe 40, has ever heard of Country Joe & the Fish, right? Hey, gimme an "F!"

Appropriately enough, there is a room in the basement showing old Dead concert footage, though I don't know from what year (I'm not sticking around for that) and though they didn't interest me personally, many other people were fascinated by the details of the art on the walls and I overheard many a lecture/ discourse on what is like "back then."

Of equal interest is the opportunity to actually get inside and walk around the Mint at leisure. the building has been poorly maintained and has a long way to go before it is properly restored, but it's an incredible place to walk through amid almost worth the price of admission in and of itself. Many of the original vault doors are still in place and the place just oozes an authentic history and ambiance that isn't easy to find in The City nowadays.

The vault doors are still in place are definitely a highlight...

One thing that looking at the line-ups for these all concerts reminds one of is how adventurous the programming used to be- and kudos to the Outside Lands Festival for bringing back that sort of adventurous spirit that has long been missing from local stages.

Overall, if you're a fan of rock or local architectural history, check this out. It runs through Sunday.

Now this must have been one hell of a show!!!!...

This is about where I came as just another white punk on dope- Fee Waybiil of the Tubes, lates 70's- awesome, crazy shows...

Okay, here's your trivia question question of the day: what do the Beatles and the Sex Pistols have in common?

Both bands gave their last live performances in San Francisco.

And whoever thought you'd see good ol' Johnny Rotten in a museum? Do you feel had???