Summer of Love, Civic Center Plaza,
San Francisco October 20. 2002

Last Update: 13. november 2003

7 & 7 Is
Little Red Book
Orange Skies
Your Mind and We Belong Together
Everybody's Gotta Live
House Is Not A Motel
Singing Cowboy

More songs played???
summer-of-love-FLAT.jpg (54926 bytes)

Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart

All photos by Keith Stodart - more photos here

Summer of Love 2002 - A diary by Keith Stodart

Well here I am in diner on Mason Street, San Francisco its 9.00am.

Things didn't get off to a good start this morning as I found out that the Caltrain doesn't run at the weekends. That's means I've had to drive up to SF this morning from Santa Clara, which also means no alcohol. Probably a good thing as I'm still recovering from Friday nights blow out in Sunnyvale (bear in mind that this is Sunday. For the benefit of Paul Barr back in Glasgow it was the California invitational Superstars event.

I got into town early and managed to park beside the Civic Hall, it's a really good setting and the stalls full of arts, crafts, memorabilia and other hippy trinkets are starting to set up. I don't have an order of play but I've heard Arthur and the boys are on around 5.00 pm.

I walked down to this diner via a very nice district in the town called the "Tenderloin", it's sort off infamous in SF but I've certainly never seen any hassle, there again I've never hung around to look for it. (Actually I think the UK's worse)

It seems pretty quiet this morning; maybe the people are still in bed nursing hangovers as the SF Giants won the first game of the World Series against Anaheim.

I order a spinach and feta cheese omellette, now that may not sound so appetizing but it's damn good, Café Mason never lets me down. I always visit here if I'm in SF.

You know parking in SF is a real problem and it costs a pretty penny but I've parked in the Wells Fargo Bank car park beside the Civic Hall so fingers crossed I won't be towed away (later find I had to pay $10 or that was exactly what was going to happen, also find out that the meters were free here today)

I've got a real natural high today (and I emphasize natural) I've got a feeling this will be one of the best days of my life. Roll on 5.00 pm, I'm not decrying any of the other bands but I'm really here to see Love.

Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart

It's just after 10.00 and there's some activity on the stage and the microphones are switched on, it's Wavey Gravy, he looks a bit different from his Woodstock days. He tells a few Woodstock stories especially trying to deliver Granola to the hungry masses of hippies who questioned whether or not this was dirt they were eating.
"You are what you don't shit, " he says, now that's a statement.

First up is a singer songwriter called Suzanne she sounds to me like Joni Mitchell or more recently Vanessa Carlton she's good and preaches the message of love.

After that we have the Beau Brummels who apparently haven't played together for 30 years. I have to say they're not really my cup of tea but they do have a few good tunes and go down pretty well. They were one of the original SF bands in the sixties.

I didn't catch the name of the next band but I believe they sometimes go under the name of the Unauthorized Rolling Stones. They're a bit more up-tempo and do a great rendition of the Paint It Black, the crowd starts to rock. I enjoyed the set and would go and see them again if the chance arose.

One of the other compeers is on now and he starts to talk about the 30th Summer Love concert 5 years ago when the Chief of the Police was asked about the polices view about having a smoke, "Everyone has a prescription today" so it is assumed the same rules apply today. A sweet smell enters the air.

He goes on a bit about the potential war in Iraq and points out that the Peace movement is starting to be resurrected in SF. "The lunatics are ruling the asylum"

Next up are Lydia Pense and Cold Blood who I also enjoy. She's a Janis Joplin like singer with the band sounding a bit like The Average White Band although a bit heavier. I think she's well known but I had never heard of her (I'd never heard of some of the other bands either, pardon my ignorance but I was just a nipper in the 60's)

Wavy Gravy back on talking about President Bush "The only thing to do with Bush is smoke it!!!" I like that.

The Flying Other Brothers are on now, they throw lots of free T-Shirts into the crowd and everybody's happy (except for me I never got one, Oh well can't win them all) they start with a great rendition of Creams' White Room, but rest of their set is mostly in the country mould. They do however get the crowd to the front and finish with a good version of Highway 61.

A Tribute to Quicksilver are up next, apparently the remaining members of the group declined to play so they assembled a band of famous artists and they're fronted by the son of one the original band members. They play a great set with guitarist G. E. Smith the highlight of the line up. It is cast of all stars from an array of band I can't remember many of their names but Pete Sears is certainly there.

Well it's 14.30 now and Mike Randall's has just got me backstage!!! He introduces me to Rusty , Dave and Daddyo , Arthur's not there yet. I also meet G. E. Smith.

Mike informs me that they're now on at 18.00 and they're headlining (was there any doubt!!!) These other bands are good but not a patch on Love, in my unbiased view.

The band goes back to the hotel for while I tuck into my roasted vegetables and calamari courtesy of the backstage pass.

Oh I nearly forgot to mention that when Mike checked me in he told the girl on the desk I was Scottish so she asked to see my d***, why?? no one knows but despite being a Scotsman abroad I say sorry not today. I do show her however my Spiritualized tattoo on my upper thigh that seems to suffice. Just as well I didn't have my kilt on or there would have been real problems.

I go back round the front a watch The Great Society who are really good especially their version of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit and Need Somebody to Love.
I enjoyed this band and I can feel the atmosphere building.

Peter Tork from the Monkees takes the stage and introduces a local theatre company performing 3 number from the musical "Hair" again I enjoy this and so does a guy right in front of me who looks like the famous detective John Shaft.

Wavy Gravy back on and he goes on, and on, and on, and on for a bit until he gets reminded that another band is waiting. On comes IABD (Formerly It's A Beautiful Day). I've never heard of tem (surprise, surprise!) but I enjoy them. They talk about the Berkeley riots in the 60's and how they simply sat indoors smoked weed and wrote songs when it was all happening.

Country Joe follows them and I pardon my ignorance at the time but don't recognize him. (Well he has changed since Woodstock)

Give me an F
Give me a U
Give me a C
Give me a K

What's that spell, what's that spell!!

Country Joe's OK with me.

Mike and the rest of the band arrive back at 17.30 I can't see Arthur then I spot him with his girlfriend. I go across shake his hand and ask him to do it for Scotland.

Canned Heat is on and they are rocking, by far the best band of the day so far. They run through the full repertoire. I'm standing right in front of the stage, there's a sweet smell of grass and On The Road Again is blasting out. What a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Bullfrog Blues, Going Up The Country, Let's Work Together.
Classic songs, Classic Band.

I pick up their set list as they leave the stage.

Now it's the main event. I'm at the back of the stage when Arthur makes his entrance Here We Go!

Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart

As they start with Little Red Book I go down to the front of the stage to get a few good photographs. They boys are really rocking, straight into Orange skies then Your Mind and We.

I ask this hippy chick next to me what she thinks of Love, "I think I might of heard of them, what songs have they done, do they play pop music" I crumble on the spot but then again I haven't heard of some of the other bands.

Back to the set.

Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart

Arthur's smiling and Mike's at his best, people are simply standing in awe at some of Mike's solos and Arthur's singing and that goes for other artists as well. The sets going down a treat and everyone joins in with Everybody's Gotta Live.

I sense a problem though, firstly the battery on my camera has ran out, can you believe that, but more importantly the band are told everything must finish a 7.00pm. I don't think Arthur can believe it and comments, " That's typical of SF, they'll have to drag me off"

A representative of the SFPD arrives at the back of the stage and emphasizes to one of the reporters that 7.00pm is absolute maximum. Arthur rips into a House Is Not A Motel. One of the organizers on the side gesticulates 5 minutes left, f*** it says Arthur as they rip into Singing Cowboy.

I'm side stage now and its really rocking people are dancing and Mike's solos are hitting new levels. The whole bands great and I know Dave, Rusty and Daddyo don't always get the praise they deserve, but they get mine.

It's all over, not the choice of the band, but the laws the law. I got really carried away and I can't remember if they managed to play the full set as per the set list but I don't think they did.

Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart Civic Center Plaza, S.F. October 20. 2002 Photo: Keith Stodart

The compliments are flowing all round, the job's done. As far as the SF public is concerned Love are back (but we knew that anyway from the European shows).
I talk a while with Mike after the gig also Dave and his girlfriend who incidentally love Scotland !! I tell her she's always welcome and hope to see her next year. Dusty phones up a mate for an update on the Baseball, 9 - 7 to the Giants in the 6TH innings is the reply. I have to point out at this point that since I've been in California I've been watching the baseball and hoping the Giants can win the World Series, so does Mike and everyone in SF.

I pick up the set list and get the whole band, including Arthur to sign it (how much is that worth? priceless to me). Mike promises me a T-shirt (OK Mike) and I promise him a football (soccer) top when he comes to the UK.

We talk about our common adoration of Teenage Fanclub and Mike tells me he covered Planets on a Japanese CD release featuring covers of TFC songs (must buy that)

As the crowd disperses we notice a women who has just maybe had one trip too muck, but hell she seems to be enjoying herself, happy in he own world. I tell Mike I saw her earlier in the afternoon simply standing at the front of the crown holding up the Woodstock album.

I thank Mike again and he gives me a hug, he informs me "its an America thing", I simply nod my head in agreement. You just can't start to understand what a great day I've had (even better than the time Hamilton Accies beat Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Cup) I only hope the photographs turn out.

Everyone's been so friendly all day, from the T-Shirts sellers who asked me to stand and talk to them all day because of my accent, to the general crowd and all the artists performing. I've mingled with the stars of the 60's and also the fans.

Everybody really has gotta live.

Mike you've made a Scotsmen really happy and I only hope my diary of the day helps capture the moment.

Thank you again Mike !! thank you again Love

I drive back to my hotel in Santa Clara thinking that this has all been some sort of a dream, as a friend of mind Chris Davidson would say "Best Ever" As they say back in Scotland "Kecks were off, and the balls were out" (the original statement from Paul's brother Jim Barr). I simply can't wait until the Royal Festival Hall gig in January as well as the other shows.

For the record the Giants lost 11 - 10 to the Angels, I 'be burnt my head in the SF sun, my ears are still ringing and I've just popped my films into Walgreen's for developing, can't wait 'til I pick them up tomorrow.

It's 12.30am and I'm going to bed, nearly forgot I'm over in California to work.

I loved his review but I thought Keith Stodart might like to know that The Great Society wrote 'White Rabbit' and 'Somebody to love', not Jefferson Airplane. Grace Slick was in The Great Society before Jefferson Airplane. I have an album of theirs from 1966 called 'Conspicuous only in it's absence' and they're both played on that
A bit of trivia to keep the record straight !
Best Wishes,
Joe Greaves.


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