My first San Francisco Trip

Jerry Garcia Jerry Garcia Band Travis Bean

Jerry Garcia Band,
San Francisco, CA,
August 12, 1977

Here’s Garcia, with his sleeves rolled up, Travis Bean in hand on a magical breezy summer afternoon in San Francisco.

This are the first really good shots I took of Jerry. I had acquired a Konica Rangefinder 35mm camera the year before and began taking it to shows.

After reading Kerouac’s On the Road and Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I was determined to visit San Francisco. Right after I graduated from high school, I turned that dream into reality.

By the summer of 1977, I had already seen the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and Kingfish many times, but was eager to see them on the West Coast.

It was the announcement that appeared on the sleeve of the “Skull and Roses” album that beckoned me to travel from Brooklyn to Marin County:

Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we’ll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.

My Dad worked for the airlines so I was able to afford a plane ticket. I flew to SFO solo with no plans other than to visit Haight-Ashbury and explore The City.

The first thing I did after arriving in San Francisco was make my way to 710 Ashbury Street. The photograph I took of the famed Victorian became my first published photograph, appearing in Relix magazine later that year.

During my exploration of the city, I also spotted a poster announcing that the Jerry Garcia Band would be playing a benefit concert for Greenpeace in a few days at Pier 31, downtown on the Embarcadero.

While I was waiting in line to get into the show, Jerry pulled up and parked his car. With his guitar case in hand, Jerry walked past the line waving to us and into the venue.

It was easy to get up close and I was surprised to see another vocalist joining Donna Jean, it was Maria Muldaur.

Holy cow! The whole scene was pretty low key for this (then) East Coaster!

— Bob Minkin

Purchase Jerry Garcia Band photos here.


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  • Zachary Cohn on

    Wow Bob!!!
    What a story and so exciting to be a part of the early days of the JGB experience and Grateful Dead.

    Zack Cohn

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