Join me on a walkabout in San Francisco, a collage of brief field recordings edited in the order that I collected them. For the bulk of the show, I am joined with Randy Kikukawa, a 35-year resident of San Francisco. Moving first into Berkeley, Randy found his home in Castro, where he participated in social activism from 1980. Our conversation at Mel’s Diner on Mission Street reflects someone who is well-informed and does not merely take sides, but also plays well in “devil’s advocate.” I find myself stumped and unable to hold onto a perspective that is built on sensational news articles rather than patience and a full mid-life of quiet observation.
Steven (Shane) Schneider joins us at the end of the program to relate a few stories from the late 1960’s of bumming around Haight Ashbury as a teenager, taking, selling, and advocating for LSD. His encounters with The Grateful Dead, Swami Prabhupada, and a fellow named Charlie Brown, might have been brief, but were definitely historic. By his account, San Francisco was over by 1968.
Randy sings for and sits on the Board of Directors for the Golden Gate Men’s Choir.
Steven is a musician and visual artist currently performing with Fiasco Free Improvisation.
Thank you for an interesting interview. Spot checking some of the many statistics I talked about shows some discrepancies–population of San Jose in 1980, degree of income disparity, percentage of cash real estate transactions in San Francisco (closer to around 30%–but this was a rambling, casual conversation (without Google/Wikipedia on a smartphone at hand). If I were presenting a talk, obviously every fact would need to be vetted beforehand!