The Cabale, at 2504 San Pablo Avenue (at Dwight), was a folk club founded in late 1962 by Rolf Cahn and Debbie Green (two Cambridge, MA folkies) along with Howard Zeem and Red Dog alum Chandler A. Laughlin III (later known as Travus T. Hipp). Cahn had previously owned the Blind Lemon at 2362 San Pablo.
The Cabale opened to the public on January 4, 1963 and ran until mid-1965, when the folk action moved to the Jabberwock. Somewhere along the way Carroll Peery, manager of the Chambers Brothers and Big Mama Thornton, happened to acquire a majority interest in the Cabale. Jesse Cahn, son of Cabale founder Rolf and folksinger Barbara Dane, recalls "I was the one who cleaned the johns and swept up and practically lived there until 1965 ...". Jesse went on to play with Tongue & Groove (with Lynne Hughes and Michael Ferguson) and the Chambers Brothers. After some time on the East Coast he returned to manage the Jabberwock for Bill "Jolly Blue" Ehlert when he moved across to San Francisco to run the Matrix. The name of the venue was changed from the Cabale to the Cabale Creamery in August of 1964.
Banjo player extraordinaire Sandy Rothman has written a brief but excellent memoir of the Cabale as part of a project on the great Clarence White, and Jorma Kaukonen recorded his album "Cabale Creamery" here in 1964.
When the Cabale finally folded, probably sometime in the summer of 1965, the 2504 San Pablo premises briefly became The Good Buddy then Caverns West before being taken over, by Terry Sullivan and Tony Sage, and re-opened as the Questing Beast on November 19. Subsequently it became Tito's and the Longbranch. Today the building houses a business called “Good Vibrations” (more Duracell than the Beach Boys).
Given how pivitol the Cabale was to the Bay Are folk music scene, very little has seemingly been written about it. Memories are scarse so any input we can get is good input.
1 month ago