Monday, 14 September 2009

Peter Voulkos Studio, 1306 3rd Street, Berkeley, CA

Peter Voulkos was a an accomplished potter and artist who taught at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 until his retirement in 1985. In the early sixties he shared at studio on Shattuck around Ashby with Jimmy Suzuki and another guy "that was going blind from Glaucoma". Jesse Cahn remembers when he first visited Peter Voulkos' studio in 1961 or 1962 "really big canvasses .... already decorating in Ballentine scotch bottles and girlie pix...".  Later Voulkos moved the 3rd Street off-Gilman studio ... "with poker and basketball and ....well.... you can imagine". Voulkos died February 16, 2002 in Bowling Green, Ohio - his art, and in particular his ceramic, are highly collectable.

On November 27, 1965 Voulkos hosted a performance by the Mystery Trend, a group from the San Francisco Art Institute scene and one of the founding father bands of the whole San Francisco Scene. The line-up of the Mystery Trend included San Francisco ceramicist Ron Nagle (vocals, clavinet), Bob Cuff (guitar, vocals), Larry Bennett (bass), and John Luby (drums, vocals). By all accounts named after a misinterpretation of the Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" line, "the mystery tramp", the Mystery Trend's musical legacy was the Verve single Johnny Was A Good Boy b/w House On The Hill released in March 1967. Subsequent archive releases include an EP released by the nice folk at Sundazed in 1996 and and album of studio recordings put out by Big Beat in 1999. Ron Nagle went on to perform with the Durocs and will be putting in a performance on September 24, 2009 for the opening of the "Somethin's Happening Here" exhibition at the Museum of performance and Design in San Francisco.

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