Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lion’s Share, San Anselmo

Slightly off the beaten track for Berkeley, but hey. An article by Dale Curtis that appeared in the October 3-9, 1969 edition of the Berkeley Tribe:

Remember the little places? The coffee houses? The folk-rock bistros?

They were the spots where, for a reasonable cover (or none) you could get beer and wine and coffee and some of the finest music in the world the music that grew up and took over the Avalon and the Fillmore and the whole country as the "San Francisco Sound."

Most of those places have died off now, or priced themselves out of the market, leaving only nostalgia behind.

But. if you are one who remembers: Be Informed! The Lion’s Share Lives again in San Anselmo.

Mike Considine, who operated the Share in Sausalito in the mid sixties, is back in business. In those days he presented such top people as Sandy Bull (whose manager he used to be), the New Lost City Ramblers, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Dino Valenti, and Rejoice (which made its first public appearance there).

After a couple of years of good times like this, Considine suddenly found himself fighting in the Marin County Board of Supervisors and in the Sausalito City Council to keep from being evicted.

The main complaint from the neighbors was noise: but the understood beef was the longhaired types who hung out at the Share.

Considine and his friends packed the Sausalito Council meeting and convinced the village elders that he was not too noisy. They voted 50 to keep him open. Mysteriously, the next night the Lion's Share burned down.

That was in November of'68. There was no fire insurance on the place, and Considine was out of business. One of the REALLY GOOD little folk-rock places seemed gone forever.

Not so! The new Lion's Share, at 60 Red Hill Avenue, does its predecessor proud. It has only been open a couple of weeks operating on Considine's friendships and on goodwill instead of bread, but already the clean sounds of Rejoice, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, and ROM have been tilling the night air.
The atmosphere is dark with beam ceilings, brick walls, tiffany lamps and relaxed. There are some problems with the sound system, but none with the performers. Saturday night, for example, the bill included guitarist Jeffrey Cain, Universal Medicine, and Dan Hicks. All were smooth, accomplished acts that worked well with a surprisingly full house (there has been virtually no advertising thus tar.

At present, the Share's schedule goes like this: dark Monday and Tuesday, new groups and no cover on Wednesday and Sunday. $1.50 cover on Thursday, $2.00 cover Friday and Saturday when the more established groups perform.

To eat: pizza, sandwiches, wine, beer, cider et cetera.

It is definitely no tie (tie? what’s a tie?) Enjoy.

4 comments:

  1. Yes. thanks for the time machine. I was one of those hippie kids in Berkeley that was totally digging Commander Cody. The sound is still great. Ah, the days of Mandrakes, the New Monk and Provo Park. Any articles on those concerts. I remember the one with the Youngbloods.

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  2. It appears the place is now an optical shop. Wonder if they know Jerry Garcia played there in 1971. (I'm listening to the recording right now)

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  3. Given that the real greats like Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, and the Grateful Dead played here, the place should be something else than an "optical shop." Unless the locale offers a greater perspective, of course...

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  4. Hmmmm, talk about old times coming back. I used to tend bar at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo, and remember well all the good groups and times. I've always wondered what happened to Consadine...I know he talked about Thailand a lot...and assume he went there when it closed. I met one of my fellow bartenders from there about 15 years ago or so, and we talked about old times. Janice Joplin's wake was held there when I was working there, but I was, unfortunately, not one of the bartenders for the even. I remember Kris Kristofferson was there all the time back then, and met a lot of the great old bands and singers....Even had a drink there that I invented, the "Bill's Special".....good memories...Bill

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