In late 1963, I had visited the Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco, which was located right in the heart of North Beach, a short walk down the alley behind Vesuvio's Coffee House which was next door across the alley from City Lights Bookstore.
I knew of the owner Muldoon as his ex-wife Bernie lived in Claremont. So I wanted to see his gallery.
In 1964, I had Muldoon's home address at an apartment in North Beach and impolitely went there to see him, he politely offered me a cup of Yerba Santa tea and apparently his gallery was closed and would not reopen until after the trial. "The trial?" I asked ....
I'll tell you a secret now that I've told no one else. I got to know Mick Jagger a bit a very long time ago. Like friends, we would pal around and go places, not very often, but once in awhile. To a movie. Or two. Out to eat. To a gallery. Nothing people would find very interesting.
When I first met Mick, I made a ridiculous first impression (as I usually do). A group of friends and I had decided to go to hear this new group the Rolling Stones over in San Bernardino in 1965. Tickets were five dollars. So there were benches kind of like a football stadium benches, with empty space behind them. Suddenly as we were sitting there, my friend said, "Oh, my purse!" and she noticed her purse was missing, must have fallen through the cracks down to the walkway far below. Someone would find that purse and steal it, so I dashed down the stairs into the hallway and ran towards the purse ... when I saw some uniformed guards kind of looking at me and starting to walk towards me like I was an opportunistic thief stealing the purse ... and I was pulling the purse towards me by the strap and I got it in hand and was at last holding it ... and the cops were walking towards me now ... and I was explaining, "This is my friend's purse, honest!" And the cops were walking faster towards me and I bumped into someone, who had longish hair, and I turned and thrust the purse into that person's arms, and said, "Hey, Linnie, here's your purse!!" Just then my friend appeared in front of us and skidded to a halt, and looked at the person holding her purse, and she said, "Oh, my purse .... THANKS! .... Wow .... hey .... helloo ...." like she was starting to flirt. I'd handed off the pass to Mick Jagger. He was out walking around checking out the crowd I guess. I didn't know who he was.
(Also an instrumental by Lloyd Kramer, so you can play that in your mind as you read along)
So I eventually got to know Mick Jagger a little bit, though I sometimes called him Linnie as a tease. Anyway, we talked about everything that was current or we found interesting. Music mostly, the haps, gossip, politics, books, etc. And I had small passing familiarity with show biz and radio and tv and such, enough to fill a thimble, really. But I wanted to show him there was something other than the Plastic America that I suspected he was being treated to on the circuit. I wanted to show him what was left of the beatniks. Like a living history tour.
So I think it was 1965 and the Vorpal had reopened and had the Kama Sutra exhibit reinstalled back in place and I was in the Bay Area for a bit, and "Linnie" appeared so I took him on a tour of North Beach. This was back in the days that he drove himself places. So he drove us over from Berkeley in a rental car, we saw the Vorpal, City Lights, Vesuvios, and walked through China town, where we stopped and looked at curios and where we stopped and had a small meal.
I ordered won ton soup and all he said during the meal was "You're going to get fat" (which ticked me off, because that was a snotty thing to say, especially when it might be true, and also in part I had ordered a bowl of soup as I planned to pay for it myself and I hadn't much money). Then I walked him all the way down to a little Chinese museum in China town and we went through that looking at the small exhibits, and then on the long walk back to the car, I suggested we stop into the Vorpal again to see the Boise sculptures as they were so rare. Which we did do.
And I was still a little miffed, and Mick was still ignoring me and lost in conversation with the clerk who was probably was trying to pick him up, and I peered at the tiny statuary and said, "Hey, these aren't very expensive, are they?" (Maybe I misread the teeny price tag of $400, or I had a speck of dust in my eye and thought I saw a decimal point), so I gathered three of the little pieces up and carried them to the counter and asked Mick if I could borrow some money "til I get home and get my allowance". Mick blanched. Of course we didn't get any of those statues, but I was strangely satisfied.
I'm fairly certain this was 1965.
This is the exciting world of rock and roll as I knew it.
Next time I'll tell you about our next "date", where we went to see a movie that Mick picked out himself. Bring your own no-doze.
(Or you can listen to Last Date by Sandy Bull. I kinda lied when I said I hadn't told anyone this story. Sandy thought it was funny.)
(1.16.12 In re-reading this, I realize I did not pick up the small sculptures. There were small signs on the display area asking people not to touch the delicate sculpture, like a museum's commands, so I had to beckon a person standing by the wall and point to them. I was, however, allowed to touch and even encouraged to touch and play the musical instrument Ron had fashioned which was also pushed back to a wall, as it tall as I remember)