The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


San Francisco Music Scene

1965

The Red Dog Saloon opens for business in Virginia City, Nevada, and the San Francisco-based Charlatans are the house band.

1965

The Matrix, a pizza parlor turned rock club, is opened by Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane. The still-legal hallucinogen LSD is sold at the bar.

1965

A Tribute to Dr. Strange, an evening of music, dance and light shows, is organized by pioneering promoters the Family Dog. Performing at the event are the Jefferson Airplane, the Charlatans and the Great Society.

1965

Bill Graham presents his first show, a benefit for the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

1965

Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters throw the first Acid Test - a chaotic party spiked with psychedelic drugs - in San Jose. The Grateful Dead, then known as the Warlocks, provide the music.

1966

The Psychedelic Shop opens in Haight-Ashbury, selling books, records, roach clips and other accouterments of the hippie lifestyle. Ken Kesey plans, and Bill Graham supervises, the Trips Festival: three days of concerts, films, readings and lights.

1966

Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Jefferson Airplane headline the Tribal Stomp.

1966

A new federal law make possession of LSD illegal.

1967

The Human Be-In, subtitled A Gathering of the Tribes, is held in Golden Gate Park, drawing an estimated 20,000. “Hello Hello” by Sopwith Camel becomes the first single by a San Francisco band to break the Top Forty.

1967

The Gray Line tour company announces the Hippie Hop, a bus trip through Haight-Ashbury for curious tourists.

1967

The Monterey Pop Festival and the film, Monterey Pop, provide a showcase for some of the best of the San Francisco bands.

1967

Beatle George Harrison and his wife, Patti, stroll through the streets of Haight-Ashbury, bringing more international attention to the scene.

1968

Bill Graham takes over the Carousel - a club jointly owned by the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead - and re-christens it the Fillmore West.

1969

A free concert organized by the Rolling Stones turns ugly at Altamont Speedway, outside San Francisco. Sets are disrupted by violence from Hell’s Angels. Marty Balin is knocked unconscious and a concet-goer is stabbed to death.