In Berkeley we can see music as well as hear it. I have a fair amount to say about the now-gone music scene in Berkeley, but this is different. Not music that we hear, but artistic depictions of music in one form or another. Let me show you what I mean, with a few residential photos. Most of my music photos are from businesses. Not these:
My favorite weathervane in Berkeley is this, a fiddler above the roof:
Now, mostly from businesses. I would be remiss if I didn’t at least nod to the gone but not forgotten Music City record store run by Ray Dobard:
Now for those that are still here:
And right on Telegraph:
I had never noticed the piano keys on the south end of Amoeba before I saw this postcard. When you drive by, there they are, obvious but not somewhere you would naturally look. If I only knew a photographer with a drone helicopter and Go-Pro camera I could get a great shot of this.
There is Rasputin with his instrument:
What a cool sign.
And Mark Bulwinkle’s sculptures at the original Rasputin’s, now Bear Basics, 2350 Telegraph.
Where there is music, there is dance:
I found two Elvises. I found Elvis twice. I found two different depictions of Elvis:
And this Very Good graf portrait of John Lennon on the east side of the railroad tracks just south of Addison:
It is not a great leap from the John Lennon graffiti portrait to murals. In fact, it is not a leap at all.
On Ellis, running north from Alcatraz:
On Telegraph, the main wall of the Willard School:
This is all that remains of a much larger mural celebrating music:
On University, just south of 10th Street, on the south side of University:
On Ashby, just west of Martin Luther King Way:
The western end of the 1980s fading mural on the Stuart Street side of Willard Middle School includes images of musicians as the counterpoint to the dystopian eastern end of the mural.
On San Pablo, a few blocks south of University, we find murals celebrating music of two cultures. First: Brazilian:
And finally two murals depicting musicians on Shattuck at the south end of Berkeley, from the Starry Plough and La Pena:
My friend leafed through the photos. He said, “Yes, we’ve seen some of these before, but not organized thematically here. Very thematic.”
He continued: “I know you won’t go to Oakland for photos but that doesn’t mean I can’t.” He sat down at my computer and in a matter of seconds added this photo:
The Uptown Club at 1928 Telegraph in Oakland. I know and love the sign. I think it is an ultimately cool name. My friend claims to have seen James Brown perform there. I doubt that claim, but I am happy to include his photo of an Oakland musical sign. We don’t have any giant guitar signs in Berkeley like some other places, as much as I might wish that we did.
At least that is what I thought. Until I found out that I was wrong. “I was wrong” are among my favorite words in the English language. Usually when somebody says them to me, but I really don’t mind being wrong.
It may not be as giant as some of the others, but I will take it for what it is. A Big Guitar;
What, pray tell, does he think of my thematic treatment of music here?