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My top San Francisco- Bay area bands.....


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SF critic Joel Selvin did a list in the Chronicle several years ago (1999). Here were his top 20:

1. Sly & Family Stone

2. CCR

3. Grateful Dead

4. Flamin' Groovies

5. Metallica

6. Jefferson Airplane

7. Santana

8. Tower of Power

9. Green Day

10. Moby Grape

11. Dead Kennedys

12. Sylvester

13. The Tubes

14. Primus

15. Neil Young

16. Chris Isaak

17. Tupac

18. Rancid

19. Van Morrison

20. Sons of Champlin

Of the other ones you guys listed above,

Beau Brummels - 52

Greg Kihn - 69

Journey - 29

Mojo Men - not in Top 100

Other notables - Jellyfish came in at #55, and The Rubinoos at #71

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Not seeing The Mojo Men listed in the top 100 isn't too surprising. They were quite obscure at best but there is a cd compilation availiable from Sundazed called "Sit down..Its The Mojo Men"

The band featured singer and drummer Jan Errico(female)who originally came from The Vejtables "I Still Love you", another local favorite at the time.

And.....no Quicksilver Messenger Service!?

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Neil Y. pretty much settled down in the Bay Area; he runs the annual Bridge Benefit shows.

Van M. was included by Selvin for the work he did while living in the Bay Area, from the early 70's to the early 80's, I'm guessing, starting with "Tupelo Honey". I agree - it's an odd call.

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I am REALLY groovin' on a few old Tower Of Power almost hits these days:

This Time It's Real


Don't Change Horses In The Middle Of The Stream

They'll never be as amazing as Sly (or Graham Central Station... which has to be high on my list) and I did manage the Rubinoos for a bit, so those are probably MY top 3... but check out those Tower Of Power titles. AMAZING.

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One of my all-time favorite bands, Huey Lewis and the News. Sure they may have been overplayed but sit and listen to those records as if hearing them for the first time. The musicianship, vocals, and arrangements are terrific. Oh yeah, they could write some pretty darn catchy tunes as well.

And Sammy Hagar, from nearby Marin County. First time I saw him was on Van Halen's 5150 tour. Blew me away.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Being originally from the Bay Area myself, I am quite familiar with most.

As for Tower of Power, they always play a tight set, and still do. For a while there, they had a revolving door of lead singers, but are now stable. Only weak spot for TOP is not any really good new material.

Let's not forget Pablo Cruise....they had some solid good-time music, until they had a variety of problems.

EarthQuake was really an underrated Bay Area band, and really deserve more credit. They were essentially the flagship band for Beserkley records, and then the Rubinoos, Kihn, etc. came on board afterwards.

I recommend their original "Tickler" and a good cover of "Friday on My Mind".

What about Steve Miller? Or Boz Scaggs? Both were longtime fixtures in the SF music scene.

And there is debate whether the Doobies(Santa Cruz area) or Night Ranger(Sacramento) are considered part of the SF scene.....

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Rich - The new, improved Magic Christian (with Eddie Munoz of The Plimsouls on bass and Clem Burke on drums, as well as Paul Kopf & Cyril) will be playing their debut shows with the new lineup on 9/21 (Seattle, the Comet Tavern), 9/22 (Portland, Dante's Inferno), and SF on 9/26 (Annie's Social club, formerly the Covered Wagon). They've recently been in the studio, trying to finally record their 2nd album.....

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Rich - Rumor has it they almost finished the 2nd album, with Alec Palao and Prairie Prince as the rhythm section, but Cyril wasn't happy with the results, and is re-recording everything with Eddie and Clem. They were on the verge of releasing a new CD single, "Tomorrow Never Comes" last Spring, but I believe only 12 copies were pressed. I'm still trying to get a copy from my various SF sources, but have been unsuccessful so far.

Mr. Jordan doesn't like to fly (I believe the Eastern-most show so far was in Austin last year during SXSW week), so the only way to catch the new band is to go out there....

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