Something In The Music – Part 3
The name of the dance/concert hall ended up being The Sound Factory and it opened with great fanfare on June 28’th and 29’th , 1968 with Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Young Bloods and H.P. Lovecraft, all San Francisco acts. The summer rocked along and by August we’d booked Spirit, Steppenwolf, Country Joe and the Fish, The Chambers Brothers, lots of local bands and got a great deal on Pink Floyd who showed up a night early and played for a couple of hours for a captivated crowd of about ten people who were working the light show and the janitors! The sound of that band echoing in the empty hall was amazing; to this day I still can’t compare it to anything I’ve ever heard!!
However, our summer of love came to an abrupt end after the Pink Floyd show when it was discovered that the advertising executive had been pocketing money from his advertising agency and not paying the radio stations and other vendors. That put the breaks on big-time and we were forced to close. No money, no shows!
There was a scramble to find somebody with money who might want to step in and right the ship financially wise. I knew a married couple who had some money and managed a local band, Brotherhood Rush, so I talked to them and they wanted in so we re figured what we could and made plans to re-open because The Sound Factory had been rocking and people loved it. Then in the midst of planning we received another set-back.
The license had been in the ad excs name and as soon as the auto dealership and our other detractors found out they appealed to the city council for a new hearing on the license. We tried everything we could including several of us getting our hair cut in public to show our willingness to be cool and good neighbors, but they denied the dance license! They gave us a license to have gatherings but no dancing!
Ironically there had never been much dancing in the Sound Factory anyway, it was always crowded and people sat on the floor and dug the music and lights but the fact that we were now on a restricted license and working with a limited budget was slowly bringing us to our knees. The big agencies heard the news and were hesitant to offer their top acts for fear that we just might close.
People were confused as to whether we were open or not and after a final attempt to keep it going and negotiating to book Ten Years After and Jethro Tull for two final shows the doors sadly shut in March of 1969. All of the people who had been involved with the exciting opening and running of the Sound Factory felt let down, disappointed and disillusioned. What had been a great summer of incredible music and life went down under the weight of the Ides of March. It just wasn’t meant to be at that time.
For all of us, our great adventure came to an unexciting end. Personally for me, music seemed to lose something; its magic, but at the same time a Seattle Washington teenager by the name of Randy Hansen was finding something in the music; the magic, from listening to another Seattle Native Jimi Hendrix putting magic into it on the milestone album “Are You Experienced”! Little did I know that in a few years I’d meet that teenager who once again showed me there was something in the music; magic, just like Jimi Hendrix had shown me.