Marin-based troubadour Jerry Hannan today and tonight will tip his hat to Portola, who in 1769 left San Diego with 50 men and 50 mules, sought Monterrey Bay — then only searchable by sea — and wound up camping under El Palo Alto the giant tree.
Today and tonight Hannan, who wrote a very listenable and listened to little ditty “Society” for Eddie Vedder and Sean Penn “Into the Wild” — about Alaska and the lack of good cafes in parts therein — will recreate that historic journey and mission, 244 years later. This time he is bringing a car, his girlfriend, a guitar, some sound reinforcement equipment (that is frankly, not necessary, but appreciated), and his Facebook, Twitter and URL fans, to 1926 Menalto in Menlo Park, near Palo Alto (in fact, both towns, in 2 different counties even, Santa Clara and in the instant matter San Mateo — both are named for Saints — both towns have monuments pre-dating tonight’s homage about Portola and his mules, and there is also a Bell in front of Sunset, the Magazine).
Jerry’s best songs are: “Society”, “Anna May” “Otto D. Tailer”, “You Can’t Smoke in Heaven”, “The A, B, C’s of Love”.
He has shared stages with, besides Earthwise (celebrating 20 years in service to God and Muses, “Earthwise@20” sometimes “earthXXise” although that tends to bring in the wrong element): Sean Hannan, Young Dubliners, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Sam Shepherd, Eddie Vedder, Charlie Hunter, the late Henry Moss, and others.
I met Jerry via Chris “Trouz” Cuevas (Charlie Hunter manager, wenet to high school with Kirk Hammett of Metallica and Les Claypool of Primus) when the three of us went to Chicago — where I was born, again — to try to get Tom Windish of the Windish Agency to sign and promote Jerry. Interestingly, to me at least, Danilo Perez and band, booked into Cubberley weeks later, but from Panama City, Panama were at Siegel’s Jazz Palace the very same night and I saw both shows. There is also a photo of the three of us, Hannan, Cuevas and Weiss after procuring identical Kenneth Cole carry-on bags — I still use mine and may bring it to the show tonight. The bag, I cannot seem to find the photo. This was 2000, October.
It’s an early show, tonight, at 7 p.m. and costs a mere $10, all ages welcome. Kathleen Daly are host is a delight and a mensch. She will likely make you a panini, but if you arrive well-fed, you can still try a Naia Bar gelato in these six flavors: Pistacchio, Blue Bottle Coffee, something red, something yellow, et cetera.
I am hoping to spend the bulk of the 10 hours remaining before showtime updating this post and personally emailing everyone my computer thinks knows you or your computer.
edit to add:
The Portolá expedition, consisting of 64 persons, set out from San Diego on July 14, 1769. The party included the following:
Portolá and servant (2); Rivera and servant (2); Fages and 6 or 7 Catalonian Volunteers (7-8); Costansó, the engineer (1); Ortega and 26 or 27 cuera soldiers (27-28); Indians from Baja California (15); muleteers (7); and Fathers Crespi and Gómez (2). Also, another good song Jerry does is “I Thought I Was You” (ed)
and1: we have not actually discussed it, and now at 9:34 there is exactly oh snap, Nick Gault basketball guru just bent my ear for an hour on all things round and rolling so there is now 8.5 hours left to get the word out on Brother Jerry. And come on by twice, at 7 an sometime in the counting down 8.5 for a cup of Joe from Zoe. And, oh yeah, two hours into this yet 7.5 before the hit, I did text our hero to suggest he learn, thematic to this post and marketing campaign, in honor of the Portolas “Where Yat Mule?” by Dr. John, a chestnut.