Office versus culture in Palo Alto

papaclaireethan
I am late for the City Council study session on water because I am reviewing the voluminous packet of letters regarding tonight’s later item about a Downtown Cap or a moratorium on office space.

I want to chime in, via this post, as a letter to Council and I will try to read this aloud, during my 3 minutes, that a specific type of retail that has been displaced is live music.

Here is a photo of a flyer for a concert series I produced, in 2004, at an art gallery, on the corner of Hamilton and Alma.

The series featured, it says here, Papa Mali, doing a Jerry Garcia Tribute, Claire Daly, Alexis Harte and Ethan Iverson, among others. Esbjorn Svensson appeared there, was later on the cover of Downbeat and sadly died in a scuba accident a year or two later, in his native Sweden.

The art gallery is now office space. For a real estate firm.

Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto

P.S. There are probably ten or more places downtown that hosted hard-ticket small and medium sized concerts between 1968 and 2004 or so, but I am hard-pressed to think of anything in the last 10 years.

edit to add: I did speak, based on this post, to Palo Alto City Council on Monday, March 23, 2015 around 8:30. I added the fact that I moderated a panel about the history of jazz here, and that the defunct venues came up there. I added the anecdote about Papa Mali, Malcolm Welbourne later meeting Billy Kreutzman (a Palo Altan, and founder of the Dead) later and forming 7 Walkers –I claimed that this humble series was like an incubator for new music, in this case, played a role. Here is Billy, Mali and others doing “Friend of the Devil”:

andand, the next day: The Examiner, probably based on CBS/KPIX had a cold-case story about Jerry Garcia losing a briefcase full of lyrics, in 1985, today and that spurred me to send the above to an archivist at UC Santa Cruz Nicholas Meriwether (and I also had a panic attack about whether I had mis-identified Papa Mali by confusing his name with that of the ubiquitous writer of pseudo-social-science.

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About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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