Rock Historian To Share Rare Glimpse Into Local Music Scene
Hooked on Marin Speaker Series to Feature Rare Archival Video and Audio Footage From the 60s & 70s and Stories from Living Legends: Dan Hicks (of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks) and Former KSAN DJ and Actor Terry McGovern
Kentfield, CA — November 20, 2012 — The spectacularly creative rock ‘n’ roll explosion of the 60s and early 70s, which launched numerous Marin County-based rock virtuosos onto the international stage, is the topic of the last installment of the Hooked on Marin Speaker Series.
Marin County Rock ‘n’ Roll Music History
“It was a pretty unique time for me,” says Hicks, who was a drummer in a band called “The Charlatans,” before starting “Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks” in 1968, just about the time he moved from Haight Ashbury in San Francisco to a houseboat in Sausalito. Hicks, a longtime Marin County musician and American singer-songwriter, has performed through the evolution of Bay Area psychedelia to western swing. He remembers visiting McGovern during late night broadcasts on KSAN, the country’s preeminent underground FM rock station. KSAN was THE radio station of the era.
“We were progressive and we played real rock,” says McGovern who has since appeared in numerous Hollywood movies and launched the Marin Actors Workshop. “We were smug and very arrogant but we had these great musicians and these great bands that were accessible to us. We were the hippest station on the planet.” It was the time of the Symbionese Liberation Army who called the “people’s station” to warn of a pending bomb threat. “Our hair was longer, our memories shorter, life was simple and the music fed our soul,” McGovern says. “It was a great time to be alive.”
McGovern, who was a disc jockey on KSFO before moving to KSAN, was the first to broadcast in 1970 the song “Mill Valley” by local school teacher Rita Abrams. Third graders at Strawberry Point Elementary School in Mill Valley sang on the record. In the early 70s you could go into Caledonia Records on Bolinas Road in Fairfax and buy LPs from a friendly Irish couple, George and Violet Morrison, the parents of Van Morrison.
“Van brought them from his home in Belfast, Ireland and arranged for their jobs there,” says Unterberger, an award-winning author of nearly a dozen books on rock history. Unterberger will share about a dozen video or audio clips of local legends including Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, The Young Bloods, The Grateful Dead and, of course, the current incarnation of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks.
Hooked on Marin is a community based partnership comprised of Marin county public service agencies and educational districts collaborating to foster social, educational, and cultural enrichment opportunities in Marin, including College of Marin, Emeritus Students College of Marin (ESCOM); the Tamalpais Union High School District; and the towns of Larkspur, San Anselmo, and Corte Madera. Other events in the speaker series this year have included the Organic Movement and the Mountain Bike Revolution.