One year before the masthead.


Rancho Mantequilla-creative content celebrates first anniversary. Thank you followers.

The Charlatans. The band that started the whole hippie ballroom poster bohemia thing.


The Seed. 6/21/1965. Everything else came after. Art by Mike Ferguson, George Hunter–The Charlatans.


George Hunter, Richard Olsen, Mike Wilhelm, Dan Hicks, Michael Ferguson.

The Charlatans emerged out of San Francisco State University in early 1965. They packed up and drove to Virginia City, NV, an early bohemian scene that came together in June, when the Red Dog Saloon opened with a two week residency, direct from San Francisco, the limit of the marvelous–Charlatans.

The band honed their chops playing mostly blues and early rock&roll covers. Pianist, Michael Ferguson and singer/autoharp, George Hunter brought their home grown graphics back to SF, just as the Kesey Acid Tests were conceived by the Merry Pranksters, Chet Helms Family Dog, Owsley LSD, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane. At Longshoreman’s Hall, California Hall, Fillmore, Avalon. The poster art, Victorian fashion revival and music scene that followed all owe a debt to The Charlatans.

They never had a hit, they were considered passe by the end of the so-called Summer of Love. Dan Hicks went on to great success with his Hot Licks in the 70s. Mike Wilhelm was active throughout the post Charlatans years.  His band Loose Gravel continued the Charlatans style into the early 70s. Mike was also in The Flamin’ Groovies.


Early Family Dog. 1/8/66. Art by Ferguson/Hunter, The Charlatans.


Triptych of Family Dog Avalon Ballroom posters, 1967. Herb Greene photos.

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Charlatans 50th

The Charlatans 50th Anniversary Red Dog Saloon Reunion, Virginia City NV, 6/21/2015. © Final performance of The Charlatans. Also one of Dan Hicks last performances.



Earl Scruggs Revue at Thunderbird Bar, Placitas, NM. 1972.


Randy Scruggs, Buck Graves, Earl, Jody Maphis, Gary Scruggs. The Earl Scruggs Revue. Thunderbird Bar, Placitas, NM. ©1972 by Earl Scruggs is a hero. In 1969, he broke with Lester Flatt and formed the revue with sons Randy and Gary. Dobro great, Buck Graves left Flatt and Scruggs with Earl.

The Revue, 1972 Live at Kansas State U. With VASSAR CLEMENTS fiddle, Bob Wilson, piano.

Earl Scruggs broke all the molds and conservative political ties in 1960s Nashville when The Revue played the Vietnam Moratorium in Washington, DC. He quietly paved the way for a more open-minded American music and was quickly followed by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Commander Cody and a tidal wave of hippies with banjoes.

My band, Heart, played several weekend dates at the Thunderbird, in the Sandia foothills east of Bernalillo, halfway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Steve, Barry and Peaches of the Placitas commune (Geodesic domes still there. Barry and Peaches still there) opened the Thunderbird in 1969. It was a wild place in the early 70s. Pappy & Harriet’s, my local saloon is very reminiscent of the T-Bird. Middle of nowhere road house with live music, hippies, bikers. T-Bird began to book national touring acts in 1972, after they enlarged the music room, seen in the photo. I also saw Freddie King on this stage. Sadly my photos were bad. Freddie had one of the best blues bands ever. Thunderbird Bar burned to the ground around 1975. Placitas is a ritzy McAdobeMansion suburb now but the dome people still reside surrounded by the upscale Pueblo Moderne.

Earl Scruggs Revue was a delight. I’ve always called Earl, The Country Gentleman. He was for the banjo what Doc Watson was for the guitar. Naturally one of my favorite records is Flatt and Scruggs with Doc Watson -Strictly Instrumental.


Went on a joy ride with Neal Cassady driving Ann Murphy’s 52 Pontiac across Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, pedal-to-metal, broadsliding into the gravel lot in front of The Ark, right up to the door, where Neal leaps out, enters the Ark, leaving me stranded without even $1.50 admission in my pocket. Eventually hitched a ride back to Haight and Stanyan. One of the last times I saw Cassady but not the first time he ditched his less interesting amigos. 50th anniversary memoir continues.


Cassady and Murphy, 1963 ©Allen Ginsburg. Ann’s Pontiac.


12/26/66. ©Kelley/Mouse Studios.

The Saddest Day.

November 27, 1978. The Saddest Day. Peace. George Moscone, Harvey Milk.


San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 5, Harvey Milk in his City Hall office, September, 1978. Interview in  The San Francisco Gazette with my photos. Contact sheet view first publication 2016.



November 27, 1978. The Saddest Day. Peace. George Moscone, Harvey Milk.

Dan Nishimura’s powerful song about racism in the USA, WWII-style.


Dan Nishimura, right, with David and Zia Butterfield.

Dan Nishimura’s Home’s in California. Never more relevant than it is today. The song is about Dan’s family, US citizens, imprisoned for being of Japanese ancestry, during WWII. Even after the war was over, the US government  told  Dan’s parents they could not return to California. Click arrow to play

©1987 by Dan Nishimura. Sung by Dan, performed by The Poison Okies.

American citizens can expect more of the same and worse from Hitler II, Adolph Drumpf and his goons, Pence, Sessions, Giuliani, Bannon, Ailes and whoever else our new dictator scrapes from the bottom of the scum barrel.

Today’s disastrous news about Adolf Drumpf’s appointment of Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General should outrage all American citizens. I know  actor George Takei made a statement today about race biased internment of American citizens during World War II. The fascist statements and decisions by the President Elect and his enablers are unacceptable in the United States of America. The mere talk about internment, religious-based registries, deportation of ethnic minorities disqualifies Drumpf from holding public office

Play Home’s in California!” Play it loud. Share it.