Tuesday, December 22, 2009

October 26, 1966 North Face Ski Shop, Broadway, San Francisco Grateful Dead


The North Face Ski Shop was a hip boutique on Broadway in North Beach, right next to Carol Doda and The Condor. The North Face pioneered expensive sports wear as everyday wear for the active groovy person, like Eddie Bauer or Esprit. In fact, the founders of The North Face, Doug and Susie Tompkins, went on to found Esprit, which they sold in 1990 for a substantial amount of money. Initially a mail order company, they opened stores in North Beach and Stanford Shopping Center in 1966, showing their uncanny knack for anticipating markets.

At the North Beach store, the Grateful Dead apparently played, along with a fashion show featuring Joan Baez and Mimi Farina. I assume they just played a few numbers. It was a Wednesday, and while North Beach was pretty raucous they probably had some informal limit on how long they could make noise in a non-approved venue. Nonetheless, the mixture of cool fashion for young people and cool bands for young people is a winner which gets you into the Society Pages. Here is a photo of the event from the October 31, 1966 San Francisco Chronicle, which features Mrs. George Fox, "Pigpen" of the Grateful Dead, Mrs. Doug Tompkins and Peggy Knickerbocker. Mr. Pen does not seem to be wearing North Face apparel, but he seems to be enjoying himself, sort of.

8 comments:

  1. How great to finally get some info on what this show was all about. And thanks for pinpointing it so accurately - I wasn't sure exactly where it was before. So was it in what is now Big Al's adult bookstore?

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  2. Well, the Condor was on Broadway and Columbus, but on a different corner than Pierre's. I'm not sure of the exact address of North Face. I'll try and look into that.

    Peggy Knickerbocker can be googled quite easily, but she says nothing on her site about Mr. Pen.

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  3. The North Face Ski Shop was at 308 Columbus - which is now Taqueria el Zorro. There were at least a couple of other shows there - one featuring Steve Miller with what might be a contender for the worst psychedelic poster of all time. Ross

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  4. It turns out that The North Facehas perpetual history!That is a surprise!

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  5. The photo is great! Pig looks like a cardboard cut-out...

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