This is a detail of a drawing offered by the lovely Annie Pletz of Berkeley regarding TLPW456, the initiative to revive the historic and beloved Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto. The drawing actually shows a bass player performing under a proscenium and there is a label PALO ALTO NEEDS MUSIC. I met Annie during the breaks of the recent Woody Guthrie tribute by Country Joe McDonald at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Annie volunteers there and she said she is studying bass. Meeting her and perhaps being too moved by Country Joe channeling Woody Guthrie I had a notion of starting a band with Ms. Pletz called Fcak (pronounced “fake”) that would do nothing but cover the music of Sacramento’s Cake, arranged for acoustic bass and vibraslap/vocals. I had the idea before but had never pictured any particular personnel.
Steve Baker of Freight and Salvage said he would tour 456 University and offer encouragement or sage advice on the initiative but said that his soccer-loving son fractured a foot and that displaced his Palo Alto visit from his schedule. Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene said he was in Berkeley during the time period that Freight and Salvage raised the $13 million to relocate and expand, so he agrees it is some kind of precedent to what could happen here.
I subscribe to the Horton Hears a Who theory that the more people who offer utterances, ideas, and happy thoughts about a musical future for 456 University could someday add up to actual progress. Thanks, Annie for your offering and keep up the good work! (Fcak will have to wait. Oh that there were world enough and time…)