Places of rock ‘n’ roll interest

Creative Commons / Urban Haight-Ashbury

The Haight-Ashbury district became world renowned in the 1960s as the centre of the counterculture and hippie movements. The area quickly became synonymous with ‘The Summer of Love’, psychedelic rock and ‘free love’ and still holds onto that legacy dearly today.

While the earlier bohemians of the beatnik movement had largely congregated around San Francisco’s North Beach neighbourhood from the late 1950s, many who could not find accommodation there turned to the quaint, relatively cheap and then underpopulated Haight-Ashbury. From then on, it quickly established itself as the centre of the San Francisco Renaissance and the rise if drug culture and rock-and-roll lifestyle.

In 1967 Haight-Ashbury’s fame reached its peak as it became the haven for a number of the top psychedelic rock performers and groups of the time. Acts like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin all lived a short distance from the now famous intersection. The area was immortalised in song- namely Scott McKenzie’s ‘San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)’- and many of the local bands and artists would become household names across America and much of the Western world due to the increasing media interest in the hippie phenomenon.

It should go without saying that a rock ‘n’ roll road trip to San Francisco is not complete without a visit to the legendary Haight-Ashbury district.

Location: San Francisco, California, USA


Creative Commons / Rob Lee

 The ‘Grateful Dead House’

Committed Deadheads might want to seek out number this adress on a trip through the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, as it is where arguably the most legendary of all the city’s psychedelic rock bands resided in the late 1960s.

Yes, The Grateful Dead themselves lived at this very address from 1966 until 1968, and the house became a celebrated part of the Jerry Garcia-led band’s history, featuring in a number of pictorials of the band on the steps as well as being the subject of an infamous drug bust in 1967, at the height of the ‘Summer of Love’.

Of course, it should be noted that the house is still resided in today, and visitors to the area keen to take a snapshot should be respectful of the current occupants rights and privacy. Nonetheless, a few photos outside this noted address in the daylight should not be a problem at all.

Location: 710 Ashbury Street, San Francisco, California, USA 94117


‘Airplane House’ Creative Commons / binkle_28

The Grateful Dead aren’t the only band to have set up camp in the Haight-Ashbury district. The Grace Slick led Jefferson Airplane also resided here, just across from the Golden Gate Park at 2400 Fulton Street,  a mansion which came to be known simply as ‘Airplane House’.

Soon after moving in the band made the decision to paint the exterior of the mansion black (perhaps through listening to the The Rolling Stones’ song too much), and the address soon became notorious for its wild parties as well as becoming synonymous with the whole hippie movement. ‘Airplane House’ got its full recognition for its place in Jefferson Airplane history when the greatest hits album 2400 Fulton Street was released in 1987.

Location: 2400 Fulton Street, San Francisco, California, USA 94118


Janis Joplin’s apartment

Creative Commons / Chris Carlsson

Another former home of a now world famous musician, this impressive Victorian on 112 Lyon Street was the place where the late singer-songwriter Janis Joplin used to reside.

Joplin, of Big Brother And The Holding Company and solo fame, lived here during the height of the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967 and was regularly sighted on the steps and balcony of the house or walking her beloved dog up and down the Haight.

Rumours abound that the bedroom here was virtually a swinging door, with Joplin’s famed sexual appetite for both men and women.

And of course, lots of parties, drinks and drugs were had here.

Location: 112 Lyon Street, San Francisco, California, USA 94117


Featured image courtesy of blupics