Tag Archives: Marin

The Company-of-Foote!

Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote!

Once again, the bug in wordpress’ save function forced us to publish…

at The Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)
at Black Point Forest, Novato in Marin County, California


Sir Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’83 at Black Point, Novato in Marin County, California

“Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.”
-Pistol (“The Merry Wives of Windsor” Act 2, scene ii by William Shakespeare)

Company of Foote 2

Worthington’s Company-of-Foote RPFN ’84

This Blog is about the magical Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point Forest, Novato, in Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco, in the early to late 1980’s, produced by The Living History Centre (LHC) and the College of Renaissance Delights).


“Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!” at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (North)

We have written about the Renaissance Faire before. You can read the previous Blogs “Phyllis Patterson RIP She Changed My Life” and “Return to the Paramount Ranch”, (and see pictures of) the old Southern Faire Site in Agoura.


“Make Ye Way! Make Ye Way!”

In 1582, journeyman monger Eric Bacon left his home in Chipping-under-Oakwood and joined Nicholas Worthington’s Company-of-Foote mercenary soldiers. He went to Flanders to fight the Spanish and on his return to the Shire he faithfully served her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth for two more years (1583-84) as a Royal Guard and Chair Bearer during the Queen’s Progress through the annual Harvest Faire. “G-d Save The Queen!”


Eric Bacon left Worthington’s Company-of-Foote honorably after the 1584 Harvest Faire. He joined The Fool’s Guild, became a follower of St. Stupid, and also “served” as the Lord Mayor’s Fool. For several years he was often seen walking the streets and wandering throughout the Shire after dark looking for trouble. He mysteriously vanished into the Woods of Holly in 1588, never to be seen again.


In Spring of 1980 we were introduced to the fun of working at the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Southern California by an older high school friend. In late summer of 1981, we began “carpool” commuting each weekend from Los Angeles to Marin County to visit and work at the Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire at Black Point, Novato in Summer (and still working at the Southern Faire in Spring) as a street actor.

Costume Crew

In 1982, we were first hired as an hourly CREW employee by the Costume Department for a promotional fashion show at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood. We worked for the CREW Costume Department and continued to perform as a street actor first with the Mongers, and then with the Company-of-Foote, at the Northern Faire until 1985 when we began working for the Security Department as well as Costumes.


When we moved to Santa Cruz for college we commuted to both the Northern and Southern Faire (and also the Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and Pier 45 in San Francisco) and we continued working for Living History Centre Security and Costume Departments until we graduated. We moved to Novato after college and worked the Northern Faire one more season in 1988, before moving back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. We continued to work Security at the Southern Renaissance Faire until 1994. We worked as a Walking Guard, Night Security, a Walking Lieutenant, Mobile Security (during the week on the Northern Lot in 1987), and then as Night Security and as the Front Gate Lieutenant after the Southern Faire moved from the Paramount Ranch in Agoura to Glen Helen Regional Park in Devore (San Bernadino), California in 1990.


The Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato


Company-of-Foote Morning Muster and Drill at the “Front of Faire”



The Elizabethan Cottage (Before) at the “Front of Faire”

Living History! Live Interactive Street Theatre! Hundreds of Costumed Performers!
The centerpiece of the the Northern Renaissance Faire was the daily parade, the “Queen’s Progress Through The Shire” to the Ben Johnson Stage for “The Queen Show” at 3pm each afternoon. Beginning at the Red Barn in the “Front of Faire”, Queen Elizabeth and her retainers would be joined by the Town Criers, the ER Band, the Nobles from the Royal Court, the Scots, the Irish, the Germans and the Guild of St. Cuthbert’s. Queen Elizabeth would be carried in “the Tudor Sedan” and guarded by the Company-of-Foote through the dense crowd to the stage. After the stage show, the Queen would continue with the parade to another destination within the Faire and/or return to the Red Barn staging area. On a few rare occasions we carried the Queen all the way through the Fairesite to “The End of The World” Alestand and back.




Guardshack – Black Point Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

This was written for the original fb photo album a few years ago:
“RPFN early 80s – I’m not sure how it happened but I blame Pugsly. I’m marching in the parking lot at Blackpoint dressed in blue and carrying a pike wheeling to the left and right. It’s hot. It’s dusty. How did this happen to me at the Faire? So I marched with the company ’82-’84? I was a rear wheel on the Tudor Sedan for the hottest summer in history (actually two years). Rory and I both agreed that there’s no better workout at the Faire than carrying the Queen from the Red Barn to the End of The World and back in 100 degree heat! For my time with the Company-of-Foote, I must admit it was a great time with great people and lots of great fun (from what I can remember). So for those who were there, THANK YOU! For those who came later or missed the party, here are some pics I collected from others. And for those who are no longer with us, you are missed and remembered by your friend and comrades in arms.” – JoshWillTravel


“Murph and the Magictones” The ER Band


“Huzzah! Huzzah! The Queen!”


The Art of Burlap Over “The Serpentine” (from above)












“Long Live The Queen!”


“Well met, Good Gentles! Well met!”


“G-d Save the Queen!”






Ben Johnson Stage from Alestand 3



“The Golden Hind” at the Ben Johnson Stage

(“Our Shire Welcomes The Queen” on the Ben Johnson Stage at Three O’the Clock!)



Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth



“Parade Rest!” Hurry Up, Then Wait.


Big Shout Out To All The Water Bearers and Support People!






Nicholas Worthington & the Landsknecte (colorful German mercenary soldiers)





“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Gone Too Soon! Our COF Friends who have gone on to “Sky-Faire” before us:
Auntie, Gleb Perfiloff, Charles Sanders, Thomas Willey, Robin Wadsworth RIP


Many more of our dear Friends from the Renaissance Pleasure Faire have gone on to “Sky-Faire” too soon! We remember them all and there are too many to list here!

The “Neenster” wouldn’t be happy if we did a Blog about Northern Faire and didn’t include this amazing picture. It was taken at Monday Brunch on the lot while we were waiting for steak & eggs (as Reggie and Michael look on).


“Neenster” RIP at Monday Brunch

And here’s a group pic of the Security CREW from “way back” (1985):


Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Black Point is another place that is on the list of “Things That Aren’t There Anymore”, the land was sold and developed, and now there is another fine golf course and private community of multi-million dollar homes on the old Northern Faire Site.


“Hay-Foote, Hay-Foote!”

NOTE: FULL DISCLOSURE! None of the pictures in this Blog post are mine! (Well, okay there are a couple…) They were ripped from the interweb over the years to remind us of the past and now have been used to illustrate our story. Not all of the pics are from the 1983-84 period, again they are used with “artistic license” to visually tell the tale. They are included for educational purposes only and not for commercial gain. BIG THANKS to all the photographers, if you want credit pm me. Also, as a member of the Costume CREW, these pictures are a part of my professional resumé as well as my personal history.

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Updated May 21, 2020: (thank you Jason)

Company of Foote was an old pike unit that had cashed in its pikes for muskets,
and gone tear-assing
around the low country looking for the shit.
They’ve given Spanish a few surprises in their time here.
What they were mopping up now
 hadn’t even happened an hour ago.

-“Never get out of the Tudor Sedan.”

Fog on the Golden Gate Bridge! August Road Trip to Oregon!


Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin county to San Francisco on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.


Fog on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Fog on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Well, it was a beautiful day in Marin with great weather and blue skies. San Francisco was totally “socked in” in the fog as soon as you hit the Rainbow tunnel. I love that the tourists still walk the bridge with almost zero visibility.

There is still a toll to enter the city from Marin, and they don’t take cash or have toll takers! You have to pay by “fasttrak” or by credit card online, otherwise they’ll invoice you…. F*CKERS! (another reason to hate San Francisco)

I have returned from my August 2015 Road Trip to Ashland, Oregon. On the return trip, I decided to cut over to the coast on Saturday afternoon through Marin and San Francisco and take Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz.

Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1

Beach on the Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1

Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1

Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1

Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1

Pacific Ocean south of Pacifica on Highway 1



All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel




Road Trip - Rest Stop at Sunset on Saturday

Road Trip – Rest Stop at Sunset on Saturday



“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell! If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

“Fare Thee Well” = Go to Hell!

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper (and threaten him with violence) on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve plus service charges).

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead! Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Band from Palo Alto became The Warlocks and they became The Grateful Dead in 1965.

The Grateful Dead early 70s

The Grateful Dead early 70s

So to CASH IN on the anniversary, the “Core Four” (Bobby, Phil, Bill and Mickey) and promoter Peter Shapiro, have resurrected the band name, retired after Jerry’s death in 1995, and announced three “final” shows at Soldier Field in Chicago 4th of July weekend.*


1. There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia.

2. Chicago in July on 4th of July weekend? WRONG.

3. Only 3 shows in Chicago… (rumors of additional shows in Santa Clara and New York at the end of June without Phil and Trey are currently circulating)

4. Trey from Phish. WRONG.

5. No Camping in Chicago on 4th of July weekend? Where are 200,000 people going to sleep?

6. Ticket availability and pricing. Mail Order. Ticket Master. VIP packages. CASH GRAB.

7. Ticket scalping. Chicago Bears ticket holders. StubHub. CASH GRAB.

(see the article at the bottom of the Blog for all the GREEDY DETAILS)

8. Phish heads = “In-the-Dark heads”. WRONG. JUST WRONG.

9. All the ingredients for a “Bad Trip”. It’s not about the music or the fans, it’s a CASH GRAB and all about MONEY. How much will you “pay-per-view”?

10. Complete SELL OUT and CASH GRAB! What Would Jerry Do?

“Come hear Uncle John’s Band by the riverside…”

There is no Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia. PERIOD. END OF STORY.

NOTE: Historically, the Chicago Police and the Illinois State Police have a bad record with “hippies” and Grateful Dead fans. Why wasn’t a state where marijuana is legal chosen?

The Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

NOTE: I saw The Dead in May, 2009 at the Forum in Los Angeles with Warren Haynes and it was cool, but it was not the Grateful Dead.


It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Good Ol’ Grateful Dead!


I got on the bus in the late 70s. Dad was in the music business. I discovered American Beauty and Skull & Roses among the Warner Brothers promotional albums that were delivered to the house. I was a rebellious young teenager, and it was just after the Grateful Dead’s historic trip to Egypt, the Closing of Winterland and “The Grateful Dead Movie” and before the 15th Anniversary shows at the Warfield and Radio City Music Hall, that I became a fan.

Before the internet, it was a simple message inside the Skull & Roses album liner notes:

“DEAD FREAKS UNITE: Who are you? Where are you? How are you?
Send us your name and address and we’ll keep you informed.
Dead Heads, P.O. Box 1065, San Rafael, California 94901.”

The first live show I saw was December 13, 1980** at the Long Beach Arena. I remember the Grateful Dead played a full acoustic set before playing two electric sets, but I don’t find any mention of the acoustic set in the historical record.

Feel Like a Stranger, Sugaree, C.C. Rider, To Lay Me Down, New Minglewood Blues, Ramble on Rose, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Deal

Scarlet Begonias, Fire on the Mountain, Playin’ in the Band, Drums, Not Fade Away, Black Peter, Sugar Magnolia

Encore: One More Saturday Night

I saw some amazing shows! New Year’s Eve 83-84 with The Band and 84-85 with the Neville Brothers at the San Francisco Civic (now Bill Graham Memorial) Auditorium, New Year’s Eve 85-86 at Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium, the Marin Benefit shows, Chinese New Year 85 & 86, Anaheim 87 with Dylan, Santa Cruz/Watsonville 84, Ventura 82-83-84-85, UCLA 82, Laguna Seca 87, the Greek Theater 84 “Darkstar” and many more. I also saw the Jerry Garcia Band at The Stone in San Francisco a few times back in the 80s.

Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Some of my Grateful Dead ticket stubs (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I went to college at UC Santa Cruz and connected with fellow Deadheads there. We had a connection to first generation soundboard tapes 83-85. I became friends with Bob Thomas through friends at the Renaissance Faire and developed a list of one-named deadhead friends: Leo from Berkeley, Shorty from UMass, Jim from Santa Cruz, Dave from Humboldt, Robert & Frannie from Willets, and many others. I never met any of the band members in person, but I would see Phil’s red BMW and Bobby’s Corvette when I lived in Marin. And I did meet Grace Slick once at the movies at Larkspur Landing.

Remember cassette tapes?

Remember cassette tapes? This was how you heard live shows before the internet.

I lost it a little when Jerry got busted in Golden Gate Park for heroin. I pretty much stopped going to shows after 1988, when the crowd was overrun by ignorant “In-the-Darkheads”, and everyone was selling something instead of sharing the experience. I was saddened and disappointed by Brent’s overdose in 1990, such a waste….

The last Grateful Dead show I saw was December 18, 1994 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. We sat behind the stage and watched Jerry “recharge” backstage during the breaks in the show.

Touch of Grey, Greatest Story Ever Told, Althea, Walkin’ Blues, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, El Paso, Loose Lucy, Let It Grow

Victim or the Crime, Crazy Fingers, Playing in the Band, Terrapin Station, Drums, Space (aborted Spanish Jam), This Might Be The Last Time, Attics of My Life, Johnny B. Goode

Encore: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Jerry died in 1995 and the Grateful Dead as a performing band died with him.

p.s.  If Bill Graham were alive he would kick the sh*t out of Peter Shapiro.

In December 1983, I sat on the sidewalk before one of the New Year’s shows and watched Bill Graham yell at a scalper on the street corner in front of the San Francisco Civic Auditorium for selling tickets above face value (which was $15 for each of the 3 shows and $20 on New Year’s Eve).

**I actually first saw the Grateful Dead live around 1970 when I was taken to an outdoor festival by my parents, but it’s just a hazy memory of childhood now.





Ladies and gentlemen, not the Grateful Dead by Stuart Sallo

“that’s the Grateful Dead I want to remember, not a cover band that happens to have some of the original members, and certainly not a musical spectacle that serves big-moneyed interests, such as Ticketmaster, StubHub, eBay, the City of Chicago and whatever other corporate entities are in on this colossal rip off.”



Jerry RIP

Jerry RIP

UPDATED 6 April 2015: This was posted on ebay!

DO NOT PAY SCALPER PRICES! BUY IN JUNE  Keep these auctions at 0 bids!! Scalpers are holding on to their better seats to sell later after they liquidate the crappy ones. Dead Heads stick together and wait until June, there will be lots of tickets available. Many Heads will receive their tickets and realize they can’t go and sell for a fair price. Scalper Scum will also have a ton left to sell. All these scalpers are scattered throughout the country, they will not be coming to Soldier Field to peddle them outside the stadium, they will need them sold before show dates. Most Dead Heads are NOT buying at these inflated and outrageous prices. Only a handful of people with what seems to be more money than brains are buying. Almost all auctions are ending unsold and have to be re-posted. Stub Hub have 851 more tickets to sell today than they did on March 7!! 254 more tickets on StubHub in just 3 days!!! Even with some sold, more are now for sale, does that tell you something, inventory is growing!!

More tickets, better seats, and lower prices will be what follows over the course of time. We just need to remain calm and good things will follow. Dead Heads did NOT pay over face value for 30 years when Jerry was alive, let’s not start now. Maybe a small premium but that is it. Honor Jerry and the band, we WILL get tickets. Teach the Scalper Scum that you don’t mess with Dead Heads!!

READ THE “HAPPY JERRY DAY” BLOG>> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1g1

UPDATE 12-2-2016: editing old drafts that never got published I found this:

Fare Thee Well – Not the Grateful Dead, but an incredible simulation!

“What a long strange trip it’s been!”

The farewell concerts! Two shows in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium (San Jose) in the San Francisco Bay Area and three shows in Chicago at Soldier Field.

I had the urge to jump in the car and drive to San Jose, but “real life” obligations prevented it from happening. My friends live 15 minutes from the stadium and by most reports, I could have scored tickets for both shows cheap. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

Funny thing about Chicago: My father’s family has a reunion and picnic every 5 years in Lincoln Park in Chicago on the 4th of July weekend. It’s been family tradition since the 1920’s, and it was scheduled for this year. So when the concerts were announced in February, we already had an invitation and a group rate at a hotel close to Soldier Field. But after much consideration, we decided not to make the trip and/or pay the high ticket prices. No regrets? Hmmmmm…..

I also decided not to spend $100 on the five show internet stream broadcast or $30 on the “pay-per-view” 4th of July broadcast. Instead I listened to a FREE live audio stream on UStream and another on Mixlr (and on SiriusXM Grateful Dead channel which I have in the car). I also saw some of the Santa Clara video broadcast on a “bootleg” stream and then watched the post-show videos on Youtube.

I miss Jerry and Brent! Bobby was alway a great #2 guy, but he can’t lead the band. Phil Lesh is one of the greatest bass guitar players in rock and roll history, but he can’t sing!

Bruce Hornsby played with the Grateful Dead for a couple years in the 90s and he can sing. Jeff Chimenti is a great keyboard player, but neither can play or sing like Brent.

Now I’m going to talk about Trey Anastasio from Phish and the choice to have him play with the band, so Phish-heads and Trey fans get ready….

Trey did a good job playing in the band for these shows, but he’s no Jerry Garcia. I’ve never really been a big Phish or Trey fan. I always thought it was a place where “In-The-Dark-heads” went after Jerry died and the Grateful Dead decided to quit without him. There are other guitar players who know the music better and play more of a “Jerry style” than Trey. I saw The Dead in 2009 with Warren Haynes and it was cool but it wasn’t the Grateful Dead, just like this time around. Trey doesn’t have the experience of jamming with the “core four” for years and has a different musical style.

Robin Williams – RIP?

Don’t try suicide!
It doesn’t solve anything.
You just make a mess.

Reports are that Robin Williams is dead. Conflicting reports say it’s a hoax.

Regardless, don’t kill yourself.


UPDATE: Robin Williams RIP

May the Four Winds blow you safely home.

Robin Williams RIP

Robin Williams RIP at the Renaissance Faire in Novato, CA – mid 1980s

Rosemary’s awesome pic! Check out her other photographs and art!




Happy Jerry Day!

Happy Jerry Day!

Today, August 1st is Jerry Garcia’s Birthday!

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia aka Captain Trips – Late 60’s

Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia  August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995

Garcia performed with the Grateful Dead as lead guitarist, principal vocalist and one of the songwriter for their entire career (1965–1995). Garcia also played with the Saunders-Garcia Band (with longtime friend Merl Saunders), the Jerry Garcia Band, Old and in the Way, with David Grisman as the Garcia/Grisman acoustic duo, the Legion of Mary, the New Riders of the Purple Sage (Garcia co-founded NRPS with John Dawson and David Nelson) and sat in on sessions with other artists (most notably Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’ “Deja Vu” album, he plays the pedal steel guitar on “Teach Your Children”).

Dancing in the Streets - Haight Ashbury 1967

Dancing in the Streets! – Free Concert Haight Ashbury 1967

Jerry was well known for his distinctive guitar playing and ranked 13th in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and ranked the Grateful Dead No. 57 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Garcia is “the most recorded guitarist in history. With more than 2,200 Grateful Dead concerts, and 1,000 Jerry Garcia Band concerts captured on tape – as well as numerous studio sessions – there are about 15,000 hours of his guitar work preserved for the ages.”

photo by Baron Wolman 1969

Jerry Garcia – photo by Baron Wolman 1969

The Grateful Dead played at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in 1969 but their set was cut short because of weather, intoxication, and electrical problems. The band cut the set short after the stage amps overloaded during a 38 minute “Turn On Your Love Light”

The Grateful Dead at Woodstock August 16, 1969 from the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/gd69-08-16.sbd.cotsman.15205.sbeok.shnf )

While The Grateful Dead did perform and were filmed for the “Woodstock” movie (Jerry can be seen in brief interviews), at the band’s insistence, the footage was never used. The 40thAnniversary version of the film includes a reasonably edited “Turn on Your Lovelight” and “Mama Tried” in bonus material.

The Grateful Dead were also on the bill for the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont on December 6, 1969. the band was there and was scheduled to play between Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Stones but cancelled and didn’t play. They left the speedway after Jefferson Airplane’s guitarist Marty Balin was beaten unconcious by the Hell’s Angels.

The Grateful Dead at Watkins Glen Raceway, New York  July 28, 1973

The Grateful Dead at Watkins Glen, New York 1973

The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen once held the Guinness World Record for “Largest audience at a pop festival”  when approximately 600,000 rock fans gathered at Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway in New York on July 28, 1973. The Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead and The Band performed. In 2013, the grounds crew stumbled across a group of abandoned cars from the 1973 Summer Jam concert that had been hiding in the woods for 40 years.

The Grateful Dead Movie 1977 directed by Jerry Garcia

The Grateful Dead Movie directed by Jerry Garcia

The Grateful Dead Movie from 1977 was directed by Jerry Garcia. The film captures live performances from the band’s October 1974 five-night stand at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and features the massive “Wall of Sound” audio system used in 1974.

Jerry Garcia - Egypt 1978

Jerry Garcia – Egypt 1978

In September 1978, the Grateful Dead performed three shows at the Sound and Light Theater in the shadow of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid in Giza, Egypt. The band donated all the proceeds to the country’s Department of Antiquities, which preserves Egypt’s ancient wonders. Fans from all over the world traveled to Egypt and for the last show on Sept. 16, they witnessed a total lunar eclipse during the concert.

The Dead recorded all three nights with the intention of putting out a live album, but technical problems ruined the tapes from the first date and much of the second. In 2008, they released “Rocking the Cradle: Egypt 1978” a two-CD/DVD box set of the best performances from the last two nights.

From "High Times" 1980

From “High Times” 1980

In September-October 1980, the Grateful Dead played three sets during their concert performances, one acoustic followed by two electric sets. The acoustic sets were the first the band had performed since the early ’70s. The tour played 15 shows at The Warfield in San Francisco, 2 shows at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, and 8 shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The following year, songs from the tour were released as two live albums, the all-acoustic Reckoning and the all-electric Dead Set.

Dead Ahead is a concert video by the Grateful Dead. It was recorded at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on October 30 and October 31, 1980, and released in 1981. An expanded version was released in 2005.

Here’s the full Halloween concert from Radio City 10-31-80 on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYEE5mgEOY

Jerry Garcia in concert - 1985

Jerry Garcia in concert – 1985 by an unknown photographer

Jerry battled heroin addiction in the 80s and again in the 90s, getting busted in Golden Gate park in 1985 and then slipping into a diabetic coma and almost dying in 1986. The coma forced him to relearn how to play the guitar, as well as other, more basic skills.

The song “Touch of Grey” is from the album In the Dark and is known for its refrain “I will get by / I will survive”. The music was composed by Jerry Garcia, the lyrics written by Robert Hunter. It was also released as a music video, the first one by the Grateful Dead. First performed as an encore on September 15, 1982 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, it was finally released on In the Dark in 1987. The song got into the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 9, and reached number 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the only song by the band ever to do so on both charts.

The music video for “Touch of Grey” gained major airplay on MTV and featured a live performance by the band, first as life-size skeleton marionettes, then as themselves live on stage. The video was directed by Gary Gutierrez, who had previously created the animation sequences for The Grateful Dead Movie. The popularity of the single and the music video helped introduce the band to a new group of fans (known as the “in-the-darkheads”), resulting in the band gaining mainstream attention for better and worse.

Also in 1987, the live album Dylan & the Dead was recorded during a successful stadium tour with Bob Dylan. It was released in 1989 with seven songs written and sung by Dylan, accompanied by the Grateful Dead and produced by Jerry Garcia and John Cutler.

Jerry Garcia - early 90's

Jerry Garcia – early 90’s

Spring 1990:

During the summer of 1990, keyboardist Brent Mydland died of a drug overdose. Mydland’s death greatly affected Garcia. Before beginning the fall tour, Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby joined he band and drove Garcia to new heights on stage in 1991.

Jerry Garcia 1991

Jerry Garcia in concert 1991

Jerry died of a heart attack in August 1995. Garcia had long struggled with drug addiction, weight problems, sleep apnea, a cigarette habit, and diabetes all of which contributed to his physical decline and death. Half of Garcia’s cremated ashes were scattered in the Ganges River at the holy city of Rishikesh, India, a site sacred to Hindus. And according to Garcia’s last wishes, the other half of his ashes were poured into the San Francisco Bay. Following his death, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead formally decided to disband.

The Grateful Dead were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. On February 10, 2007, the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. And in 2011, the Dead’s Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University on May 8, 1977 was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

On July 21, 2005, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission renamed the amphitheater in McLaren Park “The Jerry Garcia Amphitheater.” The amphitheater is located in the Excelsior District, where Garcia grew up. The first show at the newly renamed amphitheater was Jerry Day August 7, 2005. The dedication ceremony on October 29, 2005 was officiated by mayor Gavin Newsom.

Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream introduced in 1987

Some of Jerry’s best moments outside the Grateful Dead, a tribute from the Ben & Jerry’s website: http://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/jerry-garcia-tribute

Jerry Garcia Ties

J. Garcia Line of Ties by Jerry

“Jerry Garcia ties are certainly head-turners. These flamboyant and colorful men’s accessories are guaranteed to stand out from even the most mundane business suit, so punch up your business wardrobe with several of these fun silk ties.”

Stay the Course (close up)

Stay the Course (close up) B. Peter

Grateful Dead official website: http://www.dead.net

JerryGarcia.com: http://jerrygarcia.com

Jerry Garcia’s Middle Finger Blog: http://jgmf.blogspot.com

Jerry RIP

Jerry RIP


Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!


Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!

not my pic, Phyllis in the Costume trailer in Devore riding a broom

Vicky Nebeker’s pic of Phyllis riding a broom in the Costume trailer – Devore 1993

Many Tributes have been posted for a remarkable woman who passed away yesterday morning. Here is mine:

On May 11-12, 1963 schoolteacher Phyllis Patterson held a class activity in the backyard of her home in the Hollywood Hills. She and her husband, Ron Patterson presented the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire as a weekend fundraiser for radio station KPFK to 8000 people. The Faire was designed as an actual spring market fair of the Elizabethan period.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivan doin' the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivana doin’ the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)



NOTE: Today is Monday, May 19.

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.”

My life changed in Spring 1980 when a friend from high school brought me to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire workshops at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura. I worked for the Living History Centre for the next 14 years, so her influence on me, my life, my ideology, and my reality is profound (as it is for so many others).

Eryk Bacon playin' wet & dirty, ale taxing the tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1480 (Agoura 1980)

Eryk Bacon playin’ wet & dirty, ale taxing tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1580 (Agoura 1980)

“You’re not special, and neither is your problem.”

Renaissance Pleasure Faire - Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

Renaissance Pleasure Faire – Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

I came to Agoura workshops and started performing at the Faire with the Mongers (The Guild of St. Swithin’s), hung out with folks from St. Helena’s (the peasants, middle and lower class characters), St. Minerva’s (Washerwomen), St. Blaise (Cryers), St. Paul’s (the Thieves & Cutpurses) and made a lot of new friends. The thrill and memory of doing live street improv in Witches’ Wood with Greg the Obscene Juggler for hundreds of people is one I can’t forget. The memory of performing in a night show or two, I wish everyone could forget…but I know there are pictures, because I have some.

“Don’t gamble if you can’t afford to win.” 

Mongers! Agoura 1980

Mongers! (St. Swithin’s) Michael, Jim, me, Roger and Richard – Agoura 1980

St. Paul's - Agoura '81 (classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown, Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey - not pictured Eric, Phredd Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

St. Paul’s – Agoura ’81 classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown holding Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey – not pictured Eric, Phredd, Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

“This is a Costume.”

In 1982, I got my first Crew job with the Costume Department (Much love to Carolyn, Chriss, Deborah, Vicky, Louise RIP, Freida RIP, Mary Jo RIP, Todi, Daria, Gretchen and Leslie!) and quickly made friends with all the theme characters, stage show performers, CREW and key Staff members.

“There’s no reason for it, it’s just our policy.”

The Costume Crew - Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

The Costume Crew at the Costume Shed – Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

“All the Faire’s a Stage!” – “Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!”

My first CREW gig! Press event at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood with Chriss Spring 1982 (from the L.A. Times)

My first CREW gig! Press event, Old Globe Theatre, West Hollywood with Chriss – Spring 1982 This is the first and last time I played a Puritan! (from the L.A. Times)

“Whip me, beat me, show me you care. Make me work the Renaissance Faire.”

In Agoura, I joined the original Sea Dogs at DAW-SOB in 1982 with Captain Charles Taylor RIP. (Actually I was “Shanghai-ed” by Virginia, because I was good friends with her brother)  I was in attendance at Julie & Tracy’s wedding, Cat & Charles’ wedding, the weekend long 4th of July parties in Camarillo and the Antelope Valley, Christmas at Virginia & Mario’s (and the birth of their 3 children), and many New Years Eve parties at KJ’s mom’s house.

“Oh no, not another learning experience.”

Ahhh...Youth! Shirtless Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

Ah, Youth! Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

“As long as you’re having a good time.”

Pretty sure that's me center of between Lance & Keith, The Enterprise 5-20-83

Pretty sure that’s me center of the bales in white behind Virginia, between Lance & Keith – from The Enterprise 5-20-83

“This is a good day to go to jail” – 

Cat Taylor Overstreet's Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke's Group Pic 1985 (I'm in a crew shirt on the end next to Dwayne)

Cat Taylor Overstreet’s Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke’s Group Pic of Capt. Charles Taylor’s Sea Dogs, Agoura 1985 (I’m in a crew shirt, front row, on the end next to Dwayne)

“Ripe” – “Saucy” – “Juicy” – “Stewed” – “Seedy is as seedy does”

"End of the World" - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

I was a Monger and a Soldier in Worthington’s Company-of-Foote (the original St. Michael’s) up north and was a Queen’s Chair-bearer for a couple years (yes, I was the left rear wheel on the Tudor sedan!). 

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Front and Center with Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1984

Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

“I’ll see your attitude and raise you one.” – “When I want your advice I’ll beat it out of you.”

Dickens' Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

I worked for Costumes and worked for Security at Dickens’ Fair in 1983 at the Fox Theatre in Oakland (and again in 1984) and the Southern Faire. So, I probably approved your costume or checked your passes at one time or another in the 1980s.

“Martyrdom is not as useful as you think.” – “We don’t care, we don’t have to.”

Living History Centre CREW Badge - Devore 1989

Living History Centre CREW Badge – Devore 1989

“No Scudi, No Booty.”

Fool's Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

Fool’s Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

I was a proud member of the Fool’s Guild (and the Lord Mayor’s Fool in Agoura sometimes), I partied with Jack, Toby Jo, Jonnathon, Skip, Clay, David and Andy at the Guildhall at Fountain & Harper and the Griffith Park Boys Camp! And later was involved in the American Puppet Theatre fiasco!

“Ya-Ta-Heh” – “I don’t care how you did it last Faire.” – “I can make your night a living hell.”

Clowning as the Lord Mayor's Fool, Agoura 1986

Backstage clowning as the Lord Mayor’s Fool, Agoura 1986

“Sudden prayers make G-d jump.”

I'm Still a Prisoner of Fun!

I’m still a “Prisoner of Fun!”

“We are amused.”

All Hail Saint Stupid!

All Hail Saint Stupid!

“Only if you brush your teeth.”

Camping in Pig's Gulch - Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

Tent Village Camping in Pig’s Gulch – Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

I camped in Pig’s Gulch and on Cardiac Hill (and slept in Actor’s Camp and a few other places too). I hot tubbed in the PIG. I dated one of Billy’s daughters. Maybe we shared a hooch, tent or shower stall? I had a hooch on-site in the Crow’s Nest above Drench-A-Wench by the snow fence in Agoura for a few years. Later relocated to a hooch behind New Forest and The Maze. “Sleep is for Sissies!” So for the years I was on Night Security, I only slept a little during the day (while commuting north and south to boot).

Guardshack - Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

Guardshack – Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

“Operating outside of design limitations.”

Security CREW - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“Instant Authority Complex, Just Add Radio….And Stir.”

Tools of the Trade - Security Lieutenant (Walking, Nights, Front Gate and Mobile)

Tools of the Trade: Living History Centre Security Lieutenant – Walking, Nights, Front Gate & Mobile Security 1983-1994 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel) – We kept it safe!

“What part of NO, don’t you understand?”

“Are you going to come quietly, or shall I pass out earplugs?”

I worked Living History Centre Security as a tunic and walking guard in 1983-84, and then as Walking and Front Gate Lieutenant, Night and Mobile Security in Oakland, San Francisco (Pier 45), and Novato until 1987; and in Agoura and Devore until 1994. Jim Hayes was my walking partner up north, and Michael C. taught me the art of “night walking”.  In summer 1987, I lived one mile off-site with Richard, Jason and Okai in a house in Novato while working on-site during the week as Mobile Security, as well as Days/Nights on weekends.

“Of course I remember you – we tore up your pass last week, right?”

The "EXEMPT" button. Only a few of us had them...

The “EXEMPT” button. Only a few of us had them..

“When you’re up, you’re up and when you’re down the security guard bites you.”

So, Where's Tabitha?

So, “Where’s Tabitha?”

“It’s love making fun.” – “Yes, Yes, No.” – “Forgive me Father, for I have funned.”

We all were temps…but I still prefer the term “Seasonal”. I did have the experience of going from an honorarium of a few food tickets per day (Scholarship at the College of Renaissance Delights) to being one of the highest paid regular hourly employees at LHC.

“My face is my pass.” – “Your face is not your pass.” – 

Chillin' "off the clock" in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills' Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

Chillin’ “off the clock” in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills’ Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

“I’m not real excited about being awake.”

Oh yeah, I still have my radio with a “Thys’ll Killya” sticker on it.

Thys'll Killya! And still set to Channel 19

Thys’ll Killya! And still set to Channel 19 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

“It all started when he hit me back.”

I also still have my John Schulp’s knife, my Suzy Cooksey Hat O’Leather, one of Robert and Frannie’s Whales, my old CREW t-shirts, framed gate and camping passes, old costume pieces, weird props, psychedelic toys, miscellaneous paraphernalia, a collection of fine jewelry, and a box of buttons with funny slogans and catch phrases.

“I don’t care if you respect me in the morning.- But you will.”

And of course, I have the memory of the unique communal experience of road tripping north and south, camping on-site, sharing everything with others, workshops, privies, hay bales, ring-out, water trucks, earwigs, Faire boogers, pre-Faire build/post-Faire teardown, and the time spent in-between waiting for workshops to start again.

“Drop back 400 years and punt.” – “Carry out your own dead.” – “Fairegate”

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin's Donkey, Agoura 1984

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin’s Donkey, Agoura 1984

“Eating and Drynking are the Three Best Thyngs.” – “Do the cocktail.”

I remember the smells and tastes of coffee, chai and baklava at Don Brown’s; cinnamon buns in the morning, Stan’s turkey legs and beef ribs; Manny’s artichokes, churros and Monday brunch; Steak-on-a-Steak, Fish & Chips, Scarpone, Bangers, Piroshki, Toad-in-a-Hole, French Onion Soup, Fruit Ices, Tryfle, Strawberry Crepes, Truffles, and the rest of the unique Faire food (and the pleasure of knowing the people who cooked and served it). I can say for a fact that the Faire inspired the love I have for great food today.

“I’m Mad over Madalyn’s!” – “Consuming Passions – Born to Ball, Live to Dip!” 

“No Blood, No Foul.” – “Where’s my booth?” – “Cruel & Unusual”

I also remember the taste of Faire dust, stale metallic water and fire retardant. And the smell of fresh pumped privies, bodice sweat mixed with essential oils; the Horse Tourney, wet earth, hay and burlap; melting ice, warm ale, apple cider, and watered down lemonade; dill pickles, green grass, blooming mustard and warm oak trees!

“No good deed goes unpunished.” – “As long as you’re having a good time.”

Marc Harris' pic of Dickens' Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984 The Fezziweg's Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

Marc Harris’ pic of Dickens’ Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984
The Fezziweg’s Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

“Is the screwin’ you’re getting’ worth the screwin’ you’re getting’?”

I’ve met and have the memory of amazing and talented artistic people who were entertainers, performers, designers, builders, artists and makers of fine clothing, arts and crafts. I worked for little pay alongside a crazy dedicated CREW of unique and eclectic characters. I enjoyed the fun of storytelling, night shows, Ale Stand parties, and “after-hours” activities! I’ve had Faire romances, and had my heart broken many times.

Ale King Parade - Agoura 1987

Ale King Parade – Agoura 1987 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I’ve experienced a “Carbon Condition”, a radio gone “D-Watt”, and a “Safety Meeting” (all more than once, LOL). I searched for Tabitha, and celebrated at the Hedonist’s Picnic. I know what “Bubba Bud” and “The Spam Feed” are all about. I saw a ghost at the Fox Theatre, was on the lot when the Water Truck crashed down Gray Barn Hill (“Roll Over & Play Ed”) and was there when Six-Pack fell in the mud (and got a new nickname), and I’ve even seen real Orange Sunshine!

“I don’t want everything, I just want more.” – “I used to be special but then I grew up.”

Jenny's pic of the Paramount Ranch at Night

Jenny’s pic of the Paramount Ranch and Fairesite at Night from Procession Hill

“Insanely Zealous.” – “A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.” – “No, me first.”

The Faire also instilled in me a deep love and appreciation for Theatre (stage, street, improvisational and guerrilla), Shakespeare, free thought, questioning authority, alternative lifestyles and religions, holistic medicine and massage, ribald humor, healthy sex, strange and unusual people, historical reenactment, living history, juggling, and English history, music, and dance (although I don’t juggle, play music or dance, and I still tell people I don’t know how to sew…LMAO.)

“We’re laughing’ now, mate.” – “Don’t forget, I love ya.” – “One Boss Potato”

I’m sure there’s a lot I can’t or don’t want to remember, and there are things I’ve seen that I’ll never forget. It’s all living as history now in my head. When my family broke up in the 80s, my close friends at Faire became my surrogate family.

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

“Why yes, I am a rocket scientist.” – “The Pros of Con” – “One Boss Tomato”

I earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1987 with an emphasis on Design/Tech and Film from the University of California, Santa Cruz (and I also worked for UC Performing Arts while I was a student).  My first film job in Hollywood (after working as a Production Assistant on a few PSAs, music videos and commercials) was as a Men’s Costumer and Wardrobe Assistant. After twelve years in production, and ten years as a Talent Manager, I left the entertainment business in 2007, returned for a short time in 2009, and left again in 2010.

“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” – “Are we having fun yet?” (Zippy the Pinhead)

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)


The truth is that I did not know Phyllis well. My direct contact with her was very limited. I was frequently in her proximity while backstage or in the Costume trailer. I knew her a little and knew ‘of her’ a lot, and I know she knew me. Because my circle of friends overlapped Staff, CREW, actors and Security, I heard most of the stories, gossip and speculations from different points of view, but avoided the politics and in-house drama as much as possible.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

I knew Kevin, Leslie, Robyn and Brian, but always maintained a little distance, because they were “the Owners” and I was their employee. My deepest condolences go out to all of them and the rest of Phyllis’ family….and her friends, and her extended Faire family as well. We are all connected through our shared experience!

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

If you’ve read all the way through this blog, the impact of Phyllis Patterson and her Faire on my life and the lives of others is pretty clear. Phyllis touched many peoples’ lives, both directly through the LHC and indirectly through her little idea of a Renaissance Faire, which has spread across the country, throughout the world, and has become indelibly embedded in our history, philosophy and culture!

“Who’s Phyllis?”

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Rest in Peace Phyllis Patterson and thanks for the friends, the experiences, the memories, the rewards, and the super fun party!


Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA – Spring 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

JoshWillTravel is a “Charter member of St. Silas’ Guild”, a alumni of “Doctor D’s Traveling Medicine Show”, and also a member of the Loyal Order of Turtles, Mr. Pickwick’s Box Seats and the Golden Grommet Guild. “There are no martyrs, only saints…”

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“Your Travel is My Business!”

Joshua Weisel (aka JoshWillTravel)

Luxury Travel Advisor 

Travel & Lifestyle Writer


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12-MAR-13: Golden Gate Bridge in the Fog

Taken from the Marin side.

San Francisco, open your golden gate!

Golden Gate Bridge in the Fog - San Francisco, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Golden Gate Bridge in the Fog taken from the Marin side – San Francisco, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco, here is your wandering one
Saying I’ll wander no more
Other places only make me love you best
Tell me you’re the heart of all the golden west

San Francisco, welcome me home again
I’m coming home to go roaming no more!

Plan your next trip to San Francisco and Marin County!


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