The Lion's Share in San Anselmo near San Francisco was a popular performance venue for Van.Van first appeared at the Lion's share 13 times in the early 70s. His first show was on February 10, 1971 and his last was three years later on June 3, 1974. Some of the 13 shows were brief affairs showcasing only one or two songs. Could this one club be the inspiration for songs like Listen to the Lion, Snow in San Anselmo and The Lion This Time?
The club was located at60 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo in between what is now Redhill Auto and what was Hatt's Custom Choppers. It's a drab 1940s square retail-looking single storied building. It's got a weather-beaten coat of green paint on it now with lots of oleander growing out front. It's just a block toward San Rafael, from United Market. It became a premiere venue when The Lion's Share moved there from Sausalito in the 1960s. It became known as a musicians hangout. Throughout much of 1970, the house band had been called Nu Boogaloo Express, featuring Mike Finnegan or Bill Champlin alternating on keyboards and vocals, and other local players like Danny Nudalman (guitar) Dave Schallock (bass or guitar) and Bill Vitt (drums). Local residents like Phil Lesh or Van Morrison regularly hung out or played there.
Before it became The Lion's Share it was a hardware store called "Highland Hardware" and the district was referred to as Highland from the 1910s through to the 1940s.
It's popularity was sealed when Dale Curtis wrote an extended piece that appeared in the Berkeley Tribe in the October 3 - 9, 1969 edition. Here's some of that piece that inspired a number of Berkleyites to seek out the tiny club.
Berkley Tribe Article
Remember the little places? The coffee houses? The folk-rock bistros? They were the spots where, for a reasonable cover (or none) you could get beer and wine and coffee and some of the finest music in the world the music that grew up and took over the Avalon and the Fillmore and the whole country as the "San Francisco Sound."
The atmosphere is dark with beam ceilings, brick walls, tiffany lamps and relaxed. There are some problems with the sound system, but none with the performers. Saturday night, for example, the bill included guitarist Jeffrey Cain, Universal Medicine, and Dan Hicks. All were smooth, accomplished acts that worked well with a surprisingly full house (there has been virtually no advertising thus tar.
In later years after being The Lion's Share, it was a health food market called Campolindo and then became some sort of manufacturing facility or a machine shop of some kind with lots of big, floor-standing tools. As of May, 2011, the place is now an optical shop.
Rob Miller - The hippest joint around. The best place for music, long before Sleeping Lady, Uncle Charlie's, Pepperland, etc. My favourite venue to see the Sons of Champlin, Van Morrison, etc. Marin was abundantly blessed with music luminaries, and it seemed that they all played there.
|Jerry Garcia at Lion's Share|