Spring Issue, May 2015
GRATEFUL DEAD’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY FETED
Palo Altans Deny It, But Dead First Performed In Menlo Park
SFF&W Hosting Lavish Tribute Event Near Its Global HQ
We recommend you click here before reading further, and then turn up your volume!
One of rock and roll’s most legendary bands, the Grateful Dead, came to signify as much as any other group the pulsing turbulence and rock-weed-acid-and-free love-fueled countercultural times that seized both the feral passions and the seething unrest of America’s youth in the Sixties, especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area.
But many are unaware of the deep bohemian history of the Peninsula that existed during this time, with the Grateful Dead being only a part of that rich tapestry. Even less well known is the profound impact that Menlo Park – wrongly thought by some to be known only as a sleepy suburb of Palo Alto which Facebook chose for its Frank Gehry-designed headquarters, and for its moneyed Sand Hill Road – contributed to this memorable chapter of the Mid-Peninsula’s vibrant avant garde history.
The Dead’s following remains strong to this day, 20 years after the group finally disbanded in 1995, the year that its lead guitarist and vocalist, Jerry Garcia, died at age 53, thus ending 30 years of the group’s performing together.
The origins of the Dead are complex and often disputed. But there is little doubt that the first public performance by Jerry Garcia and original Dead member Robert Hunter occurred at the Peninsula School in Menlo Park, in 1961. That same year, Roy Kepler founded legendary Kepler’s Books at 935 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Kepler’s, later to become a major center of strong antiwar protests, oratory and poetry during the Vietnam War, offered a then-radical idea: patrons could sit, read books, drink coffee and hang out or play music without being hurried. Jerry Garcia played his guitar there frequently, and is reported to have met his first wife, Sara Ruppenthal, when she worked there.
The musical group that Garcia, Hunter, David Nelson and others pulled together lived in a house in the 2100 block of Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park that was called “The Chateau”. Although now demolished, the home reportedly had more than a dozen rooms, with hard partying always going on in each. The Chateau’s site is roughly mid-way between what has since become the venture capital center of the world (commonly known as Sand Hill Road) and the majestic headquarters of the global powerhouse law firm Seubert French Frimel & Warner LLP in downtown Menlo Park, a region that is often considered the heart and soul of Silicon Valley and, not infrequently, the Center of the Universe.
Most historians of the Grateful Deal consider The Chateau period of 1961-63 to have been when the unmistakable vibe and thrust of the Dead’s unique, improvising style of music was first and most heavily informed. In addition to Garcia, Dead members Bob Weir and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan also lived in The Chateau.
Ken Kesey, the subject of Tom Wolfe’s 1968 best-selling non-fiction book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”, lived near The Chateau. Kesey and his band of “Merry Pranksters” were the lead apostles of the growing LSD-amped hippie culture. Jerry Garcia’s group, then called “The Warlocks”, eventually became the house band for Kesey’s countless acid-laced parties.
The first commercial performance of the Warlocks-cum-Grateful Dead was held at McGoo’s Pizza at 635 Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Menlo Park, on Wednesday, May 5, 1965. The group continued to play in the South Bay, before eventually moving to Los Angeles, and then ultimately heading back north, this time to San Francisco.
Jerry Garcia, whose almost entirely improvised guitar solos have been well described on his Wikipedia page as “fluid, supple and spare”, was very open about the fact that the Dead, unlike most other rock bands of that era, never practiced before concerts, and actually had no clear notion of the songs they would play until just moments before their performances began. Who knows? Their ingestion of much LSD may have enhanced the vast creative powers of the Dead.
The Grateful Dead gave new meaning to the terms “improvisation”, bohemian” and “counter-culture”. They didn’t invent these words, but they significantly broadened and deepened their meaning, as they, perhaps like no other group, not only talked the talk; they walked the walk.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dead’s first paid performance on May 5th, SFF&W attorneys will dine for lunch at Menlo Park’s Left Bank Brasserie (formerly McGoo’s Pizza), and buy drinks for all*.
*Eligibility terms: must be present to win, 21 years of age, attired in at least one piece of tie-died apparel of authentic 60’s vintage, able to name the Dead’s ten most popular songs in order, produce at least three authenticated self-recorded bootleg CD’s of Dead live concerts, and able to recite the names and ages of Jerry Garcia’s second wife and each of his four children. Tax and tip not included.
THE DAILY JOURNAL
HAS CROWDFUNDING GREEN BECOME THE NEW ORANGE?
See Our Article Appearing In The Daily Journal
The continuing astonishing growth of the crowdfunding phenomenon has been poignantly chronicled in a recent article that was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal written by our beloved partner and until-now closeted Dead-Head, Tom French.
The Daily Journal is, a nichey but deeply influential and closely-followed publication that is said to daily reach over one million lawyers, judges, legislators, students, lobbyists, bail-bondsmen, fishmongers and freeloaders.
OUR CLIENT LINKAGOAL DEBUTS
SOCIAL NETWORK ASSISTS THE GOAL-ORIENTED
Series A Funding Led by Early Palantir Investor
Our client LinkaGoal www.linkagoal.com recently launched its social network that focuses on assisting the goal-oriented to become goal-achievers.
Linkagoal is the first and only goal-based social network with a purpose. Linkagoal’s patented, aspiration-powered engine and social network helps ordinary people achieve extraordinary things.
It promotes the habit of writing goals and helps to connect individuals based on similar goals and objectives in life. It works on a simple yet powerful concept of Create, Link and Contribute. The site allows its members to write goals (Create), connect with common goals (Link), and help others achieve their goals of whatever type they may have. Think weight loss, cutting back on coffee, climbing Mt. Everest or just working less. “There’s no one who can’t benefit from LinkaGoal”, says its CEO-Founder, Mohsin Shafique. “It impacts people all around the world, in every walk of life, of all ages, and regardless of political, religious or social views.”
It is proven that lack of resources, guidance, experience, accountability, and encouragement hinder people from achieving their goals – Linkagoal was built to eliminate these barriers and to provide its members a platform where they can find all the resources to accomplish their goals.
At Linkagoal, students, professional, mentors, business organizers and entrepreneur etc. join together not only to accomplish their goals of life but also contribute to the goals of other users.
This is the perfect goal based social network site which helps users to focus on their goals in terms of goal planning, goal creation and goal accomplishment. “At Linkagoal users can also easily connect with personal and professional contacts,” added Co-CEO Nasir Jamal.
Linkagoal was funded in a Series A round led by the Saudi investor, Amr F M Zeden, CEO of the Saudi Zedan Financial Group, who has invested in several other Silicon Valley tech startups, including Palantir and Jumio. The investment was advised by the Dubai advisory firm of Privity FZ LLE.
CROWDSOURCING’S POTENTIAL ROLE IN ENACTING LAWS:
HOW COULD DEMOCRACY AND OUR SOCIETY NOT BENEFIT GREATLY?
SFF&W corporate lawyer Marilyn Bautista, when she’s not busy turning out contracts and counseling her many clients, is a professor of business law at Stanford University’s School of Law. It was Marilyn who decided that there was little or no attention being given in law schools today to teaching the importance of the process of passing laws. So, she created a course herself, which subsequently became a repeatedly-oversubscribed sensation at Stanford Law. The course also was noticed by the American Bar Association, where she was invited to speak last year at the ABA’s annual meeting in Washington, DC,to share her experience in creating and teaching this course, now a staple at many of America’s leading law schools.
Not content to rest on her legislative knowhow laurels, Professor Bautista recently spoke in Stockholm to an international meeting of lawyers, lawmakers and legal influencers to share her bold vision of using crowdsourcing principles and techniques to bring the law-making process to the people.
We are proud to bring you the very first published version of Marilyn’s futuristic, thought-provoking and yet very realistic remarks.
LAWYERS WITH ISSUES:
PRACTICING LAW IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS
Lots of people poke fun at lawyers, and literally tens of thousands of jokes have come to exist about this ancient profession. Many think this national sport really hit its stride during the Watergate scandal, and there is no small amount of truth in that. But the sorry fact is this rather unflattering theme has been present among English speakers since at least Shakespearian times. It was in 1591 when Mr. Shakespeare himself wrote the sentence in Henry VI, Part 2 that perhaps, sadly, is his most-oft-quoted: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”*
*For an entertaining and quite scholarly examination of just what Jake the Butcher’s famous quotation in Henry VI was intended to mean, the reader is directed to David Kornstein’s 1994 book, “Kill All The Lawyers? Shakespeare’s Legal Appeal” published by Princeton Press. Click here for a healthy excerpt.
The most common of themes in lawyer jokes and even in literature tend to dwell on lawyers’ dishonesty, craven greed and just plain scheming and deviousness.
But lawyering is a lot harder than it looks, whether we’re talking mentally, physically or emotionally. Consider the case of the Florida man who recently confessed to shooting and killing his neighbor after an alleged struggle, and who brought the dead man’s body to his lawyer’s office. As reported in the Fort Myers News-Press and Above the Law, the man “didn’t know who else to trust.”
John Marshall, 52, reportedly showed up bleeding with broken thumbs and teeth, and told his attorney, Robert Harris, that he had acted in self-defense. He said he’d wrestled a gun away from his neighbor during a scuffle.
Marshall and his late neighbor, later identified as Ted Hubbell, had apparently argued about “some property work” days earlier. Marshall called his attorney, saying he thought his life was in danger.
Harris said he advised Marshall to get a restraining order.
Harris told the paper that although bringing a dead body into his office was certainly unusual, it wasn’t the worst thing his client could have done.
“They don’t teach you about this in law school. That’s for sure,” he said. “I believe we’ve handled ourselves correctly, but I’m a little in shock myself. This is not something that happens every day.”
Neighbors later told the News Press that they knew Hubbell as a Buddhist pacifist who was never loud or aggressive, while Marshall was “very threatening and aggressive.” The two were apparently in a dispute about a portable outhouse that Marshall had set up near Hubbell’s property.
Next time you’re tempted to laugh at a lawyer joke, consider the plight of poor attorney Harris and countless others like him throughout America who are daily being challenged to accommodate and please eccentric and often overly demanding clients. Instead of chuckling, you might just want to go find a lawyer and give him or her a big hug.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Kind Sir or Madam:
I’ve had enough of fake journalists like you morons mocking me and my super-power country, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
You saw what I did to Sony. I have friends. Lots of them.
And in many places: for openers, Ukraine, the Islamic Caliphate, Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the soon-to-be-seceded Nation of Siskiyou in your sick and twisted home state of California.
And I’ve seen what despicable disrespect you’ve displayed towards those powerless chumps Donald Trump, Michelle Bachman, Edward Snowden and Al Gore when you wrote about them.
나 에 그것을 시도하고 당신은 토스트 입니다! (Try it on me, and you’re toast!)
I’ll take you down so fast you’ll feel like you’ve been drop-kicked by my new hero, World Wrestling Federation four-time world champion Brock Lesnar, who I easily brought to tears and fearlessly defeated in 37 seconds in a private match held in Pyongyang before over 400,000 patriotic and cheering citizens (Dennis Rodman is so yesterday).
My secret: years of highly disciplined training. And being fully hammered on $100,000-a-bottle Islay single-malt Scotch and downing a trio of six-foot-diameter Hawaiian-style pizzas flown in daily on my private 777 jet from Guido Magnifico, my favorite pizzeria in Naples.
You are strongly advised not to underestimate me.
Yours most terrifyingly,
Third Emperor for Life
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
MAN SEEKING WHATEVER: Cute and cuddly hetero KQED Producer Circle Member (proudly anonymous) who suspects that Eric and Wendy Schmitt and Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem actually own NPR through one of their many secretive offshore entities, seeking a partner holding like suspicions, and of any sexual orientation who admires modesty in philanthropy and shyness and introversion in general, for a lifetime before a crackling fire immersed in sublime self-satisfaction total seclusion while binging on Cheetos and Blue Bottle Coffee. Contact me on Twitter @notsosmugmyron
CHARMING COASTAL RENTAL: Move quickly. Seductively edgy pied-à-terre with sounds of seagulls and lapping waves of San Francisco Bay. 250 square foot repurposed chicken coop in East Palo Alto offers fresh eggs, a constant breeze and a Walden pond-like vibe. $9,750/month. Bitcoin accepted. call Precious. 1-650-BUBBLE. No Scientologists.
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