San Francisco’s place in rock music history is as well-known as the Bay Area’s Golden Gate Bridge, hilly streets and cable cars. The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane are just some of the numerous acts that made their mark in the northern California city. While times have changed in the last 50 years, a few landmarks associated with San Francisco’s rock and roll past still remain. Here are some of the sites worth seeing on a music pilgrimage to the city.
Janis Joplin house
635 Ashbury St. (private residence)
The city’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood was synonymous with hippie culture, especially during 1967’s Summer of Love, when about 100,000 people flocked there. Some of the famous rock stars from that era made a home in the neighborhood, including Janis Joplin, who lived at 635 Ashbury St., according to Lonely Planet. The singer also resided at 122 Lyon St. in the same area, according to SFGate.
Grateful Dead house
710 Ashbury St. (private residence)
No trip to San Francisco is complete for a music fan without a visit to the legendary jam band’s Haight home. According to journalist David Browne in his 2015 Grateful Dead biography, “So Many Roads,” the residence, which the band moved into in 1966, frequently hosted many of the Dead’s friends. It was also the site of a drug bust on Oct. 2, 1967, in which band members Bob Weir and Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, among others, were arrested.
Jimi Hendrix house
1524A Haight St. (private residence)
According to Time Out San Francisco, the famed guitarist resided at this address in the Haight that is adjacent to a tobacco store. Drawings of the musician even adorn the building.
Jefferson Airplane house
2400 Fulton St. (private residence)
In “Got a Revolution!,” Jeff Tamarkin’s 2003 book about Jefferson Airplane, the historian writes that the three-story, 17-room mansion near Golden Gate Park (which the band purchased in 1968 for $73,000) housed a recording studio and was the scene of legendary parties. The street address is also the name of a 1987 compilation of the Airplane’s music. Zillow estimates the value of the off-market home at $3.3 million today.
1805 Geary Blvd.
Under the stewardship of rock promoter Bill Graham, the Fillmore hosted such musical luminaries as Otis Redding, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Muddy Waters during the 1960s. (An East Coast version of the Fillmore operated in NYC’s East Village during the late ’60s and early ’70s). This venerable institution, located in the city’s Fillmore neighborhood, still features emerging and established acts.
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell St.
Like the Fillmore, this long-running venue in the Tenderloin neighborhood continues to be a showcase for music. Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Patti Smith and Arcade Fire are among the acts who have played at the concert hall, which dates back to 1907.
Need your fill of more rock and roll history? “Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution,” currently on view at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, explores the life of the late rock impresario, who was linked to both the local and national music scenes from the 1960s through the ’80s. As the operator of the Fillmore, Graham played a role in the careers of legendary acts such as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. The must-see exhibit features photographs, memorabilia and musical instruments. Runs now through July 5, admission $12, $10 students and seniors, free for ages 18 and under; 736 Mission St., 415-655-7800, thecjm.org