For all the people that remember and wondered how the Trident was robbed in the early 70s Tanya Chalupa and William G. Palmini,Jr. have written the definitive book on the subject. All the urban legends that surfaced around this event (that it was an inside job, and all kinds of other theories) can be put to rest.
The backdrop for this story is the Trident restaurant, Sausalito, and the Bay Area in the 1970’s. The book details how a rookie Sausalito detective, Bill Palmini, Jr. discovered the link to the West Coast Mafia as a result of his investigations into the Trident robbery.
A Rookie Cop vs. The West Coast Mafia Breaking up the "Best in the West" Gang is a true story. In this gripping true crime expose',Bill Palmini - a rookie detective, hopes to take down the West Coast Mafia by gaining the confidence of notorious mob operative William Flody Ettelman. Set against a backdrop of social turmoil this book immerses readers in the subculture of free love, drugs, robbery, and murder, orchestrated by organized crime in locations like the coastal enclave of Sausalito, California.
Artist, writers, musicians, actors, and hippies took refuge there. The Trident restaurant was once a drug mecca for Hollywood, the music industry, and the New York hip. At the time it was owned by the Kingston Trio, and their manager Frank Werber, a self proclaimed drug priest. Robin Williams worked there as a busboy. The Rolling Stones were regulars, and Janis Joplin had her own table. Sally Stamford , the former San Francisco Madame who later became Sausalito's mayor, was a confident of the famous and infamous. Her relationship to all of this should fascinate those familiar with Sausalito's wild and untamed waterfront "back in the day!" Click on the link above to order a book from Amazon!
Marian and Laurence Holloway
My name is Laurence Holloway. I am an English pianist. In 1965 I married Marian Montgomery, a well known American jazz singer. She had a hit with "When Sunny gets blue". Our working honeymoon was spent touring the USA completing Marian's contracts before we settled in England. We had a wonderful time for a couple of weeks at the Trident. We lived on a houseboat nearby. Lou Ganapola was the owner I believe. We sold him our car before returning to England. Marian (later Marion) and I were happily married for 37 years. We have a daughter Abigail. Marion died in 2002 and is still greatly missed. Happy memories of the Trident. Laurence.firstname.lastname@example.org
Derrick Bang and Vince Guaraldi
First, I recently completed my book about Vince Guaraldi, appropriately titled "Vince Guaraldi at the Piano," and just published by McFarland Press. You can learn more about it and read an excerpt here: Vince Guaraldi at the Piano
Guaraldi had a strong place in The Trident's memory banks, of course; if you think it's appropriate, I'd love to see my book mentioned at your site.
Second, I've been trying to nail down when the original Trident closed. Lots of sources say "1976" without giving a month or day; could you perhaps be more precise?
I'd be much obliged, on both counts. Derrick Bang
(Hi Derrick - the third version of the Trident closed in 1980 - a closing post to that effect can be found here on this site)
Looking at your site today - thought you might be interested that I played at the Trident in the summer of 1963. I played there a number times, at least once with John Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. I met John again last summer when he was appearing at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London. We remininsced about those times. I lived in Big Sur from 1963- 66 and often worked in the bay area - including a solo bass recital on KJazz and a week playing opposite Marty Balen's Jefferson Airplane at Both/And. Great to see all your info - thought that this might also be of interest best wishes Peter Ind - Bass (see www.peterind.com) email@example.com
Trident Preview Party
The World Famous Trident Restaurant has reopened in Sausalito, and owner Bob
Freeman invites Historical Society members and other locals to a preview
party on Friday, November 16. From 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, enjoy $3.50 wine
and well drinks and complimentary hors d'oeuvres, as well as music by The
Started by the legendary Kingston Trio, the iconic Trident restaurant was
famous for its music, food and "anything goes" atmosphere. It was a "home
away from home" to famous (and infamous) musicians, artists, actors and
eccentrics. The Trident developed a reputation as "the" place to be. The
restaurant changed hands during the late 1970s and became known as Horizons.
The building was constructed in 1898 and served as the first Yacht club in
the Bay Area. It has been refurbished but Bob has kept integral parts of the
original Trident, including most of the custom built wooden interior and the
1960s ceiling mural, painted by artist David Richards. Renovations include
the addition of a Sky Deck on the 2nd level that boasts one of the premier
views of San Francisco and the bay.
An "official" opening is being planned for some time in the New Year, or
sooner, but here's a chance to preview this historic Sausalito landmark with
friends and neighbors.
The Trident is at 558 Bridgeway (415) 331-3232.
The National Geographic's article on the creation of the Tequila Sunrise, and the Rolling Stone's connection thereof.
Click here for the whole article: The National Geographic Trident Article 2012
From Edwin Brown, "We were Hippies living in the Haight. Summer would hitchhike across the Golden Gate Bridge to work. She always got a ride!"
Photos provided by Ruggero Milano (back in the day Rodger) the owner of Milano ristorante at 1 Blackfield Drive in Tiburon, California (415) 388-9100 www.milanotiburon.com
Rodger, Michael, and Lisa. And, Rodger and Bobby!
On February 10, 2011 Paul Liberatore reported in the Marin Independent Journal newspaper that:
In 1965, just before he was cast in "I Spy," becoming the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic television series, Bill Cosby lived on a houseboat in Sausalito with his young bride, Camille, while he worked at San Francisco's hungry i.
The 73-year-old entertainment industry icon, educator and activist returns to Marin on Feb. 12 for two shows at Marin Center in San Rafael.
During a recent telephone interview, Cosby, the winner of nine Grammys, six Emmys and two Golden Globe awards, reminisced about his idyllic time in Marin.
During the day, he'd often hang out at the Trident, a legendary fern bar and restaurant on the Sausalito waterfront.
"I remember afternoons at the Trident, enjoying the jazz performers," he recalled, mentioning "the little Italian fellow with the 'Peanuts' thing," referring to Marin pianist Vince Guaraldi.
The '60s were the nascent days of the counterculture, when educated young people were dropping out, going back to the land, experimenting with alternative lifestyles.
For the whole article click here:
Bill Cosby Remembers the Trident and Marin County in the Mid Sixties
Bill Cosby will be performing at the Marin Center for 2 shows February 12, 2011
I think there may be some confusion with regard to these robberies. There were at least two that I know of. Bobby’s account of the first Trident robbery is accurate as far as it goes and I was there, but that’s not the robbery I had to testify in. That occurred three or four years later. Here’s what happened:
Shortly after re-opening the Trident in May of 1969 when most of the kinks had been worked out, Frank and Lou realized that they were spread kind of thin…they needed some floor managers and they tried quite a few people at this position. Skip Cuddy was a friend of Billy Rice, who was at the time the number two bartender, Michael Ishmali was the bar manager – a volatile little Persian dude who had worked at the old Trident. Anyway, Frank hires Skip and Grover to be night and weekend floor managers. Neither of them turned out to be very good at the job but for different reasons. Skip did a lot of blow and was rather spaced-out while Grover could sometimes be too abrasive with the staff. One could sometimes find them locked in the office banging waitresses, hostesses, and customers - anything that moved, really. Then they got the idea of promoting the harder-working busboys. There was Austin Broadwater from Virginia, John, who worked in the kitchen was from New York – he had about the shortest career – only about a month. Then there was Blythe Nelson, busboy and John Abrahms, also a busboy. Richard, Lisa, Dagney, Marshall, Dennis, and Bobby Weckle all came much later.
John was, by far, the strangest choice. He was a fairly stout lad but had a mellow disposition and was a superb ass-kisser, which might explain how he came to be hired. John lived at Bobby’s house – a delightfully cheap little place down in Sausalito’s banana belt on Johnson St. across the street from the police station and as roommates they threw some terrific after-hours parties. Now you have to understand, Bobby and John were a couple of heavily armed dudes. Both were into collecting all sorts of knives, crossbows and other exotic weapons as well as always having the finest in consumable drugs…not to put too fine a point on it.
My belief is that John became a little too dependant on coke and decided he could get away with taking money out of the cash receipts and nobody would notice. I believe he had been taking small amounts over a period of months because I’d hear Lou grumbling about missing money from time to time. Such unbelievable amounts of money were generated in that place it was a tempting target.
Anyway, one weekend night, after everyone had mostly gone home and we (the cleanup crew and myself ) were sitting down to eat and John comes out of the office with a brown paper sack in his hand and we greeted him like always with entreaties to join the table, have a smoke – whatever, which he declined, to our surprise. He was acting strangely, agitated – nervous about something. In retrospect, he really didn’t have the guile necessary to pull this off. He was always up for little doobie and when he passed it up, it stuck in my mind and I remember remarking to Chris Leitz, one of my troops, that something was up with John.
Anyway, next morning comes and Lou comes in to find that there is not even enough money in the safe to make up the banks. Lou gets some guy to come in and he’s going to start giving lie-detector tests to the short list of people who had keys to the office. So I hung around to see what would happen and sure enough, John was one of the first people they tested. Turns out John spent nearly all the stolen money on blow and rather than prosecute him Frank asked for the blow…don’t know how he explained it to Tong and Fong, the accountants the Trident used back then, but anyway it went down pretty much like Bobby said with Frank bad-mouthing the quality of the blow (he was a notorious drug snob) and somehow I didn’t get to try that particular batch. Ah well…
After that, they got a new safe, installed a key-activated alarm system, put in new locks and generally set up some safeguards to protect the establishment. There were already a couple of panic-buttons installed behind the main bar and espresso bar so they just tied the new alarm system into a police notification circuit and they were all set. The new system had an infrared detector set up in the office so that any movement there would set it off…a silent alarm to the Sausalito Police Dept.
Patrick Pendleton: Gizmo754@aol.com
So I told him our sad tale of woe and he had this slightly amused look on his face as if to say, “Goofy…I’m glad you managed to not get your head blown off”. He always had this kind of stern look but he was a very sweet man. I never did find out how much was taken but on a weekend that place might have had as much as seventy-five to one hundred thousand dollars in the safe on a Sunday night. I’m sure Frank told them it was more because the insurance was picking up the tab for it. Frank was always smart when it came to money.
Naturally, there came to be more and more security and the lock thing really got to be a pain-in-the ass so I asked for and got a set of master keys of my own and they made me a manager too. The whole thing got old quickly after the initial telling and retelling of the story and I felt at the time that my life really didn’t bear the kind of scrutiny it was getting, so the looking at mug shots, and talking with the DA and police detectives was somewhat unsettling to me. Since I couldn’t identify any of the guys from the book of mug shots, I thought that perhaps they wouldn’t call me to testify but they did and I was able to identify the guy I saw in court, which made the state’s case, the DA happy, and me?
Well… I got a clean driving record out of the deal so all in all, not too bad. It turned out that the guys had come all the way over from San Francisco in a zodiac boat and somebody saw them on their way back and that’s how they came to be caught. Cool, huh? The Marin newspaper, Independent Journal, started calling it the Frogman Heist or something like that and we got quite a kick out of that because we knew the guys didn’t swim up to the deck – their feet were dry.
So that’s the story…I don’t know about John Abrahms being a Sonoma County District Attorney. I lived in Sonoma County for eighteen years and never crossed paths with him and if I’m being honest, I have trouble believing the guy could ever pass the California Bar Exam but stranger things have happened. There is a weird kind of karmic symmetry to that idea which appeals to me somehow....
The Trident Robberies by Patrick Pendleton Gizmo754@aol.com
Nick and Me
In the spring of 1964, a week or so past my sixteenth birthday, I found myself taking a motorcycle ride on Sir Francis Drake Blvd., heading west through Marin County towns like Greenbrea,Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, and Fairfax. I have a significant history of adventures in some of these towns but they are not my destination. I’m headed for a house in the San Geronimo Valley town of
Debbie was a dark haired beauty with deep-set, brown eyes and a smooth, tan complexion. Sarah, older by a year or so, had light brown hair with a persistent wave bordering on frizzy, paleskin with some freckles and intense blue-grey eyes. They hardly looked like sisters but as I rode, I did not dwell on this but rather on my mission.
Strapped to the back of my red Honda 150, held in place with bungee cords, was my first guitar, which my parents had given me as a birthday present about a week earlier. The guitar was a Montgomery Ward special (“Monkey Wards” my parents used to call it) worth all of thirty bucks with the strings sitting about a half an inch above the fingerboard. By any standard it was a real piece of shit, but it was what I had and I was determined to learn to play it. After the money they had spent getting me an accordion and lessons starting back in the fourth grade, I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised when they didn’t fork over the big bucks for a Gibson or a Martin. Sarah, my best friend Gary Steadman assured me, that they knew the words and chords to Guantanamera, a folk song made popular by Pete Seegar, and my mission was to have her teach me to play the song.
I also had it on reliable authority that Sarah Howard was known to make out when the stars were aligned, and the wind was just right.
So with the promise of an auspicious launching of my new musical career, and the prospects of a handful of boob throbbing in my loins, I crested the hill leaving Fairfax and dropped down into the San Geronimo Valley, the sun was getting ready to set over the hills in West Marin, and I soon arrived at their house in Lagunitas. I went inside and said my hellos to everybody, and her family asked me if I wanted to stay for dinner.
“Yes, I’d love to.” I replied and off to the living room we went. Debbie said she had to babysit and someone was coming to pick her up. I went out to the driveway to fetch the guitar from hell, and only then learned that it was woefully and criminally out of tune. The Howards had an old upright piano in their livingroom and Sarah and I worked for a while trying to get that guitar in tune and presently the guy Debbie was supposed to babysit for showed up to take her tohis house. He introduced himself as “Nick” and he looked vaguely familiar. He saw that we were having trouble getting the guitar tuned, and offered to help.
“He plays in the " Kingston Trio ”, Sarah whispered.
“Huh?” I stammered. Well no wonder he looked so familiar. I had four of their records at home and played them all the time. My dad had worked in radio and TV all my life, and one of the perks of such a job was that the station where he worked,KJBS in
Nick Reynolds at Capitol Records
So here’sthis well-dressed, and young looking guy with a kind of soup-bowl haircut, who is standing at the very epicenter of the music scene as I understood it back then, and he’s teaching me to tune my first guitar.
“Start withthe E string…that’s the fat string at the top of your strum. Hold down that string at the fifth fret and turn the tuning peg on the next string down –that’s the A string, until the sound matches – like this…” and then he showed me! I was almost in a state of rapture, forgetting for a short while all about boobs, and the sweet smell of Sarah Howard’s hair. Nick Reynolds drew a little chart for me to use and wrote down the changes to Tom Dooley and MTA on a piece of Sarah’s notebook paper. He was very nice to me, and I’ll never forget that day. I never could have anticipated that five years down the road, I would beworking for Kingston Trio Inc. and I surely didn’t know that nearly fifty yearslater, I would be recounting this story to his widow, Linda Reynolds, one ofthe first friends I made when I started working at the Trident. Years later,when Frank Werber sort of introduced us again, I told him about that day and what it had meant to me.
“Oh yeah,”he said. “I remember…how’s the guitar coming?”
“Pretty good”, I said, “But you were right…it does take a lot of practice.”
He laughed and asked me how Sarah was doing. I told him Ihadn’t seen her in awhile, but I still saw Debbie from time to time. “She’sliving in
Even Frank got a kick out the story when I explained how Nick and I had met.
Anyway, I eventually taught myself the song and along the way figured out that songbooks and chord diagrams were easier to understand than notes scribbled on scraps of note paper and soggy cocktail napkins and thus began a life-long, love – hate relationship with the guitar. I never really hated my guitars…just the fact that I wasn’t able to play them better.
Not long after meeting Nick Reynolds, I got this part-time job working the door at this little night–spot in
One night, KJAZ disc jockey Richard Conti, came in with Mose Allison, who even played a set. The place served pub-food; chili, beefstew and hotdogs and in my relatively impoverished state, I was glad to have some place other than my parents house to eat. The club burned down in about 1967, and Mike moved to San Anselmo and reopened it with the same name - but Idon’t think it was ever as successful as the
(Nick and Josh Reynolds)
The point is, music was ever a recurring theme in my life andcontinues to be to this day, but I thought it proper that after all these years, I write this small tribute to the guy who kind of got me started…so, thanks,Nick, wherever you are.
By Patrick Pendleton email Pat at: Gizmo754@aol.com
In the summer of 1972 an amazing event took place at the Trident. I was working late Monday night – the start of my work week back then, when I got a call from Lou Ganapoler, general manager of the Trident Restaurant. He asked me how long it would take for me to get the place show time ready. So I asked Lou what he had in mind. He told me that Bill Graham wanted to bring the Rolling Stones to the Trident for an impromptu private party and that he was in the process of getting Frank sprung from the Honor Farm, where he was serving a short sentence on a possession for sale of marijuana charge. I’ve often wondered just how that conversation unfolded. I mean…here’s a guy doing his time on a drug charge and in the middle of the night he wants to get released so he can go preside over a party for a bunch of other guys famous for stirring the passions of rebellious youth and…you guessed it – taking drugs! So I told Lou…sure I can get the place ready in an hour or so – if you don’t look too closely at it…more help would be better and Lou said, “No problem…Milt was on his way down to help me.”
So I went into maintenance overdrive, swamping out the restrooms, replacing the paper, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and mopping the floor…I had a pretty good sweat worked up when Bobby Lozoff walked in about twenty minutes later to set up the bar. I had called home after I got off the phone with Lou because we needed some seasoned help to pull this off. And, let me share a word or two about one of the seasoned help named Iris…who was a tough, blond, Jewish girl raised in a small Long Island suburb of
Also part of the evening's cast was Paul Broadhurst from an upper crust English family who'd come to the US for a better life and was a great choice for the evenings festivities with all the mad-dogs and Englishmen running around...Soon after Bobby arrived and then Milt showed up, and together we whipped the club into some semblance of order. Pierre, Thomas Eng, Big John and Steve Burrus all came in to get the kitchen fired up. Basically, anyone who would answer their phone at 2:30 am was there. Josie from the Dominican Republic, Patsy Petty, Cathy Civale, Sophie Kurtz, Kathleen Delaney, Noreen, Iris, Linda and Sharlee all showed up to help out. Diane and Frank came in along with Richard, Marshall, Lisa Sharp and Dagney. There are large tie-dyed curtains covering the arched windows on the south side of the restaurant so that people driving down Bridgeway Blvd. could not see what was going on inside.
I have a distinct memory of Patsy and Josie in the ladies room trying to decide if Josie should go sans panties for this affair. The ladies of the Trident generally dressed fairly provocatively simply as a matter of course but I do believe some of them pushed the envelope to its logical extreme that night. I know Iris and Sharlee did. Even
In due course, Bill Graham arrived with about eight stretch limos and our “guests” were shown inside. The Stones traveled with a huge entourage…let’s face it – by any yardstick imaginable they set the bar for all past, present and future standards of excess.
The point man for this motley crew of rockers was a foppish little Brit by the name of Peter Rudge. Many of the guests were wearing white newsboy caps, which was, I’m guessing, some kind of inside joke. They brought their own security team, their roadies, a few ladies and assorted hanger-oners. Frank stood prominently near the door to greet his guests, a charming Buddha-daddy guru proudly showing off his baby to a new cast of discerning characters. Once the ice was broken, he and Bill Graham and Lou retired to a quiet corner to swap “promoter stories” that nobody but themselves would ever appreciate. At one point, Frank asked me to turn on the tiny faux fireplace for the sake of “ambience”. Fingers of fog crept over the hills and down towards the Bay in
“I know what you’re thinking – don’t do it”, he said to me.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“My name’s Leroy and I’m the head of security for this tour.” he replied. He was built like a linebacker – a fireplug in a suit complete with the requisite white newsboy cap.
“You want a drink, Leroy?” I asked.
“Nope – workin” he replied.
“Well…how ‘bout some coffee?” I asked.
“Sure” he said. So I went and got him a cup of coffee, anxious to defuse what could have been a messy situation. Bad behavior at the Trident was nothing new and I had, on occasion, been part of the posse delegated to remove unruly patrons from the premises. Normally, someone would have called the cops but this situation didn’t call for action that drastic and when I came back with Leroy’s coffee we sat and talked for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile, the party is in full swing around us. There is a steady stream of folks going to and from the deck outside, which seems to be the designated drug ingestion station. The restrooms are also a popular meeting place and after awhile, it’s pretty clear that both the staff and the guests are getting wasted. Hell – I’m getting wasted!
Stones bassist, Bill Wyman is sitting nearby, getting tag-teamed in backgammon by Jerry Pompili and Barry Imhoff. Peter Rudge is vainly chasing Josie all over the restaurant and saxophonist Bobby Keys is telling hilarious stories from his life on the road in his gentile southern drawl. I hear little snatches of his stories about how he and Waylon Jennings burned down a hotel room somewhere in
The “STP” tour as it came to be known followed the release of Exile On Main Street and was the first
About 5:30 the whole thing started to wind down…the sun was going to come up soon. it’s been a very good night but I know that there are hours of work ahead of me. Those working the day shift stayed…except for the day waitresses, who managed to get a few hours sleep before returning. Iris told me she made almost $200 that night with her share of the tip pool – not bad for about 4 hours work. The registers were never used that night – Bill Graham paid for everything. (Presumably, he was able to bill his young charges for services rendered) And everyone who was there had a nice story to tell so here’s mine.
Rolling Stones 1972 Tour
By Patrick Pendleton email Pat at : Gizmo754@aol.com
In the three years between Rolling Stones tours, partying for many of the wonderful folks working at the Trident became elevated to a high art. Everybody was throwing parties all the time – the Record Plant threw a lot of them. They had this big house in Tamalpais Valley where Mick Fle
(The Alton Kelley/Stanley Mouse (Kelley Mouse), Randy Tuten, and Crazy Arab poster for the 1975 show. Alton Kelley just passed away , a dear friend, and with the help of Keith Impink (the Dead's web guy) we've created a tribute site to Kelley and Dave Sheridan. We've also revived Kelley's Artista Gang. For more information go to The Artista Gang and check out the links there! Arab did the pin stripping for this poster in about 45 minutes, amazing! Mark Lomas) Now back to the story...
Compared to the Stones party in 1972, the affair in 1975 was almost sedate. This time around we had a little more lead-time on who would be there so there wasn’t as much scrambling to staff the event, and prepare the food etc. There was even time to arrange a little entertainment – Laura Cholos and her daughter, Anastasia performed a very provocative belly-dance for those who attended.
Instead of the tour staff, roadies, and other support personnel, those in attendance were strictly members of the band and whatever ladies they chose to bring, BGP inner circle, Trident family and friends, and BGP security staff. I didn’t stay long at this party because I wanted to go home and get some sleep before I went to the much bigger and wilder bash planned for Mick Jagger’s birthday at the Orphanage, a rather run-down old theater near the Boarding House in San Francisco. The Harder They Come, a movie filmed in
I was driving this big old orange utility-body truck at the time – filled with tools and I didn’t want to park it on the mean streets of SF at night so I arranged to ride over to the City with Don Lewis and Cathy Civale. We got there about mid-night and the place was jumpin’. We went in this closet-sized office and Chris is in there with this bowl of cocaine. There’s also about ten other people in there. Iris, my longtime roommate and one-time lover, is sitting on this old couch not partaking in anything because she is about four months pregnant with her first child. So I wandered out to get some drinks and check out who was also there. Toots and the Maytelles were pumping out some great reggae music and everyone is buzzed to a fair-thee-well. You know you’ve had a rough night when you wake up the next day with condor feet on your third eye. Anyways, about 1:30 am the Stones arrive and the energy level in the place just takes off. There are close to 500 people in that old theater and I don’t know what its rated capacity was but I’m pretty sure we exceeded it. Robin Williams was there with Linda Ondeyko, a gorgeous brunette who also worked at the Trident. Robin was just starting to hit the comedy clubs and always a riot to be around. He was always…on!
I wish I could say I remember what happened after that but the sad truth is…I don’t. I’ve probably made a few mistakes in the chronology of events but to the best of my knowledge, it’s all true. Sleep and I were strangers. Email Pat at: Gizmo754@aol.com
By Patrick Pendleton February 17, 2010 Seabrook, NH
Email Pat at: Gizmo754@aol.com
I don’t know if this is true with all vocations but I know from personal experience that there comes a time in every struggling musicians career when you just have to say “this is the shits…I’m tired of constantly being broke” and go find a “day gig”. Well….armed with a lofty resume and a great opening interview line..”Hi! I’m a 20 year old struggling musician, high school drop out w/ a grand total 3 yrs. dishwashing experience”……fortunately for me the girlfriend of one of my bands mates had taken note of my situation and said “hey, why don’t you go apply at the Trident in Sausalito where I work. They take applications on Mondays and they’re lookin’ for dishwashers”. So I went the very next Monday and applied & was hired on the spot. Little did I know just how drastically this “career choice” would affect my life’s path…even to this very moment. I learned an incredibly diverse array of skills in a relatively short span of time (and no, it wasn’t the fine art of de-glazing a brandy snifter after some asshole had demanded a “Spanish Coffee” or the art of not actually getting in “The Big Soup Pot” after they cooked up that God awful cold fish soup (I don’t know how to spell it but I’m sure y’all know what I’m referring to) but still getting it spotless and w/o smellin’ like a huge dead tuna. Most of the kitchen staff were pretty cool about showin’ ya the ropes. Especially the sauté (or “hot side”) guys. I think mostly because they wanted their stuff prep’d just so. I got real proficient with an assortment of cutlery. I began to diversify my budding mechanical career fixing “Old Hobart” at least once a week (until that time it had been strictly automotive born of the 16 year old need to drive….Father to son ..”if you can make that POS run I’ll buy it for you….all of $175 for a ’48 Ford F1 flatbed w/ a Chevy 283 V8 in it….what a mutt!) and if you wanted extra work, you could come in on Mondays and work w/ ace handyman Chuck Fallo on all kinds of stuff. (Ron Good/Busperson) All that was and still is useful, but the knowledge gained and experiences I value the most are from the interactions with the people that I worked for & along side during my 8 year career at Trident. Christ! What a character study! Like a Goddamn Fellini flick! From Pierre the chef to Iraj (aka Roger), Terry Lawson, Bobby Lozoff at the bar, Lou Gannapoler & Dagne to Big John, Mike Toomey & the late Jim Sassani to Richard L, Marshall Bloomstock , Dennis Wright & Lisa Sharp……..and the supporting cast in the kitchen and on the floor the names of whom will undoubtedly arise somewhere in the following text. And then of course, there were……the women. Ah yes…the famed “Trident Waitresses”. This, I have to admit, was definitely a new development & addition (and a welcome one boy howdy!) to my food services employee experience. DAMN!
These weren’t just “good lookin’”…no, more like….exquisite……stunning… ….ravishing………….WOW! Needless to say this could be heaven or some sort of cruel torture for a 20 yr old walking hormone. I probably could have made a fortune selling my “dry side” shifts as well! For those of you who didn’t get to experience the dishwashing environment, “dry side” was the dishwashers station parallel with and had a direct view of, the waitress station side of the kitchen. I’ve often wondered if the amount of dry side breakage increased substantially during the warm summer months.
All adolescent hi jinx aside I have to say that their physical attributes not with standing, most of these ladies were and still are some of the sweetest, caring human beings I have ever known.
Post by Evan Palmerston and Images by Jiro/Melvin
Evan's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jiro's email: email@example.com
The Sausalito Historical Society's April 23 fundraising dinner for this year was a sellout, with every table packed with people ready to turn back the clock to recreate the legendary Trident Restaurant of the 1960's and 70's. The event was almost surreal, since it was held at Horizons Restaurant, the current incarnation of the Trident's building, which still features much of the look of the original 1960's and 1970's decor: beautifully hand-carved woodwork, wall and ceiling murals and gracefuly curved arches and windows. The feeling was amplified by many guests arriving decked out in their memories of the clothing of 40 years ago, some with stunning accuracy. I wondered if the people sitting at or near "Janis Joplin's table" knew its significance, but the place was so packed it was impractical to work my way over there to ask. For the rest of this story go to: The Legendary Trident Rises Again!
In 1971 and 1972 I lived on a houseboat at Gate 5 on Waldo Point and loved to go to the Trident and share a brown rice and steak dish with my boyfriend. My mouth still waters thinking about how good it was. But it wasn't quite as mouth watering as the musician I was dating who played lead guitar and sang with his band at the Trident. I had just moved out to California from Chicago right after graduating high school. It was an incredible time and very surreal... Marin County was the mecca of creativity and talent and the Trident was one of the main stomping grounds. The whole town of Sausalito buzzed and Gate 5 was totally tripped out. I lived next door to Shel Silverstein and I was a waitress at the Sweetshop just down the road. I often waited on David Crosby and friends for breakfast and lunch. Almost everyday this great looking sandy haired guy would come in and bring me flowers. It turned out he was this incredible musician at the Trident who also played a lot of clubs in San Francisco. I can remember a lot of great things about him, but there are a lot of things I can't remember from that time, and I can't remember his name or the name of his band... One of my favorites songs they sang was Van Morrison's, "Crazy Love." The Trident had incredible musians play there as well as patronize it. I was pretty naive, but every thing was so laid back and over the top...it was just another day in the life to have Jerry Garcia or Grace Slick or, well, you name it, come into to town and come to the Trident. I know that having so much creative energy from that time still influences me as a singer songwriter today. The Trident will live on with great memories for all of us.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The TridentRestaurant.com!
May peace break into your house, and may thieves steal all your debts.
May the pocket of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline, and may laughter assault your lips.
May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.
May happiness slap you across the face,
And, may your tears be those of joy!
May 2009 be the best year of your life !!!
No L? Holiday Salutation on Bridgeway in Sausalito.....NOEL!
Frank Werber (1930 - 2007) for more information about the Memorial Services please go to: www.WerberMemorial.com
On May 20, 2007 Ken Flagg wrote, "Hello, I found your web site while searching for Frank on Goggle and thought you would want to know that he passed away Saturday in Silver City, NM. He suffered a stroke in February of 2004 and his health had been on the decline ever since. He is survived by his children Chala, Bodhi, Aari, and Miska and two grandchildren. I think it is wonderful that you are keeping his memory of the Trident alive, as that was one of his proudest accomplishments.
From the Kingston Trio web site: "We are sorry to report that Frank Werber, the Kingston Trio's original manager, passed away at his New Mexico Ranch Saturday afternoon, May 19th. His loss is deeply felt by us all. Frank helped make the Kingston Trio what it was and is today, and was our dear friend for over 50 years. Frank we will miss you greatly, and you will live on in our hearts and souls forever.MUSIC mogul. Trend-setting restaurateur. New Age guru. Back-to-the-land pioneer. Holocaust survivor. Small-town newspaper editor. Defendant in a star-studded Marin County drug trial.
ALEC PALAO on FRANK WERBER: http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=1316
KING OF COOL'S WILD REIGN By Paul Liberatore, Marin Independent Journal's June 15th headline
Frank Werber, who died May 19 at 78, was all of those things. To hear the stories being told about him in the wake of his passing, he was a few others as well.
Werber made pop music history as the savvy manager of the Kingston Trio, turning three clean-cut college boys into superstars, the biggest singing group in the world in the early '60s, igniters of the folk music boom.
He was the charismatic creator of the Trident, a jazz club that he transformed into a legendary Sausalito fern bar and organic restaurant, a "Hooters for hippies," as one former employee describes it, where the braless waitresses wore see-through blouses, a young Robin Williams worked as a bus boy, the Rolling Stones celebrated Mick Jagger's birthday, Janis Joplin had a special table by an arched window overlooking the bay and Woody Allen shot a scene for his 1972 movie, "Play It Again, Sam."
The Trident closed in 1980. The building, at 558 Bridgeway, is now occupied by Horizons Restaurant.
"There was a time when Frank Werber was the center of what was going on,"
recalled comedian Tommy Smothers. "The girls were cool, the place was cool, the music was great. He was a guru, a Svengali kind of guy. He was a guy who could spin a story and make you laugh. With Frank, there was always something interesting going on."
Kentfield psychiatrist and jazz pianist Denny Zeitlin was one of the musicians Werber booked to play for the Trident's fashionably hip clientele.
"Frank's spirit pervaded the whole place," Zeitlin recalled. "I remember his energy, his sparkle, his openness to music. I thought the Trident was one of the all-time great jazz clubs. It was as special as any place I've ever played."
In a 1990 interview, Werber told the Independent Journal that those days were "like riding a hurricane."
"The Trident was definitely a manifestation of its time and a forerunner and trendsetter for multitudes of restaurants," he said. "Its effects are still being felt."
Werber's reign as the king of cool began to thaw in 1968 when he was busted for having hundreds of pounds of marijuana stashed in his lavish Marin County home - an ultra-modern mansion on Richardson Bay's Da Silva Island.
Reflecting the tenor of the times, his 1970 Marin Superior Court trial was a counterculture circus. Pot was so pervasive in those days that half of the first 10 prospective jurors admitted that they'd smoked it.
With a half-dozen of his comely, miniskirted girlfriends in the front row of the courtroom, the bearded defendant would often appear in court with his long hair pulled back in a pony tail, wearing leather pants and embroidered shirts with hippie beads around his neck.
His attorney, the combative celebrity lawyer Terrence "KO" Hallinan, argued, unsuccessfully as it would turn out, that his client used marijuana for spiritual purposes and therefore was protected by Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.
Among the character witnesses were philosopher Alan Watts, prostitute union founder Margot St. James and Smothers.
"I testified that I'd had some religious experiences with Mr. Werber," the comedian remembered. "As I recall, we went out and smoked a joint between one of the sessions. That was the mindset at the time."
The jury, which included two admitted pot smokers, found Werber guilty of marijuana possession. He was fined $2,000 and sentenced to six months in jail. In San Francisco, a federal jury acquitted him of marijuana smuggling charges.
Even as a child, Werber's life was extraordinary. Born in Cologne, Germany, he arrived in the United States in 1941 with his father. The story goes that they escaped from a concentration camp after the elder Werber was spared execution - along with his son - because he was such a good cook that the Nazi commander didn't want to lose him.
In San Francisco, Werber developed a talent for show business, managing Enrico Banducci's famed North Beach nightclub, the hungry i.
During that time, he went to see an unknown collegiate singing group, the Kingston Trio, discovering them at a little club in Redwood City, the Crack Pot.
"Somebody had told him about us and he loved what he saw," remembered the Kingston Trio's Bob Shane, now retired and living in Phoenix. "We made up a contract with him on a paper napkin."
Shane credits Werber with coming up with the Trio's button-downed image and squeaky-clean persona.
"As much as we were, he was responsible for getting us started," he said. "He helped mold us, got us rehearsing on a regular basis, got us working on a show, helping us get our outfits together so that we'd be a visual act, too. We went to Stanford, so they had us billed as America's clean-cut college kids, but don't think any of us even knew one."
Werber may have been a wild flower child, but Nick Reynolds, another original member of the Kingston Trio, thanks him for keeping the group's phenomenal success in perspective, encouraging them to invest their fortune - in the Trident, in a number of homes and properties in Marin and San Francisco, including the Columbus Tower, now owned by Francis Ford Coppola.
"We were the biggest group in the world for four or five years," Reynolds said from his home on San Diego's Coronado Island. "We had five albums in the top 10 at one time. The main thing I can say about Frank is that he kept us safe. We stayed in San Francisco, we didn't move to L.A. We never had any mob scenes around us. We all kept our sanity. I know I did. He kept us together. He was like a second father to me."
By 1967, the Kingston Trio were on their way out, replaced on the pop charts by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the rest of the British invasion.
In the early '70s, with his trial behind him, Werber moved to a little mining town, Silver City, in southeast New Mexico.
"When he first got here, he did a lot of hanging out in the hot springs, playing the pseudo cult leader guru, smoking a lot of weed, probably doing a lot of acid," Werber's daughter, Chala, 35, recalled.
"In typical Frank Werber fashion, the first thing he did was open a health food store, the Sunflower, so he could have a place to get good food. It was the first health food store around here."
After a year or two, Werber tired of town life and moved his family to a remote ranch two hours away, becoming a pioneer in the back-to-the-land movement.
"We had chickens and goats and horses and an organic garden that was at least an acre," Chala said. "We'd only go to town every month or two. We were pretty much self-sustaining. It was a great place to grow up as a kid."
Werber eventually moved back to town, rescuing a failing newspaper, the Silver City Enterprise, publishing it for a few years.
But his health had steadily been failing since he developed diabetes in his 50s, his daughter said, and he suffered the first of several strokes three-and-a-half years ago.
When he died of heart failure at home last month, he had his four children around him - Chala, Mishka, Aari, Bodhi - and a number of others who were close to him.
"We all gave him parting gifts of water from the spring, crystals, beads, Buddhas, cologne, good drink and good smoke," Chala said in an e-mail. "He had the ashes of his dog, Jet, at his feet. He was the center of everybody's universe. He was very much himself to the end."
A memorial service is planned for October.
From SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle web site)
To view or sign an online Guest Book, click link below:
Frank Nicholas Werber Born Cologne, Germany, March 27, 1929 Died Silver City, NM, May 19, 2007 Survived by his children, Chala, Bodhi, Aari, Mishka and Daniel; his grandchildren, Anahi and Mylena; and the children's mothers, Diane and Cathrine; as well as a myriad of other loves and friends who's world has become more empty with his passing. His life full to overflowing, Frank was among other things: a Holocaust survivor, refugee, Navy sharpshooter, student of architecture, hobo, beatnik, photographer, music and entertainment entrepreneur, night club owner, race car driver, marijuana advocate, hippy visionary, restaurateur, health food pioneer, single parent, conservationist, newspaper owner and hermetic guru. He passed away at his daughter's home in NM, and per his wishes was laid to rest the next day in a natural burial on his ranch in the Gila Wilderness. Sometimes credited with having started the folk music movement, and possibly best know as the manger/producer of the Kingston Trio, Werber was also the creator of the famous Trident Restaurant, a 1960s and '70s Bay Area hot spot which was long considered one of the top restaurants in the country. While many of the most famous and influential people of the era counted him as a friend, fame and fortune were never a most important measure of esteem to Frank. Tiring of the California "scene" he purchased a remote hot springs ranch in the mountains outside of Silver City, NM, in 1974 and slowly turned his energy inward toward the wilderness and his family. Frank will be greatly missed, but his light burned so brightly that those who truly knew him will always feel the glow. A memorial is being organized for this fall. For info, or to offer a donation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 5/27/2007.
San Francisco Chronicle June 8, 2007
If anyone ever lived up to the image of the swinging 1960s hipster, Frank Nicholas Werber was the man.
The original manager of the Kingston Trio and a successful restaurant and business owner, he had been living it up for several years by the time the Summer of Love rolled around. The bearded entrepreneur wore beads and a tweed coat with a flower in the lapel. There were sports cars, miniskirted young ladies, a penthouse office in San Francisco, sailboat cruises in Mexico and pot.
Lots of pot.
Narcotics agents said six sea bags full of marijuana were delivered to his swanky home overlooking Richardson Bay in 1968, leading to his arrest, two sensational trials and a six-month jail sentence in Marin County.
The charismatic hippy music agent died May 19 of heart failure in Silver City, N.M., where he had lived on a ranch since 1974.
Born in Cologne, Germany, in 1929, Mr. Werber spent time in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust.
He told his family that he and his father were at one point lined up to be shot by a Nazi firing squad when an officer ordered the elder Werber pulled from the line. As the story goes, the officer didn't want to lose the camp's best cook. Because his father wouldn't leave without him, Mr. Werber, too, was saved. The father and son later escaped, although details about that are vague.
Mr. Werber learned to cook from his dad, and from then on, good food played a major role in his life.
He immigrated to the United States. After high school, he joined the Navy and served as an aviation photographer, midshipman and sharpshooter. He later attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the University of Colorado.
Family members said Mr. Werber worked as a commercial artist, gold miner, cabdriver, horse rancher, ski-lift operator, construction worker and press photographer.
He eventually landed in San Francisco, where he met Enrico Banducci, the renowned North Beach impresario who operated the hungry i nightclub. Mr. Werber impressed Banducci and was hired as manager.
He stayed at the nightclub for four years and then happened upon a group of young Stanford singers at a bar and signed them to a management contract. The Kingston Trio soon blossomed into a national sensation, ushering in a folk music movement that lasted through the 1960s.
Mr. Werber turned out to be a masterful promoter. He created a multimillion-dollar recording studio and promotional development and publishing company called Kingston Trio Inc., which took up two floors in the Columbus Tower office building.
He then established Sausalito's famous Trident Restaurant, which started out as a jazz hot spot in the 1960s. Mr. Werber later turned it into a psychedelic health food restaurant with hanging plants and handmade candles where rock musicians hung out and ogled braless waitresses.
The now-defunct restaurant, on Bridgeway, set aside a table for Janis Joplin, and a young Robin Williams worked there as a busboy, according to Mr. Werber's daughter, Chala Werber.
"Everyone who was anyone hung out at the Trident," she said. "He interviewed all the waitresses, and they had to be super hot. They weren't expected to wear a bra."
When Native Americans occupied Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971, the pier outside the Trident was used to ferry supplies to island dwellers. In 1974, the Rolling Stones held a private party at the Trident thrown by Mr. Werber's good friend Bill Graham. It was, according to several revelers, a mind-altering experience.
Erudite and witty, Mr. Werber had a financial interest in the hit show "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." He was active in numerous sports, including sailing and scuba diving, which he practiced often in the tropical waters off Puerto Vallarta.
He was, by all accounts, on top of the world in 1968 when federal agents raided his Marin County home and seized 258 pounds of Mexican pot they accused him of conspiring to transport.
Mr. Werber admitted smoking pot, but said he never trafficked in it. He argued that he was set up by dealers who were trying to save their own skin. A federal court jury eventually found him not guilty after a widely publicized trial. He was then tried by Marin County authorities for possession and cultivation of marijuana.
Mr. Werber was defended by Terence Hallinan, who would later become San Francisco's district attorney. The trial was a circus. Sheriff's officers dragged sea bags full of pot into the courtroom, and Hallinan talked about Mr. Werber's spiritual connection to pot rooted in his experiences during the Holocaust. Celebrities marched in and out of the courtroom as a fan club of young women in miniskirts rooted for Mr. Werber, who, participants said, smoked pot a few times during the breaks.
Mr. Werber loved to recount how Tommy Smothers of the Smothers Brothers testified that he had known the defendant for years and "before he started smoking pot, he was a real — hole."
"It was a pretty interesting trial," said Smothers, 70, a longtime friend who got a big laugh when he testified. "It was very stressful for him at the time, but he just moved on."
Mr. Werber retired at age 43 to an old adobe lodge on 160 acres of wilderness in New Mexico once used by Teddy Roosevelt on his hunting expeditions.
"Everything my dad ever did, he did completely," his daughter said. "His philosophy was there is nothing worth doing that isn't worth overdoing. There was never any half-assing in anything in his life."
Smothers said: "He was a little slick, a little slippery and wonderfully funny and entertaining. He was a guy you would go out of your way to visit."
Besides his daughter Chala, he is survived by another daughter, Mishka Werber, sons Bodhi Werber and Aari Werber, stepson Daniel Benavidez and two granddaughters, all of Silver City.
A memorial is planned for the fall.
Letter to the Editor in response to the above article:
San Francisco Chronicle
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Editor — The June 8 obituary for Frank Werber seemed to damn with faint praise, suggesting that appreciation of a good doobie was the most significant achievement of this singular man's life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Werber was a pathfinder who wrought still-unacknowledged change within the entertainment industry in the late 1950s and '60s.
Werber took what were essentially three Peninsula frat boys — the Kingston Trio — and turned them into one of the biggest popular-music phenomena of the mid-20th century. However, it was in his supervision of the trio that Werber established guidelines on how a professional entertainer should be treated. He designed the basis of the "rider" that is used to this day whenever a performer appears, to guarantee an environment respectful of both artist and audience.
He took what had previously been the college lecture circuit and turned it into the college concert circuit. Most significant, Werber avoided the crass exploitation that was the overriding hallmark of artist representation in those days — i.e. the likes of Col. Tom Parker — preferring to take care of business in a classy, erudite manner.
No mention was made of his stewardship of We Five, whose Werber-produced 1965 smash hit, "You Were on My Mind," was the highest charting single to emerge from the Bay Area music scene until the rise of Creedence, almost five years later. Nor of the Trident Productions stable, an early and prescient breeding ground for many local rock stalwarts such as the Sons of Champlin.
Because, by late 1967, Werber had tired of wiping musicians' behinds and decided to dissolve his music interests, he is often written out of most histories of the 1960s San Francisco rock explosion. Frank had been out of the biz for many years by the time I got to know him, but he was still as smart and witty and hip — not "hippy" (sic) — as he had ever been. He deserves to be properly remembered for the pioneer he was.
Alec also wrote: http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=1316
TridentRestaurant.com : How did it all begin?
Bob Shane: We bought the place in 1960. When we took over it was called the Yacht Dock. It was a jazz club. It was a very straight, conventional kind of place. It had a nice big dock so people could tie up and come in. I think we kept the name until around 1966 when we started changing it—painting the ceiling, putting in all the curved railings and woodwork—going for the hippie style. That was done by Frank with the architect, Roger Summers.
Frank closed the place, but we (the Trio) were on the road for most of that time so we didn't see it taking shape.
When did you guys start playing and how did Frank become your manager?
We started the Trio in '57, and we were playing at a place called The Cracked Pot in Redwood City. It was like a little beer garden—had a little stage, and Frank Werber came in and liked us. He drew up a contract for us right there on a paper napkin. So we started rehearsing with him, and played a couple of places around the Bay Area, and then he got us booked into the Purple Onion. It was a two week gig, and we ended up staying for sixteen weeks.
So how did you end up owning the Trident?
Well, when we started really making money in the '60's we decided we were going to have to have some things to invest in, so we bought the Columbus Towers in San Francisco, and then we bought some property in Mill Valley and San Rafael, and we leased the option for the Trident. Then in '76 I did a stock trade out—I traded my share of the property we owned including the Trident for the rights to the Kingston Trio name. From that point on everything got great for me but I'm not so sure it did for everybody else.
Tom Dooley was your biggest hit, but Scotch and Soda is perhaps the Trio's best and the best known. Tell us where that came from. The music has Dave Guard's name on it but I heard he didn't write write it. What's the story?
It was written back in the thirties by an anonomyous musician in Phoenix, and was given to the Seaver family. Tom Seaver, you know, the baseball pitcher, was about nine when Dave (Guard) was dating his older sister at Stanford. We were driving down to LA, and we had dinner with their parents, and afterwards they said, "We've got this great song for you guys." and they gave us the music. And then later, when we weren't paying attention he put his name on it. It caused a lot of bad feelings later on. But he actually did it in order to give the money to the Seaver family, and they used it to put Tom through college. Of course, he did pretty well for himself later on.
And there's a pretty funny story about Dave. We were on the road and he picked up this chick, and checked into a hotel as Mr and Mrs using his credit card, forgetting that his wife paid the bills. That marriage didn't last.
You have any favorite stories of the Trident?
Back in about 1970 Frank had this really scawny palm tree on the walkway to the front door, and I was coming in the place with Nick (Reynolds—founding member) and I looked at that pathetic tree, and said, "I gotta come out and take care of this." So we went in, had a drink, and I came back out, picked it up and threw it overboard into the bay. Frank's pride and joy. I went back in and the manager said to me, "You can't do that. That belongs to Frank Werber."
I said, "Yes I can, because the Trident belongs to us."
He said, "And who are you?"
"The Kingston Trio."
(March 3, 2007)
Bob Shane's 1965 289 Cobra in the Trident parking lot
Bob, "It's my absolute favorite car that I've ever had!"