Film photography by Michelle Kilfeather
In the 1980s, Brian Belknap landed in San Francisco after traveling around the Northeast. His first stop was Fisherman's Wharf, which wasn't as "Disneyfied" back in those days. Brian's hustle was playing music for tourists, then packing up and finding a place to sleep. Often, his bed was also on the street.
In Part 1, Brian shares stories about his early days in San Francisco. He talks about those days in the wharf, some characters he met along the way, and he plays a song that, for him, captures those days. After a few stints in other towns, he came back to San Francisco in the '90s. He talks about his return and play another song from that era of his life.
Brian is having a record-release party at Brick and Mortar on May 11 with Sallie Ford and Mike Coykendal. Check his website for more details, and please, support local artists and musicians.
In Part 2, Brian talks about playing some open-mics, forming bands, and the importance of independent radio stations. The song he plays in this episode is called "Makes Me Think of You."
In Part 3, Brian plays the first song he ever heard Mike Coykendal, with whom Brian collaborates on several musical projects, play. It was a show at Bottom of the Hill. Brian found the show in the Guardian, the now-defunct weekly here in San Francisco. Mike played that night with his band The Old Joe Clarks. The song is called "Built Right on the Ground."
To wrap up Brian's three-part Storied: San Francisco episode, you'll hear a song he wrote after coming off a musical hiatus. He first played "Marie" at Hotel Utah. He ends the podcast talking about the need to support musicians and artists in San Francisco, a sentiment we at Storied: San Francisco agree with wholeheartedly.
We recorded these episodes at Brian's home in the Mission in March 2018.