Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
In this podcast, Kitten picks up where she left off in Part 1. In 1981, she started going to school at SF State. It was her official move to The City.
She talks about dorm life, which involved lots of music and stereo wars. She kept going to see live shows, something she began doing as a teenager when she lived in the East Bay. Kitten catalogs bands she was in during her time in college, including one with someone who became a pretty infamous rocker.
After college, Kitten floated a bit. She looks back on a comparatively inexpensive city. She lived on Ninth Avenue in the Sunset and worked at Esprit as a phone operator until the young company shut down that department. Then she started working in vintage clothing and met many artists through that.
After a short time working in the world of "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" at a club in South of Market, she got a job on Divisadero at a place called The Thirdhand Store, where she stayed for 17 years. Members of The Cockettes worked there and bought stuff from the store. Kitten lived above the store.
"Kitten on the Keys" was born in the late-90s inspired by her time working at The Thirdhand Store. The shop played vintage music and she became enamored with tunes from the 1920s. A neighbor gave her some vintage sheet music, and everything aligned.
We chat about how Kitten has navigated the pandemic, which for a long time, meant no live performances. And we end the podcast with her response to the idea of what it means to still be here in San Francisco.
If you missed Part 1, definitely go back and check that out to hear all about Kitten's parents and her early life.
Follow Kitten on Twitter, Instagram, or her website, and book her for your next event! She'll be playing at The Rite Spot next Tuesday, Dec. 14.
We recorded this podcast at Royal Cuckoo Market in the Mission District in December 2021.