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Love and Poverty on Fulton Street

Chapter 7

In this house at 3005 Fulton Street just off Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, a group of young people try to start a rock band. Together, they write songs and practice on a daily basis. Once in a while the songs take shape and sound great.

They surely don’t have the vocals of Jefferson Airplane or the intensity of Country Joe and the Fish but they practice a lot and try to create an original, interesting sound. Sometimes they’re all out of tune, sometimes they just party. Getting it together in any consistent sort of way just can’t seem to happen. 

For a couple of years the sounds come constant, day and night, not so much to entertain as to seemingly counter the steady stream of delivery trucks, motorcycles, traffic, and the summertime influx of crashers and friends of friends whom no one seems to know.

A yellow Fender Stratocaster, a brown Gibson Melody Maker, a black Fender Jazz bass, several amplifiers, a new Ludwig drum set, and a P.A. system fill the living room space. Various persons—Ken from Topeka, Kansas, Jim from the Berkeley Hills, Bob from L.A., Delgado from Berkeley—try to form some kind of original rock and roll group. Oh yes, they all live together on money from home or from odd jobs to support their non-sequential lifestyle. Some of them seem like cast-offs from affluent families. Some seem to have no money at all.

Colored pen on board, Edwina Spooner

These photos not in the book.

The people in the house on Fulton
Street, including me, never had any
money to speak of but the ladies always
kept flowers in the house and the
backyard garden became a wonderful
refuge for all of us during the first half
of the 1970's.