21. San Francisco East

The WhoAs 1967 progressed, the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. became a hippie mecca. During the Summer of Love, I had just finished Junior High School and was poised to take on High School. On many Saturdays, I remember my friends and I would take the bus to Georgetown and then just wander around all day. The shops were filled with loud music, psychedelic posters, black lights and all the trappings of the times. On the weekend, the entire Georgetown area was wall-to-wall people, out to sightsee and groove.

Once High School started for me, I began a part-time after school job at Davis Library and had more disposable income. Most of it was spent on music I would purchase at Korvette's, G.E.M. or Record Town in the Wildwood Shopping Center. The new single I remember playing the most around that time was "Pictures Of Lily" by The Who. At that time I still wasn't buying many albums. Two years later, the first concert I would go to on my own with my friends would be The Who at Georgetown University on November 2nd, 1969.

Nils LofgrenIn any event, back to September of 1967. I now considered myself an authority on music, so it was with a bit of a superior attitude that I decided to attend a talent show one day at my school. Most of the talent that day was forgettable, but I was primarily interested in seeing a band called The Crystal Mesh, which was supposed to be the best band in school.

When The Crystal Mesh started playing the old chestnut "Summertime", I wasn't impressed. Then they launched into Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" and the hairs literally stood up on the back of my neck! Their lead guitarist was unbelievable! The sound he created was a roaring wall of energy and feedback. I came to find that his name was Nils Lofgren and he was a year ahead of me at Walter Johnson High School. Nils wasn't in the The Crystal Mesh for long, opting to form his own group called Grin, which was signed by Spindizzy/Epic Records. I remember seeing Grin many times back in those days and they were always incredible. Later, after solo albums on A&M, Nils gained even greater fame and fortune as a member of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band...