Herrera had a crummy little club in 1969 when Nick Gravenities suggested
to him that he should try adding live music. Mike Bloomfield
and most of the recently disbanded Electric Flag Band. came to play.
They packed the little club and it really took off. Elvin Bishop
who had recently left the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and was forming
his own band was looking for a place to play. Herrera gave him Monday
nights and even served fried chicken. Monday night became a very happening
scene. Neal Schon who later joined up with Santana and helped form
Journey played with the band and The Pointer Sister from Oakland also
started out there with the band as back up singers.
Otis Redding came to play as well as the New Riders of the Purple
Sage, Grateful Dead and Boz Scaggs who was a former member of Steve
Miller Band. Also Merl Sauders and ex -Credence guitarist Tom Fogerty.
Merle Sauders played the Haight Street Fair this year and sounded
A couple of years later Herrera sold his North Beach club to Todd
Barken, who changed it to a jazz club and featured many great Jazz
musicans. Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey. Rahsaan Roland Kirk cut his
album "Bright Moments" there. Keystone gained a national
reputation as one of the great Jazz clubs on the West Coast. McCoy
Tyner, Stan Getz, Bill Evans and Miles Davis played there.
The financial burden of supporting a full-time jazz club was just
too much for Barkan. By 1983,he could not longer continue. He owed
the IRS $50,000. in back taxes and when another benefit was produced
for him by Bill Graham which featured Manhattan Transfer, Richie Cole,Jon
Hendricks and Bobby Mc Ferrin was held and the proceeds came to just
1500 dollars. Barken, heart-broken, was finished and moved to New
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