San Francisco Matrix

San Francisco Matrix

Opened August 13, 1965

San Francisco Matrix

San Francisco Matrix

          Rock venues slowly became part of the music scene and one of the first, before the Fillmore Auditorium, before the Fillmore East or Fillmore West, and before the Straight Theater, there was the Matrix.

Marty Balin

          The Matrix was Marty Balin's idea.  And a clever idea it was. He converted a pizzeria into a club and used his band, the Jefferson Airplane,  as the house band.

Great Society

          One of the other bands that played there at the start of the Matrix was the Great Society. Fans of Grace Slick will immediately recognize the name of the band she left to join Balin and the Airplane.  Her she is with the Great Society at the Matrix in 1966 singing a song that would also become a staple of the Airplane:

San Francisco Sound

          The Matrix became the early hub of what would become the San Francisco Sound, but the venue featured bands from all over during it's relatively brief life until 1972. 

          Dozens of unknown upcoming bands played there including:
  • Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • The Blues Project
  • Boz Scaggs
  • The Chambers Brothers
  • The Charlatans
  • Charlie Musselwhite
  • Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airment
  • Country Joe & the Fisth
  • Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
  • The Doors
  • Electric Flag
  • Elvin Bishop Band
  • Grateful Dead 
  • Harvey Mandel
  • Hot Tuna
  • Mickey Hart
  • Moby Grape
  • New Riders of the Purple Sage
  • Quicksilver Messenger Service
  • Santana
  • Taj Majal
  • Velvet Underground 

After closing

     The club re-opened at 412 Broadway, but closed in fall of 1973.

     Later new renters remodeled the space the first Matrix occupied and turned it into a nightclub with only a DJ, and no live music.

     Today the space is called the Matrix/Fillmore, evoking the glory days of the San Francisco sound, though there is no live music.     

     According to the Matrix/Fillmore site the venue is "one of San Francisco's most intimate, boutique-style music venues where you can enjoy handcrafted cocktails, bottle service and premium champagnes while dancing to a range of dance music, from House to 70s, 80s, 90s genre. Located in San Francisco's Marina district, MatrixFillmore is also a stylish venue for private corporate and social events."

San Francisco Matrix

Scott Powell

Scott Powell

Helped found Sha Na Na
Woodstock alum
TV star
MD

Scott Powell

Scott Powell

        Scott Powell was born in Dallas, Texas, on August 13, 1948.

        Yes I know. Scott Powell is not a household name. Unless, of course, you are in his house.

        Sha Na Na was not a household name at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair either, but that Sunday morning they came out and performed for the many thousands of fans who had stuck it out and awaited Hendrix.

        From his site: " He performed with the group at the Woodstock Festival, Fillmore East and West, in Europe and Japan, on the syndicated television series, Sha Na Na, and in the movies."

Movies!

  • 1970 – Woodstock – as himself with Sha Na Na
  • 1972 – Dynamite Chicken – as himself with Sha Na Na
  • 1978 – Grease – with Sha Na Na as Johnny Casino and The Gamblers
  • 1980 – Caddyshack – Gatsby
  • 1994 – Woodstock Diary – as himself with Sha Na Na
  • 2003 – Festival Express – as himself with Sha Na Na
         He left the band in 1980 and  returned to Columbia to pursue a career in medicine.

           To say that that's not where many of the Woodstock performers went is an understatement, of course.

Dr Powell

  • Dr. Powell attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • He interned at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
  • His residency was in Orthopedics at Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City.
  • He completed his Fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
  • Dr. Powell is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

Still musically involved

          Again from his site: Dr. Powell has partnered with MusiCares, the charity arm of the Grammys, to bring free medical care to musicians who cannot afford insurance, at the Pierre Cossette Center at Stetson Powell Orthopedics....  Dr. Powell has been elected to the Board of Directors of MusiCares and serves as Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.