San Francisco Matrix

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.  Here 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

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