George Harrison and Pattie Boyd visiting Haight-Ashbury - 1967
Beatle George Harrison tours the Haight, 1992
By Johnny Miller
August 2, 2017
George Harrison and wife Patti Boyd visit San Francisco in 1967.
Here is a look at the past. Items have been culled from The Chronicle’s archives of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago.
Aug. 8: Fired Police Chief Richard Hongisto, now a supervisorial candidate, had harsh words last week for his former colleagues on the board. Speaking at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the business community, Hongisto thrashed the board individually and collectively for spending hours debating obscure issues — and for its failure to extend the state of emergency imposed by Mayor Frank Jordan after the Rodney King riots. “The Board of Supervisors practically applauded the rioters,” Hongisto said in an angry speech. “I was fired from the job as police chief before the National Guard even left Los Angeles.”
He mocked Supervisor Terence Hallinan for inviting Fidel Castro to San Francisco, Supervisor Carole Migden for her hearing on animal sacrifice and Supervisor Angela Alioto for her proposed ban on electroshock therapy. Hongisto was fired for allegedly ordering thousands of copies of an unflattering newspaper removed from their racks. When it was suggested to Hongisto that, if elected, he might have no friends left on the board, he snapped back sarcastically, “They’ve already shown their friendship to me.” Hallinan ... wasted no time firing back. “I don’t believe a newspaper thief is fit to be a member of the Board of Supervisors,” Hallinan said.
— Marc Sandalow
Aug. 8: Beatle George Harrison toured the Haight-Ashbury yesterday peering through lavender glasses, strumming a guitar and eventually drawing a huge following of flower children behind him. Harrison, called “the quiet Beatle,” and his wife Patti, first parked at Masonic Avenue and Haight Street about 6 p.m. and wandered down the street unnoticed among the throng of hippies. Harrison sported the drooping French mustache, long hair, buttons, flowered trousers, denim jacket and heart-shaped shades affected by many members of the love generation. And 23-year-old wife Patti could have been just about any hippie girl with her long blonde hair and granny glasses.
The two walked the length of Haight Street looking into the shops and watching the local residents and finally stopped at “hippie hill” in Golden Gate Park. A young man was entertaining a crowd of about 20 hippies. Harrison and his wife listened for a minute and then Harrison asked, “Can I borrow your guitar?” The young man said “Sure.” Harrison took the guitar and started to play. And played unrecognized for about three minutes. A girl listened and looked at Harrison then started shouting: “Hey! That’s George Harrison. That’s George Harrison!” ... A sizeable crowd formed. Harrison played for about ten more minutes and then shouted, “Let’s go for a walk.” And off they went, Harrison strumming the guitar, the hippies following along. As the crowd left the park it grew. “What do you think of the Haight-Ashbury?” asked a hippie. “Wow. If it’s all like this it’s too much,” Harrison answered.
— David Swanston
Aug. 10: The lights are going out at San Quentin. The towering gray walls which have been illuminated like a carnival through years of California nights will become a dark mass along with the rest of the State’s coastline come Aug. 20 and the new dim-out regulations. Darkness, nature’s great camouflage, will descend upon 3000 inmates of San Quentin, but the nightly parade of hundreds of men across the three-acre yard to and from the prison theater and night school “will go on as usual,” Warden Clinton Duffy said yesterday. The honor system, enforced by the inmates themselves, will replace the disciplinary glare of the 3000-watt lamps that used to expose the yard in a glare brighter than daylight. Warden Duffy said the dim-out would cause only one change in the long list of privileges he has established for inmates. The San Quentin Drama Guild will not be able to give its three performances for “outside” guests.
Aug. 7: Every time an Alameda barkeep pulls back a sudsy schooner from the bar he must sterilize it before he fills it with foam for another thirsty customer. Alameda became yesterday the first municipality in the bay district to order its saloon and soda fountain proprietors to comply with the new State law requiring the sterilizing of all drinking vessels before they are served to a second customer. While the law has gone into effect in the encinal city, the San Francisco Board of Health is still working on the problem. ... Since the law was passed, two representatives of the Board have been detailed to see that the smaller purveyors of drinks equip themselves with proper facilities for washing all drinking vessels in hot water, as the law provides.
Johnny Miller is a freelance writer.