Towering. Aloof. BASS charge applies.
The venue with the biggest history.

And so it was that on May 10, Porcelain set forth to map a route across a stage that had withstood the onslaught of epic show after epic show, spanning decades and drug trends. Tailing the Mermen and their 200 bootleg posters into a Friday night fracas, the band counted legions of loyal fans in the mix, easy to spot as out-of-place among the surfer shirts and fake Santa Cruz accents.

Porcelain BASS ticket

Was Bill Graham looking down from his lofty perch, making sidebets with Jimi and Janis about how long it would be before guitarist Rich DeWilde would leave the group to take over the fashion beat at Relix magazine? Frankly, no one really thought much about it. More pressing issues were close at hand, like who had the drink tickets and how to get one of those cool bootleg posters.

Mermen/Porcelain Poster

The posters. Neon. Brash. PMRC relevant. Explicitly implicating Porcelain as co-conspirators in this melee that some called Richter-measurable. And very hard to come by. At least once the Fillmore poster police got wind that somebody was trying to scoop their graphic gravy. There was the standard confiscation, the innuendo and rumor as word spread like wildfire through the restless crowd, the empty-handed who stood wondering why. Early obtainers whispered in hushed tones the details of transactions that yeilded copies of these hot-hued keepsakes.

Fillmore set list

While some would argue that Porcelain merely opened for the Mermen, those in the know at the show saw it otherwise. The Western Addition rockers held captive an eclectic crowd for forty minutes, taunting and twisting them with a set of searing originals. The ghosts of the Fillmore sat up and adjusted their hearing aids. This was a moment. In time and shit.





Bassist Nick's state-of-the-art polyester shirt system was the talk of the after-set, though guitarist Rich was voted "most likely to develop a cult of personality". Lead vocalist/guitarist Steve lit a camel and took it all in. Drummer Chris was somewhere practicing moderation. Heavy Into Jeff tried heartily to follow Porcelain's massive set.

comp ticket stub

A week earlier, this gig had been a date in The Datebook. Now this date was history, no more 'now' than the torn comp stubs discarded by the door. Porcelain history. The spit and grizzle kind.

SF Datebook Fillmore listing, 5/5/96

In the distance, someone whistled "We've Only Just Begun", Carpenters style.
Close by, someone swatted them hard with a rolled-up poster.

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