LEGENDS OF THE WESTERFELD


 

WILLIAM WESTERFELD

William Westerfeld (c.1843-1895), was a baker and confectioner who had owned his business, in partnership or alone, since 1875. He had come to California at the age of 15 and had learned his trade from an uncle who had arrived earlier. He was born in Bremen, Germany, and belonged to several of San Francisco's German organizations. He was well respected in the community. The house at Fulton and Scott may have been the first one he owned, as his address had previously been changing every 2-3 years. The elaborateness of the house may represent both Westerfeld's prosperity at the time of construction and the traditional elaborateness of his major product, wedding cakes and other confectionery.


JONATHAN J. MAHONEY

Jonathan J. Mahoney (c. 1843-1918), significant half of the Mahoney Brothers (Jeremiah and John J.), who were major San Francisco building contractors from about 1875 to about 1909. Mahoney Brothers played an important role in San Francisco’s immense reconstruction effort following the great 1906 earthquake and fire. Among other landmarks, the Mahoney Brothers were responsible for rebuilding the Palace Hotel, the St. Francis Hotel and Berkeley Greek Theater.


HARRY HOUDINI

Mahoney was a reportedly gregarious man who enjoyed entertaining celebrities of the day in the home’s 28 rooms, once allegedly hosting  famed escape artist and paranormal researcher Harry Houdini is linked to the house for having conducted telepathic experiments for guests of Mr. Mahoney’s dinner party. After his death in 1918, his descendants kept the house approximately the same for another decade.


GUGLIELMO MARCONI

An Italian inventor and electrical engineer known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. He is often credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy" Marconi was an entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company in the United Kingdom in 1897 (which became the Marconi Company). He succeeded in making a commercial success of radio by innovating and building on the work of previous experimenters and physicists. 


JOHN HANDY SR.

John Handy has written a number of highly acclaimed, original compositions. "Spanish Lady" and "If Only We Knew both earned Grammy nominations for performance and composition. The popular jazz/blues/funk vocal crossover hit, "Hard Work", brought him fame in another realm; while "Blues for Louis Jordan" displayed his talents in rhythm and blues. He has written many compositions of various sizes for both instrumental and vocal groups. His more extensive works include "Concerto for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra" which was premiered by the Parnassus Symphony Orchestra; and "Scheme Number One" which was lauded as a fine example of fixed and improvised music by the great composer, Igor Stravinsky.


ART LEWIS

(Former Resident) Born in New Orleans, Art Lewis began his career in San Francisco, where he studied under Philly Joe Jones. He played at many local clubs, including Jimbo’s Famous Bop City, which was the major club at the time. He moved to New York in 1968 and played with many of the more prominent modern jazz players at clubs like the Village Vanguard, Slug’s, Ali’s Alley, The Tin Palace, The Public Theater, Jazz Workshop, and more.


HEIDI MCGURRIN

(Former Westerfeld Resident ) In 1962 Heidi's father was President of the San Francisco Real Estate Board. She was a high society girl, a debutante whogrew up in one world, dreaming of another.  In 1965, she became a white women married to an African American jazz artist. Today Heidi is an award winning fine art and commercial photographer specialiingin artistic Weddings and Portraiture, and creates still life with antiques and objets d’Art for Commercials. Her work has been shown in Galleries and Museums throughout the Central Coast and Washington D.C. She has exhibited at the Monterey Peninsula Museum, the Carl Cherry Foundation, The Center for Photographic Art, and the Ansel Adams Gallery.


JIMMY LOVELACE

Bebop drummer Jimmy Lovelace was born in Kansas City on February 6, 1940. A regular collaborator of guitarists Wes Montgomery and George Benson, pianist Junior Mance, and clarinetist Tony Scott, he lent his subtle, nuanced accompaniment to records including The George Benson Cookbook but remained little-known outside of the most devout jazz enthusiasts. In 1965 Jimmy was roomates with Art Lewis and Heidi McGurrin at the Westerfeld. 


KEN KESEY

was an American novelist, essayist, and countercultural figure. He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.


TOM WOLFE

is an American author and journalist, best known for his association with and influence over the New Journalismliterary movement, in which literary techniques are used extensively and traditional values of journalistic objectivity and evenhandedness are rejected. He began his career as a regional newspaper reporter in the 1950s, but achieved national prominence in the 1960s following the publication of such best-selling books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test(a highly experimental account of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters)


KENNETH ANGER

is an American underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author. Working exclusively in short films, he has produced almost forty works since 1937, nine of which have been grouped together as the "Magick Lantern Cycle".His films variously merge surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult, and have been described as containing "elements of erotica, documentary, psychodrama, and spectacle". 


 BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL 

is a former associate of the Charles Manson "Family" (he denied ever being a member) who is serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of music teacher and associate Gary Hinman on July 27, 1969. By some accounts, Beausoleil's personal attractiveness made him the Manson family's main recruiter of young women. He was a promising musician in addition to being an aspiring poet and actor at the time of the Hinman murder.


ANTON ZANDOR LAVEY

was an American authormusician and occultist. He was the founder of theChurch of Satan and the religion of LaVeyan Satanism. He authored several books including The Satanic BibleThe Satanic RitualsThe Satanic WitchThe Devil's Notebook, and Satan Speaks!. In addition, he released three albums, including The Satanic MassSatan Takes a Holiday, and Strange Music. He played a minor on-screen role and served as technical advisor for the 1975 film, The Devil's Rain,[3] and served as host and narrator for Nick Bougas' 1989 mondo filmDeath Scenes.



MICK JAGGER

Mick Jagger is rock's premier frontman and one of the most popular and influential British musicians of all time. Instantly recognizable as the iconic lead singer with the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world, he has set standards for performance and creativity that remain unmatched to this day.


JERRY GARCIA

was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his work with the band the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s. Though he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or "spokesman" of the group.

 

CHET HELMS

often called the father of San Francisco's 1967 "Summer of Love", was a music promoter and a counterculture figure in San Francisco during its hippie period in the mid to late Sixties. Helms was the founder and manager of Big Brother and the Holding Company and recruited Janis Joplin as its lead singer. He was a producer and organizer, helping to stage free concerts and other cultural events at Golden Gate Park, the backdrop of San Francisco's Summer of Love in 1967, as well as at other venues, including the Avalon Ballroom. He was the first producer of psychedelic light-show concerts at the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom and was instrumental in helping to develop bands that had the distinctive San Francisco Sound.


JAMES GURLEY

was an American musician. He is best known as the guitar player of Big Brother and the Holding Company, a psychedelic/acid rock band from San Francisco which was fronted by singer Janis Joplin from 1966 to 1968. 

In the summer of 1965, Chet Helms brought Gurley to 1090 Page Street to meet Peter Albin and Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and shortly thereafter, he joined the band. His fearlessly wild guitar playing made the band's reputation for "far-out" psychedelic experimentation. 

He was known as the first guitarist in 'space', due to his progressive 'acid' style, and one of the most influential of the San Francisco Sound.


JANIS JOPLIN

In the summer of 1965, Chet Helms brought Gurley to 1090 Page Street to meet Peter Albin and Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and shortly thereafter, he joined the band. His fearlessly wild guitar playing made the band's reputation for "far-out" psychedelic experimentation. He said it developed from his admiration of John Coltrane's barrier-breaking saxophone solos.[1]

He was known as the first guitarist in 'space', due to his progressive 'acid' style, and one of the most influential of the San Francisco Sound.


FAYETTE HAUSER

Fayette began in underground scene in Manhattan’s West Village with Lenny Kaye, later guitarist for Patti Smith. She was involved there with filmmakers such as Jack Smith and Andy Warhol appearing in the Ronald Tavel-Andy Warhol film The Life Story of Juanita Castro. In the summer of 1968 Fayette went to Aspen, Colorado to paint. While there she was picked up hitch-hiking by Nancy Gurley, the wife of James Gurley, the guitarist for Big Brother and the Holding Company. Meeting Nancy was the event that changed the course of her life. Nancy brought Fayette to San Francisco and into the arms of the original counter-culture tribe, The Family Dog, one member of which was known as the "band magician" for Big Brother and the Holding Co, who lived in the Westerfeld courting visitors in his bedroom tower.