It was absolutely strange to feel that, walking along at 22nd and Mission, I was hearing conversations reminiscent of Melrose Ave. or Manhattan. Additionally, the immaculately scrubbed and primping people inhabiting that space are not familiar to Disaster Amnesiac. I won't deny them their right to pursue whatever it is that they feel is their right to life, liberty and happiness, but goddamn it's strange to have that feel so much on display in the Mission.
Likewise, it was odd to not see Sam's big blue banner at 9th and Howard. His shop was such a landmark for a wide cross section of musicians. I always loved going there. Sam had vintage posters of Ginger Baker and Black Sabbath on the walls, and he'd always have some great, pre-Punk Rock going on the stereo, provided that there wasn't a Giants game on. He sold all manner of drum gear; his "snare drum wall" was truly a thing of beauty. Sam had a deal with a local machinist, and could put rivets in cymbals or have a piece of vintage gear physically replicated flawlessly. He is also a friendly person, supportive of just about everyone. He gave me a ton of pointers about drum hardware, as I'm sure that he still does for others at his new shop in Eugene, OR. Somehow, I doubt that the new proprietors at 283 9th St. have quite the same vibe going.
Disaster Amnesiac has always tried to remain realistic about the changes that happen in San Francisco and the Bay Area. I don't dismiss the fact that this area was built on speculation, that its principles are firmly rooted in boom and bust cycles. Still, the last week's forays into SF made it glaringly obvious that the changes are indifferent to me, too. I am humbled before this fact.