Pat’s Bay Area Music Favorites

Loud, bluesy licks at high volume: Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, T-Rex, Velvet Underground, The Faces, Jeff Beck, MC5, the Stooges, the Stones, Cream, the Beatles, James Gang. These bands helped us get through the nights, and their music helped form my wild youth. It was snow from November to May, then 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity. Loud powerful music, alcohol, and my ’62 Chevy, filled with buddies and smoke. I remember one Cleveland band’s motto was “Boogie til you puke!” Steeltown, hard workers, hard drinkers.

Everything was going East, toward New York and across the Atlantic to England. That is where I thought I would end up doing photography.

But somehow, I wound up in San Francisco, and the music couldn’t have been more different. Probably the great weather, the mellow people, and an amazing creative atmosphere had a lot to do with it.I fell in love with the Bay Area music scene and the music that it produced.

So just for fun, I put together a list of my favorite Bay Area songs. (There are many more, but I had to stop somewhere, so my list numbers 35.) I still love my gut-blasting British bands, and I may do a song list someday of their music. But this one is for San Francisco and all the great music it has produced. They are in no particular order. Here you go…Enjoy!

  • “Kahoutek,” Journey
  • “Rock Candy,” Montrose
  • “Soul Sacrifice,” Santana
  • “California Uber Alles,” Dead Kennedys
  • “Alcohol,” Y&T
  • ”American Beauty” (the entire album), Grateful Dead
  • “Heart of Stone,” SVT
  • “White Rabbit,” Jefferson Airplane
  • “Teenage Head,” Flamin’ Groovies
  • “Good Riddance(Time of Your Life),” Green Day
  • “Down by the River,” Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  • “Terraplane Blues,” Roy Rogers
  • “Boom Boom,” John Lee Hooker
  • “White Punks on Dope,” The Tubes
  • “Juke Joint Jump,” Elvin Bishop
  • “Summertime Blues,” Blue Cheer
  • “Psychotic Reaction,” Count Five
  • “8:05,” Moby Grape
  • “Listen to the Music,” the Doobies Brothers
  • “Song of Our Ancestors,” Steve Miller
  • “Wicked Games,” Chris Isaak
  • “Surfing with the Alien,” Joe Satriani
  • “U Can’t Touch This,” MC Hammer
  • “Bad Liquor,” American Music Club
  • “Enter Sandman,” Metallica
  • “Fixing-to-Die Rag,” Country Joe and the Fish
  • “Humpty Dance,” Digital Underground
  • “California Love,” Tupac
  • “What is Hip?,” Tower of Power
  • “Walls Came Down,” The Call
  • “Born on the Bayou,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Gimmie Some Water,” Eddie Money
  • “Breakup Song,” Greg Kihn
  • “Sister Christian,” Night Ranger
  • “New Drug,” The Mutants

Enjoy your turkey!


Pat Johnson Studios
140 South Park
San Francisco, CA 94107