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October 17th 2018
Published: October 17th 2018
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Silicon valleySilicon valleySilicon valley

Viewed from the Mountain Winery
We're gearing up for RTW4 by writing up some retrospective blogs from our recent California trip..... You should be able to see earlier blogs. Anyway, back to California..



SC writes… I had some good memories of gigs in San Fran many years ago and was keen to find some new music experiences. Well we found a good one – The Mountain Winery near Saratoga, near San Jose. In the UK we booked to see Boz Scaggs (supported by Madelaine Peyroux) and Cheap Trick (supported by “Ann Wilson from Heart”) – two gigs in three nights.

The Winery is right up in the hills overlooking Silicon Valley and is a delightful setting. There’s a large (3000 seater) amphitheatre and stage set that’s a building not unlike the Alamo in Texas. A brilliant setting and lovely weather for an outside concert. The sound system was astonishingly good and we thoroughly enjoyed all the concerts. The only downside were the prices which were equally astonishing but in a bad way. A pint and half of good craft beer cost £24.00 … YEP – astonishing. The food was equally bonkers so we passed – no supper. On the second night we
Johnny MarrJohnny MarrJohnny Marr

On stage at the Fillmore, San Fran
learned the lesson and ate before the gig.

Later in San Fran I fought my way over to the West of the City – to the Fillmore no less. An Iconic venue if ever there was one. There I saw Johnny Marr (“of the Smiths”) who seemed equally chuffed to be there. Great gig. The one hour late night journey back to our hotel in Berkeley by public transport was “interesting”….. but all was well and Cathy waited up for my safe return.

I was also able to squeeze in someCD shopping at AMEOBA records in San Fran and (pictured) Streetlife in Santa Cruz. This and the three great gigs completed the Music part of our California adventure.


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Amoeba Records, San FranAmoeba Records, San Fran
Amoeba Records, San Fran

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17th October 2018

It’s not all about music!
The music was, of course, great. But they have loads of used bookstores over there too! The iconic Moe’s Bookstore was just a few doors away from Amoeba Records in Berkeley, and I had a whale of a time. Loads of students in Berkeley, of course, so lots of textbooks in there - but I’d travelled with a list books I wanted, and what I didn’t find in Moe’s I found elsewhere on the trip. Thank goodness I’d travelled out light!

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