Located in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in downtown San Francisco, California, the BAMMIES WALK OF FAME commemorates Bay Area greats with a bronze plaque showing appreciation for each of their contributions to Bay Area music.

Bill Graham, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, John Lee Hooker, Jefferson Airplane, Metallica, Journey, DJ Steven Seaweed, and Sammy Hagar have been inducted into the Bammies Walk Of Fame in front of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

BILL GRAHAM
Inducted : 1997

Bill Graham’s résumé would make any music lover’s jaw drop.

He ran the Fillmore and Winterland, put on concerts with Miles Davis and Neil Young (at the same time) and promoted national tours for Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Graham lived for the music that he evangelized throughout the nation.

Sunday afternoon, November 3, 1991, was a great day for a free concert in Golden Gate Park with the Grateful Dead, Santana, Joan Baez, John Fogerty and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. It was a classic San Francisco party with a 300,000-plus crowd, staged — of course — by Bill Graham Presents.

But Bill Graham himself was not there to orchestrate the proceedings with the clockwork precision and fiery intensity of a great conductor. Along with his companion Melissa Gold and pilot Steve Kahn, he had died just over a week earlier, on October 25, when their helicopter crashed into an electrical tower. Bill Graham was 60 years old.

“Perhaps the most appropriate comment on who he was and what he left behind is that his operation, in five days, could put together a concert for 300,000 people with good sound, in total safety and without incident,” said Dennis McNally, publicist for the Grateful Dead. “And a show in which the last act, the Grateful Dead, went on stage and off on time, to the minute.”

WALK OF FAME Plaque

CARLOS SANTANA
Inducted : 1997

Santana’s star arrived in the era-defining late 1960s San Francisco Bay Area music scene with historic shows at the Fillmore and other storied venues. The group emerged onto the global stage with an epic set at the Woodstock festival in 1969, the same year that its self-titled debut LP Santana came out. Introducing Santana’s first Top 10 hit, “Evil Ways,” the disc stayed on Billboard’s album chart for two years and was soon followed by two more classics – and Billboard #1 albums – Abraxas and Santana III.

Ever since, for more than forty years and almost as many albums later, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and reached more than 100 million fans at concerts worldwide. To date, Santana has won 10 GRAMMY® Awards, including a record-tying nine for a single project, 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”) as well as three Latin GRAMMY’s. In 1998, the group was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose website notes, “Guitarist Carlos Santana is one of rock’s true virtuosos and guiding lights.”

Among many other honors, Carlos Santana received Billboard Latin Music Awards’ 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor, and, he was bestowed Billboard’s Century Award in 1996. On December 8, 2013 he was the recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Award. Rolling Stone has also named him #15 on the magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” noting that “Santana’s crystalline tone and clean arcing sustain make him the rare instrumentalist who can be identified in just one note.” And, with the 2014 release of Corazón, Santana surpassed the Rolling Stones and is one of only two music acts in Billboard history to score at least one Top Ten album for six consecutive decades from the 1960s on.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

JERRY GARCIA
Inducted : 1997

The music and ethos of the San Francisco scene had begun to draw the interest of East Coast and British musicians and were starting to affect the thinking of artists like the Beatles and Bob Dylan – the same artists who only a year or two before had exerted such a major influence on groups like the Grateful Dead. For that matter, San Francisco bands were having an impact not just on pop and fashion styles but also on social mores and even the political dialogue of the times. Several other bands, of course, participated in the creation of this scene, and some – including Jefferson AirplaneQuicksilver Messenger Service, and Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company – would make music as inventive and memorable as the Dead’s. In addition, nobody should underrate concert promoter Bill Graham’s importance to the adventure; he was an often acerbic character, but he would emerge as an invaluable and scrupulous caretaker of the community that he served.

Still, it was the Grateful Dead who became known as the “peoples’ band” – the band that cared about the following that it played to and that often staged benefits or free shows for the common good. And long after the Haight’s moment had passed, it would be the Grateful Dead – and the Dead alone among the original San Francisco bands – that would still exemplify the ideals of fraternity and compassion which most other ’60s-bred groups had long relinquished and many subsequent rock artists repudiated in favor of more corrosive ideals.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

JANIS JOPLIN
Inducted : 1998

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1943, Joplin fell under the sway of Leadbelly, Bessie Smith and Big Mama Thornton in her teens, and the authenticity of these voices strongly influenced her decision to become a singer. A self-described “misfit” in high school, she suffered virtual ostracism, but dabbled in folk music with her friends and painted. She briefly attended college in Beaumont and Austin but was more drawn to blues legends and beat poetry than her studies; soon she dropped out and, in 1963, headed for San Francisco, eventually finding herself in the notoriously drug-fueled Haight Ashbury neighborhood. She met up with guitarist Jorma Kaukonen (later of the legendary San Francisco rock outfit Jefferson Airplane) and the pair recorded a suite of songs with his wife, Margareta, providing the beat on her typewriter. These tracks – including blues standards like “Trouble in Mind” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” – would later surface as the infamous “Typewriter Tapes” bootleg.

She returned to Texas to escape the excesses of the Haight, enrolling as a sociology student at Lamar University, adopting a beehive hairdo and living a generally “straight” life despite occasional forays to perform in Austin. But California drew her back into its glittering embrace in 1966, when she joined the Haight-based psychedelic-rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Her adoption of a wild sartorial style – with granny glasses, frizzed-out hair and extravagant attire that winked, hippie-style, at the burlesque era – further spiked her burgeoning reputation.

The band’s increasingly high-profile shows earned them a devoted fan base and serious industry attention; they signed with Columbia Records and released their major-label debut in 1967. Of course, it was Joplin’s seismic presence that caused all the commotion, as evidenced by her shattering performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, which was captured for posterity by filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker; in the film, fellow pop star Mama Cass can be seen mouthing the word “Wow” as Joplin tears her way through “Ball And Chain.”

WALK OF FAME Plaque

JOHNNY LEE HOOKER
Inducted : 1998

His work is widely recognized for its impact on modern music – his simple, yet deeply effective songs transcend borders and languages around the globe. Each decade of Hooker’s long career brought a new generation of fans and fresh opportunities for the ever-evolving artist. He never slowed down either: As John Lee Hooker entered his 70s, he suddenly found himself in the most successful era of his career – reinvented yet again, and energized as ever, touring and recording up until his passing in 2001.

Not only was the decade a time of celebration and recognition for the legendary artist, but it was also a highly productive era. He released five studio albums over the next few years, including Mr. Lucky, which once again teamed up Hooker with an array of artists; Boom Boom, which aimed to introduce new fans to his classic material; the GRAMMY® Award-winning Chill Out; and a collaboration with Van Morrison, Don’t Look Back, which also garnered two awards at the 1997 GRAMMYs®. Throughout the decade, Hooker’s great body of work and contributions to modern music were being recognized not only by his peers, but also by a younger generation. He became a familiar face in popular culture, with appearances on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman. In 1990, a massive tribute concert took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden, featuring Hooker and an all-star lineup of guest artists. One year later, John Lee was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while in 1997, he was presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, shortly before his death, John Lee Hooker was recognized with a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award, and just one week before his passing, ever true to form, the bluesman spent his final Saturday night playing a now-legendary show to a packed house at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, CA.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE
Inducted : 1999

 

Jefferson Airplane formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay area during the summit of the counter culture sweeping the country, and soon became became a household name with appearances on radio, television, and top selling albums.

Jefferson Airplane’s debut show was on August 13, 1965 at the Matrix nightclub in San Francisco, then went on with several successful tours including performances at the Berkeley Folk Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, and Altamont.

They recorded hit singles such as “White Rabbit,” “Volunteers,” “Embryonic Journey” and “Somebody to Love” and smash albums such as “Volunteers,” “Surrealistic Pillow,” “Bark” and “Takes Off.”

The band featured: Grace Slick (vocals), Marty Balin (vocals and guitar), Paul Kantner (vocals and guitar), Jorma Kaukonen (guitar), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Founding members also included Signe Toly Anderson and Skip Spence. Later lineups of Jefferson Airplane included Joey Covington on Drums, and Papa John Creach on violins.

Around 1973 they disbanded, forming a generation of new bands including Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, and more. In 1989 a short reunion occurred, 1996 the band was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 2016, the band earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

METALLICA
Inducted : 1999

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career.[1][2] The band’s fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding “big four” bands of thrash metal, alongside MegadethAnthrax and Slayer. Metallica’s current lineup comprises founding members and primary songwriters Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to form Megadeth after being fired from the band) and bassists Ron McGovneyCliff Burton (who died in a bus accident in Sweden in 1986) and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Metallica has released ten studio albums, four live albums, a cover album, five extended plays, 37 singles and 39 music videos. The band has won nine Grammy Awards from 23 nominations, and its last six studio albums (beginning with Metallica) have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018.[4] Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked them at no. 61 on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.[5] As of 2017, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991,[6] selling a total of 58 million albums in the United States.[7]

WALK OF FAME Plaque

JOURNEY
Inducted : 2003

During their initial 14 years of existence (1973-1987), Journey altered their musical approach and their personnel extensively while becoming a top touring and recording band. The only constant factor was guitarist Neal Schon, a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana in 1971-1972. The original unit, which was named in a contest on KSAN-FM in San Francisco, featured Schon, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after the first album). Another former Santana member, keyboard player and singer Gregg Rolie, joined shortly afterward. This lineup recorded Journey (1975), the first of three moderate-selling jazz-rock albums given over largely to instrumentals.

For over 40 years, Journey has been one of the greatest classic rock bands of all time. The band has released 23 albums and 43 singles since 1975 and has reached worldwide album sales totaling more than 75 million.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

STEVEN SEAWEED
Inducted : 2018

 

On his last day of an unbelievable 44-year career in radio, Steven Seaweed plans to do what’s made him a success, and it’s more than “shut up and play the hits.”

On Friday, the DJ at 107.7 The Bone is ending his most recent 17-year stint at the station by taking classic rock requests from fans (and perhaps playing a few tunes of his own choice — possibly by notables including U2, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix).

The mid-day jockey credits his longevity to staying positive and “being lucky enough to have good ratings.”

He admits, “People like me, they like my voice.” And they appreciated that he actually talked about the music he played.

Seaweed, whose first radio job was at the free-form KLRB “Carmel By the Sea” (when he simply added “weed” to “sea” right from the start, it stuck), has survived huge shifts in the industry.

He points to the move from vinyl to CDs and analog to digital; the advent of the internet; and, most dramatically, deregulation that allowed corporate conglomerates to take over the airwaves.

“That changed everything,” he said, describing the demise of local control and local content.

Back in the day, one great KSAN spot was the Friday noon “Hot Lunch,” an all-request show featuring live local bands, a live studio audience and even free food.

“It’s all about the listeners,” he said, adding that at his cohorts’ recent Lamont & Tonelli Ball in Concord, he didn’t see the show (Styx, REO Speedwagon, Don Felder) because he was busy having conversations with well-wishers.

WALK OF FAME Plaque

SAMMY HAGAR
Inducted : 2018

 

After spending several years as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the mid-’70s hard rock band MontroseSammy Hagar began a solo career that produced several hits and made him an album rock favorite. Hagar became a true star once he joined Van Halen in 1985, but he’d been a popular hard rocker ever since his first album with Montrose.

After giving up a boxing career, Hagar began singing in the late ’60s, performing with various California bands including Skinny, the Fabulous Catillas, Justice Brothers, and Dust Cloud. During this time, he built up a solid reputation in the California hard rock scene. Former Edgar Winter guitarist Ronnie Montrose asked Hagar to join his band, Montrose, in 1973. Hagar recorded two albums with Montrose before going solo in 1976, taking the group’s bassist, Bill Church, with him. Montrose‘s drummer Denny Carmassi later joined Hagar‘s band, along with keyboardist Geoff Workman.

In 1985, Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen; his first album with the group was 1986’s 5150Hagar released his last solo album in 1987; the record was coined I Never Said Goodbye in an MTV contest. Hagar stayed with Van Halen throughout the remainder of the ’80s and half of the ’90s. During that time, the band had four other multi-platinum albums — OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993), and Balance (1995) — before tensions began to surface between Hagar and the rest of the band.

WALK OF FAME Plaque