Live In San Francisco

Hey Socials et al! Thought we should close out the year with a bang, so tune in tomorrow night for this week’s early release; Science for Sociopaths LIVE from the Hotel Utah. This is seriously one of the coolest places we’ve ever played. Not solely because it’s been frequented by the likes of Robin Willams and John Mayer; it’s got an interesting history all it’s own.


It was built in 1908, when the Barbary Coast was still going strong. 1908, the year Bette Davis was born. The year of the first Model T. Twenty-eight years BEFORE the Bay Bridge. This bar was standing before, during, and after Prohibition.The Deininger family opened the saloon, and commissioned furniture makers in Belgium to design and create its ornate bar-back. They also served the city’s best beer, Fredericksburg, brought to The Utah by horse and carriage and lowered into the cellar in wooden kegs.


Gamblers, thieves, politicians, hustlers, friends of opium, gold diggers, charlatans, fancy miscreants — the stuff of early American fancy – they all frequented The Utah. And that was when South of Market was just a lonely section of the San Francisco waterfront.After the Bay Bridge was finished in 1936, SOMA came into its own. The saloon (and the hotel upstairs) was home to all sorts, with traffic flowing back and forth between San Francisco and the East Bay.


In the 1950s, Al Opatz presided over the saloon. Al didn’t like neckties. If someone wearing a tie got close enough, Al cut the tie off with scissors. His favorite way to greet someone was to offer them his hand and say “Shake the hand that shook the world.” His clientele were beat poets, gangsters, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Bing Crosby, the cocktail generation. He eventually bought the bar in 1966 and renamed it Al’s Transbay Tavern. Al’s Transbay gets a mention in Coppola’s film, “The Conversation.”In 1977, Paul Gaer, who co-wrote the story for the 1979 film “The Electric Horseman,” bought the bar from Al. He renamed it The Utah, and built a stage to support local music, experimental art, writers, comedy, and theater. Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, and the Pickle Family Circus, among others, broke it in.


And tomorrow night at  9:30pm PT, it’ll be home to a unique set of Science for Sociopaths originals and covers, featuring Maggie on acoustic/vox, Kevin Buschman on electric, and Zack Scot Losel on bass. 

The feed will be live-streamed on the SFS facebook page, and re-posted here on Patreon for convenient viewing. 

ALSO IMPORTANT: The kitchen doesn’t close until 11pm. I will be hungry after the set, and there are a handful of promising things on this menu…I’m almost always thinking chicken wings, but I’ve been considering a burger lately, too. Hotel Utah has a handmade veggie burger that I’ve heard good things about, but I’ve never had a veggie burger before…tomorrow could be the night? Idk…play it safe, or go veggie? Opinions will be taken into consideration and a thorough report will be made. 

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