Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cacophony, Quick n' Dirty

A quick one for San Francisco Bay Area readers:

The late 1980s: It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times (to mock Mr. Dickens), but I, at least, did squeeze out some good times pranking about with the legendary San Francisco Cacophony Society, one the pioneering groups of urban adventurers and pranksters (the spawn of an even earlier group, the San Francisco Suicide Club).

Their alternative antics eventually gave direct birth to Burning Man (I attended the first one held at Baker Beach in 1990, though the cops closed it down before even a plank was laid. After that I went home, turned into Ozzie Nelson, and never went back.)

Just this year, two of Cacophony’s founders (and longtime friends of mine), John Law and Carrie Galbraith, published Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society. It’s a lovely colorful book, jammed-pack with photos, illustrations and, best of all, a short memory work by me about the Thomas Pynchon Midnight Tour through San Francisco I co-led in 1988 with Carrie, Steven Black, and John.

I could have contributed a few more memories (including a white-robed invocation I delivered for a Doggie Diner head one debauched Saturday night on a Sonoma County farm), but that time remains otherwise blissfully vague. There are also many memories I swat away like pesky flies and little yapping dogs.

And with publishing new books comes publicity, for which I will happily stand aside to allow the most kind-hearted and honorable Mr. Law to step forward:

Chaos Cacophony and the Commonwealth Club of California

Please join Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society co-authors Carrie Galbraith and John Law in conversation with Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk moderated by Business Week (!) Executive Editor Brad Wieners.

Monday the 23rd of September, doors 7PM

Castro Theater, Market at Castro Streets, San Francisco

Please check out the detailed description at

I shall not be attending the festivities at the Castro, as the mountains of Wyoming are calling me hither (ten years married to Elizabeth!)

. . . in fact, I won’t be here again until October. 

Until then, stay happy, find peace, be kind to each other. 

Copyright 2013 by Thomas Burchfield

Photo by John Law (Who else? Wouldn't catch me dead, nope . . . .)

Thomas Burchfield has just completed BUTCHERTOWN , a 1920s gangster shoot-'em-up. He can be “friended” on Facebook and tweeted at on Twitter. You can also join his e-mail list via tbdeluxe [at] sbcglobal [dot] net. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Elizabeth.

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