Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bobby Beausoleil's "Orkustra"
This information was compiled by Bruno Ceriotti with the help of Bobby Beausoleil.
Bruno Writes: "This story is the work of Bruno Ceriotti.
Help in putting this together has been provided by Jaime Leopold and Bobby Beausoleil, to whom I'm most grateful".

"One of the most unusual bands in history. In early 1966, Bobby BeauSoleil originated an electrified psychedelic chamber group that over the course of the following year and a half would become widely known in the San Francisco Bay Area as The Orkustra".

The Orkustra Show List 

THE ORKUSTRA #1 (SEPT 1966 - DEC 1966)
1) Bobby Beausoleil electric guitar, bouzouki with magnetic mandolin's pick-up, sitar
2) David LaFlamme vocals, violin
3) Terry Wilson drums, percussion
4) Jaime Leopold double-bass, electric bass
5) Henry Rasof oboe amplified with harp's pick-up
6) Neal flute

September - October 1966: The Coffee Gallery, 1353 Grant Avenue, North Beach, San Francisco, CA
The band, billed as 'The Electric Chamber Orchestra', debut playing regularly for a few weeks at this coffee house located in the North Beach neighborhood, in the northeast of SF

October 6, 1966: Panhandle Park, Oak Street at Masonic Avenue, near Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA with Big Brother And The Holding Company, Grateful Dead, Wildflower "Lunatic Protest Demostration - Love Pageant Rally"
The group played for free during an outside Thursday afternoon unauthorized protest demostration held in the park and organized by local hippie communities (among others, the "notorious" The Diggers) after having learned from the news media that the US Government had just declared LSD illegal.

THE ORKUSTRA #2 (DEC 1966 - JUN ??, 1967)
1) Bobby Beausoleil
2) David LaFlamme
3) Terry Wilson
4) Jaime Leopold
5) Henry Rasof 

December 24, 1966: St. John's the Evangelist Episcopal Church, Mission District, San Francisco, CA
This Saturday concert was also recorded and the tape was originally in the hands of David LaFlamme (singer and violinist of the band) but then he passes it to Henry Rasof (playing the oboe with the band) and the latter still keeps the tape jealously in her house at present. Two songs from the aforementioned tape were later released posthumously: 'St. John's Cathedral Jam' on the album: 'Light Shows For The Blind' (2006) and 'Gypsy Odyssey' on the album: 'Adventures In Experimental Electric Orchestra From The San Francisco Psychedelic Underground' (2009).

January 1, 1967: Panhandle Park, Oak Street at Masonic Avenue, near Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA with Big Brother And The Holding Company, Grateful Dead, Wildflower (not confirmed) "The New Year's Wail/Whale!" (free concert)

January 6-8, 1967: Cedar Alley Coffee House, 40 Cedar Street, San Francisco, CA
Two different posters exist for this weekend gigs (evening show on Friday and Saturday and afternoon show on Sunday): in one the band was billed as 'The Orkustra A Concert Of Electronic Chamber Music' and in the other they was billed as 'Electronic Chamber Orchestra The Orkustra'.

January 27-29, 1967: Cedar Alley Coffee House, 40 Cedar Street, San Francisco, CA For this weekend gigs (evening show on Friday and Saturday and afternoon show on Sunday) the band was billed as 'The Orkustra Electronic Chamber Orchestra'.

February 3-5, 1967: Cedar Alley Coffee House, 40 Cedar Street, San Francisco, CA
Same as above.

February 24, 1967: Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, San Francisco, CA "The Invisible Circus / Rite Of Spring Event"
The group, joined on stage by unknown congas players, played for free in an artistic and musical happening held on days 24-26 (Friday-Sunday), co-organized by The Diggers and not advertised (except for a couple of radio spot). The famous film director Kenneth Anger was present at the performance of the band and was impressed especially by their leader Bobby Beausoleil and by the end of the evening, while the band was in the parking lot ready to go home, Kenneth went to Bobby and after introduced himself, he offer immediately to Bobby the leading role of 'Lucifer' in his new underground film "Lucifer Rising" (actually the director had already assigned the role to another actor but once he saw Bobby he fired the first exactly).

March 4, 1967: Sokol Hall, 739 Page Street, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA with The Charlatans, Lynne Hughes
The band was billed as 'Electric Chamber Orkustra'. The poster of this gig not specify the year and the name of the day hence some sources think wrongly that the exact year is "1966" but the band is not yet born on March 1966 hence the exact year is "1967" exactly.

March 5, 1967: California Hall, 625 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA with The Steve Miller Blues Band, Dino Valenti, Richard Brautigan, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Committee, The San Francisco League For Sexsual Freedom, The Radha Krishna Temple, The Diggers "Bedrock One - A Benefit for the Communication Company - A Rock Dance Happening Enviroment"

March 30-31, 1967: California Hall, 625 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA with Hedds, Sparrow, Outcasts, Santana Bluz (sic) "April Fool's Dance-Concert and Costume Ball"

April 4-9, 1967: The Rock Garden, 4742 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA with The Steve Miller Blues Band, The Only Alternatives

April 9, 1967: New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA with The New Age, Congress Of Wonders, Annie Johnston and The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Malvina Reynolds. Paul Arnoldi, Larry Hanks, Notes From The Underground, Eric Vaughn (afternoon show)

April 11-16, 1967: The Rock Garden, 4742 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA with Buffalo Springfield
The band was billed as 'Electric Chamber Orkustra'.

April 19, 1967: Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (morning show)

April 19, 1967: 101 California Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA "The Friends of Mingus Present" (evening show)

April 28-30, 1967: New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

May 5-7, 1967: Avalon Ballroom, 1268 Sutter Street at Van Ness Street, San Francisco, CA with Big Brother And The Holding Company, Sir Douglas Quintet

May 9, 1967: 'The San Francisco Scene', CBS TV Show (broadcasting date)
A television documentary of the 'San Francisco rock scene' produced by famous TV host Dick Clark and broadcasted today at 10:00pm. A few local psychedelic rock bands appeared and The Orkustra was among them.

May 22-25, 1967: Both/And, 350 Divisadero Street, Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA

May 28-30, 1967: California Hall, 625 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA with Sandy Bull, Sparrow, Epics, Flying Circus, CIA, Outfit, Bearing Straight, Ancestra Spirits, Loading Zone, Richard Honeman Quintet, New Salvation Army Band, Notes From The Underground, Lightning Rod and the Circuit Breakers, Little Bo and Co., San Geet "Ancestral Spirits Festival - Benefit for Haight-Ashbury Karmic Bail Fund and the Church of One"
The band was mispelled as 'The Orkestra' on the poster of this event.

June 2-3, 1967: New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

June 10, 1967: New Orleans House, 1505 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA

June 10-11, 1967: Hunter's Point District, San Francisco, CA with The Charlatans, The Steve Miller Blues Band, The Loading Zone, Ulysses Crockett and The Afro Blue Persuasion, Phoneix, Anonymous Artists of America, SF Mime Troupe, The Committee, Sonny Lewis Quintet, Haight Street Jazz Band, Raquels, Earth "Muhammad Ali Festival"


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

There's some big names on there... not the least of which are "The Grateful Dead" (twice), "Buffalo Springfield" and "Dick Clark".

I didn't realize the "Orkustra" played so many shows... or, with so many big names.

A couple things I'd like to see looked-up, if anyone has the time.

#1) Was Neil Young with Buffalo Springfield April 11-16, 1967?

#2) Is this "Steve Miller Blues Band" the same Steve Miller Band we're all so familiar with?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

"I'm just a poop-butt, that fell out of the penitentiary".

Charles Manson

Kimchi said...

Yep, Neil Young was with BS from 1966-68...

And yes again, same Steve Miller....

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a mid-night toker
I get my lovin' on the run

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Love Ya Kimchi!!!


Kimchi said...

You aren't so bad yerself big guy...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


The Grateful Dead (twice)... "THE" Steve Miller band about 6-8 times... Buffalo Springfield with Neil Young...

Bobby played with some BIG names!

Maybe Saint was right, all along... it all originates around the music scene!! LOL

Kimchi said...

Not to mention "Big Brother and the Holding Co" and also David LaFlamme..."Its a Beautiful Day"...

I understand LaFlamme carried around some tapes of Bobby's for many years..I think Bobby finally got them back..

I'd be interested in seeing that Dick Clark video...

katie8753 said...

The Electric Chamber Orchestra..did that evolve into the Electric Light Orchestra?

Okay I'm showing my ignorance here. I've hardly heard of any of these people except the ones you've mentioned.

Bobby should have steered clear of Manson. He might have had a lucrative career in the music industry.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Nah Katie... it's not ELO. LOL

Funny story...

Did you ever have a kid in your neighborhood, who had one album, and played it the whole summer? LOL
I had such a kid.
He played ELO the entire summer.
He was the same neighborhood kid, who sold everyone their fireworks. LOL
We'd go over there... buy bottle rockets and "salutes"... run from yard to yard... and literally shoot (and throw) them at each other! LOL
(Yeah, that explains it huh?)

I must have heard ELO's "Turn to Stone" 600 times that summer.
For some reason, the card game "blackjack" was the rage over there too.
We'd play for nickels and dimes.
The kid was something of a neighborhood entreprenour.
He'd also sell concert t-shirts.
His brothers became lawyers... he became a real estate agent. LOL

I also distinctly remember another neighbor playing "Band on the Run" by Paul McCartney & the Wings, 8,000 times... an earlier summer.

Then my friend rich friend "Gordon" came along... with like 2,500 vinyl albums... and changed my life!

Like Charlie...
It's always good to have one rich "Dennis Wilson" friend, in your life at all times! : )

By then, cassettes were out, and "Gordon" (who became an accountant, LOL) made me many recordings.

I also used to stay-up late on saturday nights, and record "The King Biscuit Flower Hour".
They would feature one complete album, late every saturday night.
Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull... you name it.
Anyone else remember that radio show?

It's funny how, looking back, many neighborhood guys ended-up in occupations that made sense for their personalities!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Guess I'm not the only one who remembers "King Biscuit Flower Hour".
Click here for King Biscuit on Wiki

Dilligaf said...

Loved King Biscuit Flower Hour. Back when I was a little dilligaf, it played on the FM channels, where the "bad side of rock" was played. It was great stuff.

But then I remember 8 track tapes all too well. When my mom passed away a couple of years ago, we were cleaning out her house and found she had saved boxes of my 8 tracks. Nothing like Santana Abraxas, the Doors, or even early Elton John (when he was still good) on 8 track.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hey Dilligaf!

The beloved 8-track... LOL

I had quite a collection, myself.

I distinctly remember buying loads of those "blank" 8-tracks that Radio Shack sold... and recording tons of stuff.
Remember those?
The Radio Shack "blanks" were always RED... and they'd give you that big sticker to write the song list on... you'd peel it, and stick it on. LOL

I never really liked 8-tracks, because there was no fast forward or rewind.
Many times, the song I wanted to hear, was not the first on it's respective track... so, I'd have to wait through some horrendous song (or two) that I hated, to hear what I wanted.

8-tracks were in fact, the first low cost "mass medium" on which regular folks could record their own music.
That was the big breakthrough, in my estimation.
How many folks had the means to "cut" their own record album?

From a musician's standpoint however... it surely cut into their sales.
Heretofore... either you had the vinyl album, or you didn't.
There was no in-between.
8-Tracks ushered-in, bootlegging, album swapping, and the like.

Nowadays with online "sharing"... I honestly don't see how musicians make a living.
You really don't have to buy anything anymore.
I found everything on Van Halen's new album online for free, within 24 hours of the official release... including the entire "bonus DVD video footage" on youTube... (which VH had added to the CD).

This is my guess, as to why it suddenly became popular for 60 and 70 year old musicians, to reform their bands, and start touring "live" again...

That phenonmena (coming out of retirement and playing live) began around the time, it became impossible to sell an album.

The lowly 8-track, was the beginning of our modern day "sharing", "bootlegging"... or whatever fancy name one wants to affix to stealing. LOL

Peace Dilligaf!

You gotta love a dude, who remembers the famous "King Biscuit" radio show!!!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

This just in...

An old friend of the blog (Peter) writes:

"Neil young left buffalo Springfield on May 1, 67 on the eve of their appearance on the Tonight Show".

Bobby's "Orkustra" played on the same bill as Buffalo Springfield... April 11-16, 1967.
So... I'm assuming Neil was there.
(according to Peter's information)

I really believe, the murders revolve completely around Neil Young. LOLOL

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard is honored in New York.

Video Here

starship said...

Hi, Lynyrd...thanks for puttin the booze up right where I can get it. To remain inbred I don't have to do nothing, but to stay inebriated I have to imbibe...

King Biscuit Flower Hour? Of course, I remember that too...and 8 tracks! OMG. Did you ever know anyone who actually had an 8 track player installed in his car? I sure did.

Mary said...

At the risk of exposing my age...I remember the King Biscuit Flower Hour...I swear not too long ago I was listening to a local radio station and they were playing some archives of this...could that be?

BTW - I would rather be thought of as inbred and inebriated than a follower of any other blog who doesn't have a sense of humor about anything and takes themselves way too seriously and gets off on putting other people down.

Thanks Lynyrd!

katie8753 said...

I had an 8-track player in my 1966 Impala in high school. And later in my 1967 VW Bug. Course the AM radio didn't work in either car.

I had the best tapes too. The Guess Who, Cat Stevens, Three Dog Night, James Taylor, Paul McCartney & Wings, Sergio Mendes...wait did I say Sergio Mendes? HA HA.

I can't remember what happened to them. I eventually got a cassette player.

Never heard of King Biscuit Flower Hour, but then again I was raised in a podunk red-neck inbred town in Texas.

katie8753 said...

It's really hard to understand why a guy like Bobby B., with so much obvious musical talent, would even have anything to do with Manson, much less go to someone's house to steal his money and then kill him.

What a waste!!!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Love You Mary...

Truly wish we saw more of You.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Starship asked:
"Did you ever know anyone who actually had an 8 track player installed in his car?"

Believe it or not (by Ripleys)...
I actually had a small part-time job, installing 8-track players in cars! LOL

It was a pretty lucrative (and fun) business for a young guy.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Katie said:
"Course the AM radio didn't work in either car".

No AM radio?
Probably a blessing. LOL

Does AM radio serve any purpose, other than snow cancellations? LOL

I remember there was an AM station in my area, which anounced the "snow cancellations" like every five minutes... and that's the only time, we ever turned AM on.
We'd turn it on... and pray like hell, there was no school!! LOL
(A northern thang, I guess)

I guess in yesteryear (way back)... AM radio featured some really good talk shows.
Now there's satellite radio for that...

prefeteria said...

Hey you old timers.
Many King Biscuit shows are available for streaming on Wolfgang's Vault. As are many other great concerts from back in the day. Speaking of which, if you search for Orkustra on you will see a band using that spelling that predates that of our great hero.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hey Prefeteria!

Thanks for the interesting information... and welcome to the blog!

Y'all come back now y'here! LOL

(Was that Beverly Hillbillies?)

My alcohol-soaked inebriated mind, is failing me. LOL
(Sorry man... inside joke)

katie8753 said...

Thanks Prefeteria....errrr, whatever that means. LOL.

I remember when you could only get AM radio, and then when FM came out, you could pay extra for AM/FM radio. Just like power steering. I remember when that came out and you could pay extra for power steering.

I've driven cars without power steering, and believe sucks.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I wonder how Kimchi is making-out with that "California Dreamin" show tonight?

It must be closing-in on showtime, right about now, out in California...

We want a full report! LOL

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

With Pictures! LOL

katie8753 said...

One more trip down memory lane, I remember in 1972 I got a waitress job and they had this new-fangled contraption called a Micro-Wave.

We were warned many times that if we put something in there to warm it up, to not stand in front of it, because the micro-waves might give us cancer. LOL.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Yeah... and anyone with a pacemaker, had better not get within 100 yards! LOL

Is there any truth to that one?
Who knows...

Kimchi said...

Hey cousin Lynyrd, cousin Katie, nephews Bobby and Starship, niece Mary or were you my 1/2 sister Mary, can't rightly remember..

"I wonder how Kimchi is making-out with that "California Dreamin" show tonight?

It must be closing-in on showtime, right about now, out in California...

We want a full report! LOL"

Hey, saw it yesterday - the closing show...will give you a full report with pictures! But you gotta wait, my beer is getting warm..hiccup...hiccup..

Hey prefeteria... I must have spent a good 3 hours on wolfgangs vault last night...I was amazed at all the old posters and concert postcards...awesome site..

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hey Half-Sista-in-Law Kimchi! LOL

We missed you, at the family barbecue last summer!

You were supposed to bring the hog jowls, gawt-dammit!!

: )

katie8753 said...

Hi cousin-sister Kimchi.

Good news! Your granddaddy is my new baby-daddy. That last one I turned out wasn't so purty...had 3 eyes. But this one should be gorgeous, except for the blindness and baldness and all.

Next year at the family barbeque I expect you to bring the possum stew. I'm bringing those fancy "pot passers" to help us out. LOL.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...



katie8753 said...


Well I finally learned how to walk upright without using my knuckles.

I also had to pop a couple of revenuers what wuz tryin' to bust up my still.

It's been a good day. HA HA HA.

Bruno Ceriotti said...

Hi guys!

First of all sorry for my very bad english but I'm Italian so I do not speak your language very well (!?). Thanks for posting in your blog my "The Orkustra Family Tree - Shows List", and thanks also to keep alive Bobby Beausoleil's music career. If someone of your is interested in another great chapter of Bobby's career like when he was a member of the legendary rock band Love (yes, that band, you know, Arthur Lee, Forever Changes, etc. etc.), please check it out the official authorized biography of the band that I write last year with the help of all the former members of the band still alive (Bobby too of course!). The book, called "My Little Red Book - Love Day-By-Day 1945-1971", is self-published only in ebook format (PDF file) and you can buy-download it through my book's website here for only 20 bucks:

Thanks! cheers,
Bruno Ceriotti