I Was a Trophy Drinker

The top photo of me was taken in 1972 when I was living in Alameda. While living in Boston I made a rule, make the bar closest to you in walking distance, your bar, so you can avoid getting a DUI. I got into alcohol at the Father’s Three bar that was down the street from my apartment on Beacon Hill. After a hard day in court, where I conducted a legal battle with the Mafia, I would go the Father’s and peel away a young college girl, enroll her in my high drama. I had become a Trophy Drunk. I would drink with anyone, anyplace. When I returned to Oakland I lived in a hotel in downtown Oakland and drank at the Golden West where real hobos wandered in off the rail at 6:00 A.M. in the morning. Some of the characters in this bar inspired me to write my first novel ‘The Gideon Computer’.

I drank in dangerous black after-hours clubs in West Oakland until sunrise. I and my friends took over two bars on Piedmont that became the wildest bars in the Bay Area. My father drank in two bars on this street, that never closed to him and his son, because my father was connected. My grandfather was a professional gambler in the Barbary Coast and Crockett. When he died, 5,000 folks came to his funeral, including the Mayor of San Francisco.

My favorite bar was The Hut. I used to drink with Steve Kupka of the Tower of Power who was a roadie for the Loading Zone, whom I lived with for nine months in 1968. Peter was the lead guitarist for the Zone and took the picture of me for a album cover. Peter was my roommate, as was Tim O’Connor, the poet-singer who has been a friend of the family since he was fourteen. Tim invited me to stay on his boat when I go to Holland – with twenty four years of sobriety! I partied hardy for eighteen years, and have seen some gun play. I understood if I took another drink, I would soon be dead.

In my head, there is a barroom full of trophies, to go with some incredible stories. But, I’m into genealogies, these days, I wondering whose blood is running through my veins. 80 Proof don’t cut it with me anymore – or getting 86’de out the door.

On a bridge in Venice California we find the Four Amegos; Keith Purvis, Tim O’Connor, Peter Shapiro, and myself – Trophy Drugger-Drinkers – all. I forget the name of Tim’s girlfriend. Her father was a Hollywood agent who best freinds were Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando who were at her home all the time. This young woman was in the Big Party, and may not be on the planet anymore.

Jon Presco

The Marbles had the following members: Peter Shapiro on lead guitar, Steve Dowler on rhythm guitar, David Dugdale on bass and Ray Greenleaf on drums. They were a psychedelic group whose most notable performances were at the Tribute to Dr. Strange at the Longshoremen’s Hall in San Francisco on October 15, 1965, and again at the same venue for The Trips Festival on January 21, 22 and 23 along with Jefferson Airplane, The Charlatans and The Great Society. Both Shapiro and Dowler went on to become members of Paul Fauerso’s The Loading Zone.[1][2]

They were formed in Oakland, California in 1966 by singer-keyboardist Paul Fauerso, following the dissolution of his jazz group The Tom Paul Trio. The original lineup was Fauerso, bassist Bob Kridle, drummer Ted Kozlowski (replaced by George Newcom), and guitarists Peter Shapiro and Steve Dowler,[2] both formerly of Berkeley psychedelic rock band The Marbles, who had supported Jefferson Airplane at the historic “Tribute to Dr. Strange”, the inaugural Family Dog promotion concert held at San Francisco’s Longshoreman’s Hall in October 1965.
The Loading Zone’s first major concert was the Trips Festival at the Longshoreman’s Hall in January 1966.[3]. Although primarily an R&B band, The Loading Zone added contemporary psychedelic influences and soon became a popular attraction on the burgeoning Bay Area music scene. The Loading Zone was based at the Berkeley venue The New Orleans House, but performed numerous times at major venues including the Fillmore West.
Although The Loading Zone occasionally headlined, the group is better known for supporting some of the biggest acts of the period including Cream, The Who, The Byrds, Big Brother & the Holding Company, The Grateful Dead, Country Joe & The Fish, Howlin’ Wolf, Sam & Dave, Chuck Berry and Buddy Miles.[4][5]
In 1968 Fauerso placed an advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle seeking a new lead vocalist, which led to the recruitment of Linda Tillery, who joined just prior to the band’s signing with RCA Records. Despite their live popularity, the group lacked a strong base of original material; their self-titled debut album was poorly received, and was criticised for its excessive production and its reliance on cover versions. The Loading Zone was unable to garner support from radio, and eventually split in 1969.
This from Discerning the World
“The devil seems to be winning new ground while the Church of Christ retreats even further into its sanctuaries hoping the Lord will come and take us to Heaven out of here! But that is not going to happen, because the ‘Dominion Mandate’ does not include the option to hunker down fearfully in our religious cocoons hoping the bogey man will go away and leave us alone.”


Bruce Conte was born in Sanger, and grew up in Fresno, California. Prior to joining the band, Conte was a guitarist in various Bay Area groups, including The Loading Zone, who shared rehearsal halls with, and regularly opened shows for Tower Of Power

An original Irish American Folksinger / Bluesman. Born in Chicago, grew up in Hollyweird. Tim spent an eight year period of his life hitchhiking over 300,000 miles in 26 countries. O’Connor has three songs in the feature film “Dead Calm”. A high seas chiller thriller, starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane. In the summer of 1999 Tim made a solo crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean in his sail boat “Theanna”. From Nantucket Island to the Netherlands. He lives on his boat in Holland. He has recently completed writing ten books about his mad adventures. The Hitchhiking Poet’s songs and stories go together like a hot dog and a bun, the books are done. So are the CD’s And the DVD’s. ” I’m a late bloomer with a sense of humor.” Tim O’Connor the Hitchhiking Poet makes his living by singing and playing his songs and the Blues

Jon Presco

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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