Welcome to the Trident!

Welcome to the “original” Trident Restaurant’s web log! This site would like your help collecting photos, stories, and memories, from employees, patrons, and anyone that frequented this unique establishment/ experience from 1966 to 1976.

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The Kingston Trio’s Trident, at 558 Bridgeway in Sausalito, uniquely reflected what was going on in the late 60’s and through the mid 70’s in the Bay Area. New York had Club 54 San Francisco had the Trident.  David Crosby called the Trident, “Ground zero for sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll!  Robin Williams worked there as a bus boy. Janis Joplin had her own table when she came in. Clint Eastwood and Sonny Barger (head of the Hell’s Angel’s) hung out regularly at the bar together. In 1972 and 1975, after their concerts, the Rolling Stones held private parties thrown by Bill Graham. The night the Trident closed in 1976, most of the employees had taken some sort of mind altering substance ,and the “kind” was freely indulged in throughout the evening … without any incidents or trouble from the Sausalito Police who were in attendence. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many stories here.  All surprisingly true!

What a trip!

Have the times changed? Your thoughts, stories, photos, and memories are welcomed!

Looking Back

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A few months back David Ganapoler posted an article from the Marin Independent Journal on Facebook regarding the closing of the Trident.  The article was written by Mark Whittington, and here are some excerpts:

“SAUSALITO – The Trident was a symbol of the 70’s that had a special magic. It was happening! The Trident was a hang out for rock stars, with Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan giving impromptu concerts.   Hollywood high brows and local hipsters rubbed elbows there with drug dealers and Hell’s Angels.  The carefully chosen waitresses turned heads.   Frank Werber opened the Trident in 1961 (the third version of the Trident officially closed in 1981.  We’re onto the fourth version presently 2014) patterning it after the jazz super clubs of the East Coast.

Werber discovered a folk group in Menlo Park, turned them into the Kingston Trio, and managed their rise to success.  The Trident was one of the groups real estate investments used to shelter the groups money.  Werber also managed to survive several controversial marijuana arrests beating all but one conviction.  The Marin Judge ruled that Werber’s use of pot for religious purposes wasn’t constitutionally protected.  The Trident’s special feeling spilled over to the employees, who had a family type relationship.”

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The Trident Movie

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Trident alumni Ed Gutekunst has written an amazing original Movie Treatment/ Short Story about three women coming of age in 1974 while working at the Trident. One of them is a Manager named Dagny(?), and the other two are two waitresses named Josie and Chelo.   This is a beautiful story about friendship, loyalty, and redemption.  Fiction written over real events that took place at the Trident. The summer of 1974. More about The Trident movie to follow… and perchance you’re in touch with Alexander Payne or George Lucas we’d love to talk to them!

You also may have noticed a new look here.This site previously was birthed on a GoDaddy quick blogcast web site account.  Although I had paid up to 2018 for the site to be hosted by GoDaddy – GoDaddy decided that they were not making enough money off of their Quickblogcast accounts, and dropped them…thereby ending (sent to the grave)  all those web sites including yours truly. This is a WordPress web site.  All previous post are being rescanned (Photos/images), videos recovered, and articles copied and pasted into this new format which will take weeks? Months? Thank you for your patience here as we restart/rebuild this web site… July 15, 2014

Mark Danforth Lomas  MDLomas@gmail.com  805.845.2888

Josie

A little story of my “Trident days!
Ahhh “The Trident”, my very first job, ever!  I met so many cool people, celebrities (Rod Stewart, who whistle to get my attention and got my reply as his friends were flabbergasted), the Stones whom I partied with at the Mark Hopkins, Bill Wyman, who had a thing for me and sent his limo to pick me up at 3 am to hang with him at the Record Plant (his woman at the time who threatened me for being with him),  and oh so many other interesting men I met!.
I worked with some of the most amazing women I have ever known! I am forever grateful of having been there at that special time. Shout out to my girls, Mimi (RIP), Patsy , Monique, Katie, Jan, Noreen, Leigh, Kathleen, Marsha, Donna, Poppy, Cassandra, Stevie, Bonnie, Sharlee, Herta (my partner in Boob Flashing the Ferry first thing in the morning!). Remembering how we all trailed to the ladies room when someone gave us a stash!  A special thank you to the man who came every day I worked and gave me a $100 bill folded and full! (you know who you are). These women somehow are part of my life!
Bobby the bartender who was always pissed at me cuz I didn’t know how to order the drinks, he once told me it was a good thing I was so cute, because i sucked as a waitress…bahahaha.  The kitchen guys whom I always flashed (for my orders) , just to make them smile, Pierre (RIP) who loved my boobs! I could have anything I wanted in that kitchen, I loved my job! Lou the sweetest and most compassionate man I ever met, his family, also form part of my entourage of dear people close to my heart growing as a woman.
I learned and mentally grew at that restaurant. I will forever be thankful to have been one of the Trident Girls, even though I was told many times that I wouldn’t be hired because of this!  I tell the tales to my kids, (sans some details) of how I was such an outrageous waitress, what a great time we had! These memories will forever live in my heart!
Thank you Mark for giving me the chance to connect with some of the girls and
 re live some of that wonderful ride that was “The Trident”
Josie
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Trident Babes recently submitted  left to right:  Monique, Mimi, Josie and Patsy …looking good! And Josie back in the day!

Jiro, Marty, Eric, and Robin

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If the parking lot could talk…. ?

We’ll Always Love You Robin!

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And we always did… 

Robin worked at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito, California in 1974, 1975, and 1976.

Robin was the first person I met in 1974 when I was hired to work  there. He trained me as a busboy.  In 1976 the Trident closed for repairs, and we went out looking for work together. On our second day out we were  interviewed together (only job interview I’ve had with another person?), and hired to work at the Sausalito Food Company as bus boys.

In 1976 Robin entered the first San Francisco Comedy Competition and came in second to Bill Farley, and Bob Sarlatte came in third.  Here is the link to the Bay Area Magazine’s Robin remembrance:  BAM Robin Remembrance

In 1977 , while we were working at the Sausalito Food Company, Robin joined an improvization group that was performing nightly for two weeks at Gatsby’s Bar  on Caldonia Street in Sausalito.  Every night he was amazing, and stood out from the rest of the performers.  The second week there a writer (or writers) from the Richard Pryor Show on NBC  were sitting at the bar.

The following week Robin was introduced on the show as one of the show’s new writers?  Shortly thereafter  he would become a regular performer on the Richard Pryor Show.

Robin was discovered at Gatsbys in Sausalito in 1977. From budding San Francisco comedy talent to writer and performer on NBC television.  And, from there….

Illustration by Hilary Slaughter 2014

  Jeff Burkhart “The Barfly” Remembering Robin 

Early Cirque Du Soleil

18RobinEricHertaOne2014Not too many people know that Cirque Du Soleil began in the parking lot of the Trident back in the mid 70’s.  This also was thought to be a pyramid scheme but was simply multi-level marketing.   Very clever in its day …..  Herta, Eric, and Robin …top to bottom…

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Thomas Rain Crowe

I worked with Robin for three years at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito (on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge). We worked the same three-day shift as busboys in the Trident–that hired only young people who were serious and active in the arts. I was publishing Beatitude magazine and living in San Francisco in those years (the old original Beat generation magazine which was started in the late 50s) and taking the ferry to work every day.

Robin was a hoot and the restaurant was in stitches whenever he was working his shift. Nothing and no one was safe from his sketches and antics. I remember him pulling down Katie’s elastic top one afternoon. This was typical occurance when Robin was on his shift. Robin was doing stand up comedy at small venues in the city, then, some of which were venues where I was doing poetry readings on different nights. I knew him as a pensive, intellegent and very well-read person, who despite his constant antics in public, was a rather quiet and somehow sad person behind the mask of his social personae. He always seemed “troubled” to me.

Guess I was right–given his substance abuse problems and now his suicide. He had qualities of genius, even then, and everyone recognized that potential. He more than lived up to that potential, clearly. Too bad he couldn’t enjoy that on into old age. Big loss, this news. It will rock the world a bit.

Thomas Rain Crowe
Poet/publisher of New Native Press

I probably could have written a short novel on my years at the Trident. What a place. I think Robin’s sudden and dramatic death has stopped everyone’s clock. Rationally you can say, “yes, he was carrying a heavy load and this could have been the outcome.” But emotionally it’s hard to digest. We lost a good man. He gave it all he had and just ran out of steam. But his legacy–like Joplin, Hendricks, Lenny Bruce, etc lives on.

Thomas

Vince Guaraldi

          John Beck wrote in the Marin Independent Journal’s Here Magazine recently that, “Vince Guaraldi became an institution at Clubs like the Hungry i in San Francisco, and the Trident in Sausalito.”

          At this year’s Sausalito Film Festival director Andrew Thomas and producer Toby Gleason premiered their new film The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi. Guaraldi saw himself as a boogie-woogie player, and didn’t want to write hits, he wanted to write standards. Vince Guaraldi passed away at the age of 47. In this film, putting his life into perspective are such luminaries as George Winston, Dave Brubeck, Dick Gregory, Malcolm boyd, and David Benoit.
 
          Curiously, the one time Mill Valley resident may be best remembered for scoring more than a dozen songs for the “Peanuts” TV Specials and pulling off the ultimate slight of hand where he made parents and children bob their heads and tap their toes without even knowing they were listening to Jazz.

For the entire John Beck article click on:  Vince Guaraldi The Most Unknown Jazz Musician 

Click here for Paul Libertore’s Vince Guaraldi article: George Winston Pays Tribute to Marin Jazz Pianist Vince Guaraldi

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Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company

Sam Andrew is a musician, playwright, and painter from west Marin and knew the Trident (Horizons today) well. He was Janis Joplin’s guitar player in Big Brother and the Holding Company and her Full Tilt Boogie Band.  The Trident was one of their favorite hangouts.

Notes by Sam Andrew about the Trident restaurant when writing a play about the “Counter Culture” movement:

 ” A guy came into the Trident with a roll of Necco Wafers.  You remember the candy?  And, each wafer had a drop of Blue Acid on it. He went around the Trident one morning giving one to each person, waitresses, busboys, the manager, who was then Skip Cutty, and all the kitchen staff.  The place was dosed big time and as the lunch hour peaked so did the staff!  One waitress was pouring coffee until the customer started shouting at her as the coffee was overflowing from the cup to the saucer and on to the table as the waitress stared at the wonder of it all!

Also at the Trident, “windowpane” was being passed around the kitchen.  The two cold side cooks, the guys that made the salad and sandwiches as opposed to the guys on the hot side that made steaks and hot dishes, decided to share a hit.  So they put it on the cutting board in front of the refrigerated containers that held ample portions of ambrosia, green and mixed salads, to cut it in half.  As the chef’s knife cut through the gelatin of window pane the two halves popped out of sight.   They froze looking at each other for a second and then started laughing.   Later that afternoon, a woman customer was so enthusiastic about the deliciousness of her salad that the maitre d’ thought maybe she was a bit tipsy.”

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Phil Lesh Grateful Dead

18PhilLeshGD I use to eat lunch with Phil Lesh when he was in town, we would drive on weekdays to the Trident from San Rafael in his car for a legit reason to drive somewhere FURTHER than Marin Joes.    If I remember correctly, Kelly had something to do with the tee-shirt design. I don’t remember buying it, but I do remember having a Trident shirt.  David Crosby talks about the Trident and his sailboat in his first book.

Photo and post courtesy of Tom Smith
(Photo taken at Giant Stadium in 1978)