Tag Archives: Mark Lomas

The Trident Goes Viral!

It would appear that my Tequila Sunrise interview for National Geographic Assignment with Jeff Burkhart is the basis for new series of TV ads for Jose Cuervo Tequila featuring the Rolling Stones!
The internet is all a-twitter about it. It’s on the Huffington Post , Ultimate Classic Rock. And the Wikipedia entry has been expanded extensively.
As the story goes, the Rolling Stones had a chance encounter with a Tequila Sunrise cocktail while on their 1972 U.S. tour — at San Francisco’s Trident bar to be exact — and were completely swept off their feet. They traveled around the country ordering it various bars thereafter. According to Huffington Post, Keith Richards called the tour’s unofficial name the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour in his book Life.
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Video

Woody Allen Trident Flashback

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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Steve Elvin Trident Ceiling Mural 1969

Trident Waitresses

The following take on the Trident Waitresses is Published here with permission from Baron Wolman from the pages of “Rags”   Intro:  The Trident of Sausalito has evolved into a “Freedom of  Expression” and a reflection of a differing lifestyle. The key word is Style. It’s not service with a smile that counts anymore, it’s service with Style! The title for this article was The Ladies A La Mode

The Ladies A La Mode by Blair Sabol

     Five years ago the Trident was barely going through the motions of being a “Jazz Joint” with all the attendant atmosphere: lots of black leather, red rugs, cigarette smoke overcast, as well as “Bunny” rejects for waitresses – to lend a stamp of authenticity.  But authentic for whom or for what became the question.
     Time marches on, forgetting to take with it the “clubbing it” scene, and leaving owner Frank Werber in the throes of rapid culture changes.  He ended up trading his full time job of managing the Kingston Trio for organically tripping on “self discovery.”  Werber went from bookings to busts.  And, all for the better.  Naturally enough, Werber took the Trident tripping along with him … changing it’s interior …  painting the ceiling in bright organic colors … arching curving wooden partitions – no right angles – for backrests and a sense of space .. None of the Dayglosplotchiness of 1967 vintage psychedelia that marked a sell out organization – just natural wood grained comfort and lots of greenery.
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Janie, voted the Best Dressed by the rest of the Trident ladies says that, she, “was always clothes conscious but over the year that I’ve been working here I’ve bought more far out stuff and bought just a lot more in general.  I really don’t own any more straight clothes anymore.  It’s great to wear what you are …. your prersonality.
     That’s why people dig the Trident so much, cause they can related to the girls since the girls look real and not like antiseptic white milk bottles. Besides having no dress code here makes you more than just a waitress.  You become creative by just inventing your own outfit each time.
      Oh yeah … there’s a liquor bar but organic juices have become the highlights (higher and lighter) and the drastically modified menu includes freshly baked and grown goodies from nearby commune’s kitchens and gardens.  The Trident has become healthfully re-established within the community and people recognize it as part of the hipper restaurant solution instead of the problem. And, it is because of the Trident’s more liberated approach that some thirty to forty people descend upon the restaurant daily asking for jobs … and more specifically: chicks!  It has become “status” to be a “Trident Lady,” not waitress.  ” If she’s playing a part,” explains house manager Lou Ganapoler, ” you’ll pick it right up. She has to fit in with the cosmic flow of the place. That’s why we let them dress the way they are.  Every girl here is known to be a beauty because she is being her real self.  Wearing clothes she really sees on the streets and being just the plain person that she is.  No putting on a strange uniform and acting uptight because that’s the superimposed attitude stemming from the management.”
     Frank adds a few more prerequisites: ” I like them to dress the way they would if they were at home turning on with their cats.  It’s more comfortable and freer for them to operate.  However the chicks must really dig themselves first and not be afraid of how to show it.” He means in spirit as well as the more obvious physical features, like bralessness and thrifty antique chiffon transparencies so often used to slam home the liberated message. Frank and Lou keep an unusual employee file – a Polaroid album full of all their past and present girls, categorized according to “beginners, permanent,cashiers, and hostessess,” not to mention their four star ratings.
     And, believe it or not the only numerology recorded besides age – which averages to about 22 – was that of Social Security and not of measurements.  Very few references are asked of the girls, although the most prevalent “previous job held” was “grooving.”  Lou admits, “We are so into our girls giving forth that certain energy and spirit that we tell our people, ” Look our service is lousy but our karma is high and vital!”
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Laurie, ” I was a Playboy Bunny and really into the heavy makeup and uplift bra thing.  But now …  I’ve been working here for over a year and the make up is gone except my sequin stars and I’m really into old clothes and lots of feathers.  Everything I own has magic and I try to make people aware of that magic while I’m working …  I love to turn em on, by the way I look different every day.

David Crosby

From an interview with David Crosby in this month’s Santa Barbara Magazine David ends the interview with a wonderful compliment about the Kingston Trio. At the time of the interview David and CS&N were playing at the Santa Barbara Bowl. David was asked, “You’re playing the Santa Barbara Bowl – which I’m sure you love and have played many times before. Do you remember the first concert you went to there?” And David replied, “The first show I saw there was the Kingston Trio and I was absolutely thrilled. I was folksy, I loved it! They were very good! I think that’s how far back it goes – my relationship with the Bowl. I consider Santa Barbara my home. I love it very much, and hope to live out my life here.”

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(Image from Santa Barbara Magazine)
Excerpt lifted from David Crosby’s “Since Then” How I Survived Everything And Lived To Tell About It:
     “After a series of adventures, the Mayan and it’s crew sailed into San Francisco Bay and found moorings in Sausalito. David lived upon the boat and recorded his solo album “If I Could Only Remember My Name” at Wally Heider’s studio in San Francisco.  He made the Trident  (a local restaurant and bar) his personal watering hole.
      Built on pilings over the water on Sausalito’s main street (Bridgeway), it had a deck with an expansive view of all of San Francisco Bay and the most gorgeous waitresses north of the Playboy Mansion. No airbrushing and no implants.  Trident women had rings in their noses and tattoos of flowers and butterflies where you could see them, and sometimes where you couldn’t.  There was no house uniform so waitresses could wear anything from Victorian Velvet to see-through Indian gauze.  Some shaved, some didn’t.  
      The line between staff and clientele often blurred: beautiful women would hang out waiting for an interview or a job opening, and female staff would stick around after work, fraternizing with guys who could afford the tab (it was not a cheap place to eat). If sex, drugs, and rock and roll had caused a revolution, the Trident was it’s Reign of Terror!”

Blue Cheer

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Recent “comment” to this site from Eric Albronda
While producing Blue Cheer’s 4 th album in San Francisco I went to the Trident all the time . At one point a dear friend of mine Buck Sumski was hoisting Michael James Brody Heir to Oleo Margarine fortune and then recent Ed Sullivan Preformer . He loaned me his briefcase Phone . I took it to the Trident and boy did I feel like a big shot –Actually I was there that day to Meet with Nicky Hopkins , Piano Player for the stars > I wanted to produce a solo album of his which never happened because after our meeting and my explaining what a good idea it was he did it himself . At the same meeting was Jeff Beck who was lurking in the shadows. L:eave it to those Brits they never miss a trick.

Fond memories of The Trident – no that special feeling will never come back but as Ken Babbs told me when I was asking him why I felt so strongly about the time he answered by saying – If you had the spirit and you still have the spirit then it is your responsibility to share that with as many people as possible . I try to do this every day but oh what a feeling back then – I am so glad I was alive and participating in the music scene at the time. thank you everybody that added to my experience at the Trident.

 

Sam Andrew and Janis Joplin

Sam Andrew was a dear friend, and in many ways a Trident alumni. Sam and Janis visited the Trident quite often. On February 12, 2015 Sam passed away with his wife Elise at his bedside. Thoughts and prayers go out to Elise and all those many people that loved Sam. RIP mi amigo. You will be missed! This video was shot in 2010 at the Trident. This is Sam being Sam. An amazing person, and incredible guitarist! Love you Sam!

Not Just Another Tequila Sunrise

The following is an article that appeared in National Geographic by Jeff Burkhart

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French philosopher Rene Descartes once said, “When it is not in our power to follow what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable.” It was this sentiment that occurred to me as I sat amidst the dark burled wood of the main dining room of Horizons restaurant staring out at the same Sausalito California view that inspired Otis Redding to write his posthumous 1968 #1 hit “(Sittin on) The Dock of the Bay.” As I watched the tide roll away, I wasn’t wasting time; I was there to investigate claims that the famous Tequila Sunrise cocktail was invented in that very room just a few years after that song was written.

Mark Lomas is tall, taller than most, and coupled with his salt and pepper hair he makes for a commanding presence. Lomas works as a real estate agent in affluent Marin County-which includes Sausalito-and it is that commanding presence that helps keeps him employed in a widely fluctuating housing market involving properties worth millions of dollars. 40 years ago however, Lomas was a young man and one of his first jobs was a restaurant job in the very room that I was now sitting. The restaurant was then called the Trident and was owned by members of the Kingston Trio (Trident was also the name of their record company). As such it was rock and roll ground zero.

The Trident was way ahead of it’s time. From 1966 to the mid 1970′s it was the place to be in the Bay Area. Famed for its beautiful waitresses and musical pedigree it also featured such innovations as sashimi, a fresh juice bar and an espresso bar. These days, in addition to selling properties, Lomas also runs the Trident tribute website, TridentRestaraunt.com which helps preserve the heritage and history of the original Trident restaurant. Lomas has many colorful stories; stories about Janis Joplin (a regular), Robin Williams (a busboy there), Carlos Santana, Bill Graham and hosts of others. But it is one story that intrigues me the most.

“The Tequila Sunrise was invented here,” he says authoritatively.

Now being a cocktail historian of sorts, I was reasonably sure that the Tequila Sunrise had been invented long before the Trident existed, but I tucked away that information – along with the phone number of the bartender that supposedly did that inventing. Over the next few months I did some research and came up with two things:

The Arizona Biltmore hotel claims that bartender Gene Sulit invented the Tequila Sunrise there in the late 1930s; which consisting of tequila, lime juice, soda and crème de cassis. Very little evidence exists for Sulit’s Sunrise recipe outside of the Biltmore’s own literature. Indeed I could not find it any of the major cocktail guides of the era.

The recipe most people are familiar with; tequila, orange juice and grenadine appeared in the 1974 version of Mr. Boston’s Bartender’s Guide for the very first time ever. A guide that has been in print since 1935 and is updated every couple of years.   Hmmmn.

The Arizona Biltmore hotel, the so-called “Jewel of the Desert,” was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a student of well known architect Frank Lloyd Wright and it opened for business in 1929. Legend has it that Frank Lloyd Wright consulted on the design. In the 1990′s the hotel restaurant was renamed “Wright’s” as a direct result of this legend and still later the hotel bar became the “Wright Bar” in 2007. Odd considering that Mr. Wright himself wrote in 1930 that “Albert McArthur is the architect of that building — all attempts to take the credit for that performance from him are gratuitous and beside the mark.”
Today the Arizona Biltmore features two Tequila Sunrises on it’s cocktail menu, Gene Sulit’s version and the much more familiar orange juice version.
Sulit’s Sunrise is reminiscent of the Singapore Sling, invented in 1915 by Ngiam Tong Boom, a bartender at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Slings were a whole category of drinks made with an alcohol, some fruit flavorings (usually citrus), sugar, and either sparkling or still water. Boom’s Sling was essentially a gin sling with Cherry Heering added, much like Sulit’s drink is a tequila sling with cassis added.

Eventually I contacted Bobby Lozoff the so-called “inventor” of the Trident’s Tequila Sunrise. Lozoff, 65, now splits his time between computer IT work and teaching tutorials while living in Hawaii. But back in 1969 he was a fresh faced 20-something looking for work in Sausalito. “I did about two or three days as a dishwasher,” he said. “Then I was a busboy and when I got old enough I became a bartender” He claims to have taken the bartending very seriously.
“Myself and a bartender called Billy Rice started experimenting. Anything made with gin or vodka we started making with tequila,” he said. “A couple of them didn’t turn out too well.” One drink that did turn out well was a resurrected Tequila Sunrise. “We built it in a chimney glass; a shot of tequila with one hand, a shot of sweet and sour with the other hand, the soda gun, then orange juice, float crème de cassis on top, grenadine if you wanted, and that was it, the Tequila Sunrise.” Lozoff acknowledges that his drink was a version of the Singapore Sling, just with tequila.

“I was the fastest bartender in the Bay Area,” said Lozoff. “[The local press] always phoned me for drink recipes, and I was young and into all that.”
”My thing back then,” he says. “Was serving hundreds of drinks, dozens per minute, using both hands. It was volume, volume, volume. As fast as you can, big tips and cash money. We had four or five registers and two bars going. We didn’t run a tab, it was cash money only.”

Eventually, as things in busy bars must, the bartenders simplified the recipe to just tequila, orange juice and grenadine. Nice and easy ruled the day.

“In 1969 the Trident was the center of marijuana and all that other stuff,” said Lozoff. “We had pictures of the fields in Mexico, and at that point we sold more tequila than all the other places in the United States combined.”
Margaritas and shots of tequila were a way of life. “The Trident was frontrunner, avant garde, dope runners, the guys who lived in Mexico and brought back the pot. There was always that market in Marin County,” said Lozoff. “David Crosby had the boat down the street and all that kind of stuff, [the Trident] was a rock and roll haven and tequila was the ‘in’ drink.”

In early 1972 another young man would sit in the main dining room of the Trident restaurant looking at the very same view. The young Mick Jagger’s band, the Rolling Stones, had just returned to the United States for their first tour since the disastrous debacle at Altamont in 1969. Their two month tour of North America in support of their album “Exile on Main Street” was the subject of a media frenzy rarely seen before. In many ways it set the tone for all future bad boy rock tours. There were TV’s thrown out of hotel windows, drug use on national television, arrests, riots, a four day stay at the Playboy mansion, and an entourage featuring at times Bob Dylan, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Andy Warhol, supermodel Bianca Jagger and any number of the rich and beautiful. It is no wonder that Rolling Stone writer Dave Marsh called the tour the “benchmark of an era.” That tour had a lasting legacy, and not just musically.

18RollingStonesKelleyMouse Image by Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse along with Crazy Arab who did the pin stripping.

In early 1972 another young man would sit in the main dining room of the Trident restaurant looking at the very same view. The young Mick Jagger’s band, the Rolling Stones, had just returned to the United States for their first tour since the disastrous debacle at Altamont in 1969.

Truman Capote was also part of the traveling entourage and covered the tour ostensibly for Rolling Stone magazine and although he never actually wrote the article for which he was assigned he did appear many times on The Tonight Show to regale mainstream America with the Rolling Stones’ exploits. Terry Southern also covered the tour for the Saturday Review and as a result the Rolling Stones behavior became the stuff of legend. Part of that legend included the Tequila Sunrise. The tour began with a show in Vancouver, Canada, a two show stop in Seattle and then an eight show eight day extravaganza spanning the length of California. It was during this marathon that the Stones attended a party hosted by Bill Graham at the Trident. “We had a Rolling Stones party one Monday night when we were usually closed,” said Lozoff. “The owner called me in and put me behind the bar. We had a select menu, a couple of the prettier waitresses and that was the party. Bill Graham brought in about 35 people, and you know the place holds several hundred. Mick came up to the bar and asked for a margarita, I asked him if he had ever tried a Tequila Sunrise, he said no, I built him one and they started sucking them up. After that they took them all across the country.”

For those who doubt the veracity of this account I suggest they pick up Keith Richards’ book Life, published in October of 2010. Chapter Nine, sentence number one: “The ’72 tour was known by other names-the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour…”

The following Tuesday, Bill Graham gave the Trident employees a block of tickets. “So, we all were at the Tuesday night program,” said Lozoff. Thursday night Lozoff was managing another bar, the Orphanage in San Francisco. Toots and the Maytalls were the headliners: “The Stones came in after them for another party. We stayed open til six in the morning, even though we were supposed to close at 2. No one busted us. It was a nice party, kind of wild,” said Lozoff. “I know who had the keys to my office and who was partying,” he said. “The Stones were real discreet, they had their own set-up. They partied a little bit and they jammed a little bit. It was real nice.”

In 1973, Jose Cuervo seized on this new cocktail sensation and began marketing it in various print advertisements, eventually releasing it as one of their canned “club cocktails.”

For those who doubt the veracity of this account I suggest they pick up Keith Richards’ book Life, published in October of 2010. Chapter Nine, sentence number one: “The ’72 tour was known by other names-the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour…”

“Lou, (the manager of the Trident) talked to the Cuervo people,” said Lozoff. “We were the biggest outlet in the United States, and they were talking to us – that recipe, with crème de cassis went on the back of bottles, and at one point our recipe made it on the back of the gold bottle.”

History would be kinder to this newer version of the Tequila Sunrise. In 1973 the Eagles released the song, “Tequila Sunrise” which cracked the Billboard top 100. In the liner notes of 2003′s The Very Best of the Eagles, Don Henley says, “I believe that was a Glenn title. I think he was ambivalent about it because he thought that it was a bit too obvious or too much of a cliché because of the drink that was so popular then.” The album Desperado and the single were both released on April 17, 1973 after being recorded earlier that year at Island Studios in London. Although the song is not about the drink itself (it’s about drinking tequila until the sun comes up) Henley’s words gives us a great view into the drinks popularity at the time, less than nine months after the Stones’ tour.

Eventually the Trident closed and Lozoff moved to Hawaii where he opened the Blue Max nightclub (patterned on the Trident). After which he turned to computers and technology. “The new drinks I see these days I can’t relate to,” he says wistfully.“But I have a million stories about the Trident, it was a fun time and I have no regrets.”

No regrets and one lasting legacy; the Tequila Sunrise. Three things have since occurred to me:
Being first doesn’t always mean “most important.”
Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico wrote, “The criterion and rule of the true is to have made it.” A direct departure from Descartes belief that truth is verified through observation.
Horizon’s restaurant will be changing its name back to the Trident later this year, almost 40 years to the day of that 1972 Rolling Stones party.

Bobby Lozoff and the Tequila Sunrise


 

Bobby Lozhoff on KTVU television January 11th, 2016 –  being interviewed for being the creator of the modern day Tequila Sunrise. Post from Jeff Burkhart aka “The Barfly” who writes for a variety of publications including National Geographic.

The Tequila sunrise legend finally gets his due A friend who works in the film business once said, “Being on a film set is just standing around watching other people standing around.” And that is exactly what I was doing.

I had been invited to the shooting of a documentary/commercial being filmed by Jose Cuervo at the legendary Trident restaurant in Sausalito. I was not there at the behest of the Cuervo people, I was there as a guest of the star of the show itself, Bobby Lozoff, former Trident bartender and the legendary inventor of the tequila sunrise. It was the first time in nearly 40 years that Lozoff had set foot back in the Trident. “I walked out of this place on Dec. 14, 1975, and I haven’t touched another bottle since,” he whispered to me. The Trident officially closed that day and Lozoff subsequently moved to Hawaii where he opened the Blue Max, a live music nightclub patterned on his incarnation of the Trident (the Trident was reopened in 2012 by Bob Freeman who also owns the Buena Vista in San Francisco).

I knew Lozoff because I had interviewed him back in 2011, first for my Barfly column in the IJ and then for a feature story I wrote for the National Geographic Assignment blog in 2012. Over the years we have kept in touch, but since he lived in Hawaii and I lived here, we had actually never met in person.
Now we stood in the bar of the rechristened Trident and swapped bartender stories while an army of film people swarmed around us. Lozoff is something of a celebrity these days. In the bar and cocktail world it is rare to actually have the inventor of a world-famous cocktail still around, or even identifiable, for that matter. Cocktails come and go, but the really famous tipples are all 75 to 100 years old. Even the Moscow mule, which is all the rage right now, traces its heritage back to the 1940s.  One of the relative newcomers is the tequila sunrise. The name was coined in the 1930s but the drink, as we know it — tequila, orange juice and grenadine — was invented in the early 1970s by Lozoff at the Trident. It’s almost like being able to ask Ian Fleming himself exactly what he meant by “shaken, not stirred.” Regardless of what you think of the drink, there is no denying its far-reaching fame. Movies and rock songs have made use of it. On a recent trip to Paris, I saw the drink on at least two cocktail menus. That kind of fame does not go unnoticed.

Jose Cuervo tequila has used the drink twice to promote its product — once in the 1970s and again recently in a television ad using the Rolling Stones’ 1972 tour as a backdrop. It was Lozoff himself who introduced Cuervo to the Stones at the Trident in 1972.  The first time around Cuervo neglected to mention Lozoff. This time around the company appears to be more than making up for it.
“We’re almost ready for you,” a pretty film assistant said, interrupting Lozoff as he pointed out the espresso bar that he helped build more than 40 years ago.
“They want me to make 10 or so fancy cocktails,” he tells me. “Why don’t you do it?” The Cuervo people want none of that. “I’m just an old hippie bartender,” he said, declining. “In my day it was, ‘You’re not ready [to order]?’ Next!” he said pointing to an invisible patron.

It might have been 40 years ago, but Lozoff is still a bartender at heart. He’ll be the first to admit that he doesn’t particularly care for grenadine; he calls it a name unfitting for a newspaper. But as any real bartender will tell you, what the customer wants is what the customer gets, and back then grenadine ruled the day. Lozoff prefers a sunrise with crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur, but he acknowledges that the drink is prettier with grenadine. He also adds that “making it with both” is optimum. The new Trident agrees, featuring that version on its menu. As for Cuervo and the Stones’ preferences, we will simply have to wait and see.

The last I saw of Lozoff, assistants were powdering his face for a close-up. Forty years later he’s finally getting his due. Better late than never.
Jeff Burkhart is the author of “20 Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender” as well as an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant.