Silent Music

It all started with one of Mickey Ratt‘s guitar picks. Before moving to LA and dropping the Mickey from his band name, Mickey Ratt played Lee Reymore‘s high school in San Diego, and grabbing that pick turned Reymore into the collector of music ephemera that he is day.

The fruits of Reymore’s collecting labor are currently on display at a new exhibit called “Silent Music”, which opened on July 14 at Vacation, a gallery and vintage shop in the Tenderloin. According to Reymore, the opening party “was a madhouse filled with a great mix including hundreds of hipsters, traditional SF gallerists and assorted music lovers and Tenderloin locals.” And the night ended in a way only San Francisco could have made possible:

The Fresh & Onlys played in the basement and shortly after their amazing set the party ended in true punk fashion: all the electrical power from the shop was blown out, we were all left in the dark, and Randy Walker (aka Carletta Sue Kay) emerged with a tray of home-baked “special” cookies, ushering the masses out into the sordid Tenderloin night.

I know what you’re thinking and, yeah, I’m pissed I missed this party, too.

The cool thing is that you don’t just get ephemera at the show, you also get some pretty amazing stories about how Reymore came across the items he’s collected. Like this one, which accompanies a patch on display that once belonged to Joe Strummer and a photo next to the patch:

Joe Strummer’s original military patch which I tore off his shirt in the pit at The Clash’s first US tour at Golden Hall in San Diego. My pals the Standby’s opened the show. This show is listed by The San Diego Reader as one of the 50 best ever in SD. My partner Randy, decades later, while working at Amoeba SF where Joe was doing an in-store performance, made a sign for him to hold up which read, “I want my patch back!” With a slight snarl and an unmatched sweetness… this is the photo.

And now the two, patch and photo, are together forever. Alas, and sadly, Joe died just four months after the photo was taken.

That’s some serious history right there, yo. Don’t miss it. Vacation is located at 651 Larkin (near Ellis) and open Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 8pm.

The black and white photos of Lee Reymore setting up the exhibit were taken by Brian Pritchard. The color photos of the opening party are by Ashley Amanda Windham.

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