Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Bringing It All Back Home

IMG_1639On this day when it seems like everyone connected with the Grateful Dead, including the members of the Dead, have had quite enough of the Grateful Dead’s disorganized bullshit, let’s go back to where it all started.

Commentator and esteemed proprietor of Hooterollin’ Corry shares this shot of Magoo’s Pizzeria, the site of the Warlocks’ first gig half-a-century ago; it may be the only picture left of the place.

There were no VIP packages at Magoo’s. You could get a slice and a Coke for 15 cents; for an extra dime, Magoo would come out from behind the counter and dance the tarantella with whichever customer had the fattest ass. Sometimes, it was Pig.

The specials were written on paper plates tacked to the wall. The checkerboard floors were discolored but spotless. Magoo’s enormous forearms were ashy-pale with a fine dust of dough. There was a cat; it was black; it had a completely unacceptable name. An old woman who spoke no English was there, but not always the same woman.

For the price of a pizza and a beer at Levi’s Stadium, you could have ordered the entire menu at Magoo’s, twice over, then played the jukebox, and gotten tuggers.


  1. Seamus Thebear

    June 8, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    And everyone was happy about who would play lead guitar

  2. Awesome! I’ve often wondered exactly where Magoo’s was. I’ve seen it variously reported as 635 or 639 Santa Cruz Ave. This picture proves that it was 639, which is now an upscale furniture store called Harvest. (Everything is upscale in Menlo Park now.) The building rooflines haven’t changed in 50 years; everything else has.

  3. My childhood* nickname was Magoo 😉

    *I consider 15 childhood. I’m still a child.

  4. It’s like seeing pictures of the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time. Unbelievable!!! Thanks for posting.

    Hope your back is better.


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