When I joined Pan Am on February 13, 1967, I agreed to became a flight engineer because I was an Instructor Pilot and very experienced international Aircraft Commander in VR-3 and they paid flight engineers more money than co-pilots. Pan Am decided to send me to train in SFO. I went out there with my wife Joann and my daughter Alexis. We lived in Sausalito and I drove to the airport everyday.
Met a guy out there named Ray Anderson. Ray had gone to SFO State with Dan Stanland and Dan became a Navy pilot and we both served in VR-3. Dan was probably the smartest person I ever met and he was my friend. He flew a twin Beech full of top level grass from Mexico to the Utah deserts while he was a Pan Am pilot. He had some top level help from veterans.
When I got out of the Navy in December of 1966, Pan Am said they were going to send me to SFO for my training. Dan told me to look up his old friend Ray. Ray was a collector of records and had a massive collection in 1967 when I was out there. In June of that year, Bill Graham started to have a show every night in the Filmore and I helped Ray set up his projectors. We were in the balcony and Ray put on his light show: The Holy See.
The orchestra was empty and they had punch with acid and punch without acid on the stage. In 1967 acid was a legal substance. The Hell’s Angels did the security. Ray had a son named Randy. He was about 10 and by the time the music got to rocking, he would go to sleep under the tables holding the projectors. Having recently gotten out of the Navy, carrying kids to Vietnam and bodies back home in the C 130, I thought Randy could go to sleep in a fire fight.
I was at the Filmore for Janus Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding company and Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick singing White Rabbit. That was a hell of a way to get through Pan Am training. San Francisco in 1967 was the place where kids came with flowers in their hair and I did my first hit of Owsley Sunshine.