When, after 2 years at the Kansas City Art Institute, I decided to give up my 4 year full tuition Arts Scholarship a friend and I flipped a coin. Heads we would go to New York, tails, to San Francisco. I was 18 years old.
I hitchhiked to San Francisco with a pack on my back and a sign which read "U.S. Self Help Cross-Country Hitchhike Marathon". I got a ride almost to San Francisco with a sailor who was returning to base in San Diego. He drove streight through, high on amphetamines and, fortunately for me, left me in charge of charting the course. Naturally I charted a course to San Diego Via San Francisco (a 600 mile detour) but he didn't seem to notice.
After arriving, I spent a number of months knocking around and finally helped out a friend one night who was doing a light-show for a group called Sparrow. They were later to change their name to Steppenwolf and the rest is history.
As a result of that night I became a light artist. The San Francisco Rock and Roll Revolution was just beginning and I thought the idea of getting paid to paint electric murals for an audience of thousands, many of which were more than glad to bribe me with great drugs for the best seat in the house (the light show booth). It was a great way to spend a few years.
My first show as The Garden of Delights was at the Mill Valley Community Center for a group called the Golliwogs. Later they changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and again, the rest is history.
It was an exciting time to be coming of age. Timothy Leary was the new Messiah, LSD was the sacrament of a generation and free love was not a killer disease.
I did light shows for ten years. For six of those years I did rock and roll shows with nearly every group that came through San Francisco. As that scene got predictable I began working with Classical music, Jazz, experimental and traditional theater and Ballet. I formed a multi-media theater company with Carlos Carvajal, Choreographer for the San Francisco Ballet, Doug McKechnie who played one of the first Moog synthesizers and a classical trio from the San Francisco Symphony. Among our shows were a series at the Oakland and Santa Barbara Museums, The premiere of the new Terry Riley Ballet, In C, at the San Francisco Opera House with the San Francisco Symphony and college shows and other venues too numerous to remember.
Eventually I got bored with that incarnation and reinvented myself. I had a lot of fun and made a lot of money while it lasted.
The poster examples following are all the record that remains from that era. I found them on the internet and they aren't the best quality. Originals are available from www.wolfgangsvault.com.