JOE CONRAD REMEMBERS BOBBY DALE
I worked in San Francisco for 9 years from the late '60s to the mid '70s, hung out at Enrico's, etc. and knew Bobby well enough to say hello, chat with him, play some dominoes, etc. One night I was on the air at KFRC and the hotline rang and it was Bobby. He said, "Joe, do you know where I can score some acid? Roland Kirk is in town!" I just happened to have a little vial with some of that Grateful Dead window pane on me so after I got off the air I went up to Enrico's. Bobby was sitting at the end of the bar talking to Ward Dunham and suckin' up a drink. I think Richard Brautigan was also there. Anyway, I slipped Bobby 3 hits of acid and he said, "Thanks" and swallowed all 3 or roughly 450 mics of LSD. I was stunned since 1 hit was enough to destroy anybody for 12 hours.
A few days later I ran into Bobby again up in North Beach and I asked him, "How was Roland Kirk?" and he replied, "Oh man, I never got to see him. Somehow I ended up climbing up on my roof to see the stars and I couldn't remember how to get down." Apparently he was up there for some time.
Bobby did a show on KSFO during those years and he was remarkable. His musical tastes were unique and his vision was compelling. You just could not turn him off.
At least 25 years have passed since I knew Bobby along with John Catchings and others in that crowd and I still remember - vividly - many times we spent together. Those were remarkable times and those were amazing people. Those experiences are still a huge part of who I am as a person.
It was sad to hear of Jerry Garcia's passing, among many others. And now Bobby. But as time passes, none of our bodies are getting any younger I guess. We will all be joining John Wasserman, Herb Caen, Bill Graham, and all the others in that next place. When I find my way there, I'll be looking for Bobby so I can give him a big hug and tell him how much his friendship meant to me. It is as real as if I had seen him just yesterday.
ex Jock - KFRC, The Big 610, San Francisco