Friday, February 25, 2011

Photos & Review: PRINCE - Oracle Arena, Oakland - Feb. 23, 2011

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM

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By David Sason

Prince and the New(est) Power Generation were in fine form Wednesday night, at the second of three nearly-sold-out shows at Oakland's Oracle Arena. The Bay Area residency was only the second of his hit-and-run Welcome 2 America tour, announced less than a week earlier. This certainly sent the hype factor into overload, making the arena THE place to be this week for all-ages party folk to shake their asses off.

The evening was a nonstop tribute to old-school funk, right from the energetic opening set from Graham Central Station, headed by Larry Graham (who later joined Prince for a barnstorming rendition of classic "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"). The Sly and the Family Stone alumnus was an appropriate choice, considering the pioneering group’s vast influence on Prince’s eclectic music and band demographics.When Prince finally took the stage a little after 9:00, he showed why he’s still a huge concert draw, burning his way through an opening suite of “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Delirious”, “1999”, and an extended “Little Red Corvette”. Then Sheila E. took the stage (where she thankfully stayed all night) for a faithful version of the Prince-penned “Glamorous Life”. Along with the funk standards throughout the night, KISS-FM programmers couldn’t have planned the night any better themselves. The near-capacity crowd roared and sang along loudly to every bit.Thus went the two and a half hour set of almost exclusively 1980s hits and funk classics, with obscure ballad "I Love U, But I Don't Trust U Anymore" from 1999 (the year, not the album) and minimalist stomper “Black Sweat” from 2006 being the newest songs he performed. This decision was a welcome surprise from the ever-prolific Prince, as was his decision to tweak his annoying truncation of certain hits (this time, he gave at least 50% of most songs, which was enough for the tens of thousands in attendance).While the song selection was certainly worthy of the exorbitant price (top price level was around $280 a piece), the stage (shaped like Prince’s famous symbol) left many concertgoers out in the cold. Although he performed mostly center stage, Prince almost exclusively engaged only two sides of the arena, leaving half of the crowd to mostly view one of his three hefty backup singer-cheerleaders. This was quite a disappointment, considering the more mindful 360-degree approaches of groups including U2 and Beastie Boys. And although the 52-year-old’s voice still packs his famous range, his famous dancing and musical chairs (he played bass for a song, but no drums) were kept to a minimum.Still, the charismatic Renaissance man still puts most other pop stars to shame with his energy and formidable arsenal of songs. “Y’all coming back tomorrow night?” he asked the crowd at one point. Judging from the deafening reply, Prince’s fourth decade as a top-notch concert draw is a sure thing.---David Sason**SETLISTLet's Go CrazyDelirious1999Little Red CorvetteGlamorous Life (Sheila E.)Somewhere Here On EarthI Love U But I Don't Trust U AnymoreControversyA Love Bizarre (Sheila E.)Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)Sexy Dancer / Le Freak (Chic)Love Rollercoaster (Ohio Players) / Housequake (snippet)Angel (Sarah McLachlan) – sung by backup dancersIf I Was Ur GirlfriendKissPurple Rain---------------------Dance With Me in the Disco (Sylvester) / Baby I'm A StarMedley: When Doves Cry/Nasty Girl (Vanity 6)/Sign O' the Times/Alphabet StreetForever in My LifeDarling Nikki (snippet) / Pop Life / Single Ladies (Beyonce)Black SweatThe Bird (The Time)Jungle Love (The Time)**

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The 1986 Guerneville Flood Photo Project

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM

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Longtime locals remember it all too well.

In February of 1986, the storm would just not stop, dropping 24 inches of rain over a 10-day period. The overflowing Russian River reached a record high water level of 49' 1" at the Guerneville Bridge, submerging the entire town and changing lives forever.Out of a house in Guerneville, a small-town publication called The Paper covered the flood, its damage, and its aftermath. The Paper would eventually turn into the Sonoma County Independent, and then the North Bay Bohemian, but the photos and reports from the flood remain in our archives, just as clear—or sometimes clearer—than the many memories still shared about that wet, wet week.

On the 25th Anniversary of what's commonly known as "The Great Valentine's Day Flood of 1986," we here at the Bohemian have decided to dip into those archives and share some memories of the tragedy, resolve and eventual triumph that Guerneville and its surrounding areas underwent in 1986.

Over the next week, we'll be posting dozens of flood photos from our files. Some of them have captions. Many do not. What we're looking for from you, the longtime local—to whom the very word "sandbags" evokes images of torrential downpour—is your stories.

Who are the people in these photos? Whatever became of them? How did they persevere? What is that building in the background? Who are those kids, and what did they grow up to become? Whose Volkswagen bus is that?

Please tell us in the comments of each photo. Tell us your stories. Your memories.We'll start with this one:


Judging by the address, this might be somewhere on Old River Road, near what's now the Stumptown Brewery. According to cut-and-paste captions strewn in the files, the man in the car might be Fred Twers, or else Andy Fava, who owned the Guerneville Inn. Does anyone have any ideas? Please let us know in the comments below.

At the end of the week, we'll compile our photos and your stories into a special feature. In the meantime, keep checking back to our BohoBlog to see more Guerneville Flood photos from 25 years ago.

Gabe Meline, Editor, North Bay Bohemian

Look at all Guerneville Flood Photos here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Candy Turner

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

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This is the photo that started it all, and inspired us to begin this project. Sitting on a mattress at the Santa Rosa Vets Building, with a newspaper, a bottle and some cots nearby, is a new mother holding her baby. Displaced from her Guerneville home by the flood and awaiting whatever future may come, the young mom looks undeterred; the baby, oblivious.This woman's name is Candy Turner, and we've tried to Google it—to no avail. She would be almost 50 by now, we're guessing. The baby would be 26 or 27. Does anyone remember Candy Turner? And where is that wide-eyed baby now?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Stranded VW Bus in Monte Rio

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 10:25 AM

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Ah, a classic. VW buses are great for a many number of things—camping, hitchhiking, parking at inspiration point—but fording through water, not so much. I remember getting stuck in our VW bus and relying on strangers to help push us out of high water. Doesn't look like anyone was around to help this driver.Or was there? Is this your bus?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Rescue on the Backhoe

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 9:18 AM

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We couldn't believe it when we saw it either. Here's a photo of four people being rescued by a backhoe, riding in the loader of the tractor. And they actually look pretty excited! Well, except for the person on the right.Surely, someone remembers their mom or dad being pulled to safety on the loader of a backhoe. Who are these people? Where were they being rescued from that they needed a tractor to pull them to safety?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Cal Bal Fishing in His Driveway

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 8:16 AM

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Out of all the flood photos we've found, this is one of our favorites! Heck, if you've got nothing but time and no place to go, why not go fishing in your driveway?The caption identifies this man as Cal Bal, a "PG&E Regional Manager.

" He may or may not have lived in the vicinity of Reins Beach in Monte Rio. Google is no help. Anyone have any clues?What we're really dying to know is if Cal caught any fish.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Chevrolet Truck

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 8:03 AM

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We remember riding in the backs of pickup trucks in the '80s, too—it was still legal then. Of course, drastic times call for drastic measures, and I'd be surprised if the cops ever pulled over this rescue truck even today.

Does anyone recognize the man in the wheelchair? Or the buildings in the background?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Helicopter Rescue at the Cemetery

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM

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When all roads out of town are flooded, there's only one way to get out: by helicopter. With many homes underwater, some pretty amazing-looking choppers were brought in to rescue Guerneville residents and take them to shelter in Santa Rosa.

Here's a helicopter coming down at Redwood Memorial Gardens, the cemetery in Guerneville. A large group of  kids awaits on the ground below, pointing and gawking at something they'd only seen in the movies.Surely there must be someone from this group that remembers a helicopter this size taking them to safety! If you're one of these kids; or if one of these cars belonged to you; of if you remember waiting at the cemetery to be rescued, feel free to tell us. What was it like? What do you remember?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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The Guerneville Flood Project: Alex and Jane of Tinker's Tapes

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 7:32 AM

"Still smiling but stunned," reads the caption. Pictured here are Alex and Jane, who owned a place called Tinker's Tapes. Their store was "wiped out by the water," and apparently it was also wiped out in history—Google turns up nothing. What was Tinker's Tapes? Where are Alex and Jane now? How could they have been so happy when their store had just been destroyed?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.
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The Guerneville Flood Project: Mary Cervantes

Posted By on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 6:31 AM

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There's something very poignant about this photo from the flood: a woman holding a picture of a young girl. We can only guess it's her daughter.

But where is her daughter?The woman's name is Mary Cervantes. She was briefly quoted in this Time magazine story about the 1986 flood, "We've Lost Everything." The back of our archival photo says something about her possibly moving to Healdsburg.Other than that, we're stumped. The wreckage in the background certainly implies that she had to pack up and move on, but where to? Does anyone know where Mary Cervantes, or the girl in the photo, is today?Let us know in the comments below.The Guerneville Flood Project is a week-long dive into the photo archives of the North Bay Bohemian. Read about the project here, and view more 1986 Guerneville Flood photos by clicking here.

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