In This Issue
in this issue
" REJOICE! Things aren't as bad as they might seem."
That's how Bruce B. Brugmann introduced the first Best of the Bay issue, back in 1974. It was the era of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Joe Alioto, of the energy crisis, an intractable recession, and a lingering war. And in the midst of it all, the Bay Guardian pointed out, San Francisco was full of life, packed with amazing and wonderful places to go and things to do.
And thus was a tradition born. Within a decade, alternative newspapers all over the country were doing "Best of" issues. Now city magazines and even daily papers are trying to get into the act. But the staff of the nation's number-one independent alternative (that's us) still know best.
Today, in the era of George W. Bush, Gray Davis, and Willie Brown (with an energy crisis, a recession, and a lingering war, among other big problems), the Bay Area is still, as senior editor Lynn Rapoport notes in her Best of the Bay introduction, a place that "never lets us down, never stops straying outside the lines, in all areas of culture, from politics to visual and performing arts and everything in between." It's a place that celebrates as it protests, a place where, in the worst of times, people still manage to have the best of times. The place we all call home is still The Best and this 29th annual tribute celebrates it in style.
If the cover looks a bit different from the normal Bay Guardian cover, that's because it is: We asked nine of the area's best rock 'n' roll poster artists, representing styles from the 1960s through today, to design the opening page of each Best of the Bay section. Their work reflects some of the best examples of one of San Francisco's best artistic traditions. It also reflects this paper's history, as an alternative newsweekly founded in the 1960s that has survived, grown, and maybe even (gasp!) matured over four turbulent decades in a city that's a petri dish of American culture.
Firehouse that's Chuck Sperry and Ron Donovan did the cover. Others who produced the exclusive, poster-quality work for the inside pages include Stanley Mouse, Frank Kozik, Winston Smith, Jeff Kleinsmith, Gregg Gordon, Chris Shaw, Dirty Donny, and Darren Grealish.
So rejoice things are not as bad as they might seem.