John Hendricks, for some reason, met us on the stoop that morning. Maybe he hadn’t yet moved into the little efficiency on the second floor. John Browne’s pad, also on the second floor, was spacious. The attic even more so, as it happened to have an almost complete hardwood floor, making it possible for two other members of the PH PHactor Jug Band to room just above us, all part of the same rent. Steve and I had the second bedroom, and gratefully, the pad had one an extra water closet off the entry hall. The place was plain jane fare, but it had a good kitchen and living room and it was home. Eventually, little Greggory Stockert would knock on our door, and we voted him in on the spot as chief kitchen boy, which he suggested, in order to apprentice to the masters Nick Ogilvie and John Browne.
On that particular bright San Francisco morning, John had come from wherever he’d spent the night to divvy up the tips from the previous night’s gig at the Matrix. As was often the case, John was barefoot, sporting a top hat, beaver skin most likely, and warm and cozy in his bearskin coat. He was a virtuoso mandolin player having come from a musical family somewhere on the East Coast. Was it Maine? Land’s End comes to mind. He was a gentleman and a sensitive guy, easily identified by his monocle. John did not wear glasses, just the monocle, and the girls adored him.
Thanks to Herb Greene, aka the photographer of Haight Street, we have some documentation since hippies rarely had cameras or money for film and development. John’s fame in Portland was large for his few years of survival post Summer of Love. RIP dear John Hendricks.