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Tell Us Your Story

San Jose Rocks, Celebrating Silicon Valley’s Role ‘n Rock

When people around the world think of California, they think first of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the state’s anointed cultural bullseyes.

Likewise, when people think about the California rock music scene, they focus on those same cities.  But that’s a short-sighted focus.

“In the Bay Area, it took a nine-county region to build a catalogue of fantastic music – and many of the influential rock and roll acts of all time gestated in San Jose and Silicon Valley.”

So did much of music’s foundational technological advances.

From garage bands of the 1960’s to current groundbreakers, both musically and technologically, Silicon Valley is rich in modern melodic history. San Jose Rocks seeks to weave together stories of the past and present about a place where creative people have converged to shape the soundtrack of not just California, but the United States and the world.

From the Grateful Dead to the Doobie Brothers, from Smash Mouth to Trapt, from Ampex cassette decks to Apple iTunes and GarageBand workstations, Silicon Valley and San Jose have enriched America’s most raucously unique musical invention: Rock and Roll.

A few examples:

  • In 1965, the Grateful Dead performed the group’s first show in a downtown house located near San Jose State University, on the site of San Jose’s current City Hall. The house has since been moved to nearby St. John Street a few blocks away.
  • The Doobie Brothers and Smash Mouth originated in San Jose and woodshedded in clubs throughout the city and the Santa Clara Valley.
  • San Jose resident Paul Catalana promoted the Beatles’ first two concerts in the Bay Area following their 1964 American debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
  • Other bands with strong connections to San Jose and the Valley include Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Trapt and Los Tigres del Norte.