Torq’s San Francisco in 45 Minutes

The first time I had ever been to San Francisco was when we went on tour with Stars in 2004. Saturday March 6, 2004, to be precise. In fact this tour was before I had a digital camera, and since I love you all so much I actually rephotographed some analogue pics for you. Anyhow, we had a show at Cafe Du Nord that night, and were very excited to be in San Fran. Its one of the few really beautiful, historical American cities that has it all: natural beauty, cultural relevance, and sights to be seen at every turn. We didn’t have much time, only the moments between soundcheck and the early doors. We wanted to do it all and didn’t know where to begin. That’s when Torq swooped in, proclaiming: “I’ll give you a tour. How much time do we have? 45 minutes? Perfect.” Here’s how it went down:

The touring party consisted of me, Murray, Rob and Torquil. We started at the Phoenix Hotel (THE hipster place to stay, though I have since befriended many a kind, beltless crackhead in the neighbourhood). We walked briskly through to Chinatown where I bought some hangers for the RV closet (yeah, we toured in an RV). Then, Torq ordered us to hop onto a moving cable car. I was like: “What are you crazy? Why is the street rumbling so much? Oh, cables.” So we did it and were suitably exhilarated for the two stops we rode before hopping off. I remember a nice square park and lots of hills. I think at this point Torq instructed us to walk up this big hill while he went to get the world’s best pastry or call Moya or do something like that. So we walked up this punishingly steep hill to Cort Tower, checked our watches and took the elevator ride to the top. We could see the whole city, and the bay along with Alcatraz and Golden Gate. After a few touristy snapshots we headed back down the hill to where Torq was waiting.


We walked back along another street to a really old bar. It looked like something out of the Old West, and I guess it really was. Torq rattled off a few facts about the place while we had a beer. We were amazed and impressed by both the fact that the old wooden bar hadn’t burned down in 200 years, and that Torq knew so much about the city. So anyway we had to run, stopped in a few shops where Murray and Torq had an impromptu jam on a tiny toy piano in the street in front of a music store. Insert laffs.


We hurried back on foot and that was that. Just enough time to grab a clean shirt from the RV, a piece of sweaty cheese from the rider, a tall, icy vodka soda, and jump right on stage.

One Reply to “Torq’s San Francisco in 45 Minutes”

  1. Wow. Now that’s a rockstar story.

    I saw Anathallo at Cafe Du Nord when I was in SF this spring — it was a great show, and a really neat venue.

    The hectic tour schedule must mean that you pass through so many great places that you don’t really get to see…

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