The owner of 23-year-old record shop Grooves at Market and Octavia, Ray Anderson, has reportedly passed away. The news was reported by local friend Meggan Scavio via Twitter, and we await confirmation of any more details from the family or another source. Anderson was 77 years old.
San Francisco lost one of it's best last night. Ray owned Grooves on Market & was full of love & stories & inspiration. We will miss you! pic.twitter.com/SDy9VKN9fe— Meggan Scavio (@megganpez) October 19, 2016
Anderson was a fairly well known figure in the counterculture of 1960's San Francisco, best known as the head of the Holy See Light Show a kind of psychedelic precursor to the flashy, LED-strewn, multi-media dance parties of today.
He described it thusly to SF Weekly in 1999:
The idea was to creatively manipulate what you found in the dumpster and then juxtapose that with what pictures you shot of the band or what you might have shot when inspired by the music.
We used about 15 to 20 projectors simultaneously in an evening. We used overhead projectors and color wheels, strobes, clock faces, and dishes in various sizes. We mixed dyes, liquids, and oils and manipulated them. We used as many as a dozen carousel slide projectors or other slide projectors and as many as five movie projectors that would run either reels or loops. We used everything; you really had to work the limit.
We would have Polaroid cameras with transparency film. If one worked quickly, one could take a picture of the people in front of the bandstand and in two or three minutes get it down to the projector and on the screen.
When we did shows at Winterland those screens were just huge we made the largest rear-screen projection in California out of waterbed plastic.
As Anderson told the Chronicle in 2002, he opened his shop the full name of which is Grooves Inspiralled Vinyl in order to get his ever growing record collection out of the house that he shared with his wife, Joan. Owning the shop and selling off some of his finds didn't help, however, and he explained, "We have no records in our bedroom or bathroom [currently]. But they are creeping into the dining room again. It's insatiable. There's only one cure for this, and it's the final cure, the big one."
As digital music continued to bring a quick death to Main Street and mall record stores across the country in the last decade, Grooves was a stalwart among small independent vinyl dealers around the Bay. Anderson was highlighted by the Chronicle again in 2007, when he seemed unsurprised at his shop's continued success but also seemingly unaware that CDs were already falling by the wayside. "CDs haven't done anybody any good," he said, adding, "People like the idea of being able to find something serendipitously."
The fate of Grooves is unclear.
Update: The Chronicle has published their obit, and Anderson's daughter, Sunny, tells them, "He was the smartest man I’ve ever met and had such a zest for life, always curious, warm, funny and amazing. An eclectic genius.”