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Best Beginners Jam Session San Francisco 2004 - Skip's Tavern - CLOSED

Skip\'s Tavern

Skip's Tavern

453 Cortland

San Francisco, CA 94110


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You got a shiny new guitar for Christmas and you've been jamming along to Steppenwolf for four months straight. Put on some snazzy duds, champ, you're ready for the big time! Well, almost the big time, at this unassuming Bernal Heights dive. The owners survived a recent tussle with ASCAP that threatened to quiet the bandstand, and now the bar hosts three open jam sessions a week (Sunday, Monday, and Thursday). The cast of regulars is welcoming toward newcomers, capably acting as backing band with little provocation, bashing out countless strains of "Mustang Sally" at the drop of a hat. But best of all, the place is usually sparsely attended, so you'll be making a fool of yourself in front of only a handful of witnesses.

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"But best of all, the place is usually sparsely attended..."

How many nights did you go there to reach that conclusion? The nights I've been there, the place has been packed each time, but there are always people slipping outside to smoke so you'll find a seat. Regi Harvey, now on a short-term hiatus, leads his own band and oversees open-mike night players whom his band backs up. People are friendly,the music is superb, the sound doesn't break your eardrums and the bartender knows her stuff down to the ground. It's musical, it's mellow, it's a fine night out. Located in the Bernal Heights district near the Mission district, in the center of the commercial section of Cortland St., it's more than worth a visit. Or two. Or more.

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