Burritos, Beer and Cheer: High Society for the Underground

"Thirty-Somethingth" Annual Last Gasp holiday party hosted an eclectic mix.

63 photos
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Josh Keppel
San Francisco's underground arts scene turned out for a holiday Last Gasp.
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Ron Turner started Last Gasp, an underground comic and art book publishing and distribution company, in the 1970s helping launch the careers of artists like R. Crumb, Robert Williams, and S. Clay Wilson.
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Turner has a room of oddities in his back office in the Last Gasp building that houses one of the most impressive private art collections in the city.
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The party was filled with a healthy mix of interesting folks from the art scene and beyond. (From left to right) Dee Dee "I'm a cable TV icon" Russell, painter Sharon Leong, nightclub performer/cartoonist Dr. Hal and poet Jane Rades.
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Ed Holmes aka Bishop Joey from The First Church of the Last Laugh gives me his best Ebenezer.
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Bruce Brugmann, editor and publisher of the SF Bay Guardian, stands between Patrisha Vestey (left) and E Clair Acuda Bandersnatch. Brugmann, who's been going to this party "since the beginning" said "Ron [Turner] is the undisputed winner of the most eclectic party of the year."
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(Left to right) Michael Lyons, Katy Bell, and Carrie hang with John Law, co-founder of the Cacophony Society and Burning Man.
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Amazing works of art hang on the walls in Ron Turner's back office. The top three paintings are Robert Williams originals, with R. Crumb original illustrations in black and white just under the paintings.
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Last Gasp is housed on the second floor of this building at 20th and Florida Streets in San Francisco.
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Welcome wagon of Doggie Diner heads.
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Abby from Martin de Porres House of Hospitality collected the suggested $20 donation per person benefiting St. Martin De Porres soup kitchen. Last year the party raised over $8000 for the charity.
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After giving your $20 donation, you could pick up a book of your choosing from this table covering hundreds of subjects.
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Art Business.com maestro Alan Bamberger stands with the Elephant Skin Girl, one of the dozens of circus sideshow banners Ron Turner has collected over the years.
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Waterfall (left) sang Christmas carols while shaking maracas with Patrisha Vestey joining in from time to time.
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Telemundo San Antonio
Janet Silk and Michael Peppe get into the Christmas spirit with their matching hats.
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Josh Keppel
Each year Last Gasp employees put up butcher paper to protect the racks of books for the party. The hallways then get covered in art all night long with everyone from little kids to published artists taking to the virginal canvases.
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Josh Keppel
Most people don't associate Christmas with burritos, but if you've been to a Last Gasp holiday party that may change. This year, burritos from El Metate were on hand all night long helping the drunks sober up.
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Early in the night graphic artist Dennis Loren weighed his options between veggie, beef and chicken. You may have been given a free concert poster designed by Loren after a Fillmore or Warfield show.
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NBCPhiladelphia.com
Tazer extraordinaire and former Maximum RocknRoll writer Christine Curran stands next to an original KRK Ryden painting.
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Red chili lights signal the way to Ron Turner's back room man cave, where a real prison door from Alcatraz Island keeps things secure the rest of the year. Fun house mirrors greet visitors as they walk towards the room.
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The fun room fills up quickly, with party-goers enjoying the company, art and oddities on display.
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Ron Turner and his wife Carol stand center stage.
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Michael Rudman (right) and Alan Bamberger give the silver ball a whirl.
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Another KRK Ryden original hangs below a bookshelf of stuff. I didn't see any paintings from brother Mark Ryden in the building, but if you've seen books of his around town chances are good that they came from this warehouse.
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A She-Wolf nursing Romulus and Remus figure by Krystine Kyttre sits amid a cornucopia of miscellanea.
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Will "Will Billy" Kirkpatrick plays the piano to the delight of the people in the room.
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Getty Images
New Year's Eve Sea of Dreams promoter Joegh Bullock (left) chats with Ron Turner about the new display of airplane models hanging from the ceiling.
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Here's a look up...
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You could spend hours in this room soaking it all in.
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Another painting on display... not sure who the artist is of this one.
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An unnamed couple takes a seat.
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(Left to right) Lid sporting Kevin M F'in Kasch, Alia Volz and Kevin H.
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Photographers Victoria Smith and Robert Altman see what life is like on the other side of the lens.
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Galaxy Chamber band members Nykk Fell (left) and Krystl Chamber (right) flank Charisma Destiny.
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DJ and video artist KrOB adds some yellow to even out the brown on the wall while painter and sculpter Lynn Rubenzer looks on. KrOB will be getting his video on with LOOP!STATION at Yoshi's in San Francisco soon.
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George Crampton draws a "Free Lil Weezey" carload on the wall next to Beer Frog.
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Big Daddy steps in to DJs for a little while.
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This was an important room to visit, the room with the booze.
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Moses (left) and Steve Valdez get laughed at.
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The Extra Action bar staff was top notch with Roky Roulette and Ena serving up a great selection of beers and wine.
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BUTLER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
At times the room cleared enough for dancing, other times not so much.
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Josh Keppel
Loid Mongoloid scribbles in the area not for sitting.
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Last Gasp worker Linda Lagunas Atwood brought one of the many dogs who were hanging out at the party. I kept trying to get a shot of the two of them together but was never quite able to... next year!
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Physicist Steve Somerstein thanks Ena for the drink.
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Musicians Warren Huegel (left) and Tim Cohen (right) hang with Katie McCracken for their first time at the Last Gasp holiday party.
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Lasara Allen shows her "fixed" tattoo to Terry Clark while husband Robert Allen looks on.
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Lasara Allen had the name of her first husband "Bobby" tattooed in-between their kid's names until second husband Robert asked to have the tattoo fixed. Looks pretty good! Joe D'Rache did the cover-up job and Fish did the original.
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Author, journalist and Last Gasp employee Jon Longhi stands with FCC Free Radio DJ Lilly Cat.
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NBC Bay Area photojournalist Robert Wellington kicks up his feet for a few.
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Filmmaker Anna Fitch and lawyer Ragi Dindial
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This Todd Schorr "Santa's brain is on its way to Last Gasp, are you?" postcard was the admission ticket for two to get into the party. No invite, no entry.
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Alice Finney (left) and Glenda Graves soak in the flash.
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RE/Search bigwigs Marian Wallace (left) and V. Vale
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Lasara Allen and Ron Turner
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Gonzo journalist Warren Hinckle stands between Kerri Stephens (left) and Jen Rogers.
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NBC10.com
This is one of the many custom made pieces of art on display in the building.
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Love was in the air Friday night... Ian Shemp Vandommelen (right) went to school with Ron Turner's son Colin. He's here with his wife Janese Vandommelen.
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John Law (left) talks with Joegh Bullock who is organizing this year's Sea of Dreams 10 year anniversary Legasea New Year's Eve party with Ozomatli, Bassnectar, Ghostland Observatory, Yard Dogs Road Show, Glitch Mob and more.
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Bruce Lee protected party-goers from above.
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Turner's collection of fezzes.
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I saw a number of dogs roaming around the party. They seemed to be having as much fun as the humans.
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The Extra Action Bartenders dance to some Devo that popped up on the sound system.
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If you are lucky enough to get an invite to "the most eclectic party of the year" go! You'd be a fool to pass up your chance to rub elbows with San Francisco's underground elite. Hope to see you there!
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