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Real Musicians, Real Jobs 

Wednesday, Mar 16 2005
Do you ever ask yourself, "Who is that dude behind the bar? What the hell does he do when he's not pouring me a pint?" You should ask him sometime, because you never know who he might be. For example, if you are a regular at either Blooms Saloon (on Potrero Hill) or Finnegan's Wake (in Cole Valley) then you've probably seen Alvin Warwas.

Here's his story.

"After I graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics," Warwas recounts, "I went to work on an early version of the Star Wars [missile defense] program."

And then ...

"I started playing folk music in coffeehouses around Boston," Warwas continues. "I performed in a group called Gary, Louise, & Alvin. I sent [Pete Seeger] a song. He liked it and sent it to Broadside Magazine in the Village. I had several folk songs published there over the years." For the uninitiated, Broadside was the original underground zine for the folk scene in early-'60s New York; it's authentic counterculture history.

Today, Warwas continues to write, perform, and self-release his music. Last year, he penned the locally themed folk ditty "Pitch to Barry" and slipped a demo into the jukeboxes at both his bars.

"I was thinking about how Barry Bonds was setting all these records, and no one had written a song about him," Warwas explains. "Anyway, I had this image from a few years ago when one of his kids in the stands was holding a sign saying 'Pitch to My Dad.'"

Since then both KFOG and KNBR have featured the tune, and Warwas recently produced a CD single as well.

So, yeah, you never know who that dude behind the bar really is, right?

About The Author

Justin F. Farrar


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