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excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
San Francisco Good Times volume 3 #18
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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berkeley barb
Berkeley Barb
Only Printing / May 1, 1970 / 24 pages / San Francisco Good Times
San Francisco Good Times evolved from the weekly underground tabloid San Francisco Express Times, which was founded by Marvin Garson and Bob Novick in early 1968. The Express Times changed its name to Good Times after the March 25, 1969 issue. Under either name, the tabloid covered politics, social issues, the arts, music, and the local counterculture throughout the Bay Area. The Good Times was also a member of the Underground Press Syndicate, so it freely borrowed and contributed articles and cartoons with the syndicate.

Jack Jackson and Ron Cobb were regular contributors to the paper, while it featured articles and poetry from the likes of Greil Marcus, Alice Waters, David Goines, Paul Williams (founder of Crawdaddy!) and Marjorie Heins. At one time Robert Altman was the staff photographer. Most of the staff was volunteer, though there were a few lowly (sometimes infrequently) paid contributors. The paper was radical enough that the FBI saw fit to infiltrate the operation and procure a paid informant on the staff. Fuckin' FBI....

Richard Gaikowski, one of the paper's editorial staff who died in 2004, was identified in 2009 by the History Channel as a possible suspect in the notoriously unsolved Zodiac Killer case. His alleged participation was extensively debunked in an article on a forum devoted to the Zodiac Killer, which has a lot of interesting tidbits about the newspaper and the late '60s culture in San Francisco.

Like so many underground papers, the Express Times/Good Times was inherently controversial, running headlines like "Goddamn Pigs!" or "Dirty Underwear Girl Strikes In Jail." One of its front-cover photos depicted a woman holding a sign which read, "Every woman secretly wants to be RAPED." The newspaper was the subject of a 1977 documentary film, San Francisco Good Times, by Allan Francovich and Gene Rosow, which featured Pete Townsend, Bill Graham and Timothy Leary, among others.

San Francisco Good Times ceased publication in August of 1972. It was by no means as influential as the San Francisco Oracle (see next review) on underground comics, nor as essential or long-lived as the Berkeley Barb, but it was an important paper in its era. The copy shown here has great cover art by (obviously) S. Clay Wilson.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this newpaper were printed. Like any newspaper, issues were not reprinted.


Marvin Garson - editor
Jack Jackson (aka Jaxon)
Rob Cobb
Greil Marcus
Paul Williams
Marjorie Heins