Chester Leo Helms

Quintessential Chet Helms – photo by Herb Greene

Chet’s Venue after the Avalon Ballroom closed its doors for the last time.

Chet ( standing) listen’s to Ken Kesey (sitting on the Hood of the Merry Prankster’s Bus), as Ken tells one of his many interesting stories…….. do you know some of the more interesting “untold stories” ??  * We do… but not “All” the stories — If you would like to share any interesting, touching, and insightful stories …… please do contact us or tell us the story via the comments section… ***we will not publish the story until we get your permission , and … if it’s an “Exceptional Story” we will have you, or our Narrator, tell it in the Film !!

Chet Standing in front of the left Palm Tree ….. can you recognize the other people in the Photo?—— and where was this picture taken ????

The Family Dog circa 1966 – photo by Herb Greene

Chet in front of the Milk Sign, and Bob Simmons in (white apparel )cross legged down in front. Recognize anyone??? and can you name the other people in the photo ???  What was this occasion?

Chet, Laurie, Bob Cohen,…..Anyone know the names of the others in the photo?

Chet and Crew at 1978 Tribal Stomp
( right -to- left ) Doug Green, Chet Helms, Pete Slauson , and friend planning for the 1978 Tribal Stomp Concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley
The “Big Five” San Francisco poster artists L to R: Alton Kelly, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse
(L-R) Chet Helms, Alton Kelly, Stanley Mouse,  George Hunter, Mike Ferguson & Wes Wilson

Chet with the Electric Flag at Monterrey Pop Festival June 1967

A collection of tributes …

*** THIS IS WHERE YOU POST TRIBUTES TO CHET and  “THE TRUE BELIEVERS”  of this magical era …….for example “The Alan’s” :  Allen Cohen, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, etc, etc, ………….

Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, the Vallejo Paddle Wheel Boat, Allen Cohen, and again Allen Ginsburg ( in Flag Hat)  “The Houseboat Summit” – 1967

**Your Filmmaker patched the Hull of that Houseboat (working with American Oceanics), and made it safe to tow across the Bay to be hauled-out , and made “Bay-worthy”  …..   **There will be many stories of what went on aboard this Historic Vessel (owned by Varda, the famous Artist). Also , Alan Watts used the Wheelhouse as his writing studio  !!!

Many Future Superstars came thru Chet’s “Avalon Ballroom”, like “the Experience” !!!


Chet with Jimmy !

       Today Malone selling one of the many counter-culture magazines on Haight Street





*Just post your Tributes in the comments section below, and will put them on the site !

2 thoughts on “Tributes to Chet & The True Believers

  1. mzmindi says:

    Written by Stix Stine

    Okay Min, i have a story for you to give folks a peek into my life in the Haight. Chet an me walked from the Avalon after closing one night to his flat in the Dog house so he could enjoy some of the weed i’d just brought back from Mexico. Walkin’ around Tijuana i had $200 in my pocket and i was lookin’ to score some keys. I walked almost to the end of Main Street’s business district and then started walkin’ back and talkin’ to sellers on the street as i went. pfftt! They were nuts! One guy was askin’ $120 for a key, so on to the next guy who was askin’ $90, and so it went til i got back to 3rd & Main across the street from the Chicago Club.

    I’m standing there talkin’ with my friend who rode down with me and this middle aged Mexican leaning against the wall of the strip club beckoned to me, “Hey man, come here an let me educate you.” So i walked over and we discussed a purchase. He wanted $10 a brick, but i had to front him my money … i laughed an said no way. Then he suggested i tear the money in half, give him half now, and when i got the bricks give him the other half … i thought to myself that’d be a pretty dumb thing to burn a gringo over so i agreed.

    He took us across the street to the Chicago Club and took us upstairs to a private room with a small bar and movie screen. Then his connection “Johnny Hot Nuts” came in an ran it down to me. It’d take about an hour and a cab would be out front with the stuff in the trunk. Meanwhile the drinks were free and the girls were friendly.

    When Juan came back we went outside and he opened the trunk right there on 3rd Street with 20-keys in the trunk. I took out my knife an cut into a couple of the bricks … sniff! sniff! Acapulco Gold 😀

    Then the driver drove us to the east side of town by the border fence (storm fencing with barbwire on top) and left us there with our gunny sack of bricks. I told my friend i would climb over an then he was to toss the bag over to me. On the other side we went about 30.ft to the brush & cactuses and i told him to squat down an be quiet. We waited about 10.min and along come a border patrol Bronco nice an slow. When it passed and was out of sight we ran to the back of the motel where we were staying, slid the bathroom window open an tossed the sack inside. Then we walked around front, went into our room, and each took one hit off a joint — that was all it took and then we were in the swimming pool laughing our asses off that we pulled it off.

    Meanwhile back at Chet’s flat he’s looking everywhere for rolling papers while i’m walking around the place checking it out. Not only were the walls covered with Family Dog posters but so were the ceilings, in every room! :-)) lol … finally after looking in every stash box and drawer Chet had in his bedroom he found some papers and we finally got to sit an talk with our heads right — heh heh — i’m tellin’ ya, that was some unbelievable weed back then but nowhere compared to what we have around today …

    Wish i coulda spent more time with Chet because he liked to share what he was doing and his operation at the Avalon; like showing me the old projector room where they were doing the light show then. The guys doing the plates were cool and explained to me how they put the paint on glass plates then held them over the light and made the gyrations that appeared on the wall behind the stage by dropping paint on top of the paint on the glass. For me however, i was a restless soul and needed to be traveling up an down the coast from L.A. to Vancouver, BC., so our friendship was short — — but meaningful. God bless you Chet and i hope you’re getting a lot of gigs for the Rock & Roll Band in Heaven.

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