Guest Blog: Jonny Ramada Campaigns to play Outside Lands

in SF Local Bands by

Editor’s Note: We’ve tackled the issue of the death of live music in the Bay Area for some time no on this blog. For many local musicians, although the situation was at one time dire, the consensus seems to be that it’s definitely not dead and has been picking up as of late. Well, not according to Jonny Ramada who offered to give us his take on what the scene is like, at least as it pertains to rock n roll. He recently reached out to us and offered to guest blog and here’s what he had to say.

San Francisco has changed, man. The rock and roll scene isn’t dead but it sure is on life support. I haven’t heard a decent guitar solo since they stopped wearing hats. I mean, this city was literally (figuratively) built on rock n roll.

And so where does rock and roll go to die? Portland, that’s where. And that’s a compliment believe it or not. It’s frustrating to see the state of the fading rock scene for an ex-street musician like myself. Well, I’ve had it up to here (I’m pointing at my groin area because that’s how rock and roll I am) I’m going to bring rock and roll back baby!

Jonny Ramada

How might you ask? Well, as an ex-street musician there is only one place to go, back outside. But this glorious city is so corporate now, you can’t do anything without getting the government involved. You even need a permit to walk a freakin’ dog. I’m serious, check out this article. To rock your butt on the street you practically need to pass a law at city council using shady back alley deals.

But you know what? Jonny Ramada doesn’t do politics and neither should you (except a couple of times a year when voting polls are open and for the occasional town meeting). On April 11, I’m going to bypass all the paperwork and shoulder schmoozing by throwing a campaign rally at the Rickshaw Stop to play outside once again and can you think of a better place than Outside Lands? That’s right, we’re going to campaign to get invited to play Outside Lands so we can bring rock and roll back. We’ve invited all the Outside Lands promoters to the show and you are invited too. So get yourself out there, it’s going be huge!

But do you even know who I am? My name is Jonny Ramada. My mother once told me I hit full sex appeal in the summer of ’06 when I was playing rock and roll on the streets of San Francisco. I was even discovered by a film intern from some European country called London who decided to make a documentary about my love/height relationship of busking on the streets. Last year after my commercial success with the BBC documentary, “Jonny Ramada” (now in select film festivals around the world), I began the next chapter of my life playing inside real venues. Among these venues were Docs Labs, Cafe Du Nord, and the Independent. The shows were super rock and roll because each show had sold out.

Beginning to feel like a sellout myself I decided to take on this campaign to play Outside Lands in the hopes of resuscitating our dying friend, rock n roll. The city needs a good rockin’ and doing it inside music venues ain’t doing anyone any good.

So, I’ll be taking the stage with some fun, non-political rock and roll on April 11 at the Rickshaw Stop where we will be campaigning to play Outside Lands. Let’s bring rock and roll back to the city together. Live your dream. Live our dream. Vote Ramada. I know I will.

Jonny Ramada, Headwaves and The Liners will all be rocking the stage on April 11 at the Rickshaw Stop. Doors at 8 pm. Party at 8:01 pm.


Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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