The Ventures trailed The Shadows with their first goes at this and a further two numbers ( ‘The Letter’,  ‘Last Train To Clarkesville’) appearing on the 1967 LP From Hank, Bruce, Brian And John, though Gerry McGee was the session man behind the important guitar parts in the original airing of ‘Last Train …’ The Shadows chose, like many of their contemporaries, to take on the implausible role of temporary flower-people and sang the song in saccharine rather than rousing tones (it has to do with “people in motion” and the delivery of the McKenzie original reflects that superbly).
Gerry McGee is on lead for this Ventures’ (instrumental) rendition of ‘San Francisco’ from 2003. The tone and tempo are spot-on: a warm, cosy glow, but also (this a crucial element in the song) developing a get-up-and-do-something-about-it air in keeping with those heady if short-lived days of love, pro-active peace and the rest. Some admirably nifty McGee improvising too in the closing stages.
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