Alyssa Graham with Marika Hughes/Robin Rockwell Tribute

Our first stop for the day was the Apple Store for an in-store performance by Alyssa Graham. We were only interested in the show because Marika Hughes was playing cello in the band. My wife also read that Tracy Chapman, who had a hit song called “Fast Car” in the 90s, was in attendance at Alyssa’s show at Hotel Utah on Saturday night. While it would have been cool to attend a show with her, Squarepusher was definitely the better choice for us.

The Apple Store had cops stationed outside and a huge crowd on the bottom floor, presumably buying the new iPad that came out late last week. The good part of the Apple Store performance was talking to Marika before the show, seeing her new band press photo and learning that she’s got a show at Yerba Buena Center on November 16 with Scott Amendola and Todd Sickafoose.

After the Alyssa Graham show, we hopped on the 38 Geary, my least favorite bus ever, and rode it to The Fillmore for the Robin Rockwell tribute. LIVE 105 and LiveNation went all out for the tribute to their fallen friend and promotions director. They had the whole place decked out in pink feather boas, a nice memorial tribute in the upstairs bar from Live 105. Another next to it from 91X in San Diego and a collection of Robin’s concert tickets on the other side. The stage was laid out with a DJ booth on one side, a giant screen for multimedia presentations and a couple of microphones on the other side for speakers during the tribute.

“Mike Nelson”, who I swear had No Name, was the emcee for the evening’s stories and memories presented about Robin Rockwell. They started off with the CBS boss who dedicated the Live 105 studios and rechristened them the Robin Rockwell Studios. Then they had her sister say a few words. Then another guy came out and talked about the Bay Area STAR Robin Rockwell scholarship that a bunch of people got together to create in her honor. Then they showed the first of three video tributes. More people shared their memories and stories. Carry On My Wayward Son was one of her anthems. She was cremated with a Lenny Kravitz poster. Even Lenny Kravitz himself appeared via a video from a recent concert in Australia where he dedicated a song to Robin. Photos and stories of Robin’s trip to Slane Castle to see U2 and stories of other adventures in Amsterdam and other locations were shared. She seemed like a really nice person who cared a lot for the people she worked with and treated them like extensions of her family.

It was a sad time, but everyone was there to celebrate the gifts she gave to them. After a final video tribute, set to U2’s Walk On with her friends and family holding up parts of the lyrics in time with Bono singing them, the tribute event was over and they switched gears to Miles the DJ and Aaron Axelsen spinning some of Robin’s favorite songs. Everyone in attendance got tickets, lanyards with laminated passes, a random CD from Robin’s personal collection and a Robin Rockwell Tribute Fillmore poster. It felt like Robin was there planning the giveaways and I’m sure she would have been happy with how it turned out.

After the tribute, I was pretty sad. I’m a manager. I treat the people I work with like extensions of my family. I think I’ve got my life in order. But any day, something could happen.

I was also really hungry. We remedied that by going to Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles for dinner. I had a chicken breast and a waffle. My wife had a fried chicken salad. We shared a red velvet cake slice because they were out of peach cobbler. It was tasty but I think I like Roscoe’s in Los Angeles best for chicken and Oakland’s House of Chicken and Waffles best for waffles. Based on her post on my Google+, my wife seems to share my opinion.

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