The Golden Gate Bridge, which spans San Francisco Bay, turns 75 this year. This iconic bridge has inspired poets, film makers, photographers, and musicians for decades with its signature color (drably called International Orange), its sweeping suspension design, and its ever-changing wardrobe of fog and sun. Eric has photographed the heck out of the Golden Gate Bridge and the occasion of its 75th birthday seemed like the right time to share a few shots. And don’t miss the latest musical tributes at the end of this post.
Musical tributes to the most famous bridge in the US
The birthday of such a bridge inspired two very different brand new musical tributes. Mickey Hart, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and former drummer for the Grateful Dead, composed a “musical soundscape based on the real sounds of the bridge.”
Listen to a live recording of the Mickey Hart Band performing the composition at the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Birthday Celebration at Crissy Field:
Decades ago Hart tried to scale the bridge to record sounds made by the structure which he calls a “giant wind-harp.” He was promptly arrested. Twice. This time things went more smoothly and Hart and his team capture the sounds they were after. Hart performed his composition as part of the Golden Gate Bridge’s birthday bash by playing a 27 foot stainless steel replica of the bridge which was built by engineers at San Francisco’s awesome Exploratorium.
Meanwhile, James Kellaris, a University of California marketing professor and “part-time” musician, won a contest put on by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra (who knew there was such a thing?) to compose a birthday song for the bridge.
He composed a mandolin ditty he calls “Chrysopylae Reflections,” referencing the Greek term “chrysopylae” which, according to Kellaris, means “golden gate.” Who are we to argue with a man with a mandolin?
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