The Bay Bridged // Guards’ tales of San FranciscoMarch 20, 2013
Interview: Guards’ tales of San Francisco
March 18, 2013
Written by Roman Gokhman
Richie Follin – founder of punk rock band the Willowz, former member of Cults, and now singer in New York ‘60s and ‘70s revivalists Guards – lived near Cow Hollow in San Francisco for six years, up through the sixth grade, and attended St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. A self-described hooligan, he “got in trouble all over” town, and eventually landed at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, meant to right the course of young delinquents.
“I feel like pretty much everyone who ever went there – it’s only a matter of time before they ended up in jail,” Follin said, a couple of weeks before Guards were to return to the City to open for The Joy Formidable at the Fillmore on Friday. “Luckily, I got out.”
The singer-guitarist has many fond memories of San Francisco, such as playing with the Willowz at the Warfield, or the Fillmore with Cults, the band he helped his sister, Madeline, launch.
But his top priority upon arriving in his home neighborhood is always to purchase a sandwich from Marina Submarine on Union Street.
“There’s this old Asian man who is the best sandwich maker I’ve ever met, and I feel like at any moment he could die,” he said. “He’s so old. So I have to go and get a sandwich before he expires.
“I just get a salami sandwich. It’s what I grew up getting every day.”