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  • davidwills 2:36 pm on October 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alan Watts, , Druid Heights, Mark Bode, , Mural, San Francisco Murals   

    Allan Watts library hidden in Druid Heights in Muir Woods State park: The Mural at 210 Clayton 

    210 claytond

    My daughter, Alessandra (she painted the butterfly), and I painted this mural in 2010 on Clayton at Hayes in San Fransisco.

    It shows the valley in the Muir Woods State park called Frank Valley and is where the 1950’s, and beyond, the un-deliberate community of Druid Heights, with Allan Watts Library, is hidden.

    Druid Heights was in the news when Michael Toinoven and a cabal of interested folk, including old friends and nabes of Roger Sommers the builder, cajoled the local rags, including the SF Chronicle to feature a ‘Where Is the Druid Heights Mystery?’ reporting an effort in The US Congress to declare Druid Heights a National Treasure.

    The mural is 39-feet tall and similarly wide – it extends unseen down a narrow side alley.

    It features a male Snowy Egret in breeding season, in full and improbable flap – wings up like that usualy indicate take-off and should feature a strenuous forward tilt of the body with legs dangling. Looks graphic like this though. Down the side alley is a stretched out version (with more probable wings) to allow for the effects of perspective. I used a Sharp copier, and by moving the original photograph got the stretched-out version as artist’s reference for the painting.

    The scene is looking down Frank Valley near Mount Tam in Marin County, with Muir Woods off picture at right. Hidden amongst the trees of the scene is the site of a ‘un-deliberate community’, a 50’s era and beyond community of what was called ‘Druid Heights’ from about 1952 to 1973 when one of the founders, Allan Watts died. This is where I lived in 1973-4.

    I was a room-mate there with Margo St.James, she of the famed SF Hooker’s Balls (that I named) and was an amateur event director from 1973 to 79. I designed many of the posters.

    Molly Bode, former Belarus Dancer, now manager and wife of the eminent artist, Mark Bode, also worked for St.James as Secretary to Her Majesty.

    Druid Heights was the compound of homes, shacks and shanties cleverly concealed from the building inspectors, built by an owner, Roger Sommers and his sometine partner, Ed Stiles (who would be nameless by preference) a high-class joiner and inventor, Together they had built a number of interesting buildings, including Allan Watts’ library, housed in a water butt, and the Goat House, built in 1967. The Goat House was the inspiration for the Tiny Homes movement. (Although not recognized as such by Lloyd Kahn leader of that movement and author of many small and tiny homes books.)

    The Goat House was the original ‘Tiny Home’ – the original, the Ur Tiny Home of the Tiny Home Movement. Designed by Sommers, who had studied with Frank Lloyd Wright, the Goat House was less tham 150 square feet. It had a pot bellied stove and running water piped up from the stream below. It was intended to inspire folk to build their own, The results can be seen in the Hippie Shack built on the side of a Bolinas cliff in ‘Home Work’ by Lloyd Kahn, Shelter. The Goat House was in the garden of the eminent lesbian poet, Elsa Gidlow, who was the producer on KPFA of Allan Watts’ radio talkathons on the subject of a loosely interpreted Budhism. The Goat House was where I first lived at Druid Heights, later I moved up to the Big House and other structures. Boy, those were the days…

    For copies of the books ‘Tiny Homes on The Move’, 2013, ‘Tiny Homes’, 2012, ‘Builders’, 2010, or ‘Home Work’, 2008 all by Lloyd Kahn, Shelter; email: ShelterPublications,com and get more than 2000 pictures in color on 360 pages of glossy wit for about thirty bucks a book.

  • davidwills 8:42 am on September 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alan Watts, , John Mortimer QC, Margo STJames, Stewart Brand   

    What David Wills did, does, and will do 


    Cover design for Oz magazine 1972, with various artists.

    For all those who’ve been following this lengthy ramble about the times past, without much guff about me, your host, David Wills, I hereby assuage your curiosity with a catalogue of paths traveled. More illustrations will be added in due course. Be patient.


    David Wills’ list of works performed (partial list):



    San Francisco 2011 Hookers Ball Redux, in October.

    1977 – current. Design T-shirts celebrating the graphic repeat-integers in the date. Previous shirts were very early celebrations of  repeat dates with 7.7.77, 8.8.88 and 9.9.99. Printed using traditional Japanese Shiburi process by Cat Bell. Next will be classics, 10-10-10 and 11.11.11


    MoHA – the Haight Ashbury Museum Organizing the creation of a good idea. With fellow entrepreneur, Andy Bayowski, and aided by ‘Doc Dave of the Free Clinic’ David Smith’s family foundation, 2009


    Haight Ashbury newspapers: Jeremy Bates’ The Haight Beat, Calvin Welch’s The HA Newspaper; Indigo Hotchkiss’ HA Literary Journal 1976 till present

    Harvey Milk Acrylic painting of the organizers at the first meeting of the Haight Ashbury Street Fair at Shady Grove. Canvas 6 x 6 feet, 2008/9



    SAgA Fuel Systems, INC Co-founded, with an associate inventor, a US corporation to invent and patent a new fuel to reduce diesel emissions. I assisted  research and testing, with my personal object  being to change the color of the sunset. Raised early financing. Logo designed by Wills and produced by Candace Kollar.1994 to present


    Shelter Publications Design of books and collateral from manuscript to production and marketing. Published work includes logos, book covers, text, illustrations, and posters. Titles include Lloyd Kahn’s Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), and Home Work, inspiration to build: based on thirty years of research, the successors to the classic book Shelter; designed and illustrated world’s best selling running book, now in fifteen languages, Galloway’s Book on Running. 1982 to present.

    Peace Vigil Co-operative event with Cat Bell and Richard Ivanhoe to end all war, 2006 to present

    The humors of the body Oil painting showing the ten chakra planes. co-designed with Waterfall, 18×12 inches, 2006


    Spirit of San Francisco Oil painting of a masquerade on Alcatraz with the Alcatraz Giant at an imagined University of Peace, co-designed with Waterfall, and able assist from Larry Todd 2004. 18 x 24, 2005

    Pablo Heising Memorial poster 2005


    Haight Ashbury Painting of Fiesta for T-shirt, 2004

    The Waterfallian Poetry and comment for small-press flyer ‘zine published with intent to cause beneficent revolution. With Waterfall. 2002 to present


    Stone circle and maze Earthwork: Garden retreat, stone circle aligned with moon maximum of the Saros Cycle, the apogee of the 18 year, and ten-day (or eleven – depends who you ask) moonrise cycle that enabled the descendants of early continental societies of the late Stone-age, the Bronze-age, flat-bottomed Beaker-folk, and the teachers who built at Stonehenge, to foretell the eclipses of both sun and moon, more or less. They used the best accessible flat plain in the West close to the tin mines, and because at that latitude one is able to describe the tides and the occasional eclipse ithey were lucky (and divine no doubt from the passing clouds, the lay of the land) by giving the most favorable rectangular pattern of alignments. 1982/3 to present.

    Psyche and Cupid Acrylic painting in the Greek manner, showing how Psyche taught Cupid to fly. 2000. 24 x 30. 1989


    Chalk Walk Children’s street art with Cat Bell, facilitated oil pastel graffiti sponsored by the city. 1997 – 2000

    You are now leaving reality. Psyche Delia Acrylic painting, for T-shirt, 50 x 54 inches 1994


    The Winning Of The West SF Market Street light pole base sculpture by Arthur Putnam, 1906, 1700 lbs. bas-relief in cast iron. Refinished using the ‘Butlers art’ of graphite and 22 carat gold leaf. For City and County of SF, 1987

    Haight Ashbury Poster. Watercolor rendering of my city block as a castle fortress island, funded by the merchants of Haight Street. 24 x 18. last poster personally printed by Lavan Moscovian at T-lautrec Litho. 1982


    The Big Boing: Sounds of the Golden Gate Bridge First recording of the sound of the Golden Gate as a harp: I struck the 365 feet suspension hawser, with wooden mallet, and sampled the sound of world’s longest base guitar string. With Arnie Lazarus (Inventor of FRAP pick up) Doug Mackecnie (Recording), Michael Phillips (Enabler) and Molly Rodriguez, and the Street Lightnin’ Gang. Music by sculptor and adventurer, Faye Schoolcraft. 1976 – 1984


    Point Foundation. Next Whole Earth Catalog 1981/2. Whole Earth Epilog 1976. Space Colonies 1977. CoEvolution Quarterly 1975-1992 For Stewart Brand, I designed the first issue of CoEvolution Quarterly. Covers for The Whole Earth Epilog; cover and format for the Next Whole Earth Catalog and Logo and text for CoEvolution with Kathleen O’Neill, 1975 – 1982

    Music Works Conceived the music business publishing ‘enterprose’ with Diane Sward Rapaport, printed three issues of the ground-breaking first indy-recording-industry publication. Called  A manual for musicians. Diane went on to publish the best selling, Recording and selling your own album. 1976 -77

    Felix Dennis’ Mac User and MacWarehouse I worked up on the 7 th floor in central Manhattan, where I was an attempted murder victim, stabbed in the heart with a dull knife, while camping in the stockroom on  47th and 5th, NYC. Premier issue of catalog. 1987



    Haight Ashbury Street Fair, Free Tea Party 25 year co-operative effort with Cat Bell and Richard Ivanhoe to establish commercial free zone using free booth space at the HA Street Fair, with carpet, shade, chairs, free cookies and stickers. 1983 to present

    1_a-51976 Haight Ashbury 1st Street Fair. I designed and cut stencils for a serigraph poster, for the first annual fair. Served on committee that created the fair with Harvey Milk and Pablo Heising

    Greenpeace Foundation Carved linoleum print of grey-whale for MUNI bus ads, designed ‘poetry’ poster. 1976

    Shady Grove Posters and calendar for Flying Karamozov Brothers, Ducks Breath Mystery Theater. Signage with Marc Bode and Kathleen O’Neill for Haight Street Night Club, 1975 – 1979


    Street Lightnin’ Gang with Molly Rodriguez, President, ersatz street graffiti artists gang: Invented world free transport using World Teleport, and SFTeleport using system of stenciled graphics to convert buildings and other structures to teleports. 1975 – 1982.


    Art Whirled Paintings around the world since 1973, Watercolor record of life well spent.

    Coyote San Francisco. Portrayed the Coyote Trickster on the button that Margo St. James used to finance the decriminalization of prostitution in San Francisco. Named the Hookers Ball, and designed T-shirts, invites, teasers, posters and newspapers for whores. 1973 – 1989


    Rolling Stone and Running Man Press Designed for Jon Goodchild magazine advertising, and exhibition design for LA book fair, 1973 – 75



    London 1962 –73



    Let it Rock Cover1972 and Illustrations for George Harrison, Pete Townshend 1972/3

    Frendz: the embers of the fire that was Friends magazine, with Rosie Boycott. 1970 –71


    Curious: Sex Education Magazine for men and women, London. Designer, art director for a dozen issues, commissioned illustrators Adrej Dudzinski, Edward Bell and Peter Till. Edited by the nut-case, Gerry Kingsland, who later became King of the Cocos (or Barney) Islands in the South China Sea. The movie ‘Castaway’ directed by Nicolas Roeg, was based on the books by both Kingsland, and his would-be Queen, Lucy Irvine the writer, who one-upped him and wrote about their adventures with an expose. Sued for something by Michael Caine on behalf of his beautiful wife; and proscecuted with extrordinary personal street attack on me by a censor from the Lord Chamberlain’s  office (of censorship), London.  1970 – 71

    Ink, another weekly newspaper I worked on (the other was Topic) that was memorable for the cover I designed, with a drawing by Gerald Scarf captioned “Mary Whitehouse explains her position to the Pope,” I egged the wimpy editor, a large New Yorker, on to use it. “Come on, You Chicken or what?” I said. Mary sued and closed yet another of my jobs down. This was the editor who, one rainy night after a hard slog going to press, gave me a ride home, but lazily deposited me 3oo yards from home, right as the police were searching people in the downpour for possible connection with an armed bank robbery down the way. I had a very realistic toy gun in my bag, which I used to encourage recalcitrant paster-uppers in the studio, and had a hellava time explaining that away. I kept repeating “It’s a toy !”

    Oz: Underground, lateral-thinking alternative-culture magazine published in London. I designed many issues co-operatively with editors Jim Anderson, Richard Neville and Felix Dennis. Rendered in psychedelic four-colour, Oz was an Iconic visual expression of the sixties.  We also helped develop the punk ethos that gave rise to the Sex Pistols. I worked as the ‘experienced’ production designer with the school kids on ‘School Kids Oz’. The editors were busted for ‘Corruption of minors’ in huge freedom of speech trial, 1971, defended by John ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ Mortimer, won on appeal in the dramatic and hilarious trial – the longest criminal ever at the Old Bailey. “Among the defense witnesses was DJ John Peel, musician George Melly (who at one point explained a Latin sexual term in detail to the jury) and comedy writer Marty Feldman, who called the judge a “boring old fart”. With so many anti-establishment currents swirling around the pillars of authority, the case often descended into farce: at one point the defendants turned up to court dressed as schoolgirls” (Excerpt from Wikipedia). 1967 – 1971 Poster for the OZ police ball 1971

    A1GoodGuyz with Barney Bubbles 1964 –1968 A quick history: Beginning in 1958, Fulcher and I studied three dimensional construction, called ‘display,’ and graphics at Twickenham art school (I was in the year above him) on the outskirts of London, then we did creative stuff in the sixties. We went to Ireland with my brother Peter – where Fulcher got run over by a coach and two; shared an apartment and from 1964 to 1968, with a crewe of creative passers-by, we were the A1GoodGuyz. Colin Fulcher changed his name to Barney Bubbles and later became the world-renown designer at Stiff Records.

    I tagged along on Bubbles’ light show for The Gun. Barney and I worked together on various co-operatively designed projects in 1967… The sounds good evening extravaganza invitation. World’s first made for TV ‘music video’ in answer to a call for ideas from the BBC. The Thea Porter invite; Inspector Burge Investigates, a set of post cards on a poster of, that I drew and co-designed with Barney, and provided with ‘cut-up’ captions from books. ; Motor Racing magazine a race car magazine for Jim Clark and McClaren: A set of 12 inch table place mats stickers that I drew for Conran: Oz 12 magazine; Black Dwarf, Red Mole, Tariq Ali’s Marxist Trotskyist, Spartacist propoganda 1967/8; and a Nova magazine in 1968.


    Davidson Pearce Berry and Tuck Advertising Assistant to Art Director David Newton, with Creative Director, later to be New York ad-wiz, Norman Berry, for VG Foodstores, Wates Build, Labour Party. 1966-67


    Spectator Publications Had an office that used two entrances with different addresses, one on St Martins lane was the address on the letterhead – the other was 85 Charring Cross Road, an address that became well known as the name of the book. The Code Writer spy who invented the ‘silks,’ Leo Marks, his dad’s bookstore, Marks & Co, was at 85 Charing cross Rd.

    Spectator Publications produced commercially sponsored books, 1964 – ’68 owned by the worlds oldest magazine, and the talented former JWT art director Michael Cyprien, who designed and published the best selling Book of Meat Cookery for Oxo Leibig. I worked with Cyprien as art director and designer on the Book of Egg Cookery, Egg marketing Board. Shop and cook book, Brown and Polson. No-time-to-cook book Brown and Polson. Stanley book of designs for making your own furniture and the Book of Fish Cookery ’68 with Bob Priest, hot out of Twickenham, who went on to fame at Esquire.


    Cornmarket and Haymarket Press: Town and Topic magazine  glossy lads magazine, printed in four-color letterpress, and a weekly newzine, at the time of Kenedy/Chruschev Cuba confrontation, art assistant to Tom Wolsey. Shoppers Guide first of its kind in Britain (the original for ‘Which’ magazine), art director, designer, with Elizabeth Gundry. Image Magazine student placement ads and blurb, design for Clive Labovitch and Michael Hesseltine’s Co. 1963 – 65

    Do-Its A series of creative adventures in London with Colin Fulcher (Barney Bubbles). The Wasey-goosey Party, Make a noisemaker; Shop at Woolworths: Organized scrap-chase. etc 1960 – 74

    Pit-Rivers Museum Captions for world famous ethnographic collection 1961


    Blacksmith Traditional apprentice, formed wrought-iron gates’ repair for Admiralty Arch, at Grundy Arnott. Smithied swan-bends for Lady Rothchild’s Paris mansion. Teddington, 1958

    Ramon Navarro, Photographer, Bridge over the River Kwai, apprentice dark room assistant, commercial processing of prints from film

    Shepherd First job, guarding the sheep-pen gate with Mr. Cannon on the Sandall farm at Stonehenge. (I let the ram out.) 1950




    “Onwards!” David Wills self promotion 2009

    “Mr Wills is experienced, highly creative, quick, and dependable.” – Lloyd Kahn, Shelter Publications, Bolinas CA 1994

    “In addition to his abundant design talent David Wills is good company on a project – self starting, self supervising, comfortable to collaborate with, and innovative. He helps keep work enjoyable.– Stewart Brand, Point Foundation, Sausalito CA 1982

    “Thanks for everything!” – Greenpeace Claire Tomlinson, San Francisco 1978

    “Wills measures up.” – Herb Caen, SF Chronicle 1976

    “He was briefed by us and subsequently organized, designed, and built a two booth stand to our great satisfaction. – Bert Sneider, Quick Fox Publishing, Rolling Stone, San Francisco 1975


    “David Christopher Wills is an integral part of the American women’s movement.” – Margo St. James, Founder, Coyote, San Francisco CA 1974

    “No more armed clergy!” – Alan Watts, when asked for good advice, Druid Heights Marin County 1973

    “I am pleased to introduce and recommend the work of David Wills” –  from letter of introduction, Milton Glaser, Pushpin Studio 1967,

    “Take a sabbatical.” – Norman Berry, London England 1967


    • michael gillette 7:47 pm on September 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I look forward to seeing the pictures, quite a tryppe.

    • Aged Home Economist 12:18 am on May 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi David, what a fantastic surprise to find this site, was following up a cookery site with Cathy Kirkpatrick recipes and led eventually to your site – remember me, Roxie from Brown and Polson? All that hard work with the irascible Bob Brookes ? I am now about to read all about you. Many many congratulations. Still have the cookbooks you and Mike signed for me here in Australia – Happy memories of london in the 60’s

    • SanJ 10:57 pm on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      where is the haight and ashbury poster? your paintings?

    • davidwills 11:14 pm on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve never got around to photographing them, will do one day.

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