Andrew St. James's birth mom was a tour caterer for the Rolling Stones.
In this episode, the musician traces his lineage back to his being adopted by a young San Francisco couple. Carol moved to San Francisco in 1971. She worked at the Gap and what used to be Live 105 and KMEL. Nathan was born in Brooklyn to Holocaust survivor parents. After his New York marriage fizzled, he hopped on a motorcycle and rode to San Francisco in 1978. Nathan and some friends opened the original Captain Video stores. The two met when Nathan went to buy radio advertising from Carol.
The couple lived in Glen Park when they adopted Andrew, then they all moved to the Sunset District, where Andrew was raised. Andrew shares early memories from both neighborhoods.
He sang in the San Francisco Boys Choir for a number of years before getting jaded at a young age. He decided to branch out more on his own, and so he bought an organ. He soon began playing rock music with friends roughly his age—12.
Andrew got into Urban High School, which he shares the background and philosophy of for us. Andrew says that by the time he entered high school, in the late-2000s, that philosophy had more or less gone by the wayside.
Check back Thursday for Part 2 and the continuation of Andrew's life story.
Shout out to Ashley Graham for connecting us with Andrew.
We recorded this podcast at Hyde Street Studios in the Tenderloin in November 2021.
Photography by Michelle Kilfeather