The Golden Gate Rhythm Machine is a small band with a big, swinging, fun loving sound, produced by some of the best traditional jazz musicians in the country. They celebrated their 22nd year together in 2006. They love to play a wide range of music, from the standard Dixieland favorites, through the West Coast originals of Lou Watters and Turk Murphy, to more recent standards and novelties played in a traditional style. They are particularly pleased when they are able to fill the dance floor.
In 1984, Scott Anthony was asked to get a band together to fill in for Sunday afternoon sessions at the famous Earthquake McGoon's, the home of the Turk Murphy Jazz Band in San Francisco. The original band consisted of Scott on banjo and "pedal" bass, Bob Neighbor on trumpet, and Jack Frost on guitar. In addition to the bass, they used an electronic drum machine which Scott used in his intermission solo act at the club. (Most people think that the name Golden Gate Rhythm Machine emerged from the use of the electronic drum machine; however, the original intent was really to convey a meaning similar to a political "machine"- having lots of drive and power). So it was really a sort of 5 piece band packaged into 3.
As a soloist using 2 supporting electronic instruments, Scott had occasionally sensed some hostility from other musicians, especially drummers and bass players, but the GGRM simply could not continue appearing at Traditional Jazz festivals using all this new-fangled stuff. He soon asked Mike Starr to join the band on trombone and then Jim Rothermel on reeds. Within a year, they had filled out the "front line" and gotten rid of both the bass pedals and the electronic drums, with the addition of John Moore on tuba and "Buffalo" Bill Maginnis on drums.
Except for a couple of instances, the band has remained remarkably stable (not counting the state of mind of some of its members that will remain unnamed!) In 1987 the band lost two of its founding members when Bob Neighbor moved to Chicago and Jack Frost relocated to Sedona, Arizona. Luckily, one Bob was replaced with another - the great Bob Schulz, and they were off and running again. Then, around 1999, because of many local commitments, John Moore was unable to do many GGRM jobs and festivals, so Jim Maihack switched to tuba and the wonderful stride pianist Bob Hirsch joined the band.
Since its beginning the band has played at many premier jazz festivals including The Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee, The San Diego Dixieland Festival, Pismo Beach, Friday Harbor, Whidbey Island, Seaside Oregon, and many others. For 20 years they played the annual Dixieland Festival At Sea. At every festival they attend, they surprise and delight both new and old fans alike with their danceable tempos, wonderful solo and ensemble work, and the genuine warmth and appreciation they feel toward their audiences.