Jerry Nagano

When I first moved to San Francisco from Japan in 1994, I stayed with people from the band called Caroliner Rainbow. One day, Trey from Mr. Bungles drove us to a pizza parlor in Hayward. It was Ye Olde Pizza Joynt. I was wondering why we had to drive for half an hour to get pizza. When I opened the door, I understood why it was worth it.

It was a mighty Wurlitzer Pizza joint! Jerry Nagano who was the featured organist at the time played this elaborate organ with an elegant suit on for mostly local families. The Wurlitzer was hooked with drums, train whistles and a monkey toy with banging cymbals. They also triggered flashing lights and a disco mirror ball. Children were running around and spilling sodas. Their mouth was smothered with tomato sauce from Margherita pizza. We sat right in front of bass pipes. Every time Jerry stepped on bass notes with his feet, pipes opened up and low frequencies blew up my hair. It was hilarious. My eyes were all over the place and my ears were overwhelmed by the kids screaming sound and the festive sound of the organ. The atmosphere was almost like a horror movie where everyone was over the top smiling and kids were banging their heads to the music. 
 Pizza was terrible but nobody cared. I would have been happy to pay to be able to just get in. There was no entrance fee. I loved how Jerry was interactive with visitors. He took requests from children. He played Star Wars, Broadway musical songs, popular movie soundtracks and so on. He would play anything. He wanted people to have a good time. You could tell he was super genuine. Later I found out that he was also a computer system engineer at Stanford University during the day. What an interesting guy! This place was my favorite musical spot while I lived in San Francisco.

Here is the old video I found on YouTube:

Satomi Matsuzaki has been the singer and bassist of the American band DEERHOOF since 1994. 
Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, she moved to San Francisco, California in 1994 to study film production. Deerhoof became a full time job after she worked at pre-school, teaching Japanese for a few years. 
She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.