His death led to an online outpouring from the music community that he nurtured in both cities at his venues. There he mixed national acts with promising locals, always treating both with the same level of respect.
A fine musician in his own right, Jennings worked under Bill Graham in the 1970’s, operating such clubs as Rock n Bowl, I-Beam and Jack’s Bar. Later, he ran both locations of Jacks Sugar Shack, an earlier version on Pico Boulevard and a later one in Hollywood near Capitol Records.
He was also a collaborator and music coordinator of the Haight Ashbury Fair in San Francisco for over 20 years.
“With his big personality and even bigger heart, Eddie gave our band, the Ringling Sisters, a home, a residency at his club Jacks Sugar Shack on Pico,” said musician/author/publisher Iris Berry. “He treated us like family. I’m sure if the club was still open, we’d still be playing there. Eddie took good care of all of us musicians. He was a lovely and kind wild man. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. He will be missed by so many…”
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Anita Rivas, an entertainment lawyer and his close friend and former partner in the 80s and 90s music scene, said that Jennings “knew the concert and bar business inside/out, and his intuition as a curator/booker was unparalleled. Many people don’t know this, but Eddie was also booking bands at the Coachella Polo Fields Lounge before Coachella became a festival, and before that he was producing high profile shows with GoldenVoice in the Bay Area in larger venues. An unbelievable number of people in our industry owe their jobs and to Eddie.”
The Jacks Sugar Shack locations (never an apostrophe in its name) featured an eclectic mix of blues artists and American roots music. It also hosted the long-running Ronnie Mackʼs Barn Dance.
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