Human Jukebox : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Whatever happened to the trumpet player who played for spare change while inside a cardboard box labeled 'The Human Jukebox'? (I heard he got busted for selling more than music.)

-- Jay Archibald (, April 28, 2001


Jay, I remember that guy but I haven't seen him in years. Maybe he is still busted!

-- peter l hall (, April 29, 2001.

Grimes Poznikov was featured in an article in November 29th, 2002's SF Chronicle in an article about homeless sweeps. Nothing was mentioned about the Human Jukebox in the article.

-- M. Dmitri Jeziorski (, December 04, 2002.

The was a follow-up article just on Grimes/Human Jukebox in the San Francisco Chronicle's 12/08/02 paper.

-- Neal Sain (, December 08, 2002.

I Grimes is my dad's brother...I met him when I was 8 at my grandfathers furneral in Neoadsha kansas...what a charicter he is...kinna cool to have a bum in the's culture.. I've sceen his postcard and heard storyies but other than that I don't know much about him...he's pretty illusive...but deffinatly I can feal the street performance in my blood...I'm a dancer and a circus artist....some say I'm sure me and the sidewalk shall be performing friends.write me if you know anything more about Grimes...I'm interested.

-- monnya Silver (, March 01, 2003.

I used to watch the Human Jukebox perform in San Francisco on the Wharf, all the time; in fact, I have a photo of him in my files, with his trumpet sticking out of the top of the box. He was a real fixture back in the 70s-early 80s in San Francisco.

-- Deb Wong (, April 03, 2003.

-- Deb Wong (, April 03, 2003.

I had the good fortune of having Grimes (no midle name) Poznik for a friend in the '60's .... aka: Grimes Poznikov, per his original family name. We lived in small adjacent towns in Southeastern Kansas, and I dated his sister, Pamela (my first true love). We both graduated from HS in 1964. I loved picking Pam up for dates....the Poznik home was a hoot! His father, Al (of Russian-Jewish origins), was a tough lawyer who had trained in B-29's in Wenndover, Utah, during WWII and played lineman at Texas A&M ... he always scared the hell outta me ... but he was such a fine man ... did me some huge favors when I was young and stupid. His mother, Bernie (Italian ... caio bella!!), was a beautiful woman of endless energy and humor with true talent in local theater. He had two little brothers: Greg and Sam. I recall many a fine moment with Grimes (a Kool Aid freak driving an old green Chevy at the time) However, he did manage to total his Mom's Chrysler station wagon against a train one time. I was once accused(by Pam)of spending more time with him than her. I have many fond memories of Grimes and Pamela. I saw Grimes several times in San Francisco in his jukebox during the '70's and we always chatted. He stopped by my home in Utah, in the late '70's on a road trip to a political convention back East. He gave me his business card, which I retained as a true "keeper": Society for the Advancement of Non-Verbal Communication...Division of Experimental Multi-Media Art Development...Grimes Poznikov. A shrink friend told me that is what one does when they control large groups of people with song. Whatever, eh? He is a true musical genius, and like all creative giants, he always lived a few notes ahead of the masses. The last time I saw him was in SF in the early '80's, he was fretting over problems with his old house (over 100 yrs old and in trouble with city officials for something). I have not seen or heard from him since.I look back on those days as some of my finest. God bless ya, Grimes (and Pamela), wherever you are!! Bill

-- BILL C. SELF (BILLS328GTB@AOL.COM), October 10, 2003.

Don't know why...but started thinking of Grimes last night and wondered what ever happened to him. The last I heard of him was an article in a magazine regarding the The Human Jukebox, and a mutual friend of ours said Grimes crashed at his house back in the 80's when he was travelling through Reno, Nevada. So, I googled him and found this site!

I used to live across the street from Grimes in Neodesha and have many fond memories of the Poznik family. And I clearly remember the sounds of Grimes practicing his trumpet and playing the piano. Grimes was a year or two older than me and Pam was a year or two younger. Their mother was a hoot, and made life interesting for those of us in the neighborhood. I remember one party she had that had a hawaiian theme and they brought tons of sand into their living room. Good people, great neighbors, and fond memories.

-- Larry Cook (, December 01, 2003.

-- Deb Wong (, April 30, 2004.

I really don't know what's become of Grimes Poznikov, but I met him in 1972 when all all manner of cosmic freaks with revelutionary vision descended upon Miami and Miami Beach to demonstrate at the political conventions. I was manager of the "Bird House" a hippie boarding house on the outskirts of Coconut Grove when Grimes (along with his classy lady friend, Rachel)artfully crashed on the scene propagandizing and recruiting for his Society For the Advancement of Nonverbal Communication. After being briefed on the SANC Manifesto (compiled in Amsterdam) I was so impressed that I gave them a free room and all the Jamaican and Columbian smoke I could spare. (Come to think of it I also gave free rooms to the "Zippies," a Yippie splinter group, who - despite self-serving power struggles - managed to portray Nixon as a giant rat, light a 50 foot joint and hold a "piss in" at Flamingo Park. Anyway, Grimes inspired me to become the "head of the Peoples Band". Our motto was "May Music be the Ultimate Weapon of the Revelution". The idea was to engage the masses to participate in guerilla theatre by selling cheap musical instruments (mainly kazoos and slide whistles) at large demonstrations. Besides supplying a musical component to assorted "revelutionary" groups (Viet Nam Vets Against the War, Womens' Libbers, Progressive Labor, etc.) the People's Band would dramatically play patriotic tunes to highlight key moments when the government troops would (after being provoked by a few rock-throwing radicals) tear-gas masses of demonstrators. Grimes envisoned organizing the Peoples Band on a national - even international - scale by mobilizing groups of concerned artists and musicians in every community. Part of SANC's appeal to me was Grime's somehow mystically linking musical protest to OM - the all-powerful sound representation of the Supreme. (Later on I joined the Hare Krishna's - I'm pretty sure that Grimes must have been at Golden Gate Park for the Krishna's big cart festival in '74 when I was there...he probably didn't recognize me sans beard and with shaved head and saffron robes; and I was too absorbed in chanting HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE to notice him - or be concerned with mundane politics.

-- Ron Jermakian (, December 06, 2004.

I am a composer in california, working on writing a short multimedia opera about Grimes. I am fascinated by Grime's story. I remember seeing him in the jukebox when I was young. A couple of years ago, I went down to meet/interview him when he was living in the trash dump, under the piano, just before they bulldozed it. his living situation was disgustingly smelly and filthy. he was more or less crazy but very nice. he played the piano for me. we chatted for about 45 minutes. I have lost track of him now, but am researching info, especially photographs. this site has some wonderful information. if anyone knows his current whereabouts i would be interested to find out. I took a few photos, but can't seem to figure out how to post one here.

-- Tara Flandreau (, December 20, 2004.

I am Grimes' first cousin and am still in touch with his sister from time to time. She is the only person who I think knows about Grimes, and then, she may have lost touch also.

-- (, February 21, 2005.

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