PRIMUS CHOICES

Bay area native Les Claypool's idea of summer fun is as funky as the music he makes with his bands, Primus and Sausage. Growing up in the East Bay town of Richmond left him with an ominous impression of the big city. Early trips in were for buying musical equipment at the Guitar Center, 1321 Mission St. Now living in Berkeley, he comes in to go shopping in the pawnshops at Mission and 19th. "There are three right there," he says, "and they are some damn fine pawnshops." He's aways on the lookout for fishing equipment, cameras, microphones and other goodies. "It's also a great place to get cymbals if you're a drummer."

For food, Claypool heads up to Haight Street to Kan Zaman. "The coolest cafe," he says. "You smoke fruit-flavored tobacco out of giant hookahs, sit on the floor, eat loads of hummus, drink beers and watch belly dancers. It's an amazing place." Another favorite Haight Street hangout is the Thirsty Swede. "They do sushi Sundays there," says Claypool. "You stand in line for sushi, drink beers, and the bands are free."

Primus recently headlined two nights at the Fillmore Auditorium. The first time we played there, five years ago, we opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers," says Claypool. "I remember Bill Graham handing out apples at the entrance [a '60s Fillmore tradition that still happens today]. I turned around and got hit in the head with an apple, which was loads of fun. It's great to have the Fillmore back because San Francisco needed a venue that size, and like most San Frandsco buildings, it has a lot of character."

While on tour, Claypool often runs into people who are coming to visit the U.S., but they always want to go to Los Angeles or New York. His response is "Piss on that. San Francisco is the most beautiful city in this country. Growing up in the suburbs, I feel removed enough to be unbiased about that."