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Profile: Grand Avenue’s stalwart crooning pianist

on October 3, 2009

Rod Dibble, 77, got his start playing music in 1937, when his grandmother bought a piano for the family’s childhood home in Berkeley. Dibble has been playing standards from the Great American Songbook at the Alley, a former speakeasy on Grand Avenue, for fifty years now.

Maybe you have seen Dibble around town on one of his lengthy daily walks—his strolls take him from his Berkeley home to downtown Oakland, around Lake Merritt, and many points between. You can always catch a glimpse, every Tuesday-Saturday night, starting at 9 p.m., at the Alley, located at 3325 Grand Ave., near the lake.


  1. daniel on October 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Another great media effort. This one highlights a local cultural treasure that is a window on a world before Ipods and American Idol. A time when music was played, sung and shared intimately among neighbors and friends.

  2. Bob on October 7, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Nice work. That place is utterly and strangely timeless… I was a regular in the 70’s, took a 35 year break, and walked in to find it exactly as it was

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