Bio of Mark Bittner

Mark Bittner
Mark Bittner

I was born in 1951 in Vancouver, Washington, not the city in Canada, but a much smaller town across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. In 1969, after graduating from high school, I backpacked through Europe, staying mostly in Germany, England, and Greece. When I returned to the US, I moved to Seattle, where I spent several years working on singing, songwriting, and learning guitar, until 1973, when I moved to Berkeley, California with the aim of starting my climb up the ladder of success. But my dream soon collapsed and I ended up living on the streets of San Francisco where I spent many years in spiritual search. In 1993, while working as a caretaker for an estate on Telegraph Hill, I started up a relationship with an exotic flock of wild parrots, which led to a book and a documentary film, both titled The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. I married the filmmaker, Judy Irving, and today we live on Telegraph Hill. In 2006, I started work on a manuscript called Street Song, which tells of my years on the street. Lately, I’ve been working on a set of recordings to accompany the book, called Street Songs. Both projects are close to being finished.


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