Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Memories of the Cow Palace

When the Beatles first landed in San Francisco, they went into their hotel room at the Hilton and watched the footage of their arrival on a colored television.   A reporter for The London Daily Express named Ivor Davis met the Beatles during this time, but they were not too interested.  This information was all given to Beatle fans at the Fest for Beatle fans by Ivor Davis this past weekend during a discussion about the 1964 summer tour.

Prior to the Beatles concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, they held a press conference at the Hilton Hotel.  In a rare press conference set up, the Beatles stood in front of large microphones and answered the questions.  They also were presented keys to a local city by some girls.

I collected some quotes from some fans that I was able to locate in comment sections all around the internet including The Beatles Bible and Youtube.  

"It was so loud you could hardly hear them. I just wanted everyone to stop screaming so I could hear the music. My brother and I grew up a few blocks from the Cow Palace. So earlier in the day we went over to the back entrance and waited. There were only a few others there. When the limo pulled up it stopped for a while. I remember George waving at us."  --anonymous

"I was only 10, and up in the nosebleed seats, they looked pretty small, couldn't hardly hear anything for the shouting, but it is still one of the best memories of my life....."--anonymous

"My friends, sister and I were there, I was 17, sis 15. We went up on the train from San Jose!! We did not scream, we tried to tell the others to be quiet! I found by cupping my hands behind my ears I could hear."

"I was also at this concert (1964 Cow Palace) and I had 2nd row center tickets and I brought my Kodak Instamatic! I was all of 11 years old."

"I was there in almost the front row but the concert didn't go on for long. All the back rows came rushing down toward the stage and the chairs we all were in collapsed. People were hurt and concert was over. I lost my purse and had to go back the next day to find it in a huge pile of things people had lost in the panic and confusion. Still love the Beatles though and even met Paul McCartney on that same visit."--anonymous

"I was 15 in 1964, when the Beatles came to the Cow Palace, and I no longer lived in San Francisco, having moved to a little Northern California town called Olivehurst, in 1960. My best friend had snagged three tickets to the show at the Cow Palace, and since her mother and sister decided not to go, she sold them to me and my mother.

So the three of us boarded a Greyhound bus for San Francisco. Fortunately, my older sister still lived in the city, on Polaris Street, off of Pope Street, and within walking distance of the Cow Palace. So we were able to stay at her place.

We were seated almost to the rafters. In those days, there was nothing fancy about the staging of concerts; the lights were as bright as they had been when we saw the circus or rodeo there. The stage was quite bare, with just a plain curtain.

There were three opening acts ( at least that's all I remember). First up was the Exciters who sang their song “Tell Him” -- tell him that you're always going to love him, tell him that you're never going to leave him. Then the Righteous Brothers came on and sang “Little Latin Lupe Te Lu.” I remember thinking that they were really fantastic. This was before they hit it big with “You Lost That Loving Feeling.”

Just before the Beatles came on Jackie DeShannon took the stage, wearing a dress so tight it looked sprayed on. She sang her hit “What the World Needs Now,” and some other songs, with the last one really getting the crowd riled up. Somehow she was able to keep our attention focused on her, and just as she left the stage, the Beatles were center stage, as if by magic, at least that's the way it seemed to me.

From that point on, all the crowd did, all I did, was scream. They looked so tiny from where I was seated. I kept yelling “George!!”. He was my least favorite Beatle of all-- I loved Ringo, then Paul, then John -- but somehow, he was the one who I could make out the best from my vantage point. One girl managed to rush the stage, and got her upper body on it before security pulled her off." – Rita W.

"I was lucky enough to go the Beetles Concert on an Press pass. My friend was a DJ in the bay area and 6 of us went. I was pregnant with my first child and when everyone stood on the chairs to hoot and holler, I couldn't. But still saw them and heard every song. It was so loud and everyone screaming. The girls behind us were practically tearing their cloths off. One of the girls in the front section was crushed by the crowds and had to carried off. The only way out was onstage. Poor girl, she went right by the Beetles and was out cold. We left early to avoid the crowds in my condition and went to eat and talk about it. All of us were suffering with temp.deafness from the noise. It took a long time to get our hearing back. But it was worth it." -  Judie

"I was six years old and I got to see the Beatles at the Cow Palace. My Uncle was a very important man in the city, so we had four tickets.We had four great tickets, way up front.I also remember that there was a lot of security at the front of the stage. I do not remember any of the warm up acts at all. I was so excited to be there, I must admit I was rather overwhelmed. I remember girls screaming and crying and screaming again. I remember a lot of perfume and lipstick and combing of hair. Almost like if one of the four had made eye contact with any of the girls it would have been love at first site. Lot of primping going on.
I also remember being very disappointed that I could not hear one song, I held my hands over my ears the whole time because of all the screaming. At the time I was rather disappointed but now I know I was very lucky.–Cathlen

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god, Sara, this is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for compiling these stories, for typing them all out....and for keeping up your tradition of not posting pictures that have been seen to death!!!!

    I'm so excited for the whole next month of this!!!