Shirley Temple at the Cow Palace

Today marks a year after the world lost the iconic Shirley Temple.

“When many think of Shirley Temple, they imagine a bright-eyed, spirited little darling with curly hair and an endearing smile..or maybe just the beverage. Regardless, Shirley Temple, had a life that far exceeded her childhood acting career and many of her achievements, though not widely known, are worth acknowledging.

Shirley Temple began acting at the young age of 3 and retired completely from films at 22 in 1950. She peaked in her performance career before her thirteenth birthday, and though her later work didn’t attract the attention and acclaim as films like “Bright Eyes” or “The Little Princess”, she remained an small, eternal light that shone through the Depression, giving hope to film-goers across the country.

However, Shirley Temple remained an active public servant throughout the remaining 64 years of her life. Whether appearing in pop culture, running for public office, or raising breast cancer awareness, there is still much that fans don’t realize about the child star from her signature style and career through her lesser known adulthood.”

And one little known fact:She and her daughter Lori visited The Beatles backstage at The Cow Palace at the start of their 1964 North American tour.

Beatles, Shirley Temple Black & daughter Lori (Rm17) August 1964

*via The Examiner


Throwback: Grateful Dead NYE at the Cow Palace 1976

A 3 CD set of the Grateful Dead show at the Cow Palace, San Francisco on December 31, 1976. A bonus CD, Spirit of ’76, was distributed with copies of Live at the Cow Palace pre-ordered from the online Grateful Dead store. A 5 LP audiophile edition was released in 2014.





Flashback Friday : Beatlemania



SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Beatlemania was in full flower on this date in 1964, and for Bay Area Beatles fans, it was D-Day – as well as the day an intrepid KCBS reporter scored an exclusive interview with the Fab Four

“All of my girlfriends. We all lived on the same street. All we did, you know,we we’re the Beatle’ girlfriends every single chance we had,” Denise McKevitt Rasmussen, who was celebrating her ninth birthday, said.

Her dad let her pick two friends to take to the Beatles show at the Cow Palace. One of them was Terry O’Brien.

“I remember I wore my pink pants dress with my John Lennon boots. Everyone had them then—the little white boots,” O’Brien said.

Terry’s mom Gina was not so thrilled.

“I just thought, she’s too young; she’ll get eaten alive down there but, oh, she wanted to go so bad,” she said. “They were so excited.”

While youthful fans were primping, a KCBS reporter named Hilly Rose was trying to figure out an angle on what was obviously the story of the day.

“The Beatles were big but really with teenagers—young people. And so guys our age, who in that time where in their 30s and 40s working at KCBS, we didn’t know a lot about them,” Rose said.

Rose had covered the chaotic arrival at San Francisco International Airport the day before, and had cooked up a plan. He called the Hilton Hotel and asked for the Beatles’ road manager. He name-dropped Ed Sullivan, and strongly suggested that CBS brass wanted to know about the threat of hysteria at the concert.

And then he waited while the Beatles were consulted.

“So five minutes went by. And then minutes went by. And then 30 minutes went by. And then 40 minutes went by and I thought to myself, I can’t lose this.”

After that 40-minute wait, Rose struck pay dirt. He was told to get over to the Hilton, and given a secret knock. The whole band was in the room, and while Paul and George agreed to talk and Ringo wandered off, the fourth Beatle made his displeasure evident.

Listen to the full interview here.

“John went into the bathroom and he began flushing the toilet, He flushed the toilet continuously during the interview.

It didn’t work. Rose had a directional microphone that blocked the attempted interference, and he got his interview.

Rose also asked what the Beatles thought about the idea of kids dropping out of school to chase fame and fortune, and George gave a tongue-in-cheek answer.

Rose got the Beatles to autograph a sheet of paper and scooted back to the KCBS studios with his prize: an eight-minute long exclusive.

That evening, more than 17,000 people packed the Cow Palace. To a nine-year-old birthday girl, it was the greatest gift possible.

“There was just so much coming at you, it was just spectacular,” she said.

By the time the band opened with “Twist and Shout”, it’s amazing anyone had a voice left.

“Once the music started, it was so loud. I mean the music and screaming,” she said. “I was watching them all but I was screaming, ‘John!’ Like he could hear anybody.”

Journalist Larry Kane covered the ’64 Beatles tour.

“There were very great parents who came with their kids and were sitting with them, watching them go berserk and look like, ‘what is going on here?’” he said.

One of those parents was Rasmussen’s policeman father.

“He kept telling us, ‘If I tell you to, you need you get under those seats and you stay there,” she said.

The Beatles played twelve songs in 29 minutes, including interruptions while audience members threw jellybeans at the stage.

“They got on the cars and the planes the first time I really had to chat with them after the first visit and they were scared,” Kane said.

But their fans went away on a different emotional plane.

“When we left, everyone was kind of half-deaf and everybody was worn out and couldn’t talk. Everybody’s ears were ringing and we were just like, ‘Oh my God, this big lifetime event. We saw the Beatles!” O’Brien said.

“We were the cool kids in school,” Rasmussen said.

And even Terry O’Brien’s fretful mom came to realize the memories built that night 50 years ago were something very special.

The Beatles are everything, and still kind of are,” she said.

* via CBS San Francisco

Seven Moments That The Cow Palace Made Music History

The Cow Palace has been host to many historic moments since it opened its doors in 1941.

The venue has hosted rock legends and seen some of the greatest musicians to ever live play on its stage, from the Beatles to Elvis. Some moments, however, a pretty special. Here are seven moments that concerts at the Cow Palace made music history.

The Beatles


1. The Runaways

The Runaways played their last show here on New Years Eve, 1978, though they didn’t announce their break-up until the following April. The statement read:

Sandy, Lita, Laurie, and I have talked it over and we have decided to try our own things for a while. With five albums and two world tours and what seems like a lifetime of experiences behind us, we felt it was time to getr out there and try a few things that we could not do as a group…We’re still great friends and we hope you’ll join us in wishing each other the best and brightest ahead.

2. Neil Diamond

Diamond collapsed onstage at his 1979 Cow Palace show. Less than two days later he was treated for a benign tumor. “I knew there was a good chance I would spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair,” he told People in 1982. “I am lucky to have survived. As it was, I had to learn to walk again.”

3. Prince

Prince played a few nights at the Cow Palace in 1985. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “Some in the audience had paid $100 for a ticket marked $17.50 to see the current king of rock-and-raunch – not including what they paid for purple shoes, purple pants, purple nylons and purple whatevers. Purple, it seems, is Prince’s favorite color.”

Not only was it his favorite color, that night it was everyone else’s—the tickets asked the the audience “wear purple.”

4. The Who

The Who’s Keith Moon passed out on stage after consuming too much horse tranquilizer. Pete Townshend then announces he’s done for the night and asks if anyone in the crowd can play drums in his place—a lucky concert-goer named Scott Halprin got the thrill of his life and took a seat behind the drumset. As he told NPR a few years ago , he was plucked from the crowd by none other than the Bill Graham.


KISS dedicated their August 1977 show to Elvis Presley, who died that day.

6. Nirvana

Nirvana played a Benefit for the Bosnian Rape Victims in 1993. According to Entertainment Weekly, this wasn’t the sort of thing they did often, but the cause struck a chord with bassist Chris Novoselic.

Knowing that many in the Cow Palace’s audience couldn’t find Yugoslavia on a map, Nirvana was realistic about the fund-raiser’s goal: ”There’s probably a lot of people who don’t care,” said Novoselic. ”But that’s okay. If they come, we’ll still get their money. And if people do care, there are information booths directing them on what they can do.”

The benefit ended up raising $60,000 (which equates to just under $100,000 today).

7. The Beatles

Last but certainly not least, The Beatles played the first show of their first U.S [Tour] here on August 19, 1964. The crowd allegedly tossed jelly beans at them after a comment Harrison made about those being the group’s favorite candies.

* via Radio Alice @ 97.3

As Sir Paul Plays Candlestick on Thursday, Beatles’ Fans Still Believe in Yesterday

71230866-510x640Later this week, Sir Paul McCartney will play Candlestick Park at the last public event at the old stadium before it’s demolished. {Thursday, August 14th, 2014}

The concert has brought back memories of the Beatles’ previous visits to the Bay Area, including the kickoff for their first American tour, an event that took place at the Cow Palace 50 years ago, on Aug. 19, 1964.

The Beatles had been on “The Ed Sullivan Show” earlier in the year, an appearance that helped fuel the frenzy for John, Paul, George and Ringo in the U.S.

“I was like a kid in a candy store. I’m going to a Beatles concert,” says Jim Lucas, who teaches English at Pajaro Valley High School in Watsonville. In 1964, he was a 12-year-old surf-rock fan and budding guitarist. “My best friend Bernard Gilpin’s dad got the tickets.”

Lucas had to lie to his parents about where he’d be the night of the concert.

“Oh, these long-haired freaks. ‘No, you’re not going to see something like that.’ So I had to tell my parents I was spending the night at Bernard’s house,” Lucas recalls.

Jay Dodson writes, “We sat in the very back row and the Beatles were so far away and the screaming was so loud it was really hard to hear. But nevertheless, we were really excited to be there. Everyone I knew, especially myself, we so taken aback by their sound and look and creativity.”

The screams drowning out the music was a common complaint. Janis Bosenko writes she was at the concert in the seventh row, “When the crowd surged forward we were crushed against the SFPD barricades. Couldn’t hear the Beatles singing. Screams were so loud. My ears rang for days.”

* via KQED News

Throwback Thursday : Dolly Parton

Do you remember when Dolly Parton performed here at the Cow Palace with Kenny Rogers?

This week’s Throwback Thursday is from December 29th, 1984 – Kenny & Dolly.

dolly kenny

We thought it’d be fitting with the recent Great American Country’s special  “Backstory  featuring Dolly Parton”.

Dolly Parton is a world-class actress, best-selling author, dedicated philanthropist and a savvy businesswoman who’s been charting her own course for decades. But before life in the spotlight, Parton lived a humble life in the Smoky Mountains. Great American Country’s Backstory gives you an inside look at Parton’s rise to fame and her myriad endeavors as a country music star.

Many people know Parton for her music, but Dollywood is almost as much of an institution as Parton herself, especially in East Tennessee. Her theme and water parks attract thousands of visitors and celebrities every year.


* via Great American Country