THE BEATLES AT THE COW PALACE 8/31/65

Unexpected things are found when shopping at antique fairs. I regularly visit the largest one in Northern California. It is in Alameda and hosts around 600 dealers the first Sunday of every month.
On one visit I found a dealer with some celebrity fan magazines from the 1960’s. They were the type that promoted music and TV pop stars aimed at a teenage audience. I saw a few with the Beatles on the cover. As usual, some of the pages had pictures of the stars cut out. One titled, “DATEbook” was in very nice condition. The owner had inked her name on the cover but the inside was uncut and had many nice photos and articles about the Beatles from 1965. I think I paid $10 for it. Not cheap, but being a diehard Beatle fan, I had to have it. There were some loose papers in it that I didn’t look at until I got home. At first they looked like some school essay and I was going to toss them in the garbage. The title, “HELP!”, caught my eye so I took a closer look. The five hand written pages were a description of a live Beatles concert from the same year. A few young girls had seen the Beatles perform at the Cow Palace, near San Francisco. It was the last show on their second tour of the US in 1965. Two of the girls who were there described it in detail.
They wrote about the event in a way that could only be viewed by a teenager caught up in Beatlemania at the time. The girls give us a look into the minds of teenagers who screamed, cried and even fainted at a Beatles concert. They describe a frenzied atmosphere with many girls and boys attacking the stage and some even managing to get their hands on the Beatles as they performed. It is a time capsule of a phenomenon that swept the nation and much of the world.

The Cow Palace is still there. It is in Daly City,
South of San Francisco.
An ad for the concert.
This was in the same magazine .
A form to join
the Beatles Fan Club.


I have transcribed the 
memoir as best I could. Some 
words were hard to read, but 
it is as true to the original
as I could make it.
The original is 
posted below.

 “Help!”

The Beatles are the coolest guys you can ever see anyplace. They give good performances. They just couldn’t be better. Call them Gear, Boss, Cool, Tuff, Neat, but they’re all that at once to Patty & I.
Of course you say you’re gonna be calm but when you see them you have to scream & just yell & everything that goes with it. 
The 8:00 performance is what we’re gonna tell about.
As far as other performers, there were the 9 Disco girl Dancers, Sounds, inc. (Which gave a fantastic performance, Brenda Hollaway, King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Head Hunters, who also gave a good perfornmance of singing & also a wonderful act. And of course The Beatles! John walked on stage, then George, Paul & Ringo. The whole audience was in shock from seeing the Beatles. 
Girls everywhere were screaming, shreiking, weeping, & sobbing.
Their first song was “Twist & Shout.” The audience went completely out of hand. On the main floor there were no more boys, just a horde of girls with their hands stretched out, waving, not caring about the song, just listening as Paul talked between each song.
After about 10 min there was sort of an intermission but the Beatles remained on stage as the fainting girls were carried from the audience across the stage & into the medicare office. 
Girls tried to get on stage but the block of policemen kept them back. 
When they were singing girls tried a new way to touch their idols. One girl pretended she had fainted & when she was being carried past Paul she jumped on her feet and put both arms around Paul’s waist while Paul kept singing. Slipping away from the10 sec. of the most important step of her life. She was taken to the medicare room.
when girls had really fainted you could tell. They were listening, sobbing, slumping, walking past their idols without a thought of grabbing them, or touching them. Girls were in hysteria when ever a girl touched one of them. They all got their share. Not just Paul, George & John, but towards the end of the performance, when the policemen were carrying the fainting girls away, one after another, a boy jumped on stage up to Ringo’s platform, waved at the audience & then patted Ringo on the shoulder.That was the most exciting part because he got up without a fight. 
When Ringo sang, “I Wanna Be Your Man,” Kathy and I could hardly stand it, the screaming roared to it loudest point of the whole performance.
Even the boys were going crazy. After it was over Dianne Stordart, Stephanie & Dorit Stoessen Patty & I were all talking to the boys who had touched the Beatles & they almost fainted, as they put it. But they couldn’t because they were helping the fainted girls up on stage. Even a little old lady was carried off from sure shock.
Hearing it and seeing it is a different story. You won’t believe it. Girls carried off stage with dresses and skirts almost off. But I guess the Beatles are used to it by now after almost three years being the most popular rock & roll recorders ever.
No offence to John lovers, but John looked unneat last night as I was told later by front row watchers. But who cares as long as you see them.
George’s hair is really the longest. It’s really too long. Paul’s hair is the neatest of all & Ringo’s is the shiniest. Stories by the same front row watchers that a girl almost ripped John’s shirt off and he hit her. But we all know it was an accident because John wouldn’t do an awful thing like that, now would he? Of course not. It was so wild I’m sure everybody would have fainted if they didn’t get out of that place. But Patty, Stepfanie & I were close but not close enough for us. When Ringo was singing “ I wanna Be Your Man”, I said “Come on Patty let’s go down to the isle, there no cops there!” So off I went with Patty & Stephanie behind me. We ran down until we were about 30 feet away from them. We could see the color of their eyes it seemed so close. It was just the most thrilling moment of my life! They sang:
1 Twist & Shout
2 She’s A Woman
3 I feel Fine
4 I wanna Be Your Man
5 Can’t Buy Me Love
6 I’m Down
7 Dizzie Miss Lizzie
8 Help!
9 You Can’t DO That
10 If I Fell
11 It’s A Hard Day’s Night
12 Ticket To Ride
13 Babies In Black
14 Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
15 Eight Days A Week (?)
16 Slow Down (?)
It was just the greatest. The Beatles are really just the greatest guys ever. You have to see them on stage before you can say that truthfully, because they are cool guys & they are nice to their fans, they talked to their fans, mostly Paul, but they all introduced a few songs. 
I just wish everybody in the world could see how they perform because it’s just great. I’ll never forget the Cow Palace for bringing them back this year & they told the audience they would come back next year. Do girls, Do your best to get tickets for this 66’ performance. We sure are!

Pam & 
Patty


Some photos taken at the same concert.
The photographers maintain the copyright. 

Here is the magazine.
It was published in the 
Fall of 1965, shortly 
after the US tour.

Related Links - 

An article by Michael Collins Morton - 

Photos, history and personal memoirs
of British rock bands from the 
early 1970s. 

3 comments:

  1. I was at the Beatles' Cow Palace 8PM concert August 31, 1965 on the main floor center about the 10 th row back from the stage along with my cousin who lived in Daly City and I was visiting. I lived in a suburb of Chicago and won WLS radio station tickets for the Beatles concert in Aug (or Sept) 1964 but my parents wouldn't let me go since I was 13 and the new Amphitheater was near the Chicao Stockyards. So to make it up to me my father said that I could go to a concert in San Francisco in August 1965 as he was a Ford Marketing Director who was attending a conference where his brother and our cousins lived. I earned the money for my ailrine ticket from babysitting and was so excited when the stewardess announced that the temp was 95F in Chicago but 55F in San Fran! When my aunt dropped us off at the Cow Palace the evening of August 31, 1965 my cousin Lisa and I were excited and looking forward to hearing our favorite Beatles in concert, but when the concert started the screaming was so loud that everyone stood on their folding chairs in hopes that we could see and hear better! When Paul stopped the concert as the fans rushed the stage he announced that a pregnant woman was being crushed and a request to get back - finally after 10 minutes of police and security carrying out fainting girls, the concert continued. My couisn and I were not screaming but were holding onto each other as we stood on our chairs and fans behind us stood on the backs of the chairs which we thought might tip over. Thank goodness they didn't and I was able to enjoy my first visit to San Francisco, Muir Woods, San Simeon, Fisherman's Wharf, Seal Rock and all of the wonders by The Golden Gate Bridge! Great memories form 50 years ago this weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was at the Beatles' Cow Palace 8PM concert August 31, 1965 on the main floor center about the 10 th row back from the stage along with my cousin who lived in Daly City and I was visiting. I lived in a suburb of Chicago and won WLS radio station tickets for the Beatles concert in Aug (or Sept) 1964 but my parents wouldn't let me go since I was 13 and the new Amphitheater was near the Chicao Stockyards. So to make it up to me my father said that I could go to a concert in San Francisco in August 1965 as he was a Ford Marketing Director who was attending a conference where his brother and our cousins lived. I earned the money for my ailrine ticket from babysitting and was so excited when the stewardess announced that the temp was 95F in Chicago but 55F in San Fran! When my aunt dropped us off at the Cow Palace the evening of August 31, 1965 my cousin Lisa and I were excited and looking forward to hearing our favorite Beatles in concert, but when the concert started the screaming was so loud that everyone stood on their folding chairs in hopes that we could see and hear better! When Paul stopped the concert as the fans rushed the stage he announced that a pregnant woman was being crushed and a request to get back - finally after 10 minutes of police and security carrying out fainting girls, the concert continued. My couisn and I were not screaming but were holding onto each other as we stood on our chairs and fans behind us stood on the backs of the chairs which we thought might tip over. Thank goodness they didn't and I was able to enjoy my first visit to San Francisco, Muir Woods, San Simeon, Fisherman's Wharf, Seal Rock and all of the wonders by The Golden Gate Bridge! Great memories from 50 years ago this weekend!!

    ReplyDelete