The Cow Palace and It’s Famous Entertainers

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The Beginning of Beatlemania

Personally, I would say that The Beatles were four guys who were born under a lucky star. There are lots of bands who can be here today and gone tomorrow. Once the world got to know The Beatles they realize their talent, fell in love with the songs written by the great team of McCartney and Lennon and the band became a legend. They swooped down on the U.S. and made their historic TV appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964. New fans were left panting after them when they left for Europe but at least there were there records to dance to. The returned once more on August 19 of the same year and this time conquered the West Coast appearing at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. They were faced with some 17,000 screaming fans when they came onstage at 9 PM and started off with “Twist and Shout”.

This was the start of their tour and they sang 12 songs all through the tour –  Twist and Shout”. “You Can’t Do That”,  “All My Loving”,  ”She Loves You”, “Things We Said Today”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “If I Fell”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Boys”, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Long Tall Sally”.

Their performance was to last for about 33 minutes but lasted 5 minutes longer because the police had problems controlling the craziness and ecstasy of the fans. It was something to consider because during their first song of the night a radio journalist traveling with The Beatles had gotten trampled and a young female fan had broken her leg. Then George Harrison mentioned that their favorite candy was jelly beans and the fans treated them to a shower of flying jelly beans. Once the concert was over the Fab Four Paul, John, George, and Ringo got whisked away in an ambulance because their limousine was swarmed by crazed fans.

Getting to Know The Cow Palace

The place with the most unusual name The Cow Palace opened in 1941 in San Francisco, California. Since then it has seen 50 million visitors. Officially it is the 1-A District Agricultural Association, a State agency of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions. This idea came about at the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco when the livestock exposition became the most popular attraction and the organizers thought that there should be a permanent place for such exhibitions. For a long time, nothing was done and finally, when plans were started for the construction The Depression had arrived and money was either tight or scarce. It was then that a headline appeared in a newspaper inquiring why when people are starving all around should money be given in order to build a “palace for cows”? This headline also gave this place its famous name.

Finally Construction Begins

Twenty years had passed from the time the idea was first discussed but finally, construction on The Cow Palace could begin. Construction was completed in 1941 and now there was a huge arena made of steel and concrete standing on almost six acres. The very first event was The Western Classic Holstein Show in April 1941 and later that same year, the first Grand National Livestock Expo, Horse Show, and Rodeo were held which also offered tribute to the late Will Rogers.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor was attacked two weeks after the first show closed and for the next five years, The Cow Palace was full of troops that were heading for combat zones in the Pacific Theater. During WW II it was in the hands of the Ordinance Department and then turned into a huge repair garage. When the war was over The Cow Palace was once again the place for livestock shows and in 1948 it opened its doors to The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. It was officially turned over for use by the general public in 1949 and became the host of all kinds of major events including the U.S. Heavyweight Boxing Championship.

Sold-Out Concerts

Finally, The Cow Palace also became the place for sold-out concerts and through its doors came The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elvis Presley. Other memorable concerts held here were those by The Grateful Dead, The Who, The Doors, Rod Stewart, Santana, ZZ Top, Yes, Paul McCartney & Wings, Neil Diamond, Elton John, U2, and Prince.

Author: Rasma Raisters

I am a poet and writer. I dream big and enjoy life.


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