09/02/04 - posted by Rita Wright
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.

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