Music on Mondays — The Cow Palace, San Francisco, 8-19-64
On this day in 1909, the first race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With 12,000 people looking on, Louis Schwitzer won the inaugural race. (Two years later, at the same race track, the Indianapolis 500 was born.) Schwitzer’s car was a stripped down Stoddard-Dayton (Schwitzer was an automotive engineer at Stoddard-Dayton) touring car with a four-cylinder engine, averaging 57.4 mph for two laps (five miles).
On this day in 1964, The Beatles kicked off their first American tour by rocking San Francisco’s Cow Palace, overflowing with 17,130 screaming fans. Perhaps not coincidentally, The Beatles last American concert would also be in San Francisco, just two years later.
There still are conflicting reports about how long the first show lasted, with times ranging from 29 minutes to 38 minutes. The song list still is in dispute, too, either ten songs or twelve songs. Keep in mind that The Beatles were a phenomenon unlike any other that had come along. Their every move was being documented in a world that had gone crazy for them. Yet here we are 49 years later and we don’t know how long their show lasted or what songs they played? One source said in one paragraph, “The Beatles performed 12 songs….” and a couple of paragraphs later, stated, “On this night, they performed 10 numbers….”
Now let’s go back 2,000 years to the time of Christ, who was not very popular, a time when the media…. what media? And we’re supposed to believe stories about Christ that were written many decades and centuries later? Hmmmmmmmm. Nonetheless….
Whether they played 12 songs or 10 songs at the Cow Palace on August 19, 1964, I don’t know. However, my favorite source is a book in my Beatles library: The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia, by Bill Harry (ISBN 1-56282-814-2). That source says that The Beatles played ten songs in thirty minutes. What’s interesting is that after scouring the Internet for sources and being dissatisfied, I finally got up and walked ten feet to my Beatles library to find this book. The verbiage in the book is exactly the same, word for word, as that found on many Internet sources, including history.com. So I’m going to presume that ten songs were played on August 19, 1964, at the Cow Palace. I still don’t know which ten, though, so here are the twelve songs that we The Beatles fan(atic)s know were played on The Beatles’ 1964 American tour of 26 cities (American here includes Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto):
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Posted on August 19, 2013, in Halls of History, History, Music, Music on Mondays and tagged cow palace daly city, cow palace san francisco, indianapolis motor speedway, louis schwitzer, stoddard-dayton, the beatles, the ultimate beatles encyclopedia bill harry. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.