Sunday, June 6, 2010

J5 at the Cow Palace in June 1970

The night before the Jackson 5 appeared at the Los Angeles Forum on June 20, 1970, they made their second appearance as Motown headliners at San Francisco's Cow Palace. As with the L.A. concert, they shared a billing with Ike and Tina Turner, and Rare Earth. Here's the original handbill announcing this incredible line up:

[Note: Tina Turner had to bow out at the last minute due to illness, so Jerry Butler stepped in as the opening act. ]

An anonymous amateur photographer standing in the wings snapped these pictures, a great eBay find for me many years ago.

In the photo below, you can see Suzanne Depasse (in bright yellow turtleneck) on the opposite side of the stage.

In the next photo, as the Jackson 5 take a bow, you can see fan club president Steven Manning (in the sunglasses) on the far side of the stage. Beside him are Joe Jackson (with a rare smile), longtime Jackson 5 security guard Bill Bray, and Motown's professional still photographer Weldon McDougal III, sitting in the press box.

After the Jackson 5 leave the stage, Steven Manning tries to help calm the crowd.

A month later, Michael described the pandemonium to a Soul interviewer: "In San Francisco and Los Angeles, it looked like the walls were falling the way hundreds of them came at the stage all together. But we have to practice getting away, too, so we're ready to drop everything and run. Jermaine dropped his guitar and took off at the end of the Forum concert. We can always get a new guitar for him, but he'd be kinda hard to replace."


  1. The second photo with DePasse -- you see Joe Jackson to her right as well. I think I've seen other photos of this concert but never knew where it was. Thanks!

  2. You're right -- there's Joe, watching them like a hawk. He did that at the concert I saw in 1971 except he wasn't smiling like he is here.

    You can tell that this was when they were still working out security details. It's amazing how close they let the kids get to the stage. In the photo where they are bowing, it looks like both Tito and Jackie are nervous about being pulled off the stage.

  3. Great pics- they say so much. Don'tcha love the clothes! A heady time

  4. I do like their clothes. I actually really like these early concerts where they wore their ordinary regular clothes instead of costumes created by a fashion designer.

  5. Is Marlon flipping the bird in the second photo? LOL!

  6. I dunno, Adam. It looks like it. Maybe he was mad at Tito.