Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Back Door (Front Street, Ventura, CA)

Although only open for the year of 1968, The Back Door, owned and operated by Bob Jones, is remembered fondly. Located on Front Street, the Back Door presented a very eclectic lineup of artists, and was heavily blues oriented. (No concert dates are available at this time, what follows below is an alphabetical listing of groups presented, supplied by Bob Jones, who still plays music locally in the Ventura County area)(In May 2012, Dennis Shives, poster artist for the Back Door, supplied the dates below)

July 25, 26 & 27, 1968: Lightnin' Hopkins, Alexander's Timeless Blues Band

August 30 & 31, 1968: Hoyt Axton

October 5, 6 & 7, 1968: Charlie Musselwhite and His South Side Blues Band

Luther Allison

Hoyt Axton

Tim Buley Blues Band (opened for Canned Heat)

Canned Heat

Ramblin' Jack Elliot

Jesse Ed Fuller


Richard Greene

John Hammond

Lightnin' Hopkins

Lydia E. Pinkham Superior Orchestra

The Hour Glass


Rabbit Mackay

Taj Mahal

The Maze/The Knack??

Lee Michaels

Long Gone Miles and Bernie Pearl

Charlie Musselwhite Band

Rose (opened for Ramblin' Jack Elliot)

George Harmonica Smith

Paul Sykes


Friday, June 17, 2011

Santa Barbara County Bowl

Built with Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds in 1936 as part of F.D.R.'s New Deal, the County Bowl's first three and half decades saw it used primarily as a performance venue for the Santa Barbara's annual Old Spanish Days, more popularly known as Fiesta, with an occasional concert thrown in here and there. In the early seventies, promoter Sepp Donahower, one of the principals (along with Marc Chase and John Van Hamersveld) of the legendary Pinnacle Dance Concerts company, initiated its renaissance; he relates: " While running Pacific Presentations (the precurser of Avalon Attractions) and doing shows at UCSB and the Arlington Theatre in the early 70's in Santa Barbara, I stumbled on to the old County Bowl that was used once a year for Old Spanish Days Fiesta. I had became friends with Barton Clap, the manager of the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club and the head of The Old Spanish Days Fiesta Organization, who asked if I was interested in doing shows in the old County Bowl. The first time I walked into the Santa Barbara County Bowl, it was overgrown with weeds and needed its annual cleaning before the Fiesta. I immediately saw it as one magic venue. We immediately made a deal to produce the shows there and started rolling them in.......The Band, Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, and on and was now on the map and loved by all.

After Pacific morphed into Avalon and I went on hiatus, Avalon continued with it for awhile but eventually it ended up under the control of some local promoters," who eventually negotiated a deal with Nederlander.

I am still proud of opening that venue up.....It is a one great venue."

(PP) denotes Pacific Presentations promotions

(County Bowl photo courtesy of Alan Case)

??/??/1960's(?): The Kingston Trio*

??/??/1960's(?): Louis Armstrong*

??/??/1961 or 62(?)  Jimmy Rodgers, The Righteous Brothers

July/??/1963(?): Peter, Paul and Mary*

July 2, 1966: The Beach Boys, Sir Douglas Quintet, The Association

April 22, 1970: Jethro Tull

October 15, 1972: Poco, It's a Beautiful Day, Wild Rose

October ??, 1973: Beach Boys, Jesse Colin Young

August 17, 1974: Boz Scaggs, Weather Report, Batdorf & Rodney

October 13, 1974: Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders

April 20, 1975: Joe Walsh, Kingfish (PP)

May 11, 1975: Jackson Browne, Phoebe Snow (PP)

May 26, 1975: Jefferson Starship (PP)

June 8, 1975: Van Morrison, Tom Scott & The L.A. Express (PP)

June 28, 1975: Seals & Crofts, Batdorf & Rodney (PP)

August 3, 1975: Average White Band, Kokomo (PP)

August 17, 1975: Jesse Colin Young, Emmylou Harris (PP)

September 3, 1975: Loggins & Messina, Fairport Convention (PP)

September 14, 1975: David Crosby & Graham Nash (PP)

October 4, 1975: Three Dog Night, Beau Brummels (PP)

October 25, 1975: Uriah Heep, Spirit

April 3, 1976: Loggins & Messina, Cecilio & Kapono (PP)

April 11, 1976: Marshall Tucker Band, Little Feat (PP)

April 24, 1976: Peter Frampton, Gary Wright, Brecker Brothers (PP)

May 16, 1976: Elvin Bishop, Tim Weisberg (PP)

May 31, 1976: Bob Marley & the Wailers, Little Anthony (PP)

June 5, 1976: Leon Russell, Firefall (PP)

June 27, 1976: The Band, Flying Burrito Brothers (PP)

July 18, 1976: Average White Band, Sons of Champlain (PP)

July 25, 1976: Dave Mason (PP)

August 8, 1976: Crosby & Nash (PP)

August 13, 1976: CTI Jazz Festival (PP)

October 5, 1976: Bruce Springsteen (PP)

May 21, 1977: Leo Kottke, Leon Redbone (PP)

May 22, 1977: Jimmy Buffett, Leo Kottke, Leon Redbone (PP)

June 4, 1977: Little Feat (PP)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I've made quite a few revisions and additions to the chronology, and have some attendance and financial figures, which I will continue to revise. New listings are denoted with a "++"

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've added a number of Earl Warren Showground concerts (denoted by a + sign at the end of each new listing), based upon ticket stubs and posters. The only date I cannot discern is for the Byrds show. Any ideas?

Friday, September 10, 2010


I've added quite a few concerts, as well as updating others, on both the Earl Warren Showgrounds and UCSB posts. Most of the new UCSB dates are from the 70's; what I could really use some help with is the 60's.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UC Santa Barbara - Robertson Gym, Harder Stadium, Campbell Hall

This is an even more preliminary list than the Earl Warren Showgrounds listing; there are a LOT of shows missing. Your corrections and additions are solicited.

Shows below took place in Robertson Gym unless otherwise noted. * denotes some uncertainty about date, supporting acts, etc. Beginning in the mid-seventies, most concerts were done in conjunction with Pacific Presentations; Sepp Donahower has very kindly contributed information regarding those events. (PP) designates Pacific Presentations produced shows.

^ denotes new entries made December 27, 2011, thanks to the good graces of John Conroy. More updates to follow.

+ denotes new entries made January 24, 2013, thanks to the input of BFrank

October 22, 1966 : Jefferson Airplane, The Syndicate of Sound, The Seeds, The Kingsmen, The DelRays (?),  The Druids (per <drumnwalt>

April 1, 1967: Buffalo Springfield, The Sounds Five, Druids*

October 28, 1967 : The Doors, Lyrics, Alexander's Timeless Blooz Band

February 11, 1968: Jimi Hendrix, Soft Machine, East Side Kids

May 24, 1968: Cream, Electric Flag

January 17, 1969:  Santana Blues Band, Grateful Dead, The Travel Agency

April 10, 1969: Canned Heat, Poco, Ace of Cups

May 29, 1969: Grateful Dead, Lee Michaels, The Youngbloods (The Dead cut their set short due to sound system issues as chronicled by Michael Lydon in Rolling Stone article)

November 9, 1969: Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Steve Miller Band, Sweetwater (Harder Stadium) (Crowd rushes gates and breaks in; there will not be another stadium show until 5/20/1973. Stage is set up at west end of stadium, the only time that configuration was used; from here on in, stage will be at the east end of the stadium) Steve Miller Band was scheduled but did not play.

??/1970/71??: Sweetwater (Storke Plaza) (Possibly April 1971 as they played at the Granada on 4/2/71)

February 1, 1970: The Band*

April ??, 1970: Poco (Storke Plaza)

December 2, 1970: Sha-na-na (Campbell Hall)

January 19, 1971: Jazz Crusaders, Dick Gregory

February 7, 1971: John Sebastian, Poco, Jo-Mama

October 3, 1971: Chuck Berry (a local band opened and then backed Berry)+

October 10, 1971: The Allman Brothers Band

November 20, 1971: Freddie Hubbard, Charles Lloyd (Campbell Hall)+

Spring 1972(?): Scott McKenzie (Storke Plaza)

May 5, 1972: Seals & Crofts, Loggins and Messina+

October 1, 1972: John Mayall, Boz Scaggs^

October 27, 1972: John Fahey (Campbell Hall)^

November 11, 1972: Hot Tuna, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (The Hot Tuna set was hands down the loudest I ever personally witnessed)

November 18, 1972: Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge^

December 3, 1972: J. Geils Band, The Eagles, Tranquility^+

January 13, 1973: Leo Kottke. Little Emo+ (Campbell Hall)^

February 20, 1973: Mark-Almond, Pan+ (Campbell Hall)^

March 17, 1973: The Beach Boys (remains one of the all-time great shows I ever attended - the Beach Boys play a sock-hop in the gym - pandemonium from start to finish)

April 15, 1973: Seals & Crofts^

April 17, 1973: Bobby Hutcherson (Lotte Lehman Hall)^

May 2, 1973: Beck, Bogert & Appice, Tower Of Power

May 8, 1973: Boz Scaggs, John (?) Buckley (Campbell Hall)

May 13, 1973: Loggins & Messina (PP)

May 20, 1973 - Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage (Harder Stadium) (PP)

September 30, 1973: Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne^

October 13 1973: The Faces, Rory Gallagher (Harder Stadium) (PP)

October 25, 1973: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Sly and the Family Stone*

November 16, 1973: War, Albert^

January 13, 1974: Steve Miller Band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils (PP)^

January 21, 1974: Loggins & Messina, Jesse Colin Young (PP)

January 26, 1974: Gordon Lightfoot (Old Men's Gym)+

February 17, 1974: Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Tom Waits, Casey Kelly (PP)+ (Sepp Donahower's listing shows Zappa; BFranks added Casey Kelly;  "Frank Zappa Gig List" confirms Kelly)

February 27, 1974: Poco, Leo Kottke (PP)

March 15, 1974: Boz Scaggs (PP)

April 7, 1974: Eagles, Jesse Colin Young (PP)

April 28, 1974: Dave Mason, Honk (PP)

May 3, 1974: Electric Light Orchestra, Dan Hicks, Elvin Bishop (PP)

May 9, 1974: Crusaders, Hampton Hawes (Campbell Hall)^

May 12, 1974: The Kinks, Jo Jo Gunne, Kansas+ (PP)

May 25, 1974: Grateful Dead, Maria Muldaur, Great American String Band (Harder Stadium) (PP)

June 23, 1974: Steely Dan, Kiki Dee Band (PP)

August 2, 1974: Santana, Bad Company (PP)

September 27, 1974: Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Honk (PP)

October 27, 1974: Hot Tuna (PP)

November 9, 1974: Chick Corea, Renaissance (Campbell Hall)^

November 10. 1974: Gregg Allman, Cowboy (PP)^

November 22, 1974: Rufus, Masterfleet (Campbell Hall)^

November 27, 1974: Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat, Triumvarite (PP)^

January 12, 1975: Linda Ronstadt, Batdorf & Rodney (PP)

February 13, 1975: Tower of Power, Taj Mahal (PP)

March 4, 1975: Randy Newman, David Pomeranz (Campbell Hall)^

March 13, 1975: Robin Trower, Journey (PP)^

March 23, 1975: Beach Boys, Jesse Colin Young, Honk (Harder Stadium) (PP)

March 26, 1975: Blue Oyster Cult, R.E.O. Speedwagon, Pretty Things (PP)

April 29, 1975: Herbie Hancok, Passport (Campbell Hall)^

May 4, 1975: Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason, Henry Gross (Harder Stadium) (PP)

May 9, 1975: Weather Report, Billy Cobham (Campbell Hall)^

September 27, 1975: Frank Zappa (PP)

October 18, 1975: Allman Brothers Band, Dave Mason, Little Feat (PP)

October 20, 1975: Leo Kottke (Campbell Hall)

November 1, 1975: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (PP)

November 18, 1975: Rory Gallagher (Campbell Hall) (PP)

November 22, 195: Tim Weisberg (Campbell Hall) (PP)

December 12, 1975: Fleetwood Mac, Jiva (PP)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Earl Warren Showgrounds

From the Earl Warren Showgrounds website:

The Earl Warren Showgrounds were originally developed as the permanent location for the Santa Barbara National Horse and Flower show as well to attract and support other equestrian and agricultural events to the Santa Barbara area. In 1950, a site at the corner of Las Positas Road and Calle Real was selected for the showground. The state of California, using funds provided by the horse show association, purchased 136.5 acres of land at the site. To gain support for construction of the facilities from the city of Santa Barbara and the local community, the district gave eighty-two acres to the city to add to the community golf course and ten acres for the construction of Adams Elementary School.

In 1955 the 19th Agricultural District received state authorization to plan and build the only fairgrounds in California specifically designed for horse and flower shows. The Equestrian Facility was completed in 1958, with the Exhibit building in 1959 and the administration building was added in 1961.

I first became acquainted with Earl Warren's (as it became popularly known) in the mid-Sixties when I attended a custom car show in the same exhibit hall later used for concerts. Jim Salzer, a local record store owner and musician, became the main promoter of shows in both Santa Barbara and Ventura County, getting his start at the Starlight Ballroom in Oxnard, presenting such groups as the Count Five, Captain Beefheart and Martha and the Vandellas.

What follows is a very preliminary listing of shows at Earl Warren's; feedback, corrections and comments are solicited. (All shows listed took place in the Exhibit Hall, unless denoted otherwise)


December 17, 1962: The Beach Boys*

??/??/64: T.A.M.I. Show (Jan & Dean, Leslie Gore)*

August 4, 1964: The Beach Boys, Eddie Hodges, Lynn Easton, The Kingsmen*

June 3, 1966: Lovin' Spoonful, The Leaves++

June 11, 1966: Love, Neil Diamond++
(Attendance - 765)

June 18, 1966: The Surfaris, Thee Midnighters++
(Attendance - 965)

June 25, 1966: Ernie and the Emperors, Dick Dale and the Deltones, The Ban
(Attendance - 560)

July, 2, 1966: The Beach Boys*

July 22, 1966: Captain Beefheart++
(Attendance - 410)

July 28, 1966: Them, Count Five, The Doors*
(Attendance - 945)

August 6, 1966: The Seeds, The Doors (Flower Building)*
(Attendance - 598)

August 13, 1966: Young Rascals++
(Attendance - 1258)

August 27, 1966 - Yardbirds*
(Attendance - 1820)

November 12, 1966 - The Righteous Brothers, April Stevens and Nino Temple, Gaylord & Holiday,  The Knickerbockers, The Druids (per <drumnwalt>)

September 10, 1966: The Turtles, X- Trippers (?), SSA(?)*++
(Attendance - 898)

September 17, 1966: The Standells, X-Trippers (?), Sixpence, ESP++
(Attendance- 895)

October 29, 1966: Mothers of Invention, The Factory
(Attendance - 1052)

December 31, 1966 (?): The Leaves. What's Left*

February 3, 1967: Buffalo Springfield, ESP, The Seeds, B.J. Thomas and the Triumphs
(Attendance - 1615)

February 11, 1967: Jefferson Airplane+

March 4, 1967: Love, Sons of Adam, Jackie Lee, The Renegades
(Attendance - 2714)

March 11, 1967: Sopwith Camel, The Grassroots, The Knack+
(Attendance - 586)

March 18, 1967: Eric Burdon and the Animals, Hourglass*+
(Attendance - 2714)

March 25, 1967: Blues Magoos, The Knack, ESP+
(Attendance - 878)

May 13, 1967: The Seeds, Yellow Payges, Captain Speed+
(Attendance - 2265)

April 15, 1967: The Byrds, Alexander's Timeless Bloozband, Dumplings, ESP
(Attendance - 3175)

April 29, 1967: Grateful Dead, The Doors, UFO, Captain Speed
Grateful Dead played two sets, before and after the Doors.
(Attendance - 2419)

May 27, 1967: The Doors, Country Joe and the Fish, Andrew Staples, Captain Speed
(Attendance - 2803)

June 10, 1967: Jefferson Airplane, Heads & Tails, Captain Speed
(Attendance - 3750)

June 24, 1967: Canned Heat, Chambers Brothers*
(Attendance - 675)

July 1, 1967: Jimi Hendrix Experience, Country Joe and the Fish, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Captain Speed
(Attendance - 1908)

August 5, 1967: The Doors, Lavender Hill Mob, Joint Effort
(Attendance - 3436)

August 19, 1967: Jimi Hendrix Experience, Moby Grape, Tim Buckley, Captain Speed
(Attendance - 2729)

September 2, 1967: Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sunshine Company, Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Alexander's Timeless Blooz Band
(Attendance - 2840)

September 16, 1967(?): The Seeds, The Midnighters, Chocolate Watchband, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band*
(Attendance - 1890)

September 30, 1967: Quicksilver Messenger Service, Clear Light, The Van Morrison Group, Blue Cheer
(Attendance - 1247)

October 7, 1967: Jefferson Airplane, The Hour Glass, Spirit

November 4, 1967: Buffalo Springfield, Watts 103rd Street Band, Lewis and Clark Expedition

November 25, 1967: Canned Heat, Youngbloods, Merry Go Round, Clear Light

December 7, 1967: Buffalo Springfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Three Dog Night, Sields

January 6, 1968: Buffalo Springfield, Charles Lloyd, Turquoise
(Buffalo Springfield was paid $2500, Charles Lloyd received $1,000, and Turquoise got $150) (Attendance - 3249)

January 20, 1968: Vanilla Fudge, Alexander's Timeless Blooz Band, The Stone Poneys, Taj Mahal
(Vanilla Fudge - $2500, Alexander's - $200, Stone Pony's - $1500, Taj Mahal may not have played) (Attendance - 1344)

February 3, 1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company, Electric Flag, Sweetwater
(Big Brother - $2500, Electric Flag - 1500, Sweetwater - 266?) (Attendance - 1855)

February 11, 1968: Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Fugs, Eire Apparent
(Eric Burdon and Eire Apparent - $3,000 total, The Fugs - $1500) (Attendance - 1907)

February 24, 1968: Cream, James Cotton Blues Band, Taj Mahal
(Cream - $3,000, James Cotton - $1,000, Taj Mahal - $400) (Attendance - 3601)

March 16, 1968: Blue Cheer, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Nazz ( changed name to Alice Cooper after posters were printed)
(Blue Cheer - $1500, Nitty Gritty - $750, Alice Cooper - 200) (Attendance - 1641)

March 25, 1968(?): Blues Magoos, The Knack, ESP*

April 6, 1968: Electric Flag, Traffic, Steppenwolf
(Electric Flag - $2000, Traffic - $1500, Steppenwolf - $750) (Attendance - 1669)

April 20, 1968:  Big Brother and the Holding Company, H.P. Lovecraft, The Boston Tea Pary (Scenic Sounds Productions)

May 10, 1968: Yardbirds, Dave, Dee Dozy, Beaky, Mich, Tich (?) Three Dog Night and Turquoise
(Yardbirds - $3,000; Dave, Dee Dozy, may have been a no-show but were scheduled to receive $750, 3 Dog Night - $300, Turquoise - $150)

August 29, 1968: The Who (in Arena)*

March 1, 1969: Iron Butterfly, Santana Blues Band, Blues Image (in Arena)*

June 6, 1969: Jefferson Airplane, Steve Miller Blues Band, Pulse (power is cut before the end of show, Airplane drummer continues on for a few minutes, then ends show) (in Arena)

August 1, 1969: Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Fraternity of Man (in Arena)

August 16, 1969: Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Free, Zephyr (Salzer speaks to audience before Blind Faith intro with regard to crowd breaking in to venue; this is the last show he promotes)(in Arena)

September 6, 1969: Poco, Three Dog Night, Savoy Brown

December 22, 1974: The Beach Boys*