THE PHILIP COHEN COLLECTION: BEACH BOYS - SACRAMENTO 1964

October 5, 2011 – 4:10 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

THE BEACH BOYS
Sacramento August 1964 (Composite Show) [Sea Of Tunes, 1CD]

Live at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA; August 1, 1964. Good to very good soundboard. Tracks taken from Sea Of Tunes releases.

In late 1964, The Beach Boys released “Beach Boys Concert”, which was, supposedly recorded at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in August 1964. Well, not quite. Two songs - “Long Tall Texan” and “Johnny B.Goode” - were not performed in the August 1964 Sacramento shows.

They were obviously recorded earlier and elsewhere. As for “Fun Fun Fun” and “I Get Around”, though satisfactory versions were captured in the two August 1964 Sacramento shows, The Beach Boys made the bizarre decision to create fake live versions, by creating modified mixes of the familiar studio versions and adding fake audience noise.

The songs on “Beach Boys Concert” actually taken from the August 1964 Sacramento shows were subject of additional overdubbed studio vocals. Even the MC’s announcement at the start of “Beach Boys Concert” was a studio creation. Here, you get one best version of each song performed at the two Sacramento shows. These are the genuine live recordings; what the audience really heard at the shows.

These recordings are from three-track multitrack tapes recorded at two shows August 1, 1964 at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California. I have created a composite concert with one best recording and performance of each song. The same songs were performed in the early and late shows. - Philip Cohen

Thanks to Phil for sharing the tracks.

Note: A longtime music fan, Philip Cohen was a contributor to the now-defunct ICE Magazine and compiled the boxsets for The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Humble Pie and Nice.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks as they are have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Intro (884k)
Track 02. Little Honda (1st show) (3.4MB)
Track 03. Papa Oom Mow Mow (1st show) (3.3MB)
Track 04. The Little Old Lady From Pasadena (1st show) (4.8MB)
Track 05. Hushabye (2nd show) (4.6MB)
Track 06. Hawaii (1st show) (2.8MB)
Track 07. Intro (1.1MB)
Track 08. Let’s Go Trippin’ (2nd show) (3.7MB)
Track 09. The Wanderer (2nd Show) (2.8MB)
Track 10. Intro (1.0MB)
Track 11. Surfer Girl (1st Show) (3.8MB)
Track 12. Monster Mash (1st Show) (5.7MB)
Track 13. Be True to Your School (1st Show) (3.2MB)
Track 14. Graduation Day (2nd Show) (4.5MB)
Track 15. Intro (355k)
Track 16. Surfin U.S.A. (1st Show) (3.3MB)
Track 17. Don’t Back Down (1st Show) (3.0MB)
Track 18. Intro (156k)
Track 19. Don’t Worry Baby (2nd Show) (4.5MB)
Track 20. Intro (293k)
Track 21. Wendy (1st Show) (4.1MB)
Track 22. I Get Around (1st Show) (3.5MB)
Track 23. Fun Fun Fun (1st Show) (3.5MB)

Chicago 1965
As for the Chicago 1965 recordings, taken from two shows, it is uncertain why Capitol would have professionally recorded more live shows so soon after the release of “Beach Boys Concert”, when the group’s set list hadn’t changed much. Brian Wilson had briefly re-joined the touring group after Glen Campbell had not been a satisfactory replacement. Soon the group found Bruce Johnston, and Brian did retire from the road.

Track 24. Don’t Worry Baby (6.0MB)
Track 25. I Get Around (3.2MB)
Track 26. Johnny B. Goode (6.2MB)
Track 27. Papa Oom Mow Mow (3.5MB)
Track 28. Fun Fun Fun (3.9MB)
Track 29. I Get Around (3.3MB)
Track 30. Johnny B. Goode (4.2MB)
Track 31. Outro (710k)

Soundcheck performances, London 1968
Track 32. Talk (193k)
Track 33. God Only Knows (6.0MB)
Track 34. Good Vibrations (6.7MB)

Click here to order Beach Boys Concert.

  1. 30 Responses to “THE PHILIP COHEN COLLECTION: BEACH BOYS - SACRAMENTO 1964”

  2. Thanks as always to Phil. Your insight and breadth of interests never fail to inspire. I was at the afternoon Chicago show in 1965 and became a lifetime Beach Boys fan. It was the second live show I ever saw. The first was the Beatles. The next show I would attend was the Rolling Stones. Not a bad 1st three, eh? I am joining my daughter at an Incubus show tonight in PHX and then Foo Fighters from the pit next Sunday in return for her going with me to see Bob Dylan in July. It might not be Beatles/Beach Boys/Stones, but it’s still pretty good 46 years later!

    By Johnny Kinkdom on Oct 5, 2011

  3. Phil (and BigO),
    Your continued efforts to supply us with wonderful music on a consistent basis is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    Never can have enough of the Beach Boys…I believe I’ve downloaded everything you have supplied by them on this site so far. It’s provided endless hours of outstanding music.

    By Rick D on Oct 6, 2011

  4. Most excellent, thanx………… Great sound quality, weird off-key vocals!

    By Timmy on Oct 6, 2011

  5. Timmy-”weird off-key vocals”. Yep. owww! And these were the better of the two choices!
    I’d have to give some credit to Mike Love who appears to mostly hit his notes and hold them right. The harmonies were not harmonious. Perhaps the Beach Boys lost their personal luggage at the Sacto airport in Aug 64, and they became part of the two huge pillars of old lost luggage and golf club bags that reach the ceiling in the lobby. It could have been very hot that day - in August 2007 it was 104 degrees when I arrived there, and it was a muggy heat. It was 1964 - perhaps they had no monitors and couldn’t hear each other over the screaming girls.

    By 3yrsnojob on Oct 6, 2011

  6. Thanks Phil! I’ve always wanted to hear the actual Sacramento concert without the fiddling in the studio and other disingenuous things artists are wont to do, as the BB’s did on Beach Boys Live. Actually I think the harmonies are excellent! Just rough enough to imagine them cranking these tunes out of a garage to the dismay of the neighbors. Don’t Worry Baby and Surfer Girl are beautiful! How did Capitol record this? The dubious ambience of the fans is well in the background for the most part, and when it becomes intrusive, it only lends authenticity to the hysteria. I’ve always felt that the fans were there to see the artists…hearing them was part of the peripheral vision…again, thanks! I was curious about the Chicago tracks…is this the overdub session, or are these the raw concert?

    By Chris B on Oct 9, 2011

  7. To Chris B,

    The Chicago 1965 tracks are an overdubbing session, and these are the only tracks from these concerts in circulation amongst the fans. Whether anything more was recorded is unknown.

    By Philip Cohen on Oct 10, 2011

  8. Ah, the rich history of bogus “live” albums. Beach Boys, Stones, KISS. Thanks Phil and BigO!

    By kingpossum on Oct 13, 2011

  9. WONDERFUL SHARE!

    Thank you so much.

    By JALtheImpaler on Oct 25, 2011

  10. Greetings, Phil and BB devotees

    It was my idea to record the ‘live’ album in Sacramento…and, believe it or not, Brian and Murry were not easily sold on the idea.
    We had been enormously success in Northern Cal, having done two previous concerts at the now famous Sacramento Memorial Auditorium–one on May 24, another on Sept 14. We had done an additional ‘dance and show’ 50 miles northeast in Marysville/Yuba City on the night of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There were additional shows in San Francisco and the Russian River (north of SF). When I realized there was some reluctance to record a live album (their reaction was ‘who would want to buy an album of a concert?’) I told them it was two fold: those who had attended a live show would want a souvenir of their experience–and those who had never attended a BB concert would be the first in line when ‘the boys’ visited their city. They were sold. We did the first recordings on Dec 21, 1963 to a ’sold out’ house. I emceed the concert and I am the voice introducing the ‘fabulous Beach Boys.’ It was also Carl’s 17th birthday. I was with Brian when he wrote “Fun, Fun, Fun” over the following days and was with them when they recorded the classic at Western Recording on Jan 1, 1964. Now you know ‘the rest of the story.’
    Fred Vail, Pres./CEO
    Treasure Isle Recorders, Inc.
    Music City, USA–Nashville, TN
    Former manager, advance man and marketing manager of The Beach Boys

    By Fred Vail on Nov 16, 2011

  11. thanks for posting Fred, always great to know the real behind the scenes info!

    By sluggo on Nov 16, 2011

  12. Yes, Fred was a very important individual in The Beach Boys’ early performing career.The first attempt at recording The Beach Boys in Sacramento(Dec.21,1963) was not considered successful(there had apparently been technical problems), although that show was apparently the source for “Long Tall Texan” & “Johnny B.Goode” on “Beach Boys Concert”, though “Johnny B.Goode” was subject to studio overdubbing. Interestingly. the original CD pressing of the “Beach Boys Concert”/”Live in London” CD two-fer accidentally used the un-doctored “Johnny B.Goode” with distant-sounding vocals. The later reissue of the CD two-fer used the doctored, studio-overdubbed version, as heard on the original “Beach Boys Concert” L.P.
    THE MC’s introduction(as heard on “Beach Boys Concert” must come from the Dec.21,1963 show. None of the songs from that show(other than “Long Tall Texan” & “Johnny B.Goode”) have ever been heard or bootlegged, presumably due to recording quality problems. Henceforth, at all other attempts to record a live album in the 1960’s, two shows(early & late show) would be recorded in the hope of getting a satisfactory recording and performance of each song.

    Earlier in 1963, The Beach Boys, with both David Marks & Al Jardine(but without Brian Wilson) arrived at the airport in Sacramento, to play their first shows there. The group was met at the airport by Fred Vail, then 19 years old, who was promoting the show to raise money for a high school that he had recently graduated from. Mike Love & Al Jardine were 22 & 21 respectively, Carl & Dennis Wilson 17, and David Marks 15. Carl was reluctant to believe that Vail was the promoter, and reportedly said to Vail, “You can’t be the promoter, You’re a kid”, to which Vail said “You guys are young too, “I’ve been around”. Carl then said, “So you’re the promoter, where are we playing?”, to which Vail said “The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium”. Carl then said “Auditorium?” Carl wanted to know who the opening act would be, and Vail said “You are.” Carl then asked who the headlining act was, and Vail said “You are.” Carl then said “We’re not headliners”. Although The Beach Boys had three nationwide hit singles and two hit L.P.’s, they didn’t fully understand how far outside southern California their fame extended(Sacramento is in Northern California, hundreds of miles north of Los Angeles). and, up to that point, the group’s performances had been 15 to 20 minute performances; free performances at shopping centers, and paid performances as one of a dozen artists on a show at a movie theater. In those pre-British invasion days, Rock concerts(as we now know them) didn’t exist. Fred Vail informed the group that they would have to play two shows, at least 45 minutes each, with no opening act, in a 5000 seat auditorium, which had previously only been used for concerts by middle of the road adult entertainers such as Johnny Mathis. Carl Wilson told Fred Vail, “you’re going to take a beating”(meaning a monetary loss), and Vail said “I Don’t Think So”. In the end, Vail sold most of the tickets for the two shows. The Beach Boys struggled to find enough songs to play, since many of the tracks from their two L.P.’s had never been played live. The group filled out their set with some Rock n’Roll oldies, and they had to repeat some songs in the second set. The group would never again be caught off guard without enough songs to play. the Beach Boys’ agents(The William Morris Agency) had given away The Beach Boys’ services(for two shows) for a mere $700 total. Vail revealed this to the group, and with Vail’s involvement, the group would never again be so underpaid again. Fred Vail had a long-term involvement as a promoter of the group’s concert career throughout the 1960’s & 1970’s, and it was fortunate that he not only got along well with The Beach Boys, but also with The Wilson Brothers’ difficult father Murry. Vail also had some country music singing ambition, and in the 1970’s, Brian Wilson produced an album for Vail, but it was never completed or released.

    By Philip Cohen on Nov 16, 2011

  13. Hi. Great show, although I do get tired of the screaming kids.

    By Bob W on Nov 16, 2011

  14. This is so evocative of the period. I think the vocals are pretty damn good, considering that they’re kids getting paid about $50/show with pretty primitive sound equipment. They have much better pitch accuracy than Paul Simon does on his latest tour, bless him.

    By Joe E on Nov 16, 2011

  15. Thank you Fred Vail and Philip Cohen. You guys bring so much more understanding to what we’re hearing. I did not appreciate the situation everyone was in. What an overwhelming experience it must have been for everyone involved! And what sense of character (rare nowadays) that Fred took a bad first deal and made things better for the Beach Boys after that. Thanks Fred, (you too Philip!) for being willing to spend a little time with us fans. Be well.

    By 3yrsnojob on Nov 17, 2011

  16. nice and gracious 3 years..
    some folks here do nothing but complain. Its a free site, great music to explore and still we get whiners..nice of you to express your thanks..
    mine too!

    By sluggo on Nov 17, 2011

  17. Nice to have this one and love hearing the inside scoop. Thanks

    By Matt on Nov 18, 2011

  18. After many, many years my memory is a bit foggy. I attended the concert in Sacramento where the live album was recorded. I can’t remember the date but I remember a few of the details. For one thing, you could hardly hear the BB’s for the screaming. I remember the intro, “From Hawthorne, California the fabulous Beach Boys”.
    I don’t remember if I attended the first or second concert of the night.
    Just before they sang, “Little Honda” one of them, I think Mike, rode out on to the stage on a Honda 50.
    Needless to say, everyone there was stoked out of their minds. My eyes still well up when I think about that night. Hard to believe 50 years have passed since they started.
    BTW, I was born and raised in Redondo Beach but was living in the Sacramento area when they did that concert.
    Oh, and for some reason the fact that they drove up from Southern Cal. to do that concert sticks in my mind. I’m 99.9% positive that they did drive up for that concert.

    Can anyone tell me the exact date of that two show concert? The one that they recorded? Everything I read seems to be conflicting.

    By BBFan on May 18, 2012

  19. The two shows were recorded August 1,1964, though this was the 3rd time that the group had played at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The group had played there twice in 1963, both times without Brian wilson

    By Phil Cohen on May 18, 2012

  20. First of all, thanks for this. I have both Sacramento shows and never had the time to do do this. Now there’s a better, more listenable version. Much appreciated.

    Secondly, there must be more of the Chicago show. Two tracks have been released officially from this show — “Shut Down” on Hawthorne, CA and “409″ on the Capitol Singles Collection box thing. I imagine there was some intent to record a live album here; why else would “409″ be in the set in 1965?

    By Donctor on Jul 2, 2012

  21. Nice to see your name again, Phil (Cohen), and read your expert opinions and deductions, which always helped ICE out a great deal through our 19-year tenure. :-)

    Just wanted to point out that The Beach Boys actually played at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium THREE times in 1963, not just two: May 24, 1963, one of their first major shows and the first Fred Vail production; Sept. 14, 1963, which is represented by a large, beautiful, green concert poster that Fred had designed; and Dec. 21, 1963, Carl Wilson’s 17th birthday.

    I agree that Brian did not play at the first two shows, but I’m pretty certain that he did play at the Dec. 21 show. Others have told me that, but the best evidence is that if the Boys were recording a live album for Capitol, then naturally their musical mastermind would be in attendance. And it was so predetermined that the concert poster for this date actually states, “This concert will be recorded for future release as a Capitol album!!!” Verbatim… I’ve got the poster right here.

    Being a big fan and collector of early Beach Boys stuff, this is pretty important to me so I just wanted to set the record straight(er). It’s not very often you can catch Phil Cohen, that’s for sure!!! LOL Anyway, a fun blog here and thanks for letting me step in.

    Best Wishes,
    Pete Howard
    Publisher, ICE magazine, 1987-2006

    By Pete Howard on Nov 16, 2012

  22. Hello Pete

    Thanks very much for your comments. Before the internet took hold, ICE magazine was essential reading (together with Rock & Rap Confidential and Bill Glahn’s Live! Music Review) for anyone interested in music and music news. As postercentral.com put it: “Pete Howard founded, published and edited ICE newsletter/magazine from 1987 until its demise in 2006. ICE covered new releases and reissues on CD, usually weeks or months before they were released. The publication rose with the CD era and declined with the advent of MP3s. ICE was an acronym for International CD Exchange in its earliest days, although we never sold a single CD… it was always just about the information. It was a terrifically fun 19 years…” And it’s always great to hear from you. [Click here for more on ICE magazine.]

    By bigozine2 on Nov 16, 2012

  23. I read that Glen Campbell “had not been a satisfactory replacement” which is not true.
    He played on studio sessions for the beach Boys but Glen Campbell wanted to perduit his solo career and i’m glad he did; a very fine singer and a brilliant guitarist

    By Casper on Feb 8, 2013

  24. For a Beach BOys fan, this is an amazing discovery. I saw them in 1965 when Campbell had replaced Brian, and I have to say that Glen was spectacular, sining all the falsetto parts perfectly and playing very competent bass guitar. With his good looks and straight blonde hair, he looked as much or even more like a Beach Boy than the rest.

    By Chuck Kirkpatrick on Jun 4, 2013

  25. I was at the second show in Sacremento on August 1, 1964 and I can tell you that the screaming was real, exactly like Beatles live show with lots of crying girls. I had never seen anything like it. We sat in the first row of the balcony. I could have gotten some great photos but did mot have a camera. I was worried that someone would fall over the balcony railing.

    By John Mackay on Mar 3, 2014

  26. Thank you for posting these great clips. After listening to this album for 50 years, amid all the speculation and rumor, it’s nice to finally hear the original recordings and get the real story for the first time.

    The recordings are rough but it would be a mistake to dismiss The Beach Boys as a poor live band as there is substantial evidence to the contrary (The TAMI Show, etc).

    To place in the proper context, you have to go back to 1964 when rock concerts and audio technology were in their infancy. It is important to note there were no vocal monitors on stage. With the amplified instruments, the drums and the shrieking crowd, it was extremely difficult for The Beach Boys to hear themselves sing, making it nearly impossible to deliver their familiar trademark vocals. Imagine trying to sing those complex, blended harmonies in tune amid the sonic chaos.

    In some cases, the vocals here aren’t so bad, just poorly balanced, however the limitations of 4-track recording would prevent remixing the original vocal tracks.

    I understand that Long Tall Texan and Johnny B Goode were not performed at the August 1964 concerts. The absence of In My Room and Little Deuce Coupe suggests these songs were also from the earlier 1963 shows. Can anyone confirm? (it is clear that Brian appears on both songs)

    The Beach Boys are an original, talented band with unique and ambitious music. They were also very young in 1964. I have to give them credit for getting up on stage and plowing through all those great hits as well as they did under extremely difficult circumstances.

    By DAC on May 27, 2014

  27. “Even the MC’s announcement at the start of “Beach Boys Concert” was a studio creation.”

    No, it wasn’t: it was recorded at the December 1963 show, as was most of the released album. However, it was slightly edited, the word “Christmas” being excised.

    By Andrew G. Doe on Dec 2, 2014

  28. “The group had played there [Sacramento] twice in 1963, both times without Brian Wilson”

    Wrong - they played there three times in 1963: two shows on 9/14 without Brian, and one on 12/21 with Brian which was recorded for the live album, as noted above.

    By Andrew G. Doe on Dec 2, 2014

  29. “Brian Wilson had briefly re-joined the touring group after Glen Campbell had not been a satisfactory replacement.”

    Once more, untrue - Glen was offered a permanent place in the touring band but declined to concentrate on his solo career. He was a perfectly adequate replacement.

    By Andrew G. Doe on Dec 2, 2014

  30. I saw them around this time — with Ted Sullivan (or was it Lewis Bell or Robert Smith?) — at the San Jose Civic Auditorium. I recall the DJ on KLIV had made a big deal of what a great job Brian had done with his newest song “Please Let Me Wonder.” I wonder what the date was….

    By Frank Kilpatrick on Feb 15, 2015

  31. Wow. Had forgotten about this blog…nice contributions from my friend, Pete Howard (postercentral.com) and some great memories from fellow BB ‘die-hards.’ What’s so great, looking back over 55 years, is that I was a ‘fan’ first and the best books have also been written by ‘fans’ who just happened to be great journalists as well. Proof is in the pudding: David Leaf, Timothy White, Alan Boyd, Jon Stebbons. I read that my concert intro was added later in the studio. I can assure you it was ‘live’ and one take! It was the night of the Dec 21 concert, one show, ’sold out’ and was running late. A KXOA DJ–Bob Early–was supposed to do it but never got there on time. The crowds were stomping their feet, the police were getting nervous and had to turn on the house lights. Murry said, basically, you know the drill, Fred, go out and get this show started. It was all ad-libbed and BW merely edited out the word “Christmas,” to make the recording ‘timeless.’ Oh, the BBs flew out the next day from the old Sacramento Municipal Field (SMF). There’s a photo of us all that morning, or early afternoon, and it’s on my Facebook page. BW and ML are in hats, I’m presenting the group a trophy as the #1 group in Northern Cal for the year 1963. DW is accepting the trophy, and, NO, that is not Murry in the photo. It’s the Northern Cal sales rep for Capitol Records, Chase Sandborn, who became a good friend of ‘the boys.’ So, as one of my radio hero’s would say: “And now you’re heard the ‘rest of the story.’” Fred / 4/7/18

    By Fred Vail on Apr 8, 2018

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