Cow palace concert Nov 20,1973
June 08, 2013 5:15:29 AM UTC Post #1

I am in the process of writing a book about the famous concert that took place on Nov 20, 1973 at the Cow palace in SF, California, during which Lynyrd Skynyrd opened for the Who, the Who's drummer passed out in the middle of the show, and a 19yr old drummer from the audience stepped forward to take his place. Specifically I am looking for the following information:
What time did LS soundcheck?
What time did they take the stage?
What was the setlist?
How long did they play?
Where was the band sitting during The Who's set?
What if anything do any of the surviving bandmembers (Gary Rossington, Ed King, Bob Burns) recall saying during the show? (Legend has it that Ronnie tried to talk Bob Burns into going up but he said no he would mess up and The Who would toss them from the tour.)
Legend also says that LS got such a good crowd reaction that The Who didn't want to follow right away.
Did LS come backstage after the show to associate with the Who, and did they meet Scot Halpin, the substitute drummer?

If anyone has any of the information I need pse contact me at my screenname at yahoo dot com.

June 08, 2013 8:44:16 PM UTC Post #1

It's covered in one of the books about Skynyrd. All of the info you want isn't in there, but it is said that Burns was too drunk and couldn't help out and so the Who got the kid from the audience but it didn't last long and the show was canceled.

June 10, 2013 1:55:19 AM UTC Post #2

Do you remember which book?

Gary Rossington said in BBC interview a few years back that Burns was too afraid of messing up and getting LS tossed from the tour, didn't say anything about him being drunk, but he did say that it was during the tour that they first started drinking.

The Who did not stop the show because of Scot. The show was almost as long as it needed to be, and they played all of their "Quadrophenia" material, which was what the tour was for. They actually thought Scot was quite good, and Pete wanted to go on playing but they also wanted to see about Keith Moon; nobody knew if he had died or would be able to continue playing which would have meant the end of the tour.

June 10, 2013 2:00:36 AM UTC Post #3

It was either the one by Odom or the one by Ron Eckerman

June 11, 2013 8:00:09 AM UTC Post #4

Leon said they were so scared of playing in front of the Who because most bands were thrown from the stage that they started drinking to get over their fear. I read good info on some other boards: or you could ask Ed King on his board

June 29, 2013 5:03:56 PM UTC Post #5

I hv found out on other boards that:
LS was real nervous about opening for the Who because 1) it was their first big tour, in front of a large number of people, and 2) the Who's opening acts had a reputation of being booed off by rabid Who fans, but...this night they got a good crowd reaction

Nobody in the Who's entourage approached LS and asked them if they could "borrow" their drummer. Various accounts say that Bob Burns was 1) too nervous about going out and trying to play with the Who (this was said by Gary Rossington in aBBC interview a few years back the audio which can be found on YouTube) or 2) too drunk to go out again.

LS likely did soundcheck an hour before the doors opened. Their soundman Kevin Elson would have insisted.

There is a picture of LS playing at the Philly Spectrum during the same tour where LS had their gear set up in front of The Who's gear. Bob Burns has his drums set up right in front of Moon's.

Ronnie was always barefoot onstage onstage, and Leon Wilkeson always wore a unique hat. Just what kind he wore that night is not recalled.

The Setlist that night was Workin' for MCA, I ain't the One, Gimme Three steps, call me the breeze, Free Bird.
The show was approx. a half hour, and Leon remembered some in the crowd calling for "More Skynyrd" when the Who came out.

Does gary have his own msg board on here?
I know Bob does not.....apparently he doesn't to the computer thing much.
Is there ANYBODY out there who has pictures of LS from that night (Nov 20, 1973) ?
Apparently nine of the professional photogs there, at least not the ones I have been able to talk to, took any pics of LS.....I guess nobody could have guessed how big the band would get.

June 29, 2013 5:06:28 PM UTC Post #6

@nursesteve2004: meant to say apparently NONE of the professional photogs who were there

July 01, 2013 12:12:10 AM UTC Post #7

There is a picture on the centerfold of First and Last with Ronnie and Roger Daltry and I saw a picture at the Freebird movie. Premier a private photo of Gary sitting next to Keith Moon with a birthday cake in front of them as a matter of fact it's on a picture I have of skynyrd memorabilia that night

July 07, 2013 2:20:04 AM UTC Post #8

I found these pics on community forum board. They are from Dec 1973, during which LS went on their first big tour and opened for The Who. These pics are from their show at the Philly Spectrum.
Notice that there was not a lot of stage roomn for seven people, particularly someone as energetic and moving around like Allen Collins. Note that right behind Bob Burns' drums are Keith Moon's drums. The gear for The Who's show had been set up in advance and LS set their gear up right in front of it. See also that Billy Powell has what looks like a folding chair to sit on. I read somewhere that LS was paid around $750 per show back then. Of course back then hardly anyone knew who they were, and came mainly to see The Who. But LS did themselves proud as they were the first opening act for The Who to be called back for encores during this tour.

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