George Harrison live: Cow Palace, Daly City

The third date of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s 1974 North American tour took place at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California, USA, on 6 November 1974.

It was the first of two consecutive nights at the Cow Palace, where The Beatles had also performed on 19 August 1964 and 31 August 1965.

Before the tour he had decided that several concerts would be benefits, and he had heard about the plight of the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. Opened the year of Harrison’s first visit, the Free Clinic survived the district’s speed/rip-off/deterioration phase, and, like the Haight itself, had recently grown. The medical clinic is now only one of eight concerns, the others including a Women’s Needs Center, a therapy program for heroin addicts and a vocational rehab center. This year, federal revenue-sharing money marked for 1975 was diverted by Mayor Joseph Alioto, and after two months of applying for grants and of trying to set up a rock benefit, the clinic was almost resigned to shut down the medical sector, which last year spent $67,500 to treat 10,000 patients. Harrison donated net profits from his first San Francisco concert to the clinic. A week after the show, the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Elizabeth Anthony, said the donation would be $66,000.

The day after the benefit, Harrison, along with manager O’Brien, publicist Pat Luce and Olivia Arias (a representaitve of Dark Horse) visited the clinic. This time, he was no pied piper leading an adoring mass. At the clinic — actually a flat, and a rather worn-out Victorian one, at that — there were patients, and they recognized Harrison. But, founder Dr. David E. Smith said, “Nobody gaped; nobody mobbed him or kissed his ass. There were no fuck-ups.” Apparently visitors to the clinic are notorious for fucking up while waiting for help.

Harrison visited for about a half hour, just before a concert. His party toured the facilities and, in a back room, chatted with several staff members. He gave them gifts, among them a Dark Horse necklace and pieces of embroidery, and asked for a Free Clinic T-shirt.

“He said he hoped to start a ripple with other musicians doing the same kind of things,” writer Amie Hill, a clinic volunteer, said later. “The doctors gave him a plaque, and – I didn’t hear this, but – someone told me he said, ‘Don’t thank me; it’s not me, it’s something else over us that acts through people like me. I’m just an instrument.'”

Ben Fong-Torres
Rolling Stone, 19 December 1974

The 30-date tour was to promote Harrison’s Dark Horse album and Dark Horse Records label, and took in 45 concerts in 26 cities. It was the first North American tour by a former Beatle, and Harrison’s first live performance since the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971.

His band included Billy Preston on vocals, keyboards, organ, and clavinet; Robben Ford on guitars and vocals; Tom Scott and Jim Horn on saxophone and flute; Chuck Findley on trumpet and flute; Willie Weeks on bass guitar; Andy Newmark on drums; Emil Richards on marimba and percussion; and Kumar Shankar on percussion and vocals. Jim Keltner joined the tour midway through on 27 November.

Ravi Shankar’s orchestra featured Shankar on sitar; Lakshmi Shankar on vocals and swarmandal; Alla Rakha on tabla; TV Gopalkrishnan on vocals, mridangam, and khanjira; Hariprasad Chaurasia on bansuri; Shivkumar Sharma on santoor and vocals; Kartick Kumar on sitar; Sultan Khan on sarangi; Gopal Krishan on vichitra veena and vocals; L Subramaniam on South Indian violin; Satyadev Pawar on North Indian violin; Rijram Desad on pakavaj, dholki, nagada, huduk, and duff; Kamalesh Maitra on tabla tarang, duggi tarang, and madal tarang; Harihar Rao on kartal, manjira, dholak, gubgubbi, and vocals; and Viji Shankar on tambura and vocals.

Concert setlist

Dark Horse Tour dates

Last updated: 4 January 2024
George Harrison live: Seattle Center Arena, Seattle
George Harrison live: Cow Palace, Daly City
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