Shrine Auditorium Concert

The West Coast Eastside Revue Concert ~ Shrine Auditorium ~ February 21, 1965

East LA Revue Shrine Auditorium concert

On February 21, 1965, the renowned and celebrated Shrine Auditorium in the City of Los Angeles was host to The West Coast Eastside Revue concert. The show was scheduled for a Sunday, from 4 PM to 8 PM. It was produced and promoted by Eddie Davis, the owner of Rampart Records. The MC for this concert was Dave Hull, from the popular local radio station KRLA.

The present-day Shrine Auditorium building seats approximately 6300. It replaced an early structure that was destroyed in 1920. After a complete renovation it re-opened its doors in 1926. The Shrine Auditorium is located at 866 West Jefferson Avenue, just south of Downtown Los Angeles. There was a large stage with huge curtains where the vocal acts would perform in front of the closed curtains, and the back-up band would play from behind them.

The music line-up included most of the popular local bands and recording artists. Just think, The Atlantics, The Blendells, The Blue Satins, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Ronnie & the Casuals, Mark & the Escorts, The Heartbreakers, The Jaguars with The Salas Brothers, Lil Ray, The Little Heartbreakers, The Medallions, Thee Midniters, The Pagents, The Premiers, The Four Queens, The Romancers, The Sisters, and The Slauson Brothers, all performing at the same concert. At that time, this writer was 15 years old and a big fan of music. I was raised near the Shrine Auditorium, so myself and six others from the neighborhood decided to go. The fare for the streetcar was too much for us, so we walked to the concert and paid our admission of $1.75. The place was crowded with teenagers from various high schools. I had attended the Salesian High School “Rock and Roll Shows” in 1964 and was anxious to see and hear some more of that Eastside Sound and these bands were the most popular groups. We knew the music from the 45-rpm records we purchased at the local record stores, like Flash Records, American Music, Dolphins of Hollywood, Whitefront, Music City, The Record Rack, Sound of Music, Rockaways, and other music outlets.

My favorite group was Cannibal & the Headhunters, and they performed first with The Premiers as their musical support. They did not disappoint the fans as they opened the show with their big hit on the Rampart Records label, “Land of 1000 Dances”. They even did “the rowboat”. As the first act concluded, the curtain opened and The Premiers, recently seen on national television on the American Bandstand show, started with their national hit song, “Farmer John”. Mark & the Escorts was next with a popular version of “Get Your Baby”. After a quick band change, Ronnie & the (Pomona) Casuals were next with “I Wanna Do The Jerk” from their long-playing record album of the same name. The curtain closed and The Sisters, Ersi, Mary, and Rosella Arvizu performed their hit on Delphi Records label “Gee Baby Gee”, musically supported by The Casuals. The next band was a westside favorite and the locals cheered as The Nobleman with Frankie Oliveras took the stage and gave us a rousing version of “Huggies Bunnies”. The Blendells were up next with “La LaLa La La”. It was great to hear these songs live-on-stage and they sounded as fine as the 45-rpm records. The Pagents, The Atlantics, and the Mixtures represented Rampart Records label followed. The Enchantments, another Rampart recording artist took us to intermission with “I’m in Love with Your Daughter”.

KRLA radio disc jockey and MC, Dave Hull introduced The Jaguars to a cheering audience as the huge curtain opened and the second half began. They played a favorite song “Where Lovers Go” and ended their set. The Jaguars remained on stage as the MC introduced The Heartbreakers. The Jaguars seamlessly glided into “Cradle Rock”. The bands quickly changed and The Ambertones followed with a crowd favorite “I need someone”. Alfred & Joe, who were backed by The Nobleman, performed their hit song “Darling Dear”. The time was getting late for myself and possibly others in a predominantly teenage crowd, but the next five acts were remarkable and kept everyone in their seats until the end. The Romancers “My Heart Cries”; The Salas Brothers (Stevie and Rudy Salas) “Please Bring Your Love”; Lil Ray “Karen”; The Slauson Brothers “Rosalie”; and the Blue Satins with “You Don’t Know Me” ended the concert. It was late and the lights from the city’s nearby buildings and the streetlamps lit up the streets. There was a slight chill in the air. That evening the promoter, Eddie Davis was given a warning by the Los Angeles Police Department for a violation of a city age and time restriction ordinance regarding teenage gatherings, after 6 PM within the city limits. No charges followed. This was verified by Hector Gonzalez, the current owner of Rampart Records.

The vinyl long-playing record album titled “The West Coast Eastside Revue” was released on the Rampart Records label that same year. It was not a live recording but rather contained the studio recordings of these songs by these same artists. The record is distinguished by a clear gold colored vinyl disc. A second record followed in 1969 and was titled “The Eastside Revue, Volume 2”. Both Rampart Records are highly desirable and expensive. The poster that was included in the album is an iconic poster and symbolic of the music scene and the Eastside Sound in 1965

It was another concert to remember, and I was there. ~ Steven Chavez.

Shrine Auditorium Concert ~ February 21, 1965