Rainbow Ballroom Pomona, California, it was 1961
My technical difficulties continue, but I will now post the photo I promised you several weeks ago ... (Remember, Jan and Dean started out as Jan and Arnie and they were on DOT Records /// )
This PROVES that I knew Jan Berry although you'll just have to take my word for it that we spoke on the telephone once in awhile .... he at that time shared a secret dream with me that he wanted to become a doctor.
College boys seemed much cooler than the boys in my local high school, and we had colleges all around us at that time.
Now this will prove that photos can be misleading. The date stamp above is May 1961 (when I saved enough to have the photos reprinted for myself. I gave a few copies of these same photos to girls at school who were "cool" and who liked Jan and Dean and who had seen me at this concert. I believe this is the show where I first met Lou Adler, who was beaming and seemed genuinely to love all the kids and the music and the dancing and the whole deal. I once had some photos of Lou from this very event, posing with Susie, but .... quien sabe?
The actual date of the concert was April 1961 as you can verify on the photo below. The girl on the right, coinkydentally, was named "Susie". She had a crush on Elvis, LOVED ELVIS. She loaned me her treasured green and pink EP of Elvis singing, "Trying to Get to You
" which was her favorite song at the moment as this symbolized her current gestalt. That EP was a miniature cover of Elvis's debut LP. A treasured possession, she loaned this to me after we played it quite a bit one afternoon and I got to keep Elvis overnight all the way to the next morning, when I walked it down Mills Avenue to their rental home just slightly over the borderline in Pomona (it was below the Freeway) ... but the Mom lied a bit and gave the school the address of the Orange Julius stand where she worked in Claremont as a home address so Susie could go to a better school than those found in much rougher Pomona.
Susie was dying to meet Elvis. Her mother would not only allow her to daughter to ditch school, she would actually go along with her and drive her in their beat up car all the way from Claremont to BelAir ... where Elvis was renting a house while he made a movie in Hollywood and BelAir was a fancy town bordering Beverly Hills, a town where Jan happened to live with his Dad. They would hang by the big wrought iron gates and talk to some of his entourage. Once, they saw Elvis carried by car into the driveway and Elvis smiled and waved at everyone. They were beside themselves.
To show you how unfair life can be (which is almost a direct quote from John F. Kennedy at that same time) they were in LOVE with the whole idea of Elvis and were dying to meet him.
So who gets to meet Elvis, get an autograph, AND a teddy bear from Elvis? Because of industry connections? Not me! The guy who's National Fan Club I was President of's little sister, that's who! While she was thrilled ....
doesn't this kind of ice you?
So unfair sometimes. celebrity beneficence when administered and catered by industry handlers.
Susie wasn't nearly as crazy for Jan and Dean though she would scream and enjoy herself when they performed onstage at the Rainbow.
Me, I liked Jan. He was bright and fun to talk with, and he and Dean were a bit impish sometimes.
Amazingly, it was OK in my household for me to speak with Jan Berry on the phone occasionally, because (as it turned out) his Dad was an aeronautical engineer and he once had worked for Howard Hughes, even helping to design the famous Spruce Goose and Jan's Dad went along for the first and only ride in that big wooden bird. Susie on the right below in the photograph didn't stop by to visit any of these people, as her heart was set only on Elvis. But I am letting you know why it was OK with my folks for me to occasionally speak on the telephone with a teen heart throb.
All of this leads into me telling you about my close listening lesson ... a music appreciation class in my living room presided over by Frank Zappa (which I may have already done ... I forget and tend to repeat stories).