A Look Back at Michael Jackson's Bay Area Appearances

Michael Jackson never graced the Bay Area with a solo show, though the Jackson 5 did perform its second official concert as a Motown act at San Francisco's Cow Palace on June 19, 1970, appearing as the opening act for Tina Turner and Rare Earth; they returned to the venue in 1972 and 1973.

J5 was back in the Bay Area the following year for a staggering seven shows at the Circle Star in San Carlos, dancing and singing around the unique rotating stage of this legendary (and now defunct) theater in the round, and a concert at the much-larger Oakland Coliseum at the end of the year.

“In San Francisco and Los Angeles, it looked like the walls were falling, the way hundreds of them–the girls–came at the stage all together,” Jackson, then 12, told Soul Magazine after their first visit in 1970. “But we have to practice getting away too, so we're ready to drop everything and run.”

In 1979, Jackson sat down with the still-alive Soulbeat TV of Oakland, the city where his father Joseph spent several of his formative years, to conduct the above interview, though it is unclear where it took place. While much of it is drowned in Herb Alpert's trumpet, it's still a treat to hear him talk about his favorite subjects in school and his mother's original career aspirations.


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