|The color poster for the first Pinnacle concerts at the Shrine Exposition Hall, on November 10-11, 1967. Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead and Blue Cheer played both nights.|
The Shrine Exposition Hall: The Grateful Dead in Los Angeles 1967-68
The rise of the Grateful Dead is a tale of two cities. The first is San Francisco, where the Dead rose to underground infamy, and the second is New York, where the Dead became economically viable. Dead fans in Manhattan and Brooklyn made playing the city perenially profitable for the band, and that was the platform for expanding their audience to New Jersey, Philadelphia, Long Island, Boston and the rest of the East Coast.
Los Angeles is America's other great entertainment capital, however, and the Dead had an opposite experience when they played Los Angeles. Sure, they sold a few concert tickets, but so did every other band, ever. On the whole, Los Angeles was pretty indifferent to the Grateful Dead in the 60s, and so the story of the Dead in LA is never even addressed.
Los Angeles, more than any other American city, traffics in the glorification of its own history, particularly when it comes to entertainment. LA always celebrates old theaters or nightclubs from brighter days, so often historical sites are better known now than they were back in the day. Looking at the best retro-LA sites, like VintageLA, is like reading about American popular culture history from the inside, and 60s rock history has its place in that world. VintageLA, for example--which I can't recommend enough--has features on the Aquarius Theater and The Whisky-A-Go-Go. Yet it has nothing about the Shrine Exposition Hall, which tried to be the Fillmore scene for Los Angeles. The Grateful Dead were essential to the rock history of the Shrine, as they were for many 60s rock venues, yet the tale of the Dead at the Shrine Expo Hall remains obscured. This post will illuminate the essential role of the Shrine, and the Dead's part in that, and point to why both the Shrine Expo and the Grateful Dead never lived up to Los Angeles expectations (see here for a broader, less Dead-centric rock history of the Shrine Exposition Hall in the late 60s).
|The Shrine Auditorium and Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, at 665 West Jefferson Street|
The Grateful Dead in Los Angeles, 1966-67
The music industry played a huge role in Los Angeles, since so many record companies were based there. However, live performances by rock bands in the mid-60s were focused more on "personal appearances," to keep bands' names and faces in front of current and prospective fans, rather than aimed at persuading listeners to buy records based on the music heard at the show. There were a lot of nightclubs for teenagers, and shows at high schools, that featured brief sets on minimal sound systems. There was a substantial nightclub industry, too, but that was oriented towards selling drinks. Danceable music, like at the Whisky-A-Go-Go, was designed to get patrons hot and sweaty so that they would purchase plenty of liquor to cool themselves down.
None of the existing performance models had any room for the early Grateful Dead. They were a dance band, of sorts, but their audience didn't drink, and in any case was mostly too young. Playing short sets missed the point of the Grateful Dead, and without a good (for the time) sound system, their music didn't make much sense, either. In any case, the long-haired Dead were scary barbarians back in the day, and not necessarily welcomed with open arms at a High School. What the Dead needed were underground gigs, but there weren't initially many of those in an industry town like LA.
When the Grateful Dead made their first assault on Los Angeles, in February of 1966, they attempted to create their own underground scene. The buzz of the Acid Tests had worked its magic in San Francisco, and Bill Graham and Chet Helms had teamed up at the Fillmore to start presenting similar events weekly. This formula failed in Los Angeles, however. The Dead had found some friends and put on some Acid Tests and "regular" shows in February and March 1966. The events, while fun, were thinly attended and made no money. The Dead's trip to LA had been intended to make the band more successful. It failed. Like many out-of-towners before them, the Dead returned home to where they were popular, and re-invested themselves in their previous incarnation. They would not return until the next year, when the band had been signed by an LA record company.
January 20, 1967 Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA Timothy Leary/Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead were booked by Warner Brothers Records to record their debut album the week of January 30. 10 days earlier, the band had a relatively high profile Friday night show appearing with LSD promoter Timothy Leary. The Dead (and certainly not Owsley) weren't that sympathetic to Leary, but they were linked in the public mind. Santa Monica, while not technically LA, was right next to it and was generally seen by everyone as part of Greater Los Angeles, so this show would have counted as a return to the city. The show was well-attended, Leary gave a speech, and the Dead played a set. A good time generally seems to have been had, and the band got paid and got some attention. Warner Brothers can not have been sorry that their underground band was doing something "hip" like this.
There is a plausible rumor that the Dead played a show at the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach on Sunday night, January 22 (later The Cheetah, see April 30 below). That is someone else's research, however, so I won't elaborate. The only point to make here is that if they did indeed play it--and they might have--it remains awfully obscure, so it may not have done too much to increase underground buzz.
|A poster for the first shows at the Kaleidoscope (1228 Vine St), which were blocked by an injunction. The shows may have moved to the Ambassador Hotel in LA for the weekend of April 14-15, 1967|
After the Grateful Dead's first album was released on Warner Brothers in March, 1967, the Dead made some effort to "make it" in Los Angeles. Their first booking was at a nascent underground venue called The Kaleidoscope. The obscure venue is known today mainly for its unique, round posters (well, and my detailed history, too).
The Kaleidoscope was a venture by Canned Heat's managers (Skip Taylor and John Hartmann) to open a Fillmore-style venue in Los Angeles. For 1967, this was quite an inspired booking. Jefferson Airplane had just released Surrealistic Pillow and "Somebody To Love" was climbing the charts, while the Grateful Dead were underground legends who had just released their first album. Canned Heat were unknown to all but a few Los Angeles club goers, but they were an excellent live band. Taylor and Hartmann continued to work on the Kaleidoscope concept, eventually taking over the Earl Carroll Theater at 6230 Sunset (I have written about that venue at length, and VintageLA has the history of the theater itself).
The Friday night before their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, the Dead were booked at the Hullabaloo. The Hullabaloo was promoted by a popular Los Angeles top 40 dj (Dave Hull), and was designed as another teen hotspot. It had a rotating stage, so as one band played, the next band set up. It was LA, and all, and sometimes good bands played the Hullabaloo, but that wasn't why people went. Once again, the sort of stylish teen scene represented by the Hullabaloo was the complete opposite of anything that made the Grateful Dead tick.
In a September '67 interview, Frank Kofsky asked Garcia if he had played in LA.
GARCIA: Yeah, but we've never *really* played LA. We've played in the Cheetah down there.
KOFSKY: Yeah, which is a drag.
GARCIA: We played at all the shit places. And we can never get it on because it always brought us down so much. I mean, the people and promoters down there are all horrible, graspy... The whole LA snap, the whole hype, you know: bread, dollars and cents, and that's it. We've never gotten it on in LA. We've played there but we've never *done* it.
Kofsky mentions the upcoming 9/15 Hollywood Bowl show & Garcia says, "We want to do that just for the flash of playing in the Hollywood Bowl...[but] nothing's gonna happen."
September 16, 1967 Elysian Park, Los Angeles, CA: Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead (free concert)
The Hollywood Bowl, at 2301 North Highland Avenue, is one of Los Angeles' most famous performing venues. The amphitheater is carved into the hillside, and a distinctive bandshell covers the stage. Hollywood Bowl is owned by Los Angeles County (the town of Hollywood was merged into LA in the 1930s), and even in a town of fabled entertainment venues, Hollywood Bowl stands out. Capacity is around 17,000, so events at Hollywood Bowl are major indeed.
In the Fall of 1967, since San Francisco was the hottest city in the rock business, Bill Graham took to booking Fillmore bands elsewhere. Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and The Holding Company and the Dead had very few albums, and almost no hits, but they were legendarily infamous even by this early date. So you might expect that the confluence of them in an outdoor Hollywood venue would make for a major 1967 event. But it didn't. No one seems to recall the show. The only fact I know for sure is that Big Brother canceled and did not play. I have seen a picture of Bob Weir on the empty stage, so I know the Dead made it to the venue.
A useful source explains the shortcomings of the Hollywood Bowl as a rock venue, though not specifically for the Dead. Jimmi Seiter, the road manager for The Byrds, discussed the Bowl in Volume 3 of his voluminous memoirs (The Byrds My Way). Sieter explains why there weren't very many good rock concerts at Hollywood Bowl:
The union in those days hat the long haired hippies so of course the Byrds were put into that category...Another bad thing about the Bowl was that there was a very strict curfew since there were many homes that were affected by the sound of the shows so they had a strict 10:30pm curfew and if there was a problem they would turn off the power to the stage. This made for some very short performances when a band would play too long, but this was one of the drawbacks to a show at the Bowl.So it's no surprise Big Brother dropped out, as there probably wasn't even time for three sets, and if the Dead and the Airplane couldn't play loud, what was the point? So it's no surprise that we have no fond psychedelic eyewitness reports from Hollywood Bowl.
The next day, the Dead and the Airplane played a free concert in nearby Elysian Park. I gather this was fairly well attended, though not a huge event. In many cities, however, any free concert by the Grateful Dead was the first time a major rock band (with a record) had ever played for free, and was also a local hippie clarion call. Ever-hip Los Angeles was different. The Human Be-In set off a wave of similar events around the country, and Los Angeles had had it's first "Love-In" at Griffith Park in March of 1967. So there had already been a fair number of free rock concerts in LA before the Dead and the Airplane played Elysian Park. So the Dead didn't make a big splash with what in most towns would be the stuff of legends.
|The April 7, 1967 LA Times advertised a week-long Sport Cycle (bicycle) show at the Shrine Expo Hall|
Meanwhile, Back At The Shrine
The Shrine Auditorium and Exposition Hall was built in 1925 by the Al Malikah Temple of the Masonic Order. The building is in a Spanish Colonial Style with a Moorish flair. The main entrance to the Auditorium was at 665 West Jefferson Street. The stage is huge (186 by 72 feet) and it is a popular home for the Academy Awards. The Auditorium has 6,489 seats on three levels. The Exposition Hall, part of the same complex but around the corner at 700 West 32nd (at Figueroa) is a 56,000 square foot open area that was (and is) used for trade shows and conventions as well as rock concerts. The Expo Hall had a capacity of about 5,000. In the late 1960s, most rock concert listings that say “Shrine” are typically at the Exposition Hall rather than the Auditorium. From the 1970s onward, however, almost all rock concerts listed as "The Shrine" were at the Auditorium (including the Dead's return in the latter 70s).
|FREAK OUT Hot Spots! Insert to the first Mothers of Invention album, with a map of underground sites in 1966 Los Angeles (Freak Out album released June 1966)|
Los Angeles is an Entertainment industry town, and proud of it. Thus any cultural progression--new contrarian, regressive, progressive, even revolutionary--gets assimilated into modern entertainment. Any performer who can be accused of "selling out" is also buying in, because it's the nature of the beast. In the Summer of '66, with the Vietnam War expanding, the Watts Riots still haunting the city and hair getting longer everywhere, Los Angeles had an underground rock scene, just like the Fillmore and Avalon. We like to think of Frank Zappa as an iconcoclast, or should I say, Frank wanted us to think that, but the very first Mothers Of Invention album included a map to LA's nascent 1966 underground.
One of the founding events of the Los Angeles underground was a show at the Shrine Exposition Hall on August 13, 1966, featuring the Mothers of Invention and several other (then unknown) acts. Just like the Family Dog events in San Francisco, Southern California "Freaks" suddenly realized there were a lot more people like them than they realized. The Shrine was apparently simply rented, probably because it was centrally located and available.
October 15, 1966 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Little Gary Ferguson/Davie Allan & The Arrows/Kenny Dino/The Mugwumps/Dolores Johnson/The Way Out/The Fabs/Vito “Freak-In” Presented By Pat Morgan
In September and October there were sequels at The Shrine Expo Hall. The Mothers headlined in September, with some other undergroundish bands, and there was a light show as well. The October event didn't advertise the Mothers, and there were none after that. I have no idea what happened at the third one--was it a financial debacle, or did the cops hassle everyone? In any case, there were no more Freak Outs, but the Shrine Expo Hall had been proven as a possible venue for Fillmore style "Dance Concerts."
December 18, 1966 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Big Brother and The Holding Company/Quicksilver Messenger Service/Loving Impulse (possibly canceled)
Big Brother and Quicksilver booked a show at Shrine Expo Hall, and a poster circulates. I'm not convinced the concert actually took place. The importance of the poster, however, is it means that word had gotten around that the Shrine Expo Hall might make a Southern California Fillmore stand in.
|An alternate poster for the Dead's November 10-11 '67 debut at Shrine Expo|
November 10-11, 1967 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Buffalo Springfield/Grateful Dead/Blue Cheer Pinnacle Concerts Presents
By the fall of 1967, almost every psychedelic rock band had played Los Angeles, at a wide variety of venues, but there was no venue that played the role of the Fillmore. At the Fillmore, the mere fact of playing there meant you were a hip band, and fans came just to see what was hip. All over the West Coast, there were comparable places--the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Eagles Auditorium in Seattle and The Retinal Circus in Vancouver, for example--but none in Southern California. The Kaleidoscope had been conceived to fill the void, but the City Council (and perhaps the cops) had throttled it pre-birth. There may have been a few hip little nightclubs, like the Magic Mushroom, but no venue where the rising underground bands played on a regular basis.
To tell this story properly, I should tell the entire story of the Shrine Exposition Hall as a Southern California Fillmore. That story is too long to tell here, even for me, so I will limit the narrative to the general outlines of concert promotion at the Shrine Expo Hall, and the critical role played by the Grateful Dead as part of the story.
The first regular promoter of rock shows at the Shrine was Pinnacle Dance Concerts, the partnership of Sepp Donahower, Marc Chase and John Van Hamersveld. Supposedly some of the money was supplied by the heir to a cereal fortune, but that may be apocryphal. Pinnacle promoted concerts at the Shrine, both the Expo Hall and the Auditorium, on many weekends between November 1967 and August 1968. As far as I know, during the week the Shrine presented the usual run of corporate or civic events, but I don't know that for certain.
Van Hamersveld was a poster artist, at the time most famous for the promotional poster for the legendary surf film Endless Summer. By 1967, he was the the head of design for Capitol Records. Over the course of his career, Van Hamersheld did the covers for over 300 albums. Among his many, many classic album covers were the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, the Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street and the Grateful Dead's Skeletons From The Closet. Van Hamesveld did the posters for Pinnacle Productions, and many of the posters were so good that we remain familiar with them today.
After Pinnacle's debut with Buffalo Springfield and The Dead, they put on a series of shows at Shrine Exposition Hall. Pinnacle only used the Shrine on weekends, and not even all of them, and the Exposition Hall seems to have had the usual trade events and the like throughout the whole period. There weren't as many rock concerts at the Shrine as at the Fillmore, but Van Hammersveld's posters are fairly recognizable today. Pinnacle must have made at least some money, since they kept putting on shows.
When I started researching the rock history of the Shrine Exposition Hall, I was very surprised to find that there was no accessible on-line list of the Pinnacle rock shows. As a result--and being me--I made my own list, and posted it elsewhere (I will add, as a Grateful Dead footnote, that the band did not play the Shrine on December 13, 1967, nor did anyone else--it was a Wednesday, so they didn't debut "Dark Star" there).
By early 1968, Jefferson Airplane were selling a lot of records, and they were genuine rock stars. Los Angeles, however, was still about "entertainment." The Airplane played a weekend, with two shows each night, at the Melodyland Theater, just across the road from Disneyland. On Saturday night, the Grateful Dead were billed as "Friends," for whatever reason. It seems both bands played two short sets twice a night. The Airplane had Grace Slick, a genuine star, but the Dead were never going to win over a crowd in that kind of format.
May 17, 1968 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band/Taj Mahal
May 18, 1968 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band/Taj Mahal/[with Jefferson Airplane as unbilled guests] Pinnacle Presents
By May of '68, Pinnacle had put on a steady run of hip shows at the Shrine Expo Hall. For the weekend of May 18-19, the Grateful Dead returned, along with another rising San Francisco group, the Steve Miller Band. The Miller Band had just released their debut album on Capitol, the great Children Of The Future. Taj Mahal was a well-known local act, whose debut album had just been (or was about to be) released on Columbia.
In line with being cool, the Airplane "showed up" at the Grateful Dead concert on Saturday night. This was probably announced on FM radio. Pinnacle would not have had the Airplane drop in if ticket sales had been more robust. It's worth noting that the Dead, Airplane and Steve Miller were all playing the Northern California Folk-Rock Festival in Santa Clara this weekend. The Dead would have played the Shrine on Friday night, flown up to San Jose, played the Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon, and then returned to the Shrine for the Saturday night show.
llumaniti Alert: in an interview, poster artist and Pinnacle partner John Van Hammerseld, interviewed in Paul Grushkin's Art Of Rock book (p.255), says that George Lucas was part of the light show crew at some point in 67-68. So for those of you who feel that there was a secret connection between the Grateful Dead and Star Wars...
July 11, 1968 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dead/Blue Cheer
The Grateful Dead returned in 1968 to headline a rare Thursday show at Shrine Expo Hall. It's hare to read the poster, but I'm not sure if it was a Pinnacle show. Certainly Pinnacle produced the weekend show, with a triple bill of Butterfield Blues Band, Sly and The Family Stone and the Velvet Underground. Presumably, the fact the Dead could play on a Thursday suggested they had an audience, but they weren't a big enough draw for a weekend show. The Dead's weekend booking was at a tiny place on Lake Tahoe's North Shore, so it wasn't like Shrine promoters were being outbid by a high-powered gunslinger from another city.
There is one interesting detail about the July Shrine Expo show: future Jerry Garcia Band drummer David Kemper, then a teenage high
school graduate, had just moved to Los Angeles. In a great Jake Feinberg
interview, Kemper described seeing the Dead at the Shrine, but not
remembering much, "thanks to Mr. Owsley." The timeline strongly suggests
that it was this show.
|Headliners for the Newport Pop Festival in Orange County were Tiny Tim (Sat Aug 3) and Jefferson Airplane (Sun Aug 4). The Dead played Sunday.|
The Newport Pop Festival, a two-day outdoor event at the Orange County Fairgrounds, was just one of many events trying to capitalize on the Monterey Pop vibe. When these kinds of concerts were a success, they generally overwhelmed the venue or the community, but if they weren't as crowded, they lost money. Still, the Newport Pop Festival is somewhat fondly remembered. The Dead played with their San Francisco friends, and got to check in with some other pals. Garcia's old bluegrass compadre Clarence White was playing one of his first shows as the lead guitarist for the Byrds, and the Dead went back a ways with Eric Burdon and The Animals as well.
Still, putting on a good show at a big outdoor event probably didn't do that much for the band. There were a lot of groups, and the Dead probably played about an hour, like everyone else. Some fans probaly liked them, but I doubt that all the high school and college students were still raving about them when school started the next month.
August 23-24, 1968 Shrine Exposition Hall, Los Angeles, CA: Grateful Dea/Taj Mahal/others Pinnacle Dance
Everyone seems to have had fond memories of psychedelic rock concerts at Shrine Expo in 1967 and '68, but they don't seem to have been that profitable. Pinnacle's next-to-last stand was on the weekend of August 23-24, with a weekend of concerts by the Grateful Dead. There was one more weekend of Pinnacle concerts, two weeks later (Sep 6-7, with John Mayall/Junior Wells/Taj Mahal), and Pinnacle stood down.
The Shrine concerts were recorded by the Dead, and released by the band on the 1992 album Two From The Vault. The release, although brilliantly restored, has some very misleading liner notes. All of the pictures on the archival cd are from the Auditorium rather than the Exposition Hall. The liner notes, full of details about frequency response, seem oblivious to the fact that there were different venues in the same building.
|An ad for a canceled concert at the Shrine Expo Hall on September 27-28, 1968, presented by "Zenith Sunrise," and featuring the Grateful Dead and Buddy Miles Express|
The Pinnacle company fell apart after August. An intriguing artifact is this poster for scheduled Grateful Dead concerts at Shrine Expo on the weekend of September 27-28. The poster says the shows will be presented by Zenith Sunrise. The concerts never happened. Presumably, Zenith Sunrise was a reformed version of Pinnacle, but it didn't happen. Much of the Pinnacle team reconvened as Scenic Sounds, and started putting on shows around Southern California. The Dead were very loyal to promoters, so I assume that if they took the September booking, it would have been with the same principals as Pinnacle.
October 18, 1968 The Bank, Torrance, CA: Grateful Dead/Cleveland Wrecking Company
December 13-14, 1968 The Bank, Torrance, CA: Grateful Dead/Magic Sam/Turnquist Remedy
Over in suburban Torrance, what was formerly the Blue Law had been reconfigured as The Bank. A group of hippies, one of whom had inherited some money, put together the Fillmore-like operation. On one hand, Torrance was more or less the suburbs, which was where young rock fans lived. Places like Torrance were also where the local police absolutely, positively did not want some hippie establishment.
The Bank had opened in July. A lot of cool rock bands played there in the Summer and Fall, even more so once the Shrine was no longer booking shows. Pink Floyd and Ten Years After both played there, as did a number of San Francisco bands. The Grateful Dead played The Bank in October, and then again at the very end of the line, in December. By the end of '68, so many people were getting busted at The Bank that crowds had dramatically thinned out. This was exactly what the cops wanted, and spelled the end of the venue. The window for a Fillmore-style ballroom in Southern California was closing.
|Scenic Sounds presented Country Joe and The Fish and the Grateful Dead at the Shrine Exposition Hall on December 20-21, 1968. The Dead never played Shrine Expo Hall again.|
The Pinnacle group reconstituted itself as Scenic Sounds. I know that John Van Hammersveld was the Art Director for Capitol Records by this time, and the cereal heir was gone (if he was ever really there). Scenic Sounds rented Shrine Expo Hall again for a few more shows in the Fall. Near Christmas, Scenic booked the Dead again, this time with Country Joe and The Fish as headliners. It is largely forgotten that outside of San Francisco, Country Joe and The Fish had a higher profile than the Grateful Dead.
Apparently there were two stages, so there could be more bands. Pulse was.a peculiar act, a conga player with a light show, and the drums apparently triggered the lights. Sir Douglas Quintet and Mint Tattoo were Bay Area bands, so it must have been a long evening. Country Joe and The Fish didn't really have a bass player at this point, so Spirit's Mark Andes filled in for the weekend, according to witnesses.
Yet with that, the Grateful Dead never played the Shrine Exposition Hall again. Pretty much, that was the end of Shrine Expo as a meaningful rock venue. Sure, promoters rented it once in a while, and there were occasional rock shows. In fact, there still are. Not often, but sometimes. The Shrine Exposition Hall is still a going concern, and now and again there is a concert there.
Still, the narrative for the Grateful Dead in the 60s in Los Angeles is the opposite of practically everywhere else. In New York, in Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest, in Miami, in Philadelphia--the Dead rolled into town and stuck a flag in the ground. Buoying every new psychedelic ballroom, playing the first free concert in town, playing longer and louder than anyone else. It was the stuff dreams were made of. Los Angeles isn't like other towns, however, and is proud of it. The Shrine Exposition Hall was just another venue. Sure, there were some great shows, because great bands were on tour, but Shrine Expo didn't have a big impact on Los Angeles culture or music, even though it's bona fides were as great as any other contemporary venue.Aftermath: Pacific Presentations
The significant impact of Pinnacle concerts at Shrine Expo was the genesis of subsequent concert promotion companies. The Pinnacle team became Scenic Sounds. In early '69, Scenic Sounds started booking regular concerts on weekends at the Rose Palace in Pasadena. The ever-loyal Grateful Dead played for Scenic twice more at the Rose Palace, on March 21-22, 1969 and then again on May 10.
Pacific grew into one of the largest concert companies in the United States, promoting thousands of concerts all over the US and Canada. The company established and popularized venues such as the Hollywood Palladium, and the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Pacific put together California Jam in 1974, which set the record for paid attendance. The company also promoted entire tours of Rod Stewart & The Faces all through the 1970s, helping make the artist one of the biggest attractions in the world. In the late 1970s, Gary Perkins, Brian Murphy, and Bob Bogdanovich split from Pacific and formed Avalon Attractions. Danny Kresky was also with Pacific. After around four years, Danny left to start his own company, DKE in Pittsburgh. Donahower stayed with Pacific and promoted tours with Bob Marley & The Wailers and other attractions.Sepp Donahower is currently the sole owner of Pacific Presentations. After Perkins left Avalon a few years later, Irving Azoff and Bob Getties bought into Avalon and it was sold to SFX a few years later. SFX was then sold to Clear Channel, and Clear Channel spun off their concert company into Live Nation, which now has merged with Ticketmaster.