f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Fans jam Paul Revere concert

Posted Friday, March 8, 2013, at 12:00 AM

Feb. 15, 1968 Southeast Missourian

With cameras in hand, record album covers held high and rapt attention showing on their faces, teenagers listened and shouted their approval of Paul Revere and the Raiders at the Arena Building on Feb. 14, 1968. An estimated 3,500 young people shoved and crammed their way into the building in what was said by some to be the largest crowd to attend an event there. Doors were broken and glass was smashed in the crush of youngsters. (Missourian photo by Bill Hampton Jr.)

Swooning Teens in Big Push to See Revere Group

"It was probably the biggest push in the history of Cape Girardeau."

Just a comment from an adult at the Arena Building Wednesday night observing the 3,500 pushing, screaming, swooning teenagers attending the concert of the popular "Paul Revere and the Raiders."

The crowd began gathering at 3:30 in the afternoon and unable to contain their enthusiasm, pushed the glass out of three of the front doors before the scheduled opening time of 7.

Nine police officers were on duty. One youth cut his leg when the "rear forces" shoved him against the broken glass. But this didn't stop him from seeing the concert. He handed his ticket to the collector at the door, walked in and found a seat. His name was not learned, officials said.

The Inter-Dormitory Council sponsored the concert.

Carroll D. Walker, dean of students, said he had never seen an entertainment group more well-received. Among other things tossed to the audience as souvenirs were fragments of a guitar broken into pieces by Mark Lindsay, who heads the Raiders.

Dean Walker said primarily, it was junior high and high school pupils who were first in line around the doors.

L.W. McDowell, park superintendent, stated the sponsoring organization will pay for damage to the doors estimated at $250. These are terms of the contract signed with any group wishing to use the city facilities, he added.

Mr. McDowell said seating capacity is about 3,000 in the Arena and the remainder of the audience was standing in any vacant spot they could find.

Editor's Note:

A brief article published Feb. 12, 1968 noted the concert was a Valentine show sponsored by the Inter-Dormitory Council. Also to appear with the Raiders were the Exiles, Freddie Cannon and Brian Hyland. Transportation for college students was to be provided from the divide in front of Academic Hall.

Birthday anniversary:

Mark Lindsay will be 71 years old on March 9.

Paul Revere turned 75 on Jan. 7.

It was reported in 1949 that a record crowd of 2500 people squeezed its way into the Arena for the semi-finals of the regional basketball tournament.

Previous blog:

Crowds pack Arena for basketball


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  • The kids watching this Beatles movie at the Esquire were a little better behaved.


    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 12:05 AM
  • I find it hard to believe (although I know it must have happened) that Paul Revere & the Raiders played a small venue like the Arena in the late 60's. They were a very hot act. I saw them at the 14K seat Mid-south Coliseum in Memphis at about the same time. Must have had a very open date to play in Cape. Of course, the likes of Elvis and others performed there, too. Was in the dressing room recently and thought that I'm in the same room as ...... well, many that I would have like to have seen. Did see Loretta Lynn, Johnny Tillotson, Gary Lewis.

    -- Posted by JungleJim on Sat, Mar 9, 2013, at 11:23 PM
  • Oh Jungle Jim, they were there! It was the first concert I ever went to--I was 14. There was no larger venue in Cape or the surrounding area at that time. It was so much fun! My dad took me to it and stayed out in the lobby because he couldn't take the loud music and screaming. I don't remember the doors being broken-I'm wondering if I ever even knew it!

    Believe it or not, Blue Oyster Cult was scheduled for the Arena Building sometime in the early to mid seventies but refused to turn down their equipment and the city cancelled the concert.

    Also there were the Grass Roots and Black Oak Arkansas. Whoopie!!

    -- Posted by Maxine_the_Magnificent on Thu, Mar 14, 2013, at 1:21 PM
  • Nice story and picture of the crowd, however, very dissapointed that you didn't include some live pix of the Paul Revere & the Raiders on stage.

    -- Posted by Beatle Bob on Tue, Feb 11, 2014, at 4:45 PM