If you've been idly wondering why you've never seen Aretha Franklin, wonder no more: you simply haven't had the chance. In part due to a fear of flying, the reigning queen of soul hasn't played the Bay Area in over 30 years.
That oversight is rectified -- hallelujah -- on August 10, 2015, when Aretha Franklin plays the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Tickets, ranging $42.50–$185.50, go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 13, at 10am.
It's a little hard to pinpoint exactly when Franklin last played in the Bay Area. The Oakland Tribune archives have a terrific photo of her at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos in 1976, while a People magazine profile documents her playing the same place (lovingly remembered here by the Chron’s Peter Hartlaub) in 1978.
(Incidentally, it was with this information that I, two years ago, concluded that Aretha would probably never play the Bay Area again, and bought a plane ticket to catch her at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. With a 22-piece band, a great setlist and Aretha's voice still strong, the show was worth every dime.)
Here's where you come in: is 1978 really the last time Aretha performed in the Bay Area? Surely, there must have been some tribute in the park, some national anthem, something in the last 36 years, right? Especially since her 1986 album Aretha, produced by '80s hitmaker Narada Michael Walden, was recorded partially in San Francisco and Sausalito?
If you can dig up a more recent show from your memories, let us know. In the meantime, let's all just be glad that Aretha Franklin is finally returning to bless us with her presence -- seeing her belt out "Respect" is something that should be on everyone's bucket list.