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Author: Subject: California Jam 1974

True Peach





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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:33 PM


By David Allen
Staff Writer

Twenty-eight years ago, Richard Nixon was hanging onto the
presidency, Hank Aaron was about to break Babe Ruth's lifetime
home run record and OPEC ended its oil embargo against the
United States.

And in Ontario on April 6, 1974, a West Coast rock festival
created as an answer to Woodstock drew an astounding 200,000
concertgoers.

Rock fans converged on Ontario Motor Speedway for the
one-day California Jam, which featured such acts as the Eagles,
Deep Purple and Earth, Wind and Fire over the course of 12
hours.

Sponsored by ABC, portions of California Jam were broadcast
over four nights. As one stoned-sounding surfer dude put it in
a man-in-the-crowd interview during the broadcast, ``This is
the mellowest concert California's ever had!'' Another fan
predicted that the concert was such an event, the Beatles would
reunite onstage.

Paul Treadway, who was mayor in 1974, said Ontario had never
seen anything like California Jam -- and hasn't seen its like
since.

``This was the largest thing that ever happened here,''
Treadway said. ``It was another city here for a day. It was
enormous.''

Nearly three decades later, California Jam is just a
footnote in rock history, one of the last of the huge festivals
that began with the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, continued
with Woodstock and Altamont in 1969 and wound down by the early 1970s amid bloat, poor planning and outbreaks of violence.

Given Ontario's population growth since 1974, most current
residents probably have no idea their city once hosted an
outdoor concert so huge, some fans were a full mile from the
stage.

``You never think of that many people gathering in
Ontario,'' reflected Maricarmen Ruiz-Torres, curator of the
Ontario Museum of History and Art. ``The Eagles, Black Sabbath
-- it must have put some people over the edge.''

News accounts of the concert use the phrase ``sea of
humanity'' to describe the audience on the grass at the
now-defunct speedway, which was located just north of
Interstate 10 between Haven and Milliken avenues.

Aerial photos of the concert bear out the ``sea of
humanity'' cliche. So many people are massed together that from
the air, the crowd looks like a march on Washington.

``It was just overwhelming, the number of people,'' recalled
Lloyd Scharf, then a patrol officer who helped with security
and now is Ontario's police chief.

Forget peace and love, though: California Jam was sponsored
by a corporate media giant, ABC, which created the event and
then aired it on the network's late-night ``In Concert'' series
-- making the festival perhaps an early example of synergy.

Prefabricated though it was, California Jam had
authentically popular acts. In order of appearance: Rare Earth;
Earth, Wind and Fire; the Eagles, with a guest appearance by
Jackson Browne; Seals and Crofts; Black Oak Arkansas; Black
Sabbath; Deep Purple; and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Among the visual highlights were Deep Purple guitarist
Ritchie Blackmore lighting his guitar and amplifier ablaze, and
Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson playing a
piano that was suspended in the air and then spun in circles.

Thanks to good planning and a security staff of 700, the
concert was a marvel of organization.

Rare Earth went on at 9:45 a.m., 15 minutes early, and the
rest of the acts also took the stage on time, with the concert
ending as scheduled around 10 p.m. A railroad car was used to
wheel one act offstage while the next act was wheeled on,
minimizing down time.

Stars stayed at the local Holiday Inn and were flown to the
concert by helicopter. To keep fans away, the message sign
outside the motel read: ``Welcome Western States Police
Officers Assn.''

Ontario's City Council allowed the concert with reluctance,
with even supporters fearing the worst from the rock and roll
crowd, including drugs and deaths. Critics decried city
participation in an event that could prove to be a bad moral
example for local youth.

The concert turned out to be relatively tame. No one died
and arrests were scant, although the 250 police officers, from
several Inland Valley police agencies, were badly outnumbered.
Photos in the Ontario Police Department files show marijuana
use, a fan freaking out in the medical aid ``bummer tent'' and
lots of public nudity and urination.

Scharf recalled watching 30,000 gate-crashers tear down a
fence to get in for free. There was nothing he or his partner
could do.

The real problem was traffic. Cars were backed up on the
freeway as far as 13 miles. Unable to get to the concert,
hundreds of people abandoned their cars by the side of the
freeway -- sometimes four deep -- and walked to the show. Some
700 cars were later towed. Meanwhile, the parking lot was half-
empty.

Despite the problems, Scharf said he preferred the festival
crowd to the typical speedway audience, which hit the streets
after a race in a Mario Andretti frame of mind.

``At least these (California Jam) people were mellow,''
Scharf said.

With a crowd of 200,000, California Jam was not the largest
festival of its time. Woodstock, Watkins Glen and Altamont drew
300,000 to 600,000 fans. However, those festivals had so many
gate-crashers that the majority of people got in free.

Despite gate-crashers at California Jam, ticket sales were
168,000 -- at the time the largest single-day paid attendance
in U.S. rock concert history.

That made the festival a financial smash, with a gross of $2
million.

Promoters later said the festival pumped more than $7
million into the local economy. Supposedly there were 900,000
hot dogs sold at the festival.

Concertgoers also left 30 tons of trash, which took a
platoon of 62 workers eight days to remove.

Treadway, the former mayor, said he considered the concert a
success.

``It really focused (attention) on Ontario. It made our name
known,'' he said. ``It was not only nationwide, it was
international. We could not have purchased the publicity we
acquired from that.''

ABC aired the festival in truncated form over four nights
that May and June and won an Emmy for sound.

No concert album was released, nor was the show later put
out on videotape.

However, in the 1990s, Deep Purple's set at California Jam
was released on video and CD. Other performances circulate
underground on bootleg CD and video.

One of California Jam's biggest fans was never at the
concert.

Bronx resident Scott Lifshine remembers the day a high
school classmate excitedly told him a concert with all their
favorite groups was airing that night on TV -- with
simultaneous broadcast on the radio in stereo.

Lifshine said he ran home from Coney Island that night after
missing his bus so he could capture the simulcast on his
reel-to-reel tape recorder. This was before VCRs, of course.

Now a limousine driver, Lifshine unearthed the tapes from
his closet in the late 1990s and has indefatigably tried to
drum up interest in them ever since.

``I hate to say pirate, but I'm the only one who pirated the
performance off the radio, or captured it,'' Lifshine said.

He burned copies onto CD and tried to donate them to the
Ontario Museum of History and Art, along with a video he bought
of a portion of the broadcast.

Maricarmen Ruiz-Torres, the museum curator, was initially
enthusiastic, writing to Lifshine: ``This donation figures
among our finest!''

But legal issues surfaced since rights to the material are
apparently controlled by ABC.* Ruiz-Torres returned the video
and CDs to Lifshine.

``People have to have the rights to material they donate to
us,'' Ruiz-Torres said.

Lifshine said the decision broke his heart. But he continues
talking up the concert on Internet chat groups for Deep Purple
and other bands -- to the point where he has been banned from
some groups as a pest and one fed-up fan wrote a derisive song
about him.

Lifshine visited Ontario last fall and stopped by the Daily
Bulletin to talk about the concert.

``This is a piece of Americana. It's forgotten. How can it
be forgotten? And it happened right here,'' Lifshine said.

Lifshine, who is given to hyperbole, declared of his tapes:
``This should be the biggest thing since King Tut.''

Ruiz-Torres just laughs, but she does think Lifshine's
audiotapes have a measure of historical value.

``That's a significant thing he has. Not just Ontario
history, but pop culture history,'' she said.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:34 PM
After Robslob mentioned the 1974 California Jam I decided to look up all the videos I could find. I know the set list are not in order and all the songs are not included, but I did the best I could. I love the Deep Purple set and Seals and Crofts also. I liked all of the performers. I remember they showed a lot of this stuff on in concert.I have not seen a lot of this footage, so this for the folks that have not seen it all and the ones that have.


EMERSON,LAKE AND PALMER

"Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression" -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PnEQyY7rgo

"Karn Evil 9 - 3rd Impression
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjCM4HzRL8g

"Great Gates of Kiev"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzKOqlVVlDY

"Tocatta"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqTP2D2jgZM

"Still You Turn Me" On & "Lucky Man"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTh43lRBqUo

"Piano Improvisations"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP9L9BovVWE

"Take a Pebble"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5mhfGzAbbM

"Lucky Man"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm7-cysfE2c



DEEP PURPLE

"Burn"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YuQMIeK28U&feature=related

"You Fool No One"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5CoGJevTuo

"Might Just Take Your Life"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLSEQUhn8eU

"The Mule"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsXzzbU6ajQ

"Mistreated"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNn-VECpagQ

"Lay Down, Stay Down"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JAVUiADsG4

"Smoke On The Water
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1sAkZF7SCQ

"California Jam 1974 Ritchie Blackmore"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzMKfchvoGY

"Glenn Hughes Solo California"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d11MN-oUgkY



BLACK SABBATH

"Children of the Grave"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRhZISswW_k

"War Pigs"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LG0eedSwoE

"Killing Yourself to Live"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BPo94eiVQM

"Paranoid"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyE49EdnW2Y

"Iron Man" AUDIO ONLY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg9uExGyHI0

"SnowBlind " AUDIO ONLY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjp9ryCyVzs

"Sweet Leaf" AUDIO ONLY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulPxsdki-iM



BLACK OAK ARKANSAS

"Mutants of the Monster"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXHnGLFpUEU

"Jim Dandy"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYSGYNYoOxQ

" Dixie"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrI5m8t5yrs

"up"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agW8Yf4GfPw



SEALS AND CROFTS

"Hummingbird"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSmWu8ZOwgA

"The Fiddle Song"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC4YI5I5oB8

"Diamond Girl"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FPbGcQS3kY

"High on a Mountain"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2rNSWGBnaA

"Ruby Jean & Billie Lee"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hozs7rwtgNw

"Unborn Child"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-9YheuSPG0

"Windflowers"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVOkEi4DsH4

"The Gate"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn46TBQuUIw

"Ridin Thumb"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP0Q86M6_Js

"Standin on a Mountain Top"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9kwQz-8wHM



THE EAGLES

"Take it Easy"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyCaSVOIqts

"Midnight Flyer"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWjGzIPI3ro

"James Dean"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwWcLVz1hGs

"Already Gone"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQx8S2rj-Io



EARTH,WIND AND FIRE

"Keep Your Head to the Sky"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAuyLrPZO-Y

"Time is on Your Side"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUx2MoMs_CM

"Come On Children"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j20T2WdGmZo



RARE EARTH

"I Just Want to Celebrate"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhgyCpWZam0

"Hey Big Brother"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTWehDrC0ok





California Jam 1974 Interview Compilation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSVhDEFT4ZU

Ozzy Osbourne Interview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6pHKSK2wq0

California Jam 1974 Sepia Montage REALLY COOL !!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAc0Xu4yxaQ

Let us know if you were there..that would be interesting.








[Edited on 11/6/2008 by OldDirtRoad]

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:48 PM
Wow, these are great Kenny, wish i wasn't at work where I could watch them all. Shame this has never been released on dvd.

I did watch all of BOA's Up though, what a song!

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 01:57 PM
quote:
Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson playing a
piano that was suspended in the air and then spun in circles.
I saw that tour for ELP that year!
Another dreat post Kenny.

 

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Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 02:04 PM
I just remembered I saw the Deep Purble tour that year also.
My ears are still ringing!!!

 

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Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 02:14 PM
quote:
quote:
Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson playing a
piano that was suspended in the air and then spun in circles.
I saw that tour for ELP that year!
Another dreat post Kenny.




I saw that tour too. It was pretty cool Keith strapping himself to that piano/stool and rose up and started spinning.


I saw ELP with The Allman Brothers the same year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1974, called the August Jam. Just a few months after the California Jam. That was a big thing back then. I remember watching the CJ on TV. Very awesome concert.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 02:15 PM
Man, Thanks Kenny for putting all together. Very nice stuff.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 02:17 PM
Check out Greg Lake chewing that gum and singing on Lucky Man............

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 02:21 PM

Very Cool Kenny!

I was at California Jam 2 in 1978. The only bands I
can remember off the top of my head are Heart,
Mahogany Rush, Ted Nugent and Aerosmith.
Definetly like the Lineup at Cal Jam 1 a whole lot better!

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush Kicked Ass though!


 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 04:28 PM
Great Videos... Thanks Kenny

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 04:39 PM
Is that Jackson Browne playing with the Eagles?
 

True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 05:28 PM
quote:
Is that Jackson Browne playing with the Eagles?


Yes it is.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 06:29 PM
Black Oak kicked Butt at Cal jam...I finally got their set on both audio & video...

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 10:09 PM
thanks again Kenny, thumbs up

This was the very first concert I ever went to in my life. An older sister got stuck with me and her and the boyfriend said " when the music stops playing come back to the van"
I didn't get to see much of what was happening onstage but I did see lots of boobs.
A great part of any kids rock and roll education.

 

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  posted on 11/6/2008 at 10:11 PM
I never realized how much Arse the Bernie Leaden/Don Felder Era of the Eagles kicked. Boy they sounded great with Jackson Browne.

You were too fast to live, too young to die- James Dean

 

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  posted on 11/7/2008 at 01:08 AM
Damn, Kenny, you do some NICE stuff, MAN. Really enjoying the Cal Jam memories................so great were they in their youth.............Eagles........Sabbath................Purple

 

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  posted on 11/7/2008 at 06:28 AM
quote:
they were in their youth.


Yes, so was I...18.

 

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  posted on 11/7/2008 at 09:40 AM
Had to give this a bump this morning...........there is some GREAT stuff here. Check out Black Sabbath, "War Pigs".........The Eagles (w/ Jackson Browne)........."Take It Easy"..............Black Oak Arkansas............"Dixie". I forgot how hot a live act BOA really was, even though I was at this show.

I didn't even bother with the Deep Purple stuff, I have the DVD of their entire set, and every bit of it is great.

 

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  posted on 11/7/2008 at 11:56 PM
Didn't Dave Mason play ?
I thought he and maybe Santana too ??

or am I getting confused with another festival ??

 

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  posted on 11/8/2008 at 12:13 AM
quote:
Didn't Dave Mason play ?
I thought he and maybe Santana too ??

or am I getting confused with another festival ??


Nope, neither of those acts played at the Cal Jam.

 

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  posted on 11/9/2008 at 12:19 PM

 

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  posted on 11/9/2008 at 12:30 PM
quote:
quote:
Didn't Dave Mason play ?
I thought he and maybe Santana too ??

or am I getting confused with another festival ??


California Jam II was a music festival held in Ontario, California, at the Ontario Motor Speedway on March 18, 1978.

Musical acts featured at the festival included Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Santana, Dave Mason, Foreigner, Heart, Bob Welch (with special guests Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood), Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush and Rubicon.

The festival was a sequel to the original California Jam held in 1974. Moejimbo above mentioned many of these artists. I would've like to been at both of them.




[Edited on 11/9/2008 by steadyhorse]

 

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  posted on 11/9/2008 at 01:13 PM


I could not find near as much video for the 2nd one, I found some. But not enough to do a second tribute. I wish I could.

 

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  posted on 11/9/2008 at 01:33 PM
quote:
Wow, these are great Kenny, wish i wasn't at work where I could watch them all. Shame this has never been released on dvd.


The Deep Purple Set is available on DVD.

I keep hoping to see a release of Sabbath and ELP.


I watched all four parts on the ABC In Concert show. great memories thanks Kenny

 

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  posted on 11/10/2008 at 12:07 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Didn't Dave Mason play ?
I thought he and maybe Santana too ??

or am I getting confused with another festival ??


California Jam II was a music festival held in Ontario, California, at the Ontario Motor Speedway on March 18, 1978.

Musical acts featured at the festival included Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Santana, Dave Mason, Foreigner, Heart, Bob Welch (with special guests Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood), Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush and Rubicon.

The festival was a sequel to the original California Jam held in 1974. Moejimbo above mentioned many of these artists. I would've like to been at both of them.



I was at CJII. It was some kind of great day!! Yep, sequels rarely have the impact of the original...but if I'm not mistaken, more people attended the second one. A lot of water went under the bridge between 1974 & 1978 though.

There's bootlegs circulating of Bob Welch's entire set that day. Haven't seen much from other acts. There was a two LP set that came out about a year after CJII...nothing from Bob Welch on the LP, I guess his record label wouldn't give clearances for any of his set. His band was on fire...and especially for having to play at 9am!!!!

 
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