California Jam

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California Jam
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California Jam 1974
Genre Hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal
DatesApril 6, 1974
Location(s) Ontario, California, USA
Founded by ABC Entertainment, Sandy Feldman and Leonard Stogel
Attendance250,000 (tickets sold)

California Jam (also known as Cal Jam) was a rock music festival co-headlined by Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, held at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, on April 6, 1974. It was produced by ABC Entertainment, Sandy Feldman and Leonard Stogel. [1] Pacific Presentations, a Los Angeles-based concert company headed by Sepp Donahower and Gary Perkins, coordinated the event, booked all the musical talent and ran the advertising campaign. Don Branker [2] worked for Leonard Stogel and was responsible for concert site facilitation, toilets, fencing and medical. The California Jam attracted 300,000–400,000 [2] paying music fans. The festival set what were then records for the loudest amplification system ever installed, the highest paid attendance, and highest gross in history. It was the last of the original wave of rock festivals, as well as one of the most well-executed and financially successful, and presaged the era of media consolidation and the corporatization of the rock music industry.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Festival organised series of acts and performances

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.

Deep Purple English rock band

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. The band is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

Contents

Performers

Acts that performed at the festival in order of appearance:

Rare Earth (band) American rock band

Rare Earth is an American rock band affiliated with Motown's Rare Earth record label, which prospered from 1970–1972. Although not the first white band signed to Motown, Rare Earth was the first big hit-making act signed by Motown that consisted only of white members.

Earth, Wind & Fire American band

Earth, Wind & Fire is an American band that has spanned the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, dance, Latin, and Afro pop. They have been described as one of the most innovative and commercially successful acts of all time. Rolling Stone called them "innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing" and declared that the band "changed the sound of black pop". VH1 has also described EWF as "one of the greatest bands" ever.

Eagles (band) American country rock band

The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971. The founding members were Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. With five number-one singles, six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and six number-one albums, the Eagles were one of the most successful musical acts of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of their albums, Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) and Hotel California, were ranked among the 20 best-selling albums in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America. By 2006, both albums were among the top three best-selling albums in the United States. Hotel California is ranked 37th in Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" and the band was ranked number 75 on the magazine's 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Deep Purple's performance was one of the first with their third line-up, which included the vocalist David Coverdale and the vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes. Deep Purple was given the choice of when to go on stage, and chose to go on during sunset, thus pushing Emerson, Lake & Palmer to the last performance. Assuming that, as with all festivals, the show would run late anyway, they still waited when the festival was actually ahead of schedule. Angry concert organizers tried to force Deep Purple to go onstage, and then threatened to cancel their performance. A quick thinking announcer told the crowds that Deep Purple would be coming on "soon". The band made concertgoers wait nearly an hour until near dusk before they went on stage. Richie Blackmore, the Deep Purple lead guitarist, has said the concert agreement at Cal Jam was always for Deep Purple to go on stage at dusk, and concert promoters were in violation of a signed agreement. In spite of this delay, the show did not end up running late. [3] At the end of their concert, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore threw a guitar, and a small speaker monitor out into the audience, and suddenly attacked one of the network's video cameras (the camera had been getting between Blackmore and the audience) with a guitar. Later on, a mishap with a pyrotechnic effect caused one of Blackmore's amplifiers to explode, which briefly set the stage on fire. Deep Purple left the concert area by helicopter to avoid a possible confrontation with Ontario fire marshals and ABC-TV executives. The damage to the ABC video camera was estimated to be $10,000, later settled by the band managers.

David Coverdale English singer

David Coverdale is an English rock singer best known for his work with Whitesnake, a hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, after which he established his solo career. A collaboration with Jimmy Page resulted in a 1993 album that was a commercial success. In 2016, Coverdale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple, giving one of the band's induction speeches. Coverdale is known in particular for his powerful blues-tinged voice.

Glenn Hughes British singer-songwriter

Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

Ritchie Blackmore British guitarist and songwriter, guitarist of Deep Purple

Richard Hugh Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter. He was one of the founding members of Deep Purple in 1968, playing jam-style hard-rock music which mixed guitar riffs and organ sounds. During his solo career he established the heavy metal band Rainbow, which fused baroque music influences and elements of hard rock. Rainbow steadily moved to catchy pop-style mainstream rock. Later in life, he formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night, transitioning to vocalist-centred sounds. As a member of Deep Purple, Blackmore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016.

The weather on the day of the Cal Jam concert was unusually warm for April. At one point in the late afternoon, thousands of plastic gallon jugs were handed out to the audience, who were able to fill the jugs up at the many drinking fountains set up on the grounds. During the prolonged delay waiting for Deep Purple to hit the stage, restless concert goers began tossing their water jugs in the air. More and more of the audience joined in, until the air above the crowd was filled with hundreds of water jugs flying around, spraying water over the audience.

Deep Purple's California Jam performance, along with some of the performances by other bands, was broadcast on TV and radio nationwide in the US. It was at this festival that the footage of Keith Emerson playing a grand piano spinning end-over-end 50 feet above the ground was taken.

Keith Emerson British keyboard player and composer

Keith Noel Emerson was an English musician and composer. He played keyboards in a number of bands before finding his first commercial success with the Nice in the late 1960s. He became internationally famous for his work with the Nice, which included writing rock arrangements of classical music. After leaving the Nice in 1970, he was a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), one of the early progressive rock supergroups. Emerson, Lake & Palmer were commercially successful through much of the 1970s, becoming one of the best-known progressive rock groups of the era. Emerson wrote and arranged much of ELP's music on albums such as Tarkus (1971) and Brain Salad Surgery (1973), combining his own original compositions with classical or traditional pieces adapted into a rock format.

Attendance and technology

Don Branker Branker Jam I.jpg
Don Branker

The concert set a record for the largest paid attendance at such an event. Although more people attended the festival at Woodstock in New York, only a few thousand had purchased tickets.

Another record established at California Jam was for the largest (most powerful) concert sound system ever assembled, particularly from the demands of Deep Purple, who were identified as the "loudest band in the world" by the Guinness Book of World Records . Tycobrahe Sound Company combined the touring systems of Deep Purple, Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Earth Wind and Fire, and Rare Earth (each manufactured by Tycobrahe),[ citation needed ] plus 16 feet (4.9 m) bass horns from Phoenix Sound and several folded bass horns from Flag Systems. Total power was 54,000 watts RMS, provided by a number of BFA-2000 amplifiers, manufactured by Tycobrahe.

<i>Guinness World Records</i> reference book containing a list of world records, for both human and natural records

Guinness World Records, known from its inception from 1955 until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records and in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records, is a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. The brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver, the book was co-founded by brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter in Fleet Street, London in August 1954.

The Goodyear blimp hovering overhead was a first for a music festival.[ citation needed ] Deep Purple arrived for the concert in their own chartered jet, the Starship, with their name painted on the plane's sides, the first time a major band arrived specifically for a music festival in their own plane.

Another first was the setting of the stage sets for each band on rails, allowing rapid changeover to the next band, thus eliminating delays and allowing the rock festival to run on time; in fact, ahead of time.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's touring sound system was set up about half a mile from the stage and timed with a tape delay to coincide with the sound from the stage.[ citation needed ]

Broadcast, telecast and record releases

Unlike other rock festivals such as Woodstock, the concert was not planned for release as a film or sound recording. However, the ABC television network (which was also a sponsor of the concert) broadcast several portions of the show as part of its In Concert series several months later. The audio portion of the show was also broadcast in stereo on FM radio stations, an early example of simulcasting. KLOS FM (then owned and operated by ABC) promoted and broadcast the concert around Los Angeles.

Deep Purple's California Jam performance was the first full-length music concert film to be released and sold on video tape in the early 1980s.

Several performances from the show were eventually released on CD and video, both in bootleg and authorized form. One of the more notable bootleg recordings was from a fan who tried to pass off his recordings of a recording from the radio broadcast as something he created.[ citation needed ] His web site was shut down after he tried selling his unauthorized products without creative approval from the artists involved and the producers of the festival.

Authorized releases include:

Cultural impact

A sequel concert, California Jam II, was held March 18, 1978.

A Facebook page called California Jam created by Allen Pamplin has become a focal point for attendees, organizers, and bands to submit photos, movies, and memorabilia.

Book

A special limited edition photo book of 1,000 copies (some with band autographs and purple vinyl) was compiled by Simon Robinson and released as:

Deep Purple at The California Jam published by Rufus Stone Limited Editions (UK), 2013.

See also

Related Research Articles

Emerson, Lake & Palmer musical group from England

Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson; singer, bassist, guitarist and producer Greg Lake; and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer. With nine RIAA-certified gold record albums in the US, and an estimated 48 million records sold worldwide, they were one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands in the 1970s, with a musical sound including adaptations of classical music with jazz and symphonic rock elements, dominated by Emerson's flamboyant use of the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, and piano.

Rainbow (rock band) English rock band

Rainbow are a British rock supergroup led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, active from 1975 until 1984, 1993 until 1997, and 2015 until present. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after their first album, Blackmore fired the backing members and continued with Dio until 1979. Three British musicians joined in 1979—singer Graham Bonnet, keyboardist Don Airey and then-former Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover—and this line-up gave the band their commercial breakthrough with the single "Since You Been Gone". Over the years Rainbow went through many personnel changes, with each studio album recorded with a different lineup, and leaving Blackmore as the band's only constant member. The singers Joe Lynn Turner and Doogie White followed Bonnet, and numerous backing musicians have come and gone. In addition to Blackmore, Rainbow's current lineup includes Ronnie Romero on vocals, Jens Johansson on keyboards, Bob Nouveau on bass and David Keith on drums.

Jon Lord English musician

John Douglas “Jon” Lord was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice Ashton Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men. In 1968, Lord co-founded Deep Purple, a hard rock band of which he was regarded as the leader until 1970. Together with the other members, he collaborated on most of his band's most popular songs. He and drummer Ian Paice were the only continuous presence in the band during the period from 1968 to 1976, and also from when it was reestablished in 1984 until Lord's retirement from Deep Purple in 2002. On 11 November 2010, he was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College in Edinburgh, Scotland. On 15 July 2011, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree at De Montfort Hall by the University of Leicester. Lord was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 8 April 2016 as a member of Deep Purple.

Smoke on the Water 1973 single by Deep Purple

"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the English rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. In 2004, the song was ranked number 434 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, ranked number 4 in Total Guitar magazine's Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water" at number 12 in its list of the 100 greatest guitar tracks.

<i>Brain Salad Surgery</i> 1973 studio album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Brain Salad Surgery is the fourth studio album by English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released on 19 November 1973 by their own record label, Manticore Records, and distributed by Atlantic Records.

<i>Made in Japan</i> (Deep Purple album) 1972 live album by Deep Purple

Made in Japan is a double live album by English rock band Deep Purple, recorded during their first tour of Japan in August 1972. It was originally released in December 1972, with a US release in April 1973, and became a commercial and critical success.

California Jam II

California Jam II was a music festival held in Ontario, California, at the Ontario Motor Speedway on March 18, 1978 and produced by Leonard Stogel, Sandy Feldman, and Don Branker. More than 350,000 people attended. The event was promoted by Wolf & Rissmiller Concerts. The festival was a sequel to the original California Jam held in 1974.

The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen was a 1973 rock festival which once received the Guinness Book of World Records entry for "Largest audience at a pop festival." An estimated 600,000 rock fans came to the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway outside Watkins Glen, New York on July 28, 1973, to see the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band perform.

<i>Live in London</i> (Deep Purple album) album by Deep Purple

Live in London is a live album from Deep Purple. It was recorded on 22 May 1974 at Gaumont State in Kilburn by the BBC for radio broadcast, but was unreleased on vinyl until 1982. It features the Mk 3 lineup of Blackmore/Coverdale/Hughes/Lord/Paice during the tour for their album Burn.

Space Truckin song

"Space Truckin'" is a song by British hard rock band Deep Purple. It is the seventh and final track on the Machine Head album and its lyrics talk of space travel.

August Jam

August Jam was an outdoor concert held on Saturday, August 10, 1974, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway outside Charlotte, North Carolina, in the United States. The concert promoter was Kaleidoscope Productions and it was sponsored by radio stations WAYS and WROQ. The concert featured The Allman Brothers Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils, PFM, Grinderswitch, and others. The Eagles were booked to play but canceled. It was the largest concert ever held in the state of North Carolina and one of the largest in the U.S. at that time, with an estimated attendance in excess of 300,000.

<i>Live in California 74</i> 2005 video by Deep Purple

Live in California 74 is a live DVD of the first California Jam concert performance from Deep Purple released in 2005. It was recorded and aired live by ABC-TV on 6 April 1974 at the Ontario Speedway near Los Angeles, California. This concert was one of the first ever music concerts issued on videotape and laser disc in 1981 under the title California Jam in Japan and the UK.

<i>California Jamming</i> live album

California Jamming is a live album by British hard rock band Deep Purple, recorded in 1974 and originally released in 1996, it was re-released as a remastered edition in 2003 with the complete concert including the missing track "Lay Down, Stay Down".

Concert 10 was a rock concert at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, on July 8 and 9, 1972. The event attracted an estimated 200,000 people who were met with cold inclement weather, replete with rain and mud. The general atmosphere of the concert was compared to the Woodstock Festival of 1969. Concert 10 represented a successful revival of the American summer rock festival after the repeated failure of U.S. festivals during the previous two years.

The Deep Purple European Tour was a year-long successful concert tour by British hard rock band Deep Purple, lasting from July 1969 until June 1970. The band played mostly United Kingdom shows, also covering Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. It was the first tour to feature the classic Deep Purple line-up: Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. It is considered to be the pre-tour for the In Rock album, as the band mostly played songs from the upcoming album.

The In Rock World Tour was a successful worldwide concert tour by British hard rock group Deep Purple. The tour began in July 1970, after the release of their album In Rock, and lasted 15 months, until September 1971. The band visited 3 continents, with dates in the UK, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Iceland, Luxembourg, Canada, USA and Australia.

Canada Jam was a rock music festival concert held at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada, about 100 kilometres east of Toronto, on August 26, 1978. The festival was produced by Sandy Feldman and Leonard Stogel, who produced California Jam and California Jam II, and was sponsored by Carling O'Keefe. It attracted over 110,000 fans, making it the largest paying rock event in Canadian history at that time. The Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto a.k.a. "SARSfest" featuring the Rolling Stones and AC/DC eclipsed that mark with an audience of 450,000 people on July 30, 2003.

References

  1. Stu Beitler (May 25, 1979). "Chicago, IL Jumbo Jet crashes on take off, May 1979". gendisasters.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  2. 1 2 donbranker.com
  3. Moody, James (1997). Concert Lighting, Second Edition: Techniques, Art and Business (2nd ed.). Focal Press. p. 67. ISBN   978-0-240-80293-0.