"C'mon everybody, let's get high!"We’re going to take a step way back in rock history today, to a festival at a racetrack about an hour east of Los Angeles.
California Jam took place April 6, 1974, at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, Calif. The show is sometimes referred to as one of the last from the great rock festival era, with a crowd of about 200,000 gathering to see, among others, Deep Purple; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; Seals and Croft; the Eagles; and Black Sabbath.
“You never think of that many people gathering in Ontario,” Mari Carmen Ruiz-Torres, curator of the Ontario Museum of History and Art, told the Inland Valley (Calif.) Daily Bulletin in a story printed April 4, 2002. “The Eagles, Black Sabbath – it must have put some people over the edge.”
Unlike other festivals, Cal Jam was not planned for release as a film or an LP. However, several portions of it were broadcast on ABC television, a festival sponsor. The show was also simulcast on some FM stations.
Several recordings from this show have surfaced over the years. Extensive bootlegging and demand eventually led Deep Purple to release California Jamming, an audio and video accounting of their legendary set.
Recordings from the Black Sabbath set have also been widely circulated, with only one song being officially released (I think). The text file that came with these recordings indicates today's post possibly came from a “source” tape. “The main things that convince me that this is an actual source tape,” says the note, “are the lack of cuts which would be indicative of a boot LP of this length (at least four sides of wax), and the inclusion of ALL of the between song dialogue INCLUDING almost 2 solid minutes between the main set and the encore of nonstop soundboard audience noise through the on-stage mics. None of that is common in the boot LP world.” [sic]
The final song, “Children of the Grave,” was removed from the recording I have, that being the song that was officially released.
Killing Yourself to Live.mp3
Sabbra Cadabra (begins).mp3
Tony Iommi solo.mp3
Bill Ward solo pt. 1.mp3
Bill Ward solo pt. 2.mp3
guitar/Orchid/Sabbra Cadabra (ends).mp3