Friday, August 8, 2014

August Jam, 1974


   Forty years ago an estimated 200,000 fans converged on Charlotte Motor Speedway for the August Jam rock concert.  Headliners included Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers. 

   Wow, what a lineup! Wish I could've gone despite the problems that cropped up. The event was organized by Stan Kaplan, owner of the popular radio station WAYS. When the concert was over Kaplan said he 'will never be part of an outdoor concert again' due to gate crashers and lost revenue.

Did you go?

Were you a gate-crasher, LOL?

  
 August 9 - 11, 1974

Ticket stub from the Internet. 
Man oh man did they spell Foghat wrong!


'Rock enthusiasts arrive for concert - jam session begins at 11 a.m.'
Martin Rose/Staff



'Youths wait for concert to begin.'
Jeep Hunter/Staff
Youths may be passed out.

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Gate Crashers: 'The worst episode occurred about 8 a.m. Saturday. About 8,000 youths gathered in front of the main entrance and stormed the gates. They were beaten back five times and rock fans already inside pelted security guards and ticket takers with bottles and caps.'
Staff photo.

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Stan Kaplan, organizer of August Jam and his wife, Sis. 
They co-owned Charlotte radio station Big Ways.
1975. Staff photo.

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   One concert-goer said 'Everybody's high on something. It could be drugs, booze, sex music or the happening, but everybody's high.'
Staff.



'The Charlotte Motor Speedway was a Sunday mess, so more than 100 youths were hired to help clean it up. Don Bunday, who came all the way from Chicago to Charlotte - about 700 miles - for the concert, ran out of money. So he spent Sunday helping to clean up the mess, and earning $2.50 an hour besides. They didn't have far to truck it - a landfill is in the Speedway.'
Phil Drake/Staff

Want more? Click here > Summer of 1978 movies, concerts, etc.


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Had a blast. Followed the crashers in friday night on the high bank curve wow was it steep. Then Sat AM 3 of us climbed a wire harness to the top of the press box and watched the show in leather swivel chairs. ELP did the synthesizer and the quad went behind us even tho spkrs were all in front. Crazy. Despite the madness there was no violence as you could imagine there would be these days. Lots of kids enjoying a beautiful day of sun and music, amoung other things we dont talk to our kids about :). Wikipedia has a good write up on it too.

Maria David said...

Anon - what a fantastic comment! It must've been awesome.

Anonymous said...

12 bucks. Good Lord.

Anonymous said...

Def a first class event by Kaplan very organized except for gate crashers that were no problem except those who forked out 12 bucks and jealous they hadnt waited to crash.
No rain. No mud. No distractions. No filthy Woodstock mess or ODs.

ELP very professional. Tucker always good. Allman Bros with New Orleans Chuck Levell on the piano excellent.
Single day event was all that was needed. No trouble no problems.
Thank you Mr. Bruton Smith. Very professionally run.

Anonymous said...

I did not attend this event but it looks like a good time was had by all.

Thank you Stan & Sis Kaplan for WRNA/WROQ, Charlotte's fierce little FM broadcaster of hip and cool Laura Nyro, Janis Joplin, Allman Brothers and The National Lampoon Radio Hour.

Anonymous said...

overrated joplin was dead as of oct 4th 1970 in los angeles from a drug od but she did teach robert plant how to sing/scream.

Anonymous said...

I counted 11 VW Beetles in the first photo.

Maria David said...

Anon 3:34 - nice! Plus at least one Pinto and a VW bus!

Anonymous said...

'74 was cash only. He made 2 mill easy. Over 300,000 attended.

Anonymous said...

Wow this brings back many foggy memories , 12 bucks 14 years old had a blast

Anonymous said...

What about the big event held at Memorial Stadium a few years before August Jam? Rod Stewart and the Faces were the headliners. Other acts included Free, John Mayall, and others I can't remember.

Anonymous said...

Leon Russell in Oct '72 at Memorial was packed out.

Maria David said...

I saw Ted Nugent at Memorial stadium in the 70s. Ran out of cigs and had to buy filterless Camels at the concession stand. Ack!

Anonymous said...

Good one.

They need more like YOU !

Anonymous said...

I had the good fortune of working backstage for it. Great wild memories and I got some $$ when I left the next morning in a daze. The Allman Brothers were incredible that night as were all of the acts. Wish there was a video of it. Those were the daze! :-)

Anonymous said...

working backstage doing what?

there was no back stage.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the all an bros showed up.. So u might of hallucinated that...

Anonymous said...

ABB played. Eagles canceled.

Anonymous said...

Didn't go to August Jam but went to a show in Rockinham at their speedway (what year?. Graduated HS in 1974 but I think Rockingham show was later? Very good time. Can't believe I made it out of the seventy's, eighty's alive.

Maria David said...

Anon Sept 8 - I graduated in '79 and wonder the same thing. Tx for the comment! Maria

James F. Hyman said...

I drove to the concert in VW bus with friends, was glad to pay 12 dollars to see and hear the best concert of my life.




Unknown said...

I went and had the time of my life!!!!! Unforgettable experience

Anonymous said...

me and my buddy Pat were traveling around the country in a step van named "Majaraja" found out about this and made our way from Greenville with a group of folks the day before. Met a girl called Melon and wow what a time we had. Partied the night before, during the concert, and through the rest of the night afterward. Long trip back to Greenville but man,, this was worth it.

Anonymous said...

It was the best of time...drugs...rock n roll...what more could one want...so much of music so much of pot ...unbelievable and no i was not a gate crasher but had seen them coming thru in droves...

Anonymous said...

Facebook has a page ONLY for those who attended the August Jam. The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/AugustJam74/

I am the administrator and we are happy to welcome anyone who was at the Jam. For obvious reasons people in the group want to keep it private, since we talk about everything that happened there. :-)

If you go to the link above you can request to join.

Hope to see you there! We have lots of great stories, photos and the only known footage taken at the August Jam.

~Tammy

B Sansbury said...

What a fun time. I was 16 and me and buddies drove up from Darlington. We had bought tickets in advance but didn't need them because the fences were down. There was a guard standing by two poles taking tickets while people walked in beside him through the downed fence. We gave him our tickets since we had already bought them. Why not.?. I remember seeing naked people, high people, drunks and no fights. Everyone just wanted to have fun. The announcement came across the loud speakers, "don't take the window pains, they are bad acid". Ambulances continued in a steady stream throughout the day. Greg Allman passed out on stage from heat exhaustion?. We saw ELP as the piano lifted into the air and spun around while still being played. Black Oak Arkansas dropped paper visors from a helicopter that said, Get High on the Hog Yall. What an atmosphere of fun and great music.
B Sansbury

maciste said...

I was there and had a blast. The Allman Bros. did indeed show up. I was right up front for their whole set. The only bad incident was the gate crashing and some unfortunate police dog injuries. Last of the great festivals.

Anonymous said...

My friend Denny and I got there on Tuesday, we hitch-hiked from OH. We were 16. I bought my ticket for $5 and some mushrooms, she got mad at me for getting in without her, but the gate got crashed and the guards and dogs scattered and she just walked in. The entire parking lot was set up according to what was available, cocaine lane, acid alley etc. The was a big fire of a farm house next to the race-way, people kept saying save the plants don't step on the plants, they were so high they tried to put the fire out with their clothes, some of them got burned from getting too close. The police and fire dept. didn't get there until the farm house had burned to the ground and the hippies weren't happy they tried to destroy cruisers and fire trucks. It was an awesome concert, I got passed out bodily when I realized I had been in a vehicle with the Allman Brother's band members on Friday night, the police were about to take me to the hospital and some how I miraculously spotted the guys from NorthBend IN that were giving us a ride home...we hit five things getting out of the parking lot, people cars and a pretzel truck. (Nobody was hurt) The entire 6 days was a blast!

Billy Beasley said...

I went with a buddy.We did pay.It was a crazy time.

Anonymous said...

I was there . Arrived on Thursday before the show and camped out in a quiet grass field and went to sleep . I woke up when I heard a ruckus a few hours later .I Crawled out of my shitty little tent and saw A mob of concert goers in what was a empty field . There was a glow in the sky which was the huge barn fire in adjacent field as described in previous post ... this was my Woodstock ! I recall the fire.. the police car was being trampled by a bunch of guys for no apparent reason.the barn was already burnt to the ground . On my walk back to my tent, we met some dude who had a stack of tickets for sale .. he hired my buddy and I to sell them and give him 50% of proceeds ... we sold all the tickets and made 300.00 of tickets in 15 minutes . We never saw the guy that gave us the tickets again . Little did anyone know that the fences were coming down the next day and tickets were optional.

The Summer of 1974 was a milestone in my life... A high school buddy of mine and I Left Buffalo, NY 2-3 days after hs graduation and hitched all over the country... New Orleans,California , acid party in Albuquerque, Chicago all over ..We heard word about this Jam concert on the road and headed strait there . Everyone was great , lots of drugs, very cool crowd, great music. ELP was my music highlight . At end of show everyone as wet and muddy.. buddy and met some girls and headed to a motel for a much needed shower and sleep with our new found financial bonanza .. I miss those days but if they continued I surely would be dead by now!