Texxas Jam 1st July 1978

Texxas Jam 1st July 1978
Authored By John Nicholson

The Texxas World Music Festival, which was held annually in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas from 1978 until 1987, showcased the best in hard rock at that time. The inaugural event in 1978 was a massive bill for top bands and great up and comers. The Texxas Jam was created by Louis Messina, promoter of Pace Concerts in Houston, and David Krebs, manager at the time of Ted Nugent and Aerosmith.

The promoters wanted to emulate Cal Jam II also held that summer, not least because it had been so profitable. So they put together an absolutely irresistible roster of bands. 

Even before the show, upward of 20,000 people from multiple states camped in front of the Cotton Bowl on the night before the show, eager to get and get close to the stage. 

The gig featured some big names such as Aerosmith and Ted Nugent. Van Halen were still a new band, playing their first major US tour. Head East were a popular touring band, Heart were mired in record company hassles, Mahogany Rush were not shifting millions of records but Frank Marino was something of a guitar hero. 

Journey were on the verge of becoming the biggest AOR band on the planet, leaving their prog-fusion roots behind them. Atlanta Rhythm Section were riding a wave of popularity on the release of their Champagne Jam album and a hit single ‘So Into You’ the previous year.  Eddie Money was about to have a big hit with ‘Two Tickets to Paradise.’ Walter Egan was on the charts with a hit single too. 'Magnet and Steel’ peaked at #8. 

So everyone was selling tickets or records or both. 

Cheech and Chong performed Skits In-Between Bands. Indeed, the Jam was a full-fledged festival, complete with a carnival midway and a movie theater, among various attractions. But in 1978, it's safe to say that the comedy of stoner legends Cheech and Chong was every bit as beloved as even the biggest bands on the bill were. 

Over 100,000 people packed into the Cotton Bowl on a roasting hot day (120 degrees on the field) so hot that promoters set up a hose on the stage and began dowsing the fans with cold water to try and keep heat stroke at bay. 

By 1978, rock festivals were no longer part of the counterculture in the way they were ten years earlier. Things had changed and changed a lot. The one day fest was becoming entrenched as an expression of rock culture. 

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