The Eagles played to 200,000 at the music festival, California Jam, held at the Ontario Motor Speedway outside of Los Angeles. The concert was produced by ABC and simulcast on TV and radio on May 10th, 1974. Jackson Browne filled in on several songs with the band in the absence of Don Felder, whose wife went into labor on the day of the concert.
California Jam from above. Photo by Mark Sullivan.
Two stages were used that were perched on 600 feet of railroad track. As one band played, the other stage was set up for the next act, then rolled onto center stage. The stages can be seen under the striped canopies. The semi-circle of trailers behind the stages were the bands’ dressing rooms.
The Eagles played a 45-minute set (only 20 minutes was televised)
(Not in order of performance)
Take It Easy
Peaceful Easy Feeling
Below is a clip of the Eagles’ intro from the radio simulcast on ABC’s KLOS-FM in Los Angeles:
Heading to the stage:
L-R: Glenn Frey (behind the door), Don Henley, Randy Meisner, Bernie Leadon, and road manager, Richie Fernandez.
Bernie, Randy (blue shirt), Glenn and Don
Randy at Cal Jam.
According to Jennifer Meisner, the eagle on his shirt was hand-embroidered by a fan.
Photo ©Jeffrey Mayer
Photos by Julian Baum
Randy performing “Midnight Flyer” from On The Border, which had just been released:
The footage below includes the five songs that aired in the televised concert on May 10th, 1974:
“Take It Easy”
Post-show interview with Bernie Leadon (San Diego Door, May 14, 1974)
Although Bernie talks mostly about the band’s music and albums up to 1974, he did voice his frustration to interviewer Greg Leonard about the band’s mid-day performance at Cal Jam:
“Bernie had just returned from what he felt was a frustrating performance in the mid-day heat. When I met him he was nursing a glass of champagne trying to relax after the tension of playing outdoors, with no prior soundcheck, before nearly 200,000 people.”
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