Cal Jam 1974 is 40!

Sunday April 6th is the 40th Anniversary of the famous Cal Jam Festival concert.   One of the more known pieces of concert video, and was the period where Tony Iommi didn’t wear a mustache.  :)  

Anyway, I wanted to mark the occasion of this event with a few pieces.  One of which is new artwork from Sabbath fan Mohammed Osama. The dude has done a lot, and he’s come up with this cool drawing to commemorate the date.  In fact, he was the one who reminded me of the anniversary!  :)  Check it out:

Cal Jam 1974 Artwork

Cal Jam 74 AdvertThe setlist they played was:

  1. Tomorrow’s Dream
  2. Sweet Leaf 
  3. Killing Yourself to Live 
  4. War Pigs 
  5. Snowblind 
  6. Sabbra Cadabra (with Jams)
  7. Guitar Solo 
  8. Drum Solo 
  9. Sometimes I’m Happy 
  10. Supernaut
  11. Iron Man (with “Sabbra Cadabra” reprise)
  12. Paranoid (encore)
  13. Embryo / Children of the Grave (enc0re)

Pretty strong set.  In fact, here are some videos of it. The first video is a compilation, the rest are individual songs.

Black Sabbath Live Cal Jam 74



  1. mikesline says

    I Was too young to go but i went with my father to drop off my older brother ,we were stuck on freeway for hours,my brother n’ his partner had to walk off freeway to attend,to this day when we pass by on the freeway i look at site and think “sabbath jammed there” speedway long gone ,looks like open area today.

  2. I’ve actually heard that this is the best recorded concert they ever did. Done on the same day as that classic Deep Purple MK 3 concert as I recall, right?

  3. Brian Metcalfe says

    Sometimes I’m Happy what album is that off of,happy 40th anniversary Cal Jam Great drawing Mr. Osama Thanx again Joe for your great research Black Sabbath 4ever

    • it’s not on any album its something that they used to perform live– i first heard it on “live at last” when it first came out

  4. Aside from the music, two things struck me about this performance back in the day: Black Sabbath wearing light pastel colors, and no mustache for Tony. Nice little cartoon there by the artist, but it has Geezer using the same amp brand (Laney) as Tony…minor quibble.

    • Mohammed Osamaa says

      Thanks everyone for the nice compliments regarding the artwork , I just wanted to comment and say that I tried to make the artwork as detailed and faithful as possible to how the band appeared at the Cal Jam 74 ! the looks , cloth and gear (Iommi’s legendary Gibson ‘Monkey’ sg , Geezer Butler’s custom John Birch bass and that white coil cable) , also notice that Geezer Butler did indeed use the ‘Laney’ Supergroup 100w amp heads back in the early 70’s and particularly at Cal.Jam (check the footage) , Tony Iommi used the very same amp heads back then ,actually one of his main tricks of his vintage tones was plugging his guitar into the ‘Bass’ channel of the supergroup rather than the ‘Treble’ , the signature tone came from the combination of his Laney Supergroup amps driven by the famous ‘Range Master’ treble booster back then.

  5. It would be nice if they released this on cd officially and ofcourse remastered.

  6. It’s spelt ‘moustache’ ;-)

  7. Fishtowner says

    This was an awesome concert. From what I have heard they stole the show that day.

  8. Great work Mohammed! Probably one of the best illustrations I’ve seen of Sabbath in recent memory! Classic!

  9. MacGregor says

    It is a great pity that there isn’t any decent live concert footage of Sabbath at this monstrous concert! The classic Deep Purple MK3 performance shows a belligerent Blackmore is fine form indeed, not to mention Lord & Paice & a rather young David Coverdale & an over the top ego tripper in Glenn Hughes! The Sabbath material would also be awesome because of the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath songs, & maybe some Volume 4 perhaps. I am not sure as to the set list, Killing Yourself To Live I think I have seen rough footage of somewhere! Emerson Lake & Palmer were also there, Brilliant!
    What a gig eh? Sure don’t see anything like that these days! Definitely don’t see anyone doing a Blackmore, with his guitar smashing into a camera & also setting the stage on fire! What a legend he is! Bravo!

  10. MacGregor says

    Whoops, that will teach me for not paying attention to the above info! It is all there, shame on me!

  11. Those ‘cartoon’ figures of the band are the same as in the Comedy Central series, TV Funhouse. Check it out here:

    Either way, pretty funny.

    “Nice little cartoon there by the artist, but it has Geezer using the same amp brand (Laney) as Tony…minor quibble.”

    Take a look at the last photo above. Being that it was a huge festival event, I’m sure it wasn’t their usual backline…

  12. Bob Edwards says

    Thanks for sharing Joe. A fantastic moment in rock and roll history. Amazing concert, and I love Ozzy’s comment, “Wow man, I’ve never seen so many people in my life.” lol

  13. Bob Edwards says

    The artwork is a great way to commemorate too. Thanks Mohammed. Looks great!

  14. I will see this concert on DVD…but its not on DVD…why?J

  15. That photo on the bottom use to be a poster you could buy in 70’s .

  16. George B. says

    So when are they finally going to release this on DVD? The Deep Purple performance from this concert has been out for years!

  17. Awesome ! Love it !!

  18. Havnt we seen these cartoon figures somewhere before,from what I can remember the cartoon had Ozzy calling Tony Superbrain and a large dog and Bill being totally unintelligable

  19. This was widely regarded as the greatest gig ever Sabbath and Purple together, I think Purple headlined or was it ELP, but Sabbath topped them both as ever. blackmore famously smashed the camera with his strat in a typical Blackmore fit ,these old school festivals were brill

    • MacGregor says

      Purple were the headline act & according to Jon Lord, Blackmore wouldn’t go on until sunset as that was the original deal! After being verbally threatened by some ‘nob’ official, he obviously decided to turn it on big time! Classic it is! I doubt Sabbath, as good as they would have been, would get close to Purple at that gig! Purple from what I have read from stories by other musicians from other bands & also journalists, blew everyone away! It was the ultimate headline finale! ELP would have been awesome also no doubt! Three of the classic big names of British rock! Ah, those were the days indeed!

      • someone else who also was great live and i believe played that morning was rare earth — and i laugh now because in 74 having rare earth sabbath and purple and whoever was just a great bill could you see rare earth on the same bill as sabbath today—lolol yet rare earth is also still doing it and is still a great live band to see but how times have changed

  20. This show has been out for awhile and is titled “Cannabis Confusion”.
    The sound is pretty good with Tony Iommi on fire during the “Sabra Cadabra” suite.

  21. how time has moved on i have seen Sabbath 3 times, Purple once and God Blackmore once in the last year all maybe for the last time, but here’s hoping for more, have to say Sabbath are on a different planet for live performances now, Purple were good but miss Bl,ackmore.

  22. Think I was in 7th grade for Cal 1…Had to settle for stories from elder siblings. Listened to Cal 2 from a vineyard near the raceway. Used to have that same Sabbath poster when i was a kid. Anyone know where I can get one?

  23. I was there. I was 16. My Dad gave me 3 tickets and told me to get lost for 3 days. WOW! He was a policeman. This really confused me at the time. A policemans son going to the 2nd biggest drugfest in the world and HE bought me the tickets? I was just right of center stage. They started letting us in around midnight. The PA playing Steely Dan’s Ricky don’t lose that number. The gate guys just opend the gates and we hauled ass to the front. It was the best of the 2 Cal Jam’s. I was just out of the Army when Cal Jam 2 happened and went again. At 2 I wondered around more to meet people and enjoy everything happening. My Wife tripped out when on some of the footage at Cal Jam 1she saw me air jamming with Geezer Buller in the crowd. Those were the days. The US festivles just didn’t do it like Cal Jam 1 and 2. They seemed like Apple advertising with rock bands added. Long live Cal Jam…

  24. Any Major Dude says

    Dad was a cop and gave you tix…Awesome! Would have Loved to have attended and forever have the memories but just one problem…I was only 3. However, Jimmy (speaking of), “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” WAS my favorite song that summer! First ‘favorite song’ ever. Guess I was learning to count at the time and the ‘number’ lyric caught my attention. My old man bought ‘Pretzel Logic’ and I would jam out to the track on those BIG headphones whenever he would play it on the stereo. Would constantly annoy him, asking him to play it again when it was over. Little did I know, the whole LP was a gem – ESPECIALLY Track 3!

    Anyways, seeing the lineups of both CJs, this first one seemed like the obvious better one to go to. Better period as well being that very many consider ’74 to be the last truly Great year in Rock. The genre was healthy enough four years later, but much else (punk, disco, new wave) either diluting it or at least (through AOR people) attempting to do so. Just seeing footage of this very show of how far up and away the stage was to even the very front of the crowd, perhaps, may have inspired some ‘angst’ amongst punkers. Got no disrespect over that genre nor the other ones mentioned (good enough stuff from each of the three), but FM-rock/’Classic Rock’ will forever be KING to me and any such seemingly ‘distance’ from its fans ‘indulgent’/’corporate’ it was accused of becoming by some (fair or not), I wouldn’t have been rubbed the wrong way. Simply would have Loved to have been there (even with ‘Mark II’ no longer intact); and simply seeing footage of Bob Welch being joined by Mick and GODDESS Stevie four years later for “Ebony Eyes” makes me say just about the same for CJ2.

    Question is – back to this first one – if all acts involved do play 40 years later, who headlines?? Being that Sabbath/OZZY in-general had much more establishing to do and Hotel California (Joe Walsh) and the Legacy that would follow was still two years away, I’m sure ELP & DP – all very much due respect – likely don’t get the nod for even penultimate set.

    1974 – a great time sadly long gone! Different world today. I’m grateful that I, unlike many my age, actually remember enough of it. Just wish I would have had more ‘mature’ memories of it as all you do (no Star Wars yet, even). My little sis being born (a couple weeks before this concert, actually), running down the stairs to get a diaper for my Mom to put on her and falling on my head (had to get stitches, I survived), my parents buying the VW van that summer with “Rock the Boat” playing non-stop, and the road-trip us three took to (“Please Come to”) BOSTON that fall, us picking up hitchhiking hippies on the way…I’ll take those memories just the same.

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