August Jam, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1974 (UPDATED August 2015)

AUGUST 2015 UPDATE – I went through the negatives, photographed each with a bellows and micro lens on a digital camera body, pulled the best ones and created a NEW AUGUST JAM GALLERY for your reminiscing pleasure or anthropological research.  

The photos below are scans of actual paper prints I made in the darkroom in 1974; the new gallery uses those same 1974-vintage 35mm negatives converted to digital and enhanced a little in Lightroom and occasionally Photoshop. The new phrase is “hybrid workflow”, which usually starts with a film negative and ends with a digital image ready for printing or online display. Aspiring and seasoned film photographers may want to explore hybrid because it can speed the process of getting work online if that’s its final destination. It allows for creativity impossible under an enlarger, like compositing multiple negatives into one print. I can’t compare the quality of negatives scanned on a consumer-grade flatbed scanner and those photographed with a quality macrography lens (55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor in this case), but I have no desire for a scanner after seeing how quickly and accurately I can digitize negatives this way.

A manual LumoPro LP160 flash fires through its wide-angle diffuser, a sheet of frosted lexan to get the most even light I can, the slide copier’s diffuser, negative, bellows-mounted micro lens and onto the camera’s sensor. The photo below was shot on Eastman 2238 separation film at ASA 12 and processed in Xtol stock for 9 minutes at 68 degrees. The dried negative was photographed at ISO 100 with the flash at 1/16th power and lens at f/16, though I probably need to reshoot this and the concert at a wider aperture to keep down potential diffraction. I kept the histogram hugging the right without clipping the highlights, just like with regular digital photography. The great thing about hybrid is that a photo editing program can be used to make final adjustments.

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Welcome to those of you who got here by way of either BathroomDarkroom.com, our film photography chronicle-ette (it hasn’t become as expansive as in my original vision), or AugustJam.com, the new URL that points to this post that has become way more popular than its parent site. Maybe you read about the photos in Larry’s Look at the August Jam or watched his commemorative video and started searching. Maybe you just punched in the Jam to see what’s out here.  However you got here, I’m glad you made it and hope you enjoy your stay. People who only want to look at photos of the 1974 concert they remember – or sort of remember – can skip all the text and scroll straight there; those not quite sure will want to read a little further.

By way of quick introduction to myself, this site and the concert that brought us all here, I was a 15-year-old aspiring pro photographer in 1974 and blessed to get backstage with a camera at what NBC’s Larry Sprinkle called “the Carolinas’ version of Woodstock”. Decades later, our 15-year-old daughter asked if I’d teach her film photography.  I put together BathroomDarkroom.com to chronicle a little of what we did. That started me looking through my expando-folder of old prints from my home darkroom in my parents’ house, which turned up quite a few from that bewildering event. The natural thing to do was to write this post for aspiring film photographers and talk about what happens when darkroom technique is below par and prints start to show their age years down the road. That , it turned out, was just the start…

august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert foghat band

There aren’t a lot of August Jam photos online so these started coming up in searches by those of us who happened to remember it and wanted to step back forty years in time; sort of like poking around to see what’s become of an old high school or college flame… Ya’ll were kind enough to leave some comments to let me know that I had connected with at least a few of you, which is way more than I expected.

My ego got its biggest boost, though, (frankly – it’s one of the things that keeps photographers photographing) when I got a call from Larry, who told me that it was the Jam’s 40th anniversary, that he was putting together a video segment to commemorate it, and asked to use some of my photos. I happened to be standing on the somewhat remote beach sand of Kill Devil Hills, NC (OBX for you Marylanders) when the phone rang, but through the miracle of Kodak film technology from decades ago, a CrashPlan online backup of the scans for the site, a WiFi hotspot from my phone and the blessing of having our photographer-daughter’s PC with Photoshop back at the beach house, I was able to get high-resolution files to Larry that night.

Larry did even more magic by tracking down 40-year-old video straight from the bands, with Reuben Wallace editing it all down to a great three and a half minute video that you can watch here. The fact that bands were able to deliver digitized 16mm video from so long ago, so quickly, is itself amazing. A big salute to all of you techies for dropping whatever you dropped to get the clips out to Larry. This video is quite a news reel of one little part of the history of North Carolina and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and I’m honored that Larry tracked me down for some of the weekend’s photos. My mid-70’s high school mornings were filled with Larry as the voices of Big Olllllle Funky WAYS (nod to Chuckie Boo Baron) and WROQ radio stations’ maintenance man Hubert “That pigeon’s probably miles from here by now” Gleason, Myers Park aristocrat Parker Myers, Big E(lvis), Brother Bill Taker of the Pass The Loot Club and countless others from as far away as Sic Syk Lee Street and Battlestar Gastonia.  Thanks, too, Mister Murry. Uh, Mister Murphy.  That’s Robert Murphy in the Morning to the rest of us.

Had the concert been today, I’d have taken thousands of digital photos instead of 200-250 film photos. Hard to believe I shot that few rolls, but we amateurs didn’t think in terms of thousands of images back then, and buying twice what I figured I’d need wasn’t in the budget. I’d expose more film than that during a World 600 stock car race at that same track, but I knew what to expect from them. I obviously didn’t realize what kind of history I was walking into that August weekend. Some of the NASCAR Photos might find their way into another article.

We return you now to our regularly scheduled post

august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd

This is a great example of what came out of my bathroom darkroom in 1974.  It’s fun pulling out old prints to look at, scan and put online for the two or three of you reading this the way more than two of three good enough to stop by.

This concert was one of my early big-time shoots.  It was concert promoter Stan Kaplan (Kaleidoscope Productions, WAYS and WROQ radio stations), with wife Sis’s money so the story goes, who thought that Charlotte needed to host an outdoor concert after the success of the California Jam in April of that year.  I’ve seen stats from various sources including an August 29 Wilmington (NC) Star News article that say 50,000 people were expected, but the actual was closer to four or five times that.  Dad told me that a lot of the tackled gate crashers on Friday night before the Saturday show actually had tickets!  They tore down a double perimeter of chain link fence, trampled two guard dogs and generally destroyed the infield in preparation for the Saturday show.

august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd

My gear was a Yashica TL Electro-X with a few high-dollar (to a 15-year-old) lenses, including the Vivitar 90-230mm f/4.5 T4-mount zoom, a long but soft Pro (Ritz Camera’s house brand, similar to Spiratone and others) 400mm f/6.3 and a 50mm 1.7 (I think) Yashinon that came with the body.  Film was Plus-X for the daytime acts, with ELP, night scenes, Charlotte Police helicopter Snoopy, and the dense crowd shots on Tri-X. No idea what effect the steadily high contaminant level in the air had on film or photographer.  I remember this constant urge for a Snickers, though.  The two were probably unrelated.

I originally scanned these original 5×7 prints from 1974 as B&W, but that didn’t show the aging aspect of their character, so I rescanned them as color.  The print tones are the best indicator I can think of for what must have been a less-than-archival washing practice years ago, or maybe that I was washing in good tasting but mineral rich well water.  These were all stored in the dark.

I’ll narrate the photos later, but here they are for now.  See who you recognize – and clap for the Wolfman…

 august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd

So how did a 15-year-old kid get backstage at a major event like this? It’s all in who you know. Dad worked part-time race security for Dave Suddreth, who ran either infield security or the entirety of security at the track. Mr. Suddreth asked him to work the concert for what I believe was $10.00 an hour. I heard another security guy ask my dad what time it was. Dad looked at his watch and said, “$35.00”. What does a loving dad with a camera-junkie son do when he has a chance to make pretty good moonlighting money for 1974 checking credentials at a gate at a rock concert that he has less than no interest hearing – or smelling? He does it, of course, and makes sure that the stage gate guards know that his kid is there and asks them to please let him come and go.

I was in heaven. Bulk-loaded film in the bag, a cooler full of sandwiches in Dad’s car that I had no idea would be so hard to get to, and the run of the fenced-off area backstage (the track’s pit and garage areas) and from the stage out to the mixing tower. I would later own 8-track tapes from some of these bands, but I didn’t have a car yet so no need. The Eagles stiffed the concert and no-showed. Better than listening to the bands for me, though, was photographing them.

august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd wolfman jack august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd wolfman jack

Check out this link to a video of Black Oak Arkansas’ rendition of Dixie from the August Jam that just happens to be the one during which I made the next five images. Watching that for the first time was like stepping through the Time Tunnel back to ’74. I thought I might even see myself in the mixing tower aisle, but alas… I wasn’t exactly what the videographers were looking for. I did, however, see the exact moment I made the image of Jim Dandy raising the flag!  Look at 3:22 into the video; mic in his left hand, flag in his right and the flag, just for a second, blowing over his left shoulder. I didn’t see that the first few times through the tape. I was showing the video to Addison when I connected the dots. She got to see exactly where Dad was and what he was doing almost 40 years ago, verified with a doubleweight mat print in hand and video on the screen. How often do those family moments come along? It would have been more daughter-safe had it been a Broadway musical, but to borrow a phrase from Forrest Gump’s mom, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

august jam charlotte motor speedway 1974 rock concert kodak tri-x film photography darkroom print yashica tl electro-x camera vivitar series 1 i zoom crowd black oak arkansas jim dandy rebel flag dixie

There happened to be two prints of this same frame of Jim Dandy in the accordion file, one yellowed and one nearly mint. Same well-water and probably the same printing session. Wash time and/or prints sticking together in the wash tray are all I can attribute the difference to because the yellowing includes borders. Hypo-clear (which I never did in the day) and watch your wash time!

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That’s all the rambling for now. Leave a comment if you were there or think that you might have been. Support the bands and buy some of their music!

Alan


Comments

August Jam, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 1974 (UPDATED August 2015) — 118 Comments

  1. Wow, I was just telling a friend about this exact event, WOW! I was not there, my Aunt was though. I had just barley been born in July. A lot of shit happened in my Aunts, ad’s her first cousins lives that particular summer. They flew to Cali,literally were attacked by some dudes pet monkey just after their arrival, the monkey died, lol, ad’s they immediately drove back in a station wagon my Aunt had inherited, (cross~ country, Cali to North east Georgia) Next thing, I think the story goes,there were a couple fifths of whiskey, the event of “me”,then ,off to August Jam over in South Carolina. Can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure one or both of them had to hitch hike back home from the Jam. My Aunt has some 8mm footage of the concert, if I’m not mistaken. Just WOW. . .this is awesome to find these. She’s going to love the pics!

  2. Great pictures. They bring back lots of memories. I was 16 and we drove up from Savannah, GA. Wildest event I have ever been a part of. Loved every minute of sleeping on concrete bleachers, very little food, drugs, sex and great music!

  3. Drove down from Dayton Ohio in my self-made conversion van with 6 friends. Had a great time. We sold ham and cheese sandwiches and made enough to pay for our tickets and expenses. Lol. Big demand for food there. Loved all the bands there and would love to do it again.

  4. Was 17 and went over and had one hell of time great music women and drugs hitchhikeback home to Bristol Tenn Sunday night with one dollar bill to my name loved every minute of it……

  5. I worked on-stage at the California Jam in 1974 with many of the same acts (ELP, Black Oak, Eagles) and the 3 stages on rolling railroad tracks. Great memories of times long ago that now seem gone forever.

  6. I stumbled across your site after tracking down a bootleg cd of the ELP portion of the show. Thanks for putting your pictures and memories out there for the surviving members of the 200,000+ crowd to enjoy. Great memories of loading up my mother’s 71 Plymouth Duster with provisions for the drive down from Canton, Ohio with a couple of friends in the back seat and my older brother at the wheel. After seeing the concert advertised in Rolling Stone, we bought our tickets and waited for the day to arrive. We taped the red banner headline (NIXON RESIGNS) from the morning paper to the back window of the Duster and headed south. Plenty of honking horns and peace signs flashed at us on the drive.
    We got there in plenty of time but still had to sit high up in the grandstands. A little bummed when we heard that the Eagles wouldn’t be there but still plenty of great music to enjoy. I have great memories of all the friendly people sharing their pot and other substances. We slept on the ground next to our car until we were in good enough shape to head home. We grabbed a copy of the Charlotte Observer(that I still have) with some great crowd pictures on the front page.
    Hard to believe it was that long ago. Your site brought back a lot of fun memories. Many thanks!

  7. Happy New Year, All!

    Thanks to each of you for stopping by the site to relive a bit of your early history. I never expected many people to leave many comments, but we’re over a hundred now. Not exactly viral by today’s use, but that word means what it really means to those of us seasoned enough to remember – or sort of remember – that weekend in ’74.

    This started out as a single post in the blog I started about my and my daughters’ film photography exploits. This one post, though, represents 100% of the comments the entire blog has received.

    Thanks again for taking time to share your memories of this historic – by any definition – weekend. Have a healthy, prosperous, blessed 2017.

    Alan

    • I was there….lived accross the street and still do. It was awesome and would do it again. In market for a original concert poster. Your pic brought back memories…tks

    • Was 18 at the time and had a weekend of music and high times. Remember the availability of what you desired being posted on a piece of paper-cardboard are even shouted out. Music was great for the time and place. Helacopters flying in and out bringing bands in and taking them out. Not many food vendors but their was alot of Boonesfarm AnnieGreensprings wine available. Their was alot of young people thought they were enjoying it but really don’t know. Remember the fence being pushed down and a security guy with a German Shepard just turned around like what the hell can we do. The crowd just past them bye. Slept on concrete in the stands. Took a few days to get over and a 4hr ride to go 70 miles heading home. Would love to get a T shirt if anyone knows where…

    • Two of us were driving back to Pennsylvania from New Orleans and Pensacola when we heard about this big concert in Charlotte. We stopped by Charlotte on August 9. Traffic was so bad we couldn’t leave the raceway if we wanted. The next 30 hours were incredible, culminating with an all night show by the Allman Brothers. Unbelievable experience for a 17 year/old at that time.

  8. Stumbled upon your site after looking up the August Jam. Awesome concert. I was 15. In the first picture do you know who the girl is? It looks like me. I’ve showed it to 4 people who knew me in 1974 and all agree. I’d love to know any info on the pic. Thanks!

      • Hi Susan,

        I’m glad that you were able to find a little piece of your past! The trail goes cold, though; I don’t have any information about the cast of hundreds-of-thousands in those photos. That was a pretty bewildering experience for me, I admit. I had photographed NASCAR racing from the pit and garage and knew what to expect race day, but this was an entirely different planet. I wasn’t there in any official capacity, so didn’t ask any names for a news article about the show. I was just thankful to have the chance to be backstage listening to and photographing the music I loved and musicians who made it.

        I was able to move around when I was beside my dad, Richard Cole, who was working security, but kept a very low profile after he got me into the backstage gate and went on to wherever Dave Suddreth needed him. I roamed the infield Friday afternoon and night, then spent about all Saturday in the aisle between stage and mixing tower. My only regret it that I didn’t have more film! That was back in the day when you had to make every shot count and were a better photographer because of it.

        Have a great 2017, and thanks for stopping by!

        • Hi Alan,
          It was an amazing time! I’ve shown that picture to my friends and family. They all agree it’s me. It’s the one with the girl in the foreground, pointing her finger. Is it possible to purchase a print? I would love to have. Thanks Susan

  9. It was great time for Music in general. We traveled down from Ohio. Wildest 3 days of my life. Your pictures are great there so much that should have been captured in crowd that weekend. I remember the same guy walking around all weekend with mud all over him and no pants on. Just watching the people being taking to medical tent showed how many items were available at the show. Took me several days to recover. We had to stop and sleep in the rest area on the way home. All we really have is memories.
    Thanks for bringing some back.
    Floyd Brown

  10. I have looked for photos of this for years!! Thanks so much. I was there.
    I had been looking for Charlotte Jam and somehow came up with August Jam
    and there you were! This is very exciting.

    • Hi Karen,

      Welcome to the crowd! I’m glad you stumbled across us. These photos languished on negatives, mostly, in a box full of the fun I had with a camera when I was a kid. Man, they meant even more to me when I brought them back out after all the years, especially since the next generation of me wanted to learn a little about film. It stopped at a little bit, but now Dad has a photo darkroom to tinker in once in a while. All the best, blessings this Christmas, and Clap for the Wolfman!

    • HichHiked down from Bath, Me..With friend,Bogie, now passed on. Got there 2 days early..camped out with other friends from Me. and laid baked…we were the fourth people in line to go through the gates…found a perfect spot up front..laid out a blanket and figured it would be perfect..until the crowd showed…our spot shrunk to postage stamp size but man..what a party…will never forget it…no need describing event…everyone has covered it perfectly..remember at least all the music…love to all the family that was there.

    • Wow, brings back memories. I was 17. My sister and I went. She hitchhiked and I took the bus and do you know, we still found each other. Met up with some friends and had the time of my life. I still remember ELP. They were great. Loved it…… Thanks for the pictures.

  11. Hitchhiked from Chattanooga..-you could see smoke rising from speedway…. ..naked people…passed-out people…..people crashing/falling through roof over grandstands….micro-dot..didn’t pick up a bad vibe all weekend..far-out, man… the piano and player that raised up in air and spun around & around (ELP? .Jerry- do you sell copies of posters, tickets, photos, etc? I’ve lost a few brain cells and need the memories.

    • I was there too.. hitchhiked from Myrtle Beach at 16…got there when they crashed the gates in the early morning…had to run or get trampled…alot of fucked up people…I was on mushrooms,had a great spot until I had to go to the bathroom, which took awhile to get to…and it was so thick with people..I couldn’t get back so I ended up watching from the stands…

  12. I was there! What an amazing time. A group of friends riding in a van getting caught up in the traffic. And what happens, we get pulled and checked. After that delay we were able to make our way to a cozy spot sitting right on the raceway track. It was so packed even to walk you had to find a place to put down your foot in the crowd. But it was peaceful, everyone was one big happy family. The excitement of the crowd brought down the fences and people walked the sidelines selling their goodies. But, overall, it was an amazing experience with great music!

  13. I was there with two friends Billy and John, drove down from new jersey in my MGB with the top down to fit us and our bags, drove thru pouring rain at times, but really worth it seeing those great groups singing there. great time, stayed for 4 days.
    thanks for bringing it back.

  14. i will never for get the August jam the best time i ever had tents with signs every were if you no what i mean i was 15 i showed up on a super glide let us take them in with us thank you for putting these pitchers up for every body peace out.

  15. I was 19, my then husband Tim and I hitch hiked from Dayton Ohio. We just happened to arrive when the fence was coming down. I can still see the people dancing naked on top of the Porta potties. Drugs,drugs and more drugs what a concert. We slept in a corn field that night, built a big bon fire with a bunch of people and cooked the farmers corn,we were hungry. Thanks for the pics. ELP piano spinning in the air on fire is embedded in my brain forever.

    • Eighteen years old and drove my VW van from Wrightsville Beach NC with a bunch of friends. We got there before the start and noticed cars circling the front of the speedway selling LSD “mainly orange sunshine”. Going through the front gate I met a girl that I spent the weekend with. We made our way to within a hundred feet or so of the stage where a rental truck selling drinks was parked. We climbed on top of the truck and spent the first day and night there. The first morning stoned beyond being stoned we saw a guy who was tripping on acid. He had zipped himself inside a sleeping bag and was trying to get out. We must have stared at him for hours or at least it seemed like it. Our next adventured was climbing on top of the pressbox. It must have been a six story fall off the backside of the pressbox but it was a great place to watch the jam. I don’t really remember eating,leaving, or what happened to the young lady I spent the weekend with. I do remember the really cool time with friends both new and old. I remember that you could trust what strangers sold you and the revolving piano was just out there considering our condition. What a great time and even better memory. If any of this sounds familiar please comment.

  16. First weekend I spent on active duty Air Force in North Carolina, Fraiday morning August 9, 1974. Didn’t have to report for duty until Monday morning. I’d just moved in to the dorm and was dragged kicking and screaming out on the road.We made it to within 2 miles of the track and hit the two lanes of traffic backed up and it was one big party.
    My friend spotted some people from home and hopped in there car, that was the last I saw him until the following week.
    Five minutes later I met two young ladies, sisters, twins walking and they asked for a lift.
    What was I gonna say. Once I whipped the grin off my face I said ABSOLUTELY! It was a different time then…anyway, eventually made it to the gate. I already had a ticket so we made our way inside and parked ourselves down about fifty feet out in front of the speaker stack -stage right. Pretty much spent the next two days there. Luckily the young ladies brought sleeping bags, I mean, it was chilly in the evening that weekend! For a nineteen year old musician, fresh out on my own it was everything I had dreamed. The people were great, even in the rain, and when getting food & water was an ordeal. All the bands were great! I missed Greg Allman, but they carried on, and I was overwhelmed by the entire lineup. Different time great memories. We ALL had a BLAST!

  17. I was there !…i have been for awhile looking online for pics and music from the August Jam ( Little Woodstock of the South )Tonight by accident i found some…what a wonderful drunk high time it was…never will forget it…it was a time to remember…if anyone has a full list of the artists who played there please post it…i remember most of them but not all of them…too high to remember and what was so funny was to see the ice cream carts full of baggies filled with pot… selling 15-20 bucks a lid…i do remember seeing Keith Emerson revolving around and around in the air while playing the piano…i dont remeber any rain at all…i do, however, remember it being hot…id have to do research on my head to remember everything that did happen there..i just know the 4 of us took a qt of vodka…a quart of tequilla…baggies of pot…acid and THC…we were as they say back then….trippin…we paid our share to get in…we drove up in a pick up from charleston sc to charlotte just for this event parked about a mile and got there before the music began…it was a good time…the only place i can remember where it snowed in the summer time while ELP was playin…actually it was paper coming down from fire works,but looked like snow…i appreciate all you who took the time to post this little bit of memorbillia…i appreciate the looking back…well worth it…thank you

    • Oh I was there too ya’ll..Just had turned 18 in June and me and a girlfriend had drove to Ft. Lauderdale for the summer, from Hillsborough NC..anyhow, saw tickets on sale in Ft Lauderdale, we bought ours, drove back to Hillsborough, picked up a bunch of other friends and My sister and brother. When we got to Charlotte, we lost my brother until we all left. I remember all the drugs, omg people had signs advertising what wares they had for sell…I remember Leon Russell singing too, Foghat so many bands..black Oak Arkansas..Allman Brothers..whoa what a time we had, I remember walking and stepping on people and no one cared!!! Had the time of my life…so glad I was able to be there and to find this website..I remember the wall going down haha..it was all so damn cool..yes Emerson Lake and Palmer..there was so many bands..What a great time we had!!!!

  18. Hello to all who went over the fences initially. Sorry I didn’t stop and chat about it with you’all for we ran scattering in our attempts to escape the police, security …AND the dogs! That track embankment was a steep climb too. (chuckle). Once I was over the top I quickly got lost in the crowd and made my way down to the race track. I climbed atop the track fence, realized the tire catch fence overhanging the track attached to the upright fence was a pretty comfortable vantage point and went no further. I sat there above the crowd and enjoyed the show. The bands were great. The “fuzz” were strolling about making arrests. People were falling through the fiberglass sun awnings high over the stands. It was a great weekend

  19. The second time I saw ELP was at August Jam 74. I hitch hiked to this event. The journey to the 3 day outdoor festival was filled with adventure from start to end. I left Alabama with $5 in my pocket. I wound up sleeping on a hard wood bench inside a country fire station the first night. The next morning, a train which ran RIGHT by the station woke me early. An old farmer in a truck informed me that Nixon had resigned. He gave me a ride to the interstate and left me there in shock. The next ride was a hippie with a car full of beer and tomatos. We preceded to drink all the beer and tomato anything that took our notice. That ride dropped me off just short of Atlanta. The next ride was the police ! It was an under cover cop who lectured me on the dangers of hitch hiking until I asked him if it was illegal for him to be picking me up. He liked my humor and we joked hawk and dove games thru atlanta. Soon as I got out, another car dropped off two other hikers. We were friendly but were both slowly walking back to Atlanta trying to steal each other’s ride. A corvette pulled over with room for JUST one…hehe. I got in and smiled at the two as we pulled away. The driver was in the service and had been doing shots to help stay awake(his words and logic). He checked my Driver’s License and let me drive. The speed limit had recently been reduced to 55 but we were hauling along. The Vette had cowl induction and was a sweet ride. I stopped for gas and talked at the gas station with another car full of women(or so I thought, turns out 2 of the 6 were long haired dudes). I thanked the Vette owner and bailed to the car full of women. The Charlotte Motor Speedway was where the concert was. It had a dirt road about the outside of the track that became a weird transportation system. Folks would drive there car around and around the dirt road. Walkers would hop on the trunk or hood and ride along. The community shower was the water tower which leaked. The overflow mud pit had become an ad hoc demo derby for those that dare drive their cars near. I got showered but was covered with mud from the knees down. Just then in front of me a girl walked up to a fence pipe and at the same time we both noticed it had a spigot on it !!!! I let her go first and looked behind me as she turned the water on, the line was instantly several hundred people and I got second in line. I washed off the mud and returned to walking around. I had just hopped a car trunk on the dirt road metro to ride around and check the place out. Another person was trying to jump on and I offered a hand. He thought it cool we had the same kind of backpack. His was full of quart bottles of tequila…he just gave me one. So we are driving around drinking, and this person just out of the crowd has a bag full of lemons….it was just too surreal. So now the three of us are riding along until I needed to get a drink of water. The Naked man (this was during the streaking craze) had run past a few times announcing the break down of the fence at 9pm. (200,000 people wanted to get in). People would open up to let him run thru and then all stand in the way for the police chasing him. The police gave up and retreated to some buildings several hundred yards away. The Hippies set up an open air market of card tables covered with bongs, water pipes, rolling papers, and all the stuff to put in those devices! It was truly a wild time to see stuff like that out in the open. Nearing 9pm the crowd all moved to the hill by the water tower. I headed that way looking for water. They had stormed the double chain link fences and laid them to the ground. I walked in at the top of a huge banked curve. I never realized how steep the banking is. At the bottom of the curve was a person just giving away bags of ice. I took two and walked toward center stage on the track. Right at the best spot to watch the concert, someone stood up and offered me $50 for the bags of ice. He was “drunk” and his friends shut that down quick but when I offered a bag free, they let me camp with them. There was a spot there that was the exact size of my quilt and I settled in to watch the most amazing 3 days of concert music. All of us in the “camp” took turns feeding the group. I bought a bag of 50 cent hamburgers for the group. No one planned this…it just happened..everyone shared what they had. It was beautiful. During one of my bathroom trips, I looked over and there was the two other hitch hikers from Atlanta ! We both smiled and were happy we all made it there. The 3 Days were filled with music and fun. ELP played next to last with the Allman Brothers going last. The concert started to wind down and I made a sign to find a ride home. I caught one with folks going to Atlanta. We did not get too far…in fact we logjammed on the freeway all night. It was too hot to stay in the car. I laid out my quilt and slept IN the fastlane until the car woke me as traffic started back up. After that ride let me out, I caught a ride with a Van of concert goers headed just a few more miles down the road. Their van was almost broke and burning oil badly. Every in the van was broke. I only had a $1.50 left and gave them a buck for oil at the station where they left me out. I got to Heflin, Alabama. The interstate did not go all the way thru but you had to detour thru Heflin. It had a bad reputation for giving tickets to anyone that they could and for putting hippies in jail for days. It started to rain for the first time on the trip there. I thought I would be arrested at any time when I caught a a ride. The driver was an older nice mannered gentleman. He had a few vending machine sandwiches in the glovebox and offered me one which I snarfed right down. After we had talked a long while, he told me he was a mobster who was going to jail soon. I am thinking he is going to kill me or worse?? but he went out of his way to drop me off where I wanted to go in Birmingham. As I got out of the car, he gave me $5 to help me get down the road. From Birmingham, I caught a ride home to Tuscaloosa with a friend, 50 cents richer than when I left.

  20. My friends Ken, Duggie, Apple and I took my 1960 chevy and drove up from Winnsboro, SC when we heard the fence was down Friday (?), on WROQ FM. We had to park on side of I85 miles south. We had little money but survived sleeping on the wet benches of concrete. What an experience! On Sunday the place was emptying, and I picked up a green plaid blanket, that I still have today. My dog is sleeping on it now! When we got to the car the batter has been stolen, but we got a jump and drove without it, car had a generator-didn’t matter. I still remember what an incredible time we had.

  21. We left Johnson City about 2 am after partying pretty hard so I really don’t remember much about the traffic problem. It was daylight when we arrived and the fence was already down so we just walked in. We got a spot right in the middle of the infield and became part of the biggest thing ever. We were unprepared for the heat, don’t remember any rain. Hallucinogens will do that ya know.Lost one of our companions, he got back home Monday sometime.

  22. I was 16 and hitch hiked from Angola IN to see ELP … it was incredible … not only the music but the people running drug stores out of coolers …

  23. I remember the helicopters dropping paper Sun visors with Foghats name on them. Anthony, Kay, Jerry,Rodney came up to Charlotte w a ColumbusCo.Contingency(Whiteville, Tabor City NC. Hope you all had some good memories since then, but wow, that has been one burned in my mind along with the images forever! Peace!

  24. Thanks for this Page I was there in 74 came from Birmingham Alabama with my at the Time GF Michelle and several friends it was something I was going to miss my chance to be there! We really were not prepared had some tickets and some not so much was hoping when we got there would get some of course after the fence came down didn’t matter because it was already a sell out! Ill never forget it as long as I live everyone was high Everyone! The Bands the fans everyone! I was 19 at the time and me and a close friend worked to have the money for concerts that what we done but this exsperiance was one Ill never forget! Thanks for this memory here 40 years later!

    • Excuse my error wanted to edit the sentence “I wasn’t going to miss my chance! LOL this what happens when Hippies get OLD! LOL

  25. I went to August Jam with two buddies from the Coast Guard. We drove down from Virginia Beach on Friday night with a huge cooler full of sandwiches and beer and a half pound of NC-grown weed. We found a spot on the track up against the grandstand fence, spread the weed out on top of the ice chest to dry, and partied down.

    Great music! I lost count of how many times I saw Foghat during the 70’s and they put on a great performance there.

    One memory that stands out is a guy wearing a carpenter’s tool belt with rolls of masking tape hanging from it walking around the track hawking his wares. “Get yer acid. Window – Pane, L – S – D. Buck a hit!”. His rolls of tape had a hit of windowpane about every inch. I bought about a foot of tape and did one hit during the early afternoon. I launched about an hour later and it lasted for the rest of the concert. What an experience!

    After the concert, my buddies dropped me off in Greensboro early Sunday morning and headed back to Virginia Beach. I had a few days of leave before departing for my next duty station on Baffin Island, 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle for a year of isolated duty. I took the rest of my “masking tape” with me. Made for an interesting year….

  26. I was there for 7 days we got a spot right in front of stage due to it being muddy and we carried plastic to unroll then put on blankets. You know from south ga. we are prepared to rain Saw more drugs, naked women and music than anywhere else in my life smiled for months after it

    • I hitch-hiked from Oak Ridge,tn. I was just 16 at the time and got picked up by some guys from Hiawasee collage in a vw van. Great time and have been telling the stories about it for over 40 years now. The Allman Brothers didn’t finish until 2 or 3 am. What great show! Some guys from rockwood, tn. picked us up on the way home. can’t thank those two sets of guys enough for the rides. Still rocking over 42 years later!

  27. Thank You Very Much for getting this awesome site together. I drove up from Ft Bragg in my 70 GTO with three other Paratrooper Brothers. What a weekend it was. Again much appreciated. ALL THE WAY.

  28. This was the first big concert I ever attended and will never forget it. 8 of us packed into a compact car and took off on the spur of the moment. Good God trash bags full of pot..a guy with acid on a roll hollering window pane dollar a hit…first public nudity I ever saw….saw a guy get turned over in a Porto potty…people falling through the fiberglass in the bleachers…and all that f’ing great music. Always found my way back when I would walk off by looking for the purple the dyed tent that was right beside us. Best time I ever had.

    • Hey !!! We had the only Purple Tye-dyed tent I remember seeing there. It was a bunch of us from Clover, S.C. What a great time was had by all !!! If you were next door then I KNOW we at least shared a joint somewhere along the ride ! The Pernicks from NY had the tent, Jeff kept the tye-dye for years hung on his ceiling of his bedroom….my friend Jim had come to the show and was AWOL from the army…I was 15 and with a hot girl of 23 that took me to the show…that doesn’t happen any more LOL ! I think I still seeing trails to this day !!! But you are right , we could find ourselves back through the day by finding the purple tye-dye !!! Peace & Love!!

      • I’m Butch Oneppo from Edgemoor, SC and was at the August Jam. The Pernicks that you speak of had to be Warren and Ed, old friends of mine. I saw Warren two weeks ago when my band, The Oneppo Brothers Band was playing at the Sandbar and Grill in Rock Hill. I was tripping on acid most of the weekend but remember when Keith Emerson’s piano would spin around. What great memories.

  29. I hitch-hiked there with one of my buddies I was stationed with at Camp Lejune for this one, I had been to California Jam earlier that year too.
    What a blast, although that was the last time I ever did acid or anything more than weed…LOL. A lot of people had a bad time with drugs that day, and they were being openly sold with signs on poles and tents. Guess it was just a different time. Music was great and non stop, ELP was great but a little out of place, Almon Bros play for 4 hours if I recall.
    Looking back its hard to believe I’ll be 60 soon! Life is good

  30. Thanks so much for these great shots Alan! I have a closed group Facebook page for those who went to the August Jam. I started a few months ago, and we have about 200 members so far. If anyone who was there wants to join, the link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/AugustJam74/ or you can just search 1974 August Jam Charlotte, North Carolina. Alan, I hope you’ll join! We are starting to get some pictures from people who were there, which is really cool, and Fred let me repost things of his. It was such a blast and I was just 16, so I was totally blown away by all that I saw. Thanks again for the great story about how you got the gig to take the photos, and most of all for posting them after all these years!

  31. I’m so happy to have stumbled across this! I was there!
    My cousins, Marsha & Joy and 3 guy friends of theirs, all from Gastonia, NC. Well, I had moved to Ft. Lauderdale and was visiting family.
    We parked in a big field across the street and I dropped my ticket, yes we had them! I had to run back to the car after we’d got to the gate and luckily it was still there. We made ourselves at home, we got there Friday before it all started, right in front of the stage, half way between it and the bleachers.
    All I can say is Wow! What memories! And what stories I have to tell. Wouldn’t trade the experience!
    Hello to all you!

  32. At the main entrance ticket booth I bolted from the line when I saw a crowd rushing the fence, I joined the mob and leaped up onto the fence and rode on the top of the dual guard dog track chain link fences with barbed wire as they fell forward bending flat on the ground. When we scrambled up off the second fence we were on our knees before snarling guard dogs on leashes being held by cops with clubs so we ran to the right around the backside of the stands. My friend Mitch, who I was meeting there, saw me and shouted down from the stands when he saw me running at the front of the mob. My army buddy Mike and I had bought 2 tickets but we left them at Fort Bragg, NC where we were stationed as paratroopers. I can recall today the sensation “ride” clinging to the top of both of those fences while they slowly bent down toward the ground while the mob was shouting and laughing with joy. When I tell this story today I refer to August Jam as Redneck Woodstock.

  33. I was there with Carl, Ed, Wash, Rhonda, and Fonda. Got there Friday night and slept on the hard concrete grandstands in puddles of water. Woke up to the PA announcer saying ” will the guy with the small penis get off the speaker stand”. You should have seen him move. ELP had this great set up with this huge piano rising from the stage and spinning in midair with Keith Emerson still playing it!! Great times, great music. We didn’t take enough liquids so we started trading joints for beers and soft drinks. I visited the infield for a couple of hours, what a party crowd!! Saw Moses. He was being carried around by one of his friends. Moses was across his back, his arms and legs stiff as a board doing the moon walk. Wild people wild times.

    • well slim it is funny you remember that , the guy they were talking about was my friend red dog. he climbed the stacks to dance i guess i gave them too many schrooms that morning .. i came up from florida the jax bch area with 3 other friends and met 4 of my friends from mich . there on fri night only by chance.i was kinda asleep on a lawn chair and i hear my buddies voice and yelled luna pier sucks knowing they would charge the voice that said it ..from then on till monday morning it was a blur at times and very unforgiving when the rains came and you were sleeping in a ditch .. LOL that was my pal RED and to this day he still gets teased a little but there are only 4 of us still alive, a weekend for history from uppers , downers and sidewaysers a blast . i have been writing short stories of my many things on this type of crazy and came here today to find the play list of stars , cant remember them all, old age does suck

  34. I was there with Carl, Ed, Wash, Rhonda, and Fonda. Got there Friday night. They let us in. We had sleeping bags and sleep on the hard concrete of the grandstands in puddles of water. Woke up the next morning to a public service announcer saying, ” will the guy with the small penis please get off the speaker stand.” He was naked but hurried off the stand. We looked for some better seats a little higher up. Wound up about 15 rows from the top where the fiberglass cover was that some people talked about, and yes people keep crashing through and falling on people below. It only covered 3 or 4 rows. This one guy below the fiberglass knew somebody above him was going to crash down sooner or later. He got his big bowie knife and stuck it up through the fiberglass right beside a dude. He could see his outline from underneath. You should have seen that guy move. ELP had this amazing set up. This huge piano rose from the stage and starting spinning in midair with Keith Emerson still playing it!!! Great music, great times. A guy with a big box of pretzels came by us yelling ” Get your pretzels, get your mother fucking pretzels” and people were buying them, taking one bite and throwing them back at him after he was down the steps a bit. I saw another buddy in the bathroom and went down on the infield with him for awhile. During a break the PA guy came on and said not to eat the pink acid, that it was sending several people to the hospital.

  35. Hitched from upstate NY with my friend Bobby, I was 19 at the time. Met up with a sailor named “Dutch” somewhere around VA. We got there a few days early and hid out in the woods in the rain, huddling under ponchos Dutch had with him and sharing what little food we had. I didn’t have a ticket but managed to convince a scalper to let me sell a couple of his in return for one. He also turned me on to a hit of acid, and I entered the track the day before just buzzin’!

    What a show! Sometime during the ELP set I came on to a 8-way hit of windowpane I bought from someone near the water fountains and totally freaked. I ended up wandering (crying) around outside the track and finally sat down to try to figure out if I was cracking up. I want to thank whoever the dude was who found me and sat and talked to me, calming me down. He shared a joint with me and I re-entered the track, actually found my friend, and enjoyed the Allman Brother’s set.

    I’ll never forget the summer of 1974!

  36. I was there. I traveled with a Moore County NC reporter in a 1960 something van. I tried my best to keep up with all the equipment but finally gave up. It was one of the best experiences of my life. We later found the cam equipment with a group of people we had made friends with. Everything was there. Drugs were plentiful, especially the “California Acid”. What a great time of peace and love. We could benefit from that in 2015. Wish I were there at 19 again. If you were there I love you brothers and sisters.

  37. August jam was incredible myself and 4 others went down to Charlotte on Friday the traffic was bumper to bumper going to the speedway it took forever to get to the parking lot we spent the night in the parking lot with what seemed like 10,000 others and there was an abundance of drugs it seemed like everybody we talked to had something different so that was a wild night then Saturday about 8or9 they started letting people in the speedway I remember the gate crashes hells angles were there it was awesome the music was unbelievable I think they had 3 stages set up so you really had to keep up with who was playing when but it was a time I’ll never forget wolfman Jack was there introducing bands and telling about some of the bad that we’re going around so you could avoid them it was so wild I think we left on Sunday morning I think if I remember correctly it was great in so glad I got to go.

  38. I was there with 12 friends we all rode up to Charlotte in a VW van. We all setup in the middle of the field with a couple of throw quilts and got wet had a blast. I saw the people come over the fence and the police watching. It was one of the best concerts I attended. All the bands were great. Food and water was hard to find but drugs were plentiful and I do remember the person on the tower by the left of the stage. Great times!

  39. 1974. Wow! What a year! A friend and I decided to hitchhike to the show from Atlanta, Ga. We had no tickets and didn’t even worry about the possibility that we wouldn’t get in. On the way from S.E. Atlanta we got dropped off near the 285/45 interchange.There were probably close to 60 people milling around at the bottom of the cloverleaf sharing food and water, waiting to go up to the freeway in twos so we could all get rides! We were picked up by some soldiers that were on leave and they took us to north Georgia. We then got picked up by a young couple who had tickets to the show. They were kind enough to buy us a motel room Friday night in Charlotte and take us to the racetrack on Saturday morning. Of course it turned out we didn’t need tickets! It was one of the best concert experiences I have ever had! The rain, the people, and the music made it unforgettable!

  40. We were there with a HUGE American flag a friend loaned me for the show. It same from a ship he was stationed on and for whatever reason he had it. We were right center on the ground for the duration. I haven’t seen it in any pictures to date. I had just registered for what turned out to be the LAST selective service draft. Told the Mom was going to the show and drove up frome Columbia, SC. Great time and Great memories.

  41. WAS AT AUGUST JAM, LOOKING TO FIND A REPLICA OR ORIGINAL CONCERT POSTER. YOU CAN CALL ME AT 910-308-3609–DAVID HERE

  42. Wow….what a trip this is/was! We were sitting here trying to have our grandson understand that era. I went with my soon to be husband, Carol and her then boyfriend Keith. We were on the track. I remember the people falling through the fiberglass, people having a great time. Does anyone else remember the tent the bikers set up advertising blowjobs for $5.00? What an era. We shared what we had. We cared. We loved (and still do) music.kids these days will never get it. Thanks for the great pics and memories. Gotta show this to Carol and yeah….I married Dennis and we are still together! Peace, love and all that.

    • drove from minneapolis to charlotte. got picked out of a line up to work the paraphenalia tent. was given a august jam security shirt and a night stick. i didnt have any problems. the inventers of the u.s. bong pipe were set up in a kiosk next door.i would sneak over and take some free hits from time to time. saw all the bands great sounds. got 78 bucks for working the concert,plus free high and free food. what a fucking fanfuckingtastic time

  43. Me and three friends up by Chicago hitchhiked to Charlotte for that one day concert. Remember Black Oak Arkansas playing for sure the others are a little fuzzy,lol. Great great day will never forget. Nothing like the 60s and 70s.

  44. Thanks for the awesome photos! I was there, with no camera, of course. I was 16 years old and had no idea what I was going to experience. To say that I had an incredible time, would be putting it mildly.

    It’s so great to see these photos.

    I’ve started a closed group on Facebook so that people who were there can come together in one place to share their experiences and see all of the photos that are out there.

    The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/AugustJam74/ Please share!

    Thanks again for the photos! They bring back memories of the most incredible concert I’ve ever been to.

  45. Hi Allan, I attended the ‘August Jam’ and it was the best concert ever attended even til today. Thank you for the pictures as they are a blast from the past! I remember the HUGE crowds, LOTs of free flowing drugs, NOT THE FIRST FIGHT, very little food or water. There is one incident that occurred I would like for someone to corroborate for me; sometime during the day Saturday an old man climbed up one of the speaker columns and security tried to get him down. He didn’t seem to wanna listen to warnings from the stage also. He eventually came down. It was hilarious as all he had flung over his shoulder was a towel or garment of some sort. Other memories are how wet it was as I arrived late Friday night and made my way to the infield. I took a sleeping bag in with me to sit on which by Saturday a.m. was soaked into a little bitty ball of mud, I just left it there. Some of the music they were playing Friday night was great; I remember Jethro Tull vividly. It overall was one of the most unforgettable events.

    • I was there as well and it was the second concert I had ever attended – I was 17 and hitchhiked the 250+ miles from Jacksonville to Charlotte. I still can’t believe my mother let me go off by myself. This one spoiled me for all other musical events! By the way, the drugs must have been just as good in your neck of the woods as mine, because I distinctly do NOT remember Jethro Tull playing August Jam! As a matter of fact, the weekend of Aug. 10-11, that particular leg of their tour had them playing in Auckland, New Zealand. But hey, everyone deserves a mulligan – especially when the pharmaceuticals were as kick-ass as on that weekend!

    • The announcer said,”ahhh hey you dude, the one with the little dick, you need to get down from there.” the crowd ROARED… just before the windowpane found me….

  46. I had been out of the military about two months and my girl and i drove up to Charlotte Sunday morning from Rockingham. Wow, walked right in. Thru the downed fence! We were a little sad that we missed most of the events but it was a blast. Thanks for the memory’s.

  47. I was home on leave for the weekend from the Coast Guard. I had 45 days left in my 4 year tour. I was ready to party and ready to get out of the military.I enjoyed the show, what part I saw of it. I was pretty intoxicated.
    Wish there was another one coming up , I would like to see one more good concert before I leave this world. PEACE AND ENJOY LIFE AS MUCH AS U CAN

    BOBBY

  48. Vivid memory of cans being kicked around on the asphalt track as the crowd walked past. We were in the stands under the covered sections and remember people crawling up on top of shed roof and falling through the fiberglass panels. I also remember a lull between sets when an older black musician came out on stage and began to play by himself, the crowd got quite as they realized the music was good and as he finished the song he said, good evening, I am Muddy Waters. A real treat.

    • I also attended August Jam and do not remember Muddy Water being there. Also, looked extensively on web and found nothing.
      Is it possible to provide more info/details or your source on this?

  49. What a pleasure reading all the comments and looking at your pictures. I have traveled back in time 40 years. I was 19 when I attended the August Jam. Camped out for 3 days, the first the night before outside the gates. We went over the fence as we watched the police just stand there watching. They never bothered anyone no matter what we were doing. I had a big green canvas tent and swear I saw it in the BOA video “Hey Ya’ll” We were able to get close to the stage and had a cooler full of beer and one full of food that sustained us the entire time. This was no doubt an experience of a life time. Not sure the numbers but believe the Charlotte Observer said 310,000.

    • Thanks for leaving your memory on the ‘wall’, David. People have been great about taking a few minutes to reminisce about that event that’s still vivid after 40 years. Guys remember exactly where they came in, where they sat, and who they were with.

      There are a lot of important things in my past that aren’t as clear in my mind as that weekend. We didn’t plan on stepping into that small slice of history – just like the Woodstock crowd. We were simply at the right place at the right time, intent on listening to some music and taking some pictures. We had no idea that we were at the last-of-its-kind event that couldn’t happen today because of the rather feeble state of our society.

  50. My girlfriend Melody Thompson, and some friends Gaines Wansley, Jack Lail, and Robert Lucas attended this in 1974,,,,,I don’t remember where I bought tickets, whether in Asheboro or Greensboro, but when we arrived early Saturday morning with a cooler full of country club malt liquor and a few sandwiches,,,, one of the fences was already down,,, and there were some streakers, but they were not streaking, just walking in very casual,,,, we walked around the track and found a spot in the walking area in front of seats in the grandstand,, right up against fence, facing the main stage,,, great music,,, I believe first group we heard was Foghat,, then Marshall Tucker, Black Oak Arkansas, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and the Allman Brothers band,,,,,,, I heard most of these but at one point I think I passed out for a few minutes and then threw up all over myself,,,,, great time with our friends, and Melody & I married a few years later and still together,,,,

  51. I was a 16yr old farm kid. Heard about it on the am radio station from Ft Wayne. I had no idea what i was getting into. we got there early and were maybe 30 feet from the fence at the stage. i remember the wave of people when they crashed the fence. jack and johnny from Tallahassee saved me from starvation. a lot of it has escaped my memory, if i ever saw it at all. a momentous occasion for sure.

  52. I turned 16 that summer, left Alabama with 3 friends in a Ford LTD. Wound up a couple of dollars short of the ticket price, but realized once we were there on Saturday that no ticket was required! Had begun to wonder if I imagined the whole thing (or exaggerated it wildly), but I remember the 30 hours I was there vividly. Saw the ELP show for hours; forgotten the fireworks until reminded; thought they were perhaps only in my mind?). Allman Brothers closed out the show; played until the early morning hours-3:30 am sounds about right. Nothing else like it before or since. Sure was not a thing to eat or drink, except a water faucet across the highway at a temporarily boarded up gas station. You would have thought it was a hurricane coming or something! Station owners high-tailed outa there. But I too witnessed no violent behavior anywhere, not even on the road driving in or out through a traffic jam. Imagine that! Peace Out Brothers & Sisters!

  53. Found your site and enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Was a 22 year old just back from Southeast Asia when I attended the concert. Had a blast and wish I had kept my ticket as a momentous. Didn’t need it to get in as the gates came down and it was free admission at that point. Sorry the Eagles cancelled. Was a blast anyway

  54. sure loved looking at your pixs ,like most i was 16 and in heaven that few days ,drove up from atlanta friday night by day break saturday we had parked on 85-north and walked the rest of the way ,we had tickets but saw all the damage done ,me and buddys jimmy hayhurst -mike curtis -and tom van penbrook walked around the crowds for hours ,enjoying trying to walk the big bank turns of the race track ,wolfman jack talking all day emcee ,sure enjoyed foghat ozark, mountain daredevils if ya wanna get to heaven ,pot and dope everywhere,emerson lake and palmer were cool ,but loved the allman brothers band ,seemed they came on very late and played thru out late after midnight

  55. Aww Yea Man I was there.It was Tom and Debbie’s honeymoon ,we were 15&16 driving in from Jacksonville Florida 5 of us,Rick Mark and myself.The cars were parked miles down the road we just kept driving right to the front ,got a good place(a day early)cooked a chicken did some partying. the next day we were going through the gates when they started crashing them down(ticket takers just got out of the way.got split up from tom deb and rick,but we had the cooler, to much went on to tell all. people carrying sign going out of business sell acid for a dollar ,people throwing garbage bags of pot around(home grown). What a trip.Never ever met anyone who had attended before until recently when i looked it up on the web..best time ever!!!!!!!!!

  56. I was there all of 19 yrs old…….we got there just when the fence was being trampled down and people were rushing in….my thought’s i wasted money on this ticket…but when we got seated and got treated in more ways than one.nothing well almost nothing can or could erase those memories…people sitting on top of the press box falling through….yeah man ….I was there…

  57. would love to have a complete line up of the bands that did play. I made some pictures , must locate them . Purle smoke bombs, people hanging atop fences, streakers , lol I was on a date,now that was a date to remember! thank you for all your time and wonderful pictures of such a peaceful yet wild adventure.

    • From what I remember…and I could be wrong…PFM opened, then Fannie played, Goose Creek Symphony, Grinder Switch, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Foghat, Black Oak Arkansas, Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Allman Brothers Band……what a show !

  58. I remember August Jam like it was yesterday. My buddy Calvin was riding around in his van wishing we could go to the concert when all of a sudden on the radio they had said the crowd had busted the fence down along with trampling one of the guard dogs but the bottom line they announced that the concert was free. We scraped our money together had a big cooler full of cold beer and man we took off to the speedway. Where they had torn down the fence was in the first turn of the speedway so we had to manipulate ourselves and that cooler down the 24 degree banking. That was funny as shit when we about tore the ass end of our jeans sliding down the track and ended up in the infield and then it was on and the rest is history. Great Pictures Alan. I really like the picture of Toy Caldwell when he was alive with The Marshall Tucker Band. Needless to say they never tried to throw another outdoor concert again.

    • Thanks for taking time to write, Rick. Stay tuned – I found most of my negatives and am about ready to post another batch of photos; this time with more of what we looked like back then.

  59. Perhaps, your little, brat, sister had something to do with the yellowing of the photographs. Can’t tell you how many times I peeked into that folder in my big brothers room. Love you! Great memories!!

    • That wouldn’t have been a problem if I had washed the prints long enough to remove all of the fixer. I might not have rotated them enough because some are fine and others showing their age before their time. Stained prints are part of the cost of the education when you teach it all to yourself.

      People spend time and money to get prints to look like that in Photoshop; I got it by accident!

  60. Bunch of us from Wilmington got there early that morning and what a time! I was 18 and my first big show.I got so wasted I passed out on the racetrack along with hundreds of others and slept till 5am.I have no idea how I reunited with my friends but somehow I did.Those were the days!!

  61. I was there in 1974. Two friends and I were partying Friday night around 9pm and heard the ad for this concert on WLS radio in Chicago. One of my friends had a chevy vega so we counted our money and threw a twin mattress in the back of the vega and headed to Charlote. We got there and miscalculated our funds and did not have enough money for tickets and none were to be had anyway. So we started walking around the fence and came across this guy in a corvair with a chain. He pulled down both fences and in walked 500-1000 of us. The police just watched. It was an awesome concert. I could not believe how long ELP played. seemed like around 6:45 to 11 or so. Then almann bros came on and played till 3:30 am if I recall correctly. It was unbelievable.

  62. I was there. Started helping with some friends in a food vender set up just to the left of the stage. We became overwhelmed and stayed as long as possible trying to get the food out. Just too many people and not enough help.It was a blast though.I was right in front of the stage when FogHat played. I remember Wolfman Jack introducing them ELP that night was fantastic.

  63. The poster that beckoned me to this show still hangs on my kitchen wall.

    I recall that a great deal of the hectic hilarity was due to Nixon’s resignation two days earlier. PFM (an Italian prog-rock band promoted by ELP) opened the show noting that reason to party.

    Thank you for posting your pictures. We would love to see them all.

  64. WOW It’s just after midnight August 11,2014 and I was reminiscing about forty years prior and about the same time of night. Arriving back in Myrtle Beach SC after leaving Charlotte and the greatest concert of my life….. since the concert I’ve been twenty two years as a naval officer, twelve as an electrical engineering consultant for Boeing and now retired again living in Mt Pleasant SC across the Cooper river from Charleston. Now the reason for the bloviating bio. While in the navy, I’ve met no less than fifty individuals who traveled to Charlotte, from the northeast Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode island, New York and from the mid west, Kansas, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa all to be a part of the greatest concert ever. While sailing in the Bahamas in 1999 I met John Teter from Connecticut now living in Hilton Head SC. During the regatta I was singing an REO Speedwagon tune, he remarked how he and one of his buddies had hitch hiked down to Charlotte in August ’74 and saw Speedwagon and many more bands that weekend… Thanks for building this memory wall. Can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had at this concert. Drove my convertible Plymouth to Fayetteville early that Friday morning to pick up my cousin and two fantastic girls. Got to the concert and ran into so many of my buddies from Myrtle it was almost a reunion of the wild bunch. I’m still a big fan of the old bands and I support their tours whenever possible…..

    • There were 2 big concerts in Charlotte that year…The first in July was at the old stadium downtown. Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Chris Jagger & Isis, REO Speedwagon, Dr, John, Lynyrd Skynyrd,and ZZ Top all played that day and night. It was a great show that was marred by a cop getting shot 5 blocks away and the concert getting blamed for it. Had nothing to do with the show. It was a great show that lasted till 3am. Then a month or so later the August Jam !!!Bigger and better ! I know the big festivals today have worked out a lot of the kinks we had in the early days of big shows…better sound and lights and facilities today at the many shows yearly across the country today…..but it just ain’t the same feeling we had back then…hard to put a finger on it exactly…maybe it was OUR youth of optimism that was greater then.??? Maybe the drugs were better ???? I know I would love to do these 2 concerts all over again ! Peace

  65. I went there the month before I got out of army,was at Bragg in the 82nd I was from Fla and my buddy was from queens,what an exclamation point to my 3 years at Bragg,we had tickets but helped storm the fence anyway lol,I sure wish others could hear Wolfgang Jack say”don’t do the the in the yellow caps,3 overdoses already”great 3 days!!

  66. I have been looking for years for pics of this show…..I was just 15 when I was there right in the middle of the quad sound system ! I just found a live recording of the EL&P set at the tradersden.org !!!! I have seen the BOA video on their live dvd. This was such fun… I was there for 3 days getting there Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday afternoon. I saw the guys jump the fences and get bit by dogs on Friday night. The road around the track was an awesome party that night. The show was great and I saw just about everything you could see there. I don’t remember any fights it seemed like we were a brotherhood of southern hippies….more drugs than you can imagine were everywhere…the quadraphonic sound for ELP was mind blowing ! My best vision of the show was late Saturday night/ Sunday morning, as The Allman Brothers blues on out, we began to sit and contemplate the show…..through the haze and smoke I could see 2 shadowy figures moving towards me from afar…as they got closer I could tell it was a dude and his chick…both naked…draggin big burlap sacks behind them like coffee….loaded with big “lids” of weed and they were just walking through the crowd throwing out these beautiful big baggies…..such love !!! Oh those WERE the days !!!! Thank you my friend for the pics I am directing all I know here to look !!!! Hope you find more !!! Does anyone remember who played instead of the Eagles… I remember Lynyrd Skynrd but my friend says no….I sure do remember them playing… then again maybe it was just the …..Peace & Love !

    • Was it PFM? They were there but not sure if they were the Eagles’ replacement. Was Foghat on the original card? I’ll have to look around for a photo of a promo poster.

      • Try sugarmegs.org I have found some ELP shows there it might be there now. I don’t see it on Traders Den anymore either. If not contact me I have it. I will find a way to get it to you.

      • The copy I have was released as a 2 cd set called: “The Dust of Time Live in Charlotte Motor Speedway New York 1974” on the Highland label. HL361/362 Of course we know it was not New York. Also the set list on cd2 is not correct. It has all The Pictures at Exhibition songs at the end but the last set of songs they played that night was KArnEvil9 so you have to tweak the list to get the exact Charlotte show. It sounds as if someone had a reel to reel set up in their tent pretty close so it is not a bad sound for the time. As a fan and because I was there it has been worth listening too a few times!

    • PFM opened. They were a prog-rock act that travelled with ELP that year. Among the bands that might be taken for Lynyrd Skynrd were Grinderswitch, the Marshall Tucker Band, and Foghat.

  67. Hi Allen, I was at the August Jam in 1974, I attended with Marvin Sparrow, Kathy, Half Breed, Jack Batson,Window Belbal, and a host of other Charlotte Natives. I was part of the fans that clash the gate, I had went to the speedway on Friday the 3rd and camped out all night. My girl Friend Jenny the redhead jumped up on stage during one of the performances. It would be nice if we all could have a reunion on August the 4th this year maybe at freedom park or somewhere acessable to all the “Old” Hippies, I live in Winston Salem now, the home of the second Festval in the Carolinas, my phone number is 336) 354-7422, if anyone that wae there woud like to contact me please do so, don’t let the jam of a life-time die. Mohawk

      • I was there with friends, arrived on Friday before fences came down. It was a great time and as all there we saw all kinds of crazy things and met many people from all over. I remember the helicopter flying the ones out who partied a little too much…I sure would like to be in the group and share memories of something that will never happen again. I will be waiting to hear back.
        Thanks…Peace
        Craig

  68. Thanks for these great shots,I was really tickled to discover this posting. I was on the verge of 18 and went with a group of friends. found a spot right in the middle of the Quad PA and great view of the stage so I could see one of my favorites at the time,Emerson lake and Palmer.I can now show friends where and “what”? I was doing all those years ago. I had a great time and saw many a strange behavior from some odd characters but one that stands out was almost’ naked guy in a gorilla mask selling all manner of drugs from a trash bag he was dragging.It truly was an experience.

    • Darrell – Sorry to be so late approving this post; I missed seeing it waiting. Most posts are advertising junk that I kill to keep the site accomplishing its mission. The mission of these photos is to bring back a little slice of something fun from our past, and maybe inspire someone – young or “mature” like us – to put a roll of film into a camera and create some real photographs.

    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you like the photos from the archive. I’d be honored for you to post them if you’ll just link them back here. August Jam in general is really short on photos online, and some of the 200,000+ of us in the vicinity of these pictures might get a smile out of remembering that day one more time.

      ATTENTION READERS – Julie’s name in the post above links to the BOA YouTube channel, that contains a link to the official Black Oak Arkansas site with the message board she mentions. I also ran across a great Ricky Lee Reynolds radio interview in which he tells the band’s story from when he and Jim Dandy met in Black Oak, Arkansas in 1963 and started the band. I had no idea how important BOA is to Southern Rock. Stop by these two sites if the band was part of your growing up – or not. It finishes, by the way, with a great version of BOA’s other signature song.

      Fifty years later, these guys are still recording albums! If you aren’t old enough to have ever bought a vinyl record album and are jumping into film photography, then the links above will reinforce your connection with the past. You might not even be a fan of Southern Rock, but since you’ve looked at the photos and read this far, you owe yourself ten minutes to listen to a few songs and the interview. You might find some new music to listen to while you agitate that next tank of Tri-X.

      Alan

  69. Amazing. I have looked for a long time for pictures documenting this event. I was there, along with 3 buddies, smack dab in the middle of the infield….18 and recently graduated. Thanks for posting these!!

    • Hi Jerry,
      I was there also, are you from Charlotte? I would love to get up with some people thar wae there, old concert goers never die they just fade away (smile). As Stevie Wonder ask in his song, has anybody seen my old friends, I just look around and they are gone. Jerry the beat part of the August Jam was, there were no strangers there, it seems as if everyone knew everyone. what a time , what a time.

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