Texxas Jam

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Texxas Jam
(Texxas World Music Festival)
GenreRock music, country, heavy metal, jam band music
DatesFourth of July weekend
Years active1978-1988
Founded byLouis Messina, David Krebs
WebsiteBlackstone Archives Site

Texxas Jam was the informal nickname of an annual summer rock concert called the Texxas World Music Festival (1978–1988). It was held in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl, and in Houston, at either the Astrodome or the Rice Stadium on the campus of Rice University.

The original Texxas Jam was a three-day festival held over the Fourth of July weekend in 1978 and encompassed rock and country.[1] Texxas Jam was created by Louis Messina, promoter of Pace Concerts in Houston, and David Krebs, manager of the rock acts Ted Nugent and Aerosmith. Krebs wanted to duplicate the music festival California Jam II (held March 18, 1978 in Ontario, California) in Texas. Krebs was unfamiliar with the territory, so he contacted Messina in Houston.

A book, Texxas Jam: 1978–1988, was published in March 2011 covering all 11 Texxas Jams.[2]

Artists who performed at the Texxas Jam[edit]

(Headliners marked in bold.)

1978 (July 1) – Texxas Music Festival, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas (General Admission – $12.50)

Notes: Ted Nugent joined Aerosmith on stage for a rousing rendition of "Milk Cow Blues". For comic relief, Cheech & Chong entertained the crowd between a couple of acts. The temperature reached 104 degrees that day (over 120 degrees on the field). To protect the Cotton Bowl, they covered the surface with black tarps. Over 100,000 people were in attendance on the hottest day of the decade. The concert had hose sprinklers around the field edge to cool people off, and they hosed the crowd down with firehoses from the stage. First aid stations were busy.

This was the first southern stadium rock show since ZZ Top played to 80,000 people at UT Austin on September 1, 1974 and tore up the field. In the aftermath of the ZZ Top UT show there was never supposed to be another stadium rock show in Texas again, an informal prohibition that lasted all of four years.[4]

1978 (July 23) – Cotton Bowl Jam 2, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

1979 (June 9) – Texxas Music Festival, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas (General Admission – $15.00)

Notes: TKO was managed by the same management as Heart at the time, which is the reason for their appearance on the bill. KTXQ-FM Q-102 simulcast much of this concert throughout the day, with TKO, Hagar, Nazareth, and portions of Heart's show aired live. Van Halen's set was not broadcast. KTXQ had to unplug Heart's sound equipment for Boston's set, which they did before the band took the stage. As a result, only a portion of Heart's set was aired, the sound being broadcast from microphones placed around the Cotton Bowl.

1979 (Sunday, August 26) – Cotton Bowl in Dallas (General Admission – $15.00) "A Farewell To A Texas Summer"

Officially called "The Last Concert of the Last Weekend of the Last Summer of the Seventies".

Note: Rush performed pre-studio versions of "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill".

1980 (June 21) – Cotton Bowl in Dallas (General Admission – $16.50)

Notes: Savvy was bumped at the last minute by The Eagles' management. (Show lineup confirmed by Steve Jones of Savvy.) Christopher Cross, who already didn't fit on the hard-rocking Texxas Jam stage, was resoundingly booed at the outset of "Sailing", then later cut his set short after throwing up on stage due to heat exhaustion. The Eagles refused to play at first and were an hour late going on due to issues with the 'Hard Rock' line up.[citation needed]

1981 (July 18) – Astrodome in Houston (General Admission – $17.00)

Notes: Savvy was originally scheduled to open, but was bumped by REO Speedwagon's management (same management as The Eagles in 1980). (Show lineup confirmed by Steve Jones of Savvy.)

Notes: The '81 Jam was held in Houston that year because of the intense summer heat in Texas. The promoters decided to move it indoors to the Astrodome in Houston, marking the Jam's first Houston date. The festival would be split between Dallas and Houston through 1984.

1982 (Dallas-June 12, Houston-June 13)

Notes: It was a hot day that day. Sammy Hagar had a guitar stolen backstage at the Cotton Bowl show; it was returned later that day. However, Hagar vowed to never play it again after it had been handled by someone else, and lit it on fire on stage. Right before Santana's set, the house music mix played their hit "Winning", the lead singer and other band members came onstage and motioned to the sound mixers to try to get the song cut off; afterwards the band did not play "Winning" during their set.

Correction: Sammy's guitar was stolen from a previous Dallas show. Was recovered and Sammy held it until the Texxas Jam. Where he explained the incident and destroyed the guitar. The guitar was never set on fire. Sammy smashed the guitar onstage and threw it into the crowd.

1982 (August) (Cotton Bowl Dallas, TX) This show was referred to as "The Super Bowl of Rock N Roll". This show was late summer & was not truly considered a Texxas Jam.[by whom?]

Notes: Ozzy had a shaved head and black makeup around his eyes – from a distance, it looked like a skull.

1983 (Dallas – June 18, Houston – June 19)

Notes: Hagar came on just before Styx at the end. Ted Nugent and Rik Emmett joined Sammy Hagar on stage in Dallas for their version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n Roll." Tommy Shaw recalls these shows as being some of the worst of his career. He claims to have feared for his life as his band was performing nothing but the rock opera "Killroy Was Here" after some of the best hard rock bands of the day had performed. (This was the tour that essentially ended Styx.)

1984 (June 8) Houston Astrodome / (June 10) Cotton Bowl in Dallas

Notes: Bryan Adams' drummer for this show was Matt Frenette of Loverboy.

1985 (August 24) – Cotton Bowl in Dallas

1986 (July 19)

Notes: Leslie West joined BTO on stage to perform Mountain's "Mississippi Queen."

1987 (June 20) – Cotton Bowl in Dallas (General Admission – $20.25)

Notes: The live concert footage for Poison's video "I Won't Forget You" was filmed at this performance. The crowd seemed wild about Poison while in actuality a drunk concertgoer was on top of a lighting tower (about 30' up) trampolining on the tarp roof in nothing but a pair of blue jeans. The crowd really enjoyed him and the Dallas PD's attempt to get him safely to the ground. Also, Poison was joined onstage by Paul Stanley for their performance of KISS' "Strutter". The temperature in Dallas that day reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit, prompting many in the very crowded ground area to pass out and be lifted overhead to the indoor areas of the stadium where water fountains were at. Water from hoses was also sprayed on the concertgoers in the field.

1988 (a.k.a. "The Monsters of Rock", July 3) – Cotton Bowl in Dallas (General Admission – $25)

Notes: Metallica played "Harvester of Sorrow" for the first time live. Van Halen's Sammy Hagar lost his voice after only a couple of songs. He then promised to play a free show in Dallas. A few years later, Van Halen followed-through on that promise.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blah, Blah" (monthly column), by Bellicose Bullfeather (pseudonym of Stoney Burns; Brent LaSalle Stein; 1942–2011), Buddy, Vol. 5, No. 11, June 1978, p. 14; ISSN 0192-9097; OCLC 52985380, 5134794
  2. ^ Texxas Jam: 1978–1988, by Vernon Leroy Gowdy III (born 1955), Lulu Com (2014); OCLC 982608756; ISBN 1312504749; ISBN 9781312504745
  3. ^ Allison, Ehrlich (October 7, 2020). "Remembering Van Halen concerts at Corpus Christi's Memorial Coliseum". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Retrieved 24 Oct 2020.
  4. ^ Texxas Jam 1978 (documentary; eVideo), directed by James Austin, Archway Pictures (made available through Hoopla (2015); OCLC 919586113

External links[edit]