Worldwide Texas Tour
|Concert by ZZ Top|
|Associated album||Fandango!, Tejas|
|Start date||May 29, 1976|
|End date||December 31, 1977|
|No. of shows||98 (100 scheduled)|
|ZZ Top concert chronology|
The Worldwide Texas Tour was a concert tour by American rock band ZZ Top. Arranged in support of their 1975 album Fandango!, the band visited arenas, stadiums, and auditoriums from 1976 to 1977. The elaborate stage production was designed to bring Texas to national audiences, with regional fauna and flora.
Encompassing five legs and 97 shows, the tour began in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on May 29, 1976 and ended in Fort Worth, Texas on December 31, 1977. The band's 1976 album Tejas, which elaborated on the tour's artistic theme, was recorded during a break in the tour, and its songs were played in 1977. In 2008, Guitar World′s Alan di Perna called it "one of the most ambitious and bizarre tours in all of rock history".
ZZ Top's 1973 album Tres Hombres and supporting single "La Grange" brought them commercial and critical success in the United States. They gained a reputation as one of the top rock acts in the country and earned them the nickname "that little ol' band from Texas". On September 1, 1974, ZZ Top performed at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. The concert—photographs of which were used for their 1975 Fandango! album—was the last at the stadium until the Eagles performed there in 1995, as the artificial turf was damaged by rowdy fans. In 2008, guitarist and vocalist Billy Gibbons recalled the concert as a "great, great event".
Design and production
The Worldwide Texas Tour stage was designed by Bill Narum, who also designed ZZ Top's album covers and tour posters. Whereas ZZ Top had previously used simple productions, the tour stage was an elaborate setup designed to "bring Texas to the people". It included a 63-by-48 foot (19-by-15 m) stage that was tilted at a four-degree angle, which resembled the shape of Texas and weighed 35 tons (70,000 lbs), costing a reported US$100,000. The stage was constructed in a seven-hour process with the help of 40 crew members. The set's backdrop was a 180-foot (55 m) three-dimensional panorama that used five scrims measuring 36-by-20 feet (11-by-6 m), which were hand-painted and individually lit to show dawn and dusk effects.
The presentation also included live animals such as a longhorn steer, black buffalo, two vultures, and two rattlesnakes, and plants such as yucca, agave, and cacti. Over US$140,000 was spent to ensure that the animals were healthy, traveling under the supervision of an animal expert and veterinarian. The set used 260 speakers and 130 light fixtures, using over 136,000 watts of power. A crew of 50 people traveled in a series of 13 vehicles to transport 75 tons (150,000 lbs) of equipment. The entire production and crew were insured for $10 million.
Planning, itinerary, and ticketing
Rehearsals began in May 1976 at Astroarena in Houston. The band and crew spent a week rehearsing the show, constructing and adjusting the stage set. Unlike many of the group's previous tours, which began around the release of a new album, the Worldwide Texas Tour started over a year after Fandango! was released, allowing fans the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the songs. By opening night, the album had already been certified gold in the United States and sold over one million copies in Canada. The first leg of the tour, 30 shows in the US, alternated between stadiums and arenas. Concerts in Europe, Japan, Australia, and Mexico were cancelled due to quarantine restrictions for buffalo.
The band's recorded their 1976 album Tejas during a break in the tour, and played its songs in 1977. By the time the third US leg began, Tejas had sold more than half a million copies in the US. The leg, which began in February 1977, was the band's first full arena leg of the tour. Four days of heavy rain and hailstorms preceded the opening show at Groves Stadium, which decreased ticket sales to 20,000. Tickets for two shows at The Summit in Houston sold out in less than twelve hours. Ticket prices for outdoor venues were US$8.50 in advance and $10 on the day of the show, while indoor venues were $6 in advance and $7 at the door. At its conclusion, the Worldwide Texas Tour sold over 1.2 million tickets. In 2008, Guitar World′s Alan di Perna called it "one of the most ambitious and bizarre tours in all of rock history".
|Leg 1: arenas and stadiums in the United States|
|May 29, 1976||Winston-Salem||United States||Groves Stadium||Lynyrd Skynyrd, Point Blank||N/A||N/A|
|June 2, 1976||Norfolk||Norfolk Scope||Wet Willie||8,309 / 12,000|
|June 3, 1976||Richmond||Richmond Coliseum||N/A|
|June 5, 1976||Atlanta||Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium||Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop||45,000 / 65,000||$425,000|
|June 6, 1976||Knoxville||Knoxville Civic Coliseum||N/A||N/A|
|June 7, 1976||Louisville||Freedom Hall|
|June 12, 1976||Pittsburgh||Three Rivers Stadium||Aerosmith, Point Blank||47,705 / 65,000||$425,000|
|June 20, 1976||Jacksonville||Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum||Elvin Bishop, Jay Boy Adams||N/A||N/A|
|June 23, 1976||Niagara Falls||Niagara Falls Convention Center||Blue Öyster Cult, Starz|
|June 24, 1976||Binghamton||Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena|
|June 25, 1976||South Yarmouth||Cape Cod Coliseum||Blue Öyster Cult, Starz|
|June 26, 1976||Philadelphia||Philadelphia Spectrum||Blue Öyster Cult, Ted Nugent||18,209 / 19,500||$104,568|
|June 28, 1976||Richfield||Coliseum at Richfield||Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band||N/A||N/A|
|June 29, 1976||Charleston||Charleston Civic Center||Blue Öyster Cult|
|July 4, 1976||Memphis||Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium||Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws||32,000 / 60,000||$320,000|
|July 9, 1976||Omaha||Omaha Civic Auditorium||N/A||N/A|
|July 11, 1976||Kansas City||Arrowhead Stadium||Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jay Boy Adams|
|July 14, 1976||St. Louis||Kiel Auditorium||Pure Prairie League, Jay Boy Adams|
|July 17, 1976||New Orleans||Tulane Stadium||The J. Geils Band, Jay Boy Adams||51,000 / 60,000||$500,000|
|July 21, 1976||Duluth||Duluth Arena Auditorium||N/A||N/A|
|July 23, 1976||Milwaukee||MECCA Arena|
|July 25, 1976||South Bend||Athletic & Convocation Center|
|July 26, 1976||Clarkston||Pine Knob Music Theatre||REO Speedwagon|
|July 27, 1976|
|August 1, 1976||Denver||McNichols Sports Arena||Blue Öyster Cult, The Outlaws||17,102 / 17,102||$136,816|
|August 4, 1976||Albuquerque||Tingley Coliseum||Jay Boy Adams||N/A||N/A|
|August 7, 1976||Anaheim||Anaheim Stadium||Blue Öyster Cult, Johnny & Edgar Winter||49,169 / 60,000||$498,040|
|August 9, 1976||San Diego||San Diego Stadium||N/A||N/A|
|August 10, 1976||Fresno||Selland Arena|
|August 14, 1976||Daly City||Cow Palace||Ted Nugent||14,500 / 14,500||$79,844|
|Leg 2: arenas and stadiums in the United States|
|September 10, 1976||Waterloo||United States||McElroy Auditorium||The Boys||5,000 / 7,000||$24,900|
|September 11, 1976||Bloomington||Metropolitan Sports Center||Pure Prairie League, Jay Boy Adams||N/A||N/A|
|September 12, 1976||Detroit||Cobo Center|
|September 17, 1976||Bismarck||Bismarck Civic Center||REO Speedwagon||4,200 / 8,000|
|September 18, 1976||Billings||Yellowstone METRA||10,086 / 13,000|
|September 19, 1976||Laramie||War Memorial Fieldhouse||N/A|
|September 21, 1976||Salt Lake City||Salt Palace||Roadwork|
|September 22, 1976||Las Vegas||Las Vegas Convention Center|
|September 24, 1976||Tucson||Tucson Community Center|
|September 25, 1976||Nashville||Tennessee State Fairgrounds||The Band, Cate Brothers||$13,744|
|September 30, 1976||Lakeland||Lakeland Civic Center||Point Blank||N/A|
|October 2, 1976||Hollywood||Hollywood Sportatorium|
|October 9, 1976||Tallahassee||Doak Campbell Stadium||Wet Willie, Point Blank||11,600 / 40,500||$82,000|
|October 14, 1976||Dayton||University of Dayton Arena||Wet Willie||N/A||N/A|
|October 16, 1976||Charlotte||Charlotte Coliseum||Styx||13,500 / 13,500|
|October 17, 1976||Columbia||Carolina Coliseum||N/A|
|October 21, 1976||Portland||Portland Memorial Coliseum||Elvin Bishop|
|October 22, 1976||Spokane||Spokane Coliseum||6,506 / 8,500|
|October 23, 1976||Seattle||Seattle Center Coliseum||N/A|
|October 28, 1976||Pocatello||ASISU MiniDome||7,368 / 12,000|
|October 31, 1976||Kansas City||Kansas City Municipal Auditorium||Rory Gallagher||N/A|
|November 2, 1976||Oklahoma City||Oklahoma State Fair Arena|
|November 4, 1976||Wichita||Levitt Arena||The Fools|
|November 7, 1976||Evansville||Roberts Municipal Stadium||8,007 / 12,732||$51,686|
|November 9, 1976||Toledo||Toledo Sports Arena||Montrose||N/A||N/A|
|November 11, 1976||Landover||Capital Centre||Styx, Elvin Bishop|
|November 25, 1976||Houston||The Summit||Rory Gallagher|
|November 26, 1976|
|November 27, 1976||Fort Worth||Tarrant County Convention Center|
|November 28, 1976|
|November 30, 1976||Tulsa||Tulsa Assembly Center||Pure Prairie League|
|Leg 3: arenas and auditoriums in the United States|
|February 16, 1977||Madison||United States||Dane County Memorial Coliseum||Head East||N/A||N/A|
|February 17, 1977||Indianapolis||Market Square Arena||Elvin Bishop|
|February 19, 1977||Chicago||Chicago Stadium||Atlanta Rhythm Section|
|February 22, 1977||Fort Wayne||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum|
|February 23, 1977||Cincinnati||Riverfront Coliseum||Cate Brothers||11,951 / 17,556||$78,764|
|February 24, 1977||Detroit||Cobo Center||Atlanta Rhythm Section||N/A||N/A|
|March 3, 1977||Portland||Cumberland County Civic Center||The Blend||7,489 / 9,500|
|March 8, 1977||Binghamton||Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena||The Dictators||N/A|
|March 9, 1977||Springfield||Springfield Civic Center||Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band|
|March 16, 1977||Boston||Boston Garden||Santana|
|March 17, 1977|
|March 19, 1977||Jackson||Mississippi Coliseum||Point Blank|
|March 23, 1977||Lake Charles||Lake Charles Civic Center|
|March 25, 1977||Springfield||Hammons Center Arena|
|March 26, 1977||Lincoln||Pershing Auditorium||Styx|
|March 27, 1977||Normal||Horton Fieldhouse||Point Blank|
|April 1, 1977||Savannah||Savannah Civic Center|
|April 2, 1977||Mobile||Mobile Municipal Auditorium|
|April 3, 1977||Birmingham||Birmingham–Jefferson Civic Center|
|April 7, 1977||Richmond||Richmond Coliseum||Nils Lofgren|
|April 8, 1977||Hampton||Hampton Coliseum||Atlanta Rhythm Section, Nils Lofgren|
|April 9, 1977||Greensboro||Greensboro Coliseum||Nils Lofgren|
|April 10, 1977||Roanoke||Roanoke Civic Center||The Outlaws|
|April 13, 1977||Kalamazoo||Wings Stadium||Rush|
|April 15, 1977||Johnson City||Freedom Hall Civic Center||Blackfoot||5,688 / 8,500||$39,501|
|April 16, 1977||Clemson||Littlejohn Coliseum||N/A||N/A|
|April 18, 1977||Columbia||Hearnes Center|
|April 21, 1977||Rochester||Rochester Community War Memorial||Pure Prairie League|
|April 23, 1977||Manchester||John F. Kennedy Memorial Coliseum||The Dictators|
|April 24, 1977||Waterbury||Palace Theater||Piper||3,800 / 3,800||$28,500|
|April 30, 1977||Providence||Providence Civic Center||Foghat||N/A||N/A|
|May 6, 1977||Hays||Gross Memorial Coliseum|
|May 7, 1977||Lawrence||Allen Fieldhouse||Foreigner|
|Leg 4: arenas and auditoriums in the United States|
|June 7, 1977||Albuquerque||United States||Tingley Coliseum||Pure Prairie League, Climax Blues Band||N/A||N/A|
|June 8, 1977||Tucson||Tucson Community Center|
|June 9, 1977||Tempe||ASU Activity Center|
|June 11, 1977||Inglewood||Inglewood Forum||Elvin Bishop|
|June 14, 1977||Bakersfield||Bakersfield Civic Auditorium|
|June 15, 1977||San Diego||San Diego Sports Arena||9,921 / 14,800||$65,768|
|June 18, 1977||El Paso||El Paso County Coliseum||Point Blank||N/A||N/A|
|June 21, 1977||Fresno||Selland Arena||Elvin Bishop|
|June 22, 1977||San Bernardino||Swing Auditorium|
|June 24, 1977||Daly City||Cow Palace||9,167 / 14,000||$62,039|
|July 1, 1977||Honolulu||Neal S. Blaisdell Center||Yellow Rose Band||N/A||N/A|
|July 2, 1977|
|July 9, 1977||Fargo||North Dakota State University|
|July 10, 1977||Rapid City||Rushmore Plaza Civic Center||Burton Cummings|
|Leg 5: arenas and auditoriums in the United States|
|December 28, 1977||Shreveport||United States||Hirsch Memorial Coliseum||Sea Level||N/A||N/A|
|December 29, 1977||Abilene||Taylor County Expo Center||Muddy Waters, Jay Boy Adams|
|December 30, 1977||San Antonio||San Antonio Convention Center||Muddy Waters, The Fools|
|December 31, 1977||Fort Worth||Tarrant County Convention Center||Muddy Waters|
|January 1, 1978||Amarillo||Amarillo Civic Center|
- di Perna, Alan (July 2008). "ZZ Top: Cars, Guitars, & Three Unlikely Rock Stars". Guitar World. Vol. 29 no. 7.
- The Alcalde 1995. sfn error: no target: CITEREFThe_Alcalde1995 (help)
- Texas Monthly Talks 2008. sfn error: no target: CITEREFTexas_Monthly_Talks2008 (help)
- Gray 2009.
- Billboard 1976. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBillboard1976 (help)
- Orb 1976.
- Clark 1994.
- Kerrang! 1981. sfn error: no target: CITEREFKerrang!1981 (help)
- "Billy Gibbons, Musician". Texas Monthly Talks. Season 6. Episode 141. Austin. April 24, 2008. Event occurs at 14:02-14:33. PBS. KLRU-TV.
- Clark, Stuart (January 26, 1994). "ZZ Living". Hot Press.
- Gray, Chris (November 19, 2009). "R.I.P. Bill Narum, KLOL Co-Founder, Leading Texas Counterculture Artist and ZZ Top Stage Designer". Houston Press.
- Hinchliffe, Jon (September 1981). "These Men Are Not As Daft As They Look". Kerrang!. Vol. 1 no. 3. p. 31.
- "Longhorns Host Eagles". The Alcalde. Vol. 83 no. 5. May 1995. p. 31.
- Orb, Maureen (1976). "ZZ Top tour is the largest in rock history". Newsweek.
- "ZZ Top global trek has $20 mil potential". Billboard. June 12, 1976.