REMEMBERING THE OFTEN-OVERLOOKED CALIFFORNIA WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL

The ’70s were so jam-packed with mega-concerts featuring an embarrassment of rock riches that one might count off half a dozen of these legendary happenings (the Texxas Jam, California Jams 1 and 2, the World Series of Rock, etc.) before the 1979 CaliFFornia World Music Festival even comes to mind. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive lineup than the one that rocked L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum and surrounding grounds on April 7-8, 1979.

Van Halen played the second day of the two-day event (April 7–8, 1979). This was a huge milestone for them, as they were suddenly playing with bands that they would have stood in line to see just a year earlier.

To be clear, the modern definition of “world music” had absolutely nothing to do with it. Instead, aside from the hilarious MC duties performed by Cheech & Chong, the quintessential stoner comedy duo, along with parallel entertainment including everything from a battle of the bands to a rock ’n’ roll movie theater, food fair, arts & crafts and skateboarding exhibitions, the festival was entirely focused on rock.

The weekend got off to a disconcertingly inauspicious start when the Fabulous Poodles, a British also-ran new-wave band, were roundly booed by the unimpressed classic rockers in attendance – many of whom were already disappointed by the last-minute no-show by Frank Marino and his Mahogany Rush. Luckily, April Wine stepped in to help get that Saturday’s lineup headed in the right direction, with great help from follow-up acts, Head East, Southern rock mainstays the Outlaws, and rising AOR royalty like REO Speedwagon and Toto… read more >

CaliFFornia World Music Festival 1979 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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