Gary's CalJam story (cont'd.)
ELP were one of the foremost inventive bands I've come across during the past 35 years and a friend of mine and I were very fortunate indeed to attend the concert venue on that warm April day, 29 years ago. We arrived VERY early (or so we thought) and came across mountains of cars in the adjacent field and a sea of bodies lined up for what appeared to be a mile long, waiting to get through the main gates of the speedway. In fact, one concert goer standing near us made the remark that "We were at the tail end of a mile long snake, just waiting to enter the human zoo" :)
The gates opened at 8am and just a few minutes after 10am, we finally entered the speedway as we listened to a blistering version of Rare Earth's "Big Brother". For the next 11 hours, we partied like there was no tomorrow and by the time ELP hit the stage shortly after 9pm, we had listened to 7 other top bands of the day and were starting to feel a bit of exhaustion coming on, but the main event was still yet to come and we prepared ourselves for the band that we knew would blow the roof off of the Ontario Motor Speedway. WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED!!! The sound these 3 incredible musicians made that night was nothing less than astonishing. We were directly to their left and just behind the first fence, but could clearly see most of their stage show. I couldn't even tell you exactly what time the show ended, but thousands of us slowly made our way out of the speedway feeling enlightened by the entire event. I couldn't think of a better band than ELP to close what turned out to be the best concert venue I've ever been to.
It was just recently, that I found out that Greg considered it to be one of his top ten favorite shows he performed at. The audience definitely went nuts when they hit the stage and from my recollection, didn't let up much during the entire performance. Greg must have felt the warm vibes coming from all of us true ELP fans. I was only 17 at the time, but was in awe of their technical abilities, performance & stage presence.
Gary C. Wright (not THE Gary Wright, but an incredible simulation)