Showco was a sound equipment provider of touring sound reinforcement equipment and services to the concert touring industry. It was based in Dallas, Texas, United States. In 2000, Showco was acquired by Clair Global.

IndustryEntertainment technology
Founded1970 (1970)
  • Jack Maxson
  • Bill Heald
  • Rusty Brutsche
Jack Calmes
DefunctOctober 2000 (2000-10)
FateAcquired by Clair Bros. Audio Enterprises, Inc.

Showco was established in 1970 by Jack Maxson and Rusty Brutsche, and Jack Calmes, and is known for helping to pioneer post Woodstock-era stadium rock shows by providing state-of-the-art sound equipment for famous acts beginning with Led Zeppelin, Three Dog Night and James Taylor.[1] According to Brutsche:

We were one of the first to realize the amount and scale of equipment that the major arena concerts required. Jack [Maxson] was a recording engineer and I was a musician. We learned that most public address systems were built for the amplification of a single announcer over crowd noise. The dynamics of live music and the power required to generate the sounds we hear at concerts today were almost unthinkable at that time.[1]

With Showco equipment and services, the star performers could count on reliable and consistent sound reproduction at different venues. Showco introduced such features as mixing gear and stage monitors to aid the musicians. The equipment was also built to handle rugged touring schedules, outdoor weather conditions and quick assembly and disassembly.[1]

Later forays into stage lighting led to the 1981 formation of sister company Vari-Lite, Inc.[1]

The list of artists that Showco has provided equipment for is extensive, including Jesus Christ Superstar; Mountain; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Lee Michaels, Grand Funk Railroad; the Osmonds; Rare Earth; Cat Stevens; David Cassidy; Little Feat; The Band; Wishbone Ash; Genesis; Eric Clapton; Leon Russell; Linda Ronstadt; Carole King; Jackson Browne; The Kinks; Commodores; Guess Who; Nazareth; The Average White Band; Black Oak Arkansas; Thin Lizzy; Golden Earring; Robert Palmer; The Moody Blues; Yoko Ono; REO Speedwagon; Ted Nugent; Uriah Heep; Willie Nelson; the Beach Boys; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Bad Company; Freddie King; Alice Cooper; Van Halen; Peter Gabriel; ZZ Top; Bee Gees; Wings; Paul McCartney; The Rolling Stones; David Bowie; The Who; Prince; Julian Lennon; Bob Seger; Diana Ross; Janet Jackson; Reba McEntire; Vince Gill; Alan Jackson; Clint Black; George Michael; INXS; Phil Collins; Mick Jagger; Boston; Santana; Bon Jovi; Guns N' Roses; Britney Spears; 'N Sync; Ozzy Osbourne & Ozzfest; Korn; Limp Bizkit.[2]

Acquisition by Clair Brothers in 2000Edit

Showco was acquired by Clair Brothers in late 2000. Showco was merged into the touring arm of Clair Brothers.[3] The combined division was then renamed ClairShowco. In 2008 the name was changed once again to Clair and given the corporate tagline "Global Service and Live Shows Since 1966."[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Showco Marks 30th Anniversary; Concert Sound Pioneer Set the Stage for Concert Touring Industry". Business Wire. March 2, 2000. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  2. ^ Short, Chari (May 2005). "Showco Reunion". Total Production US. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  3. ^ Current, 1 January 2001. Archived 2006-10-24 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ ClairShowco Rebranded As Clair, 17 September 2008. Archived 2015-09-09 at the Wayback Machine

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