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.

Company typePrivate
IndustryEntertainment technology
Founded1970 (1970)
  • Jack Maxson
  • 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]

Throughout the 1970's, Showco expanded its multi-discipline equipment and services to include stage lighting, set design and fabrication, special effects/lasers and disco sound systems. Later forays into stage lighting led to the 1981 formation of sister company Vari-Lite, Inc.[1]

In addition to Led Zeppelin, James Taylor and Three Dog Night, Showco has provided equipment and services throughout the world for an extensive list of artists' tours, festivals and events, including: Paul McCartney; The Rolling Stones; Bob Seger; David Bowie; Genesis; Eric Clapton; KISS (band); Bee Gees; The Who; George Strait; Peter Gabriel; Prince; Elton John; Aerosmith; ZZ Top; Wings; Linda Ronstadt; Carole King; Jackson Browne; George Michael; INXS; Phil Collins; Jesus Christ Superstar; Knebworth Festival; Doobie Brothers; Mountain; T. Rex (band); Blood, Sweat & Tears; West, Bruce & Laing; Concert 10; Lee Michaels, Edgar Winter; Joe Cocker; Beck, Bogert & Appice; Grand Funk Railroad; Bread (band); Mahavishnu Orchestra; Osmond family; Rare Earth; Cat Stevens; Chicago (band); David Cassidy; Van Morrison; The Jackson Five; Earth, Wind & Fire; Little Feat; The Band; Havana Jam; Weather Report; Wishbone Ash; Maria Muldaur; Kansas (band); Leon Russell; James Gang; Barry White; Todd Rundgren; Mothers of Invention; Mary Kay National and International Conventions; Musicians United for Safe Energy concerts and rally; Stephen Stills; George Benson; The Gap Band; Frank Zappa; War (band); Chaka Khan; Dave Mason; John Waite; The Firm (rock band); The Kinks; Commodores; Slayer; Guess Who; Iggy Pop; Nazareth; The Carpenters; The Average White Band; Black Oak Arkansas; Kool & the Gang; Thin Lizzy; Golden Earring; Luther Vandross; Robert Palmer; KC and the Sunshine Band; The Moody Blues; Yoko Ono; REO Speedwagon; Vina del Mar International Song Festival; Ted Nugent; Megadeth; Uriah Heep; Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnics and Dripping Springs Reunion; Farm Aid; Deep Purple; Quiet Riot; Jeff Beck; Parliament Funkadelic; the Beach Boys; Lynyrd Skynyrd; Art Garfunkel; Rossington Collins Band; Bad Company; Sheena Easton; CBS Records national and international conventions; Rick James; Meat Loaf; Anita Baker; Doctor John; Al Jarreau; Electric Light Orchestra; Freddie King; Toto (band); Waylon Jennings; Leon Spinks vs. Muhammad Ali II; Barbara Mandrell; Culture Club; Alice Cooper; Black Sabbath; Van Halen; US Festival; Levon Helm; The O'Jays; John Fogerty; Brooks & Dunn; Pantera; Torvill and Dean; The New Barbarians (band); Julian Lennon; Garbage (band); Robert Plant; Diana Ross; Janet Jackson; Mike and the Mechanics; Reba McEntire; Ritchie Blackmore; Live (band); Edie Brickell & New Bohemians; Vince Gill; Matchbox Twenty; Alan Jackson; Judas Priest; Clint Black; The Blues Brothers; Roger Daltrey; Soundgarden; The Black Crowes; Mick Jagger; The Highwaymen (country supergroup); Pope John Paul II; Billy Bob's Texas; The Clash; Sugar Ray; Boston; Santana; Wynonna Judd; Seal (musician); Christina Aguilera; Blockbuster Rock Fest; Counting Crows; Bon Jovi; Third Eye Blind; Staind; Pete Townshend; Stone Temple Pilots; Rock in Rio; Beastie Boys; Steve Winwood; The Smashing Pumpkins; Alanis Morissette; Guns N' Roses; Britney Spears; Alice in Chains; 'N Sync; Ozzy Osbourne & Ozzfest; Korn; Puff Daddy; Fruit of the Loom CountryFest's; Extreme (band); Limp Bizkit; Dixie Chicks; Green Day; Stevie Ray Vaughan.[2]

Acquisition by Clair Brothers in 2000


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