Started by Phil Cullen,
who began lighting while at school in 1966. The first effect lighting show was in December
of that year, in the U.F.S. Dispensary hall in Victoria Ave Chatswood. ( now demolished ) The
site is now the entrance for the Chatswood Chase Shopping centre.
Picture of the band on stage in 1966 (above)
Phil had seen a lightshow at the Lane Cove Town Hall that was lit by a lighting company from Mosman
called Rubber Monkey Lighting. The guys who ran the company were Didge and Ross. In those days ONLY the stage was lit and the room was left in white light.
In those days it was a big thing in Australia to light the stage in moving coloured lights, for a band, and an even bigger thing to light the entire room with coloured effect lights. Overseas at that time it had begun.
Didge and Ross had made all their own equipment, as indeed
everyone had to do in those days, because even putting coloured paper over
the ceiling lights was a pretty big thing to do. Didge's father was a sheet metal worker and Didge saw the potential to place coloured lights behind diffused perspex plastic. Phil was very impressed and decided at that moment that coloured effect lights were the way to go...
Phil was 14 years old at the time . Didge had a slow revolving four colour changing side of stage unit which had a 150 watt light source behind it. Phil was amazed at this and spent the whole night thinking about what to do with this and how to take it beyond.
Picture Above - the UFS Dispensary Hall late 1960's Victoria Ave. Chatswood.
(Above picture - a band in the legendary Purple Hall)
Where we did many shows in the 1960’s.
It was at the rear of St Pius X College Chatswood, Next to the Girls primary school.
Phil continued to do lighting up to and during 1970 at his school when he completed his higher school certificate.
By this time he was also doing lighting at many other high schools through his contacts.
Band in late 1960's on stage with rear projection Psychedelic patterns
Picture above, Workshop, Willoughby,
Clanwilliam St. 1969
Front entrance. Our workshop was at the rear, just to the right of the picture. The Picture below shows
the rear of the hall where our entrance was.
The Hall has since been demolished.
We rented the back room of the hall which was
owned by the uniting church. Rent was a modest $15.00 per week. The minister
was suspect about things because I came back at 2 or 3 in the morning and
woke him up with all the noise.
1969 -Victoria Ave. Chatswood Sydney. Parade. The Sotweed Factor Band.
With Pat Reilly Drumming.
1969 Whisky a gogo nightclub, William St Kings Cross.
I hired the lighting to the club for a period of time.
Phil Salmon and John Gunton
specialised in lighting in and around Epping in NSW (Sydney) They had begun
their lighting company (Purple Cloud) in complete separance to Phil's Mac
Enterprises. Phil later registered Mr. Mac The Lightshow Genius. much to
the dismay of the Bank of NSW at Cabramatta who held his cheque account.
(The bank asked him to KINDLY close his account as it was an "embarrassment
to the bank" Actual Quote. ! ) We are talking early 1970's Phil had his workshop in 1971 at 16 Bridge St Epping. In the 'famous' Purple coloured house that was named in Parramatta Council. (PICTURE BELOW)
During 1971 Phil moved to Epping.This was
the famous purple coloured slate roof house in the middle of the Epping
shopping centre. Before the days of noise laws. Remember? you could turn
up the music (or as we did have a band rehearse in the back of the place)
and when the police came you could tell them anything and they basically
left and that was that. In 1971 Epping was the place to be. Being
in the middle of the shops meant make as much noise as you can. After all
it was commercially zoned. Not that it worried us at all. We never contacted
the council at all right up till when the owners were faced with an eviction
notice to move us out.
Phil had Mac lighting registered at the time
and traded as Mr Mac the lightshow genius and tried to put disco and effect
lighting in reach of every person in the street. Throughout the 60's Phil
did school dance and small band lighting work mostly in council and school
halls and community centres. The big break came in 1971 with the Fairlight
Easter 3 day music festival at Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands.
It was a Woodstock hippie pop, type festival and had 33 bands over 3 days
and nights. It ran 23 out of 24 hours with one hour for stage cleaning.
The site was 200 acres in size (big)! The problems never really began until
the electricity supply authority cut off all the power at the site and we
had to tie generators up trees to keep everything going.
Phil was one year out of school.
The promoter was ripped off and no one was paid. After that things shot off, the 70's began
with a bang and the promise of big things to come. It was a good era; 1%
unemployment 1% inflation and everyone had a bright future. Disco and fun
parties were the rage. No Noise laws; and the authorities had not quite
woken up yet to what the young were really up to.
Phil named Mac Enterprises after his Art teacher at his school St. Pius X at Chatswood
in Sydney - Col McDonald or "Mac" as he was known. Phil moved
workshop quickly in the early days- 1968-69 Willoughby 1970-71 Epping 1971-72
Drummoyne 1972-73 Lane Cove 1974 Hunters Hill 1975 Cabramatta 1977 Then in 1977 we sold the name MAC to mobydisc and began advertising the name electric sunshine as our main name.
Turmoil followed - Gladesville- 1977
- moved five times in Gladesville till 1980 when we arrived at West Ryde.
1981 Rushcutters Bay 1982 Pyrmont 1983 Ultimo 1984 Glebe 1985. Then things began
to settle down. We stopped getting thrown out of places. In 1987 we moved back
to Pyrmont (after the complex at Glebe was sold to a developer who expressed an interest
in demolition - at 4am)
Picture above is our workshop, Glebe, 1985.
This large building, which was at the end of Glebe Point Rd, next to the water, was shared by about 50 other business organisations ranging
from us to a guy out the back called Rocket Man who was ( true story. Really ! )
trying to build a big space type rocket; but no one could really find out
more about it... We couldn't get insurance on anything and the fire brigade
used to come down once a week on a faulty fire alarm call and shake their
heads and say if you smell smoke. Run. You'll have about 3 minutes to get
out. Picture below is inside Glebe in 1985 - about a quarter of the whole area - and we had only a small portion of this space. It was an enormous place.
Going back . . 1994 to our heyday, Pyrmont workshop, Phil and Hugh. We were there from 1987 to 1996.
Below is Scott and Anthony at our workshop in Annandale, 1997.
Pat and Phil, Annandale workshop, 1998.
Left Annandale 2001 and moved to Homebush.
Sydney was seen as only an Australian city
up till 1975, but after 1975 things begun to change, by 1980 Sydney was
seen as an international city. We now know that Sydney is indeed world class
but unfortunately after 1975 Sydney lost its best kept secret.The authorities
began to start to make laws at this stage to attempt to regulate things
like noise; liquor; and venues; in response to overseas experiences; and
some of our own disasters; like the terrible whisky-a-go-go fire. Now we
have so much more variety.
By 1980 Punk and the band scene was thriving. Thank
goodness for punk. Melbourne first then Sydney had boom pub band times
Disco had gone and as the 80's went on, bands'
presentations became more and more spectacular. Until 1990, technology had
progressed in the lighting industry at a steady pace. All of that changed,
with the digital lighting era that was launched in 1989, with the Usitt
protocol digital DMX 512 technology. This launched the lighting industry
into a faster and more spectacular pace than ever before. As the 1990's
progressed so did technology. What was Science Fiction in 1990 became reality
by 2000. In this 10 year period so much changed. Lighting displays became
bigger and bigger and more and more costly. Customers began to expect more
and more and were prepared to pay for it
The Swan Lamp 1879
Edison Lamp 1880
Lighting History - Going way,
way back to the year dot.
Edison was credited with inventing the electric
lamp; and indeed he did develop the first PATENTED commercial direct current
lamp BUT his system was based on Direct Current. Tesla's Alternating Current
was frowned upon by Edison. He tried every way he could to stop Tesla.
The pioneers, as usual,
behind the scenes developed the original idea.
The Russian, Lodyguine, in 1872 lit the St Petersburg Docks with 200 globes but the life
was only 12 hours each lamp. Swan; the Englishman developed a lamp very similar to Edison 's
in 1879 - See Pictures Above , but Edison patented
his lamp in 1880. Both men were working independently; in different countries.
Swan was an inventor; like Edison. Swan developed the bromide process used
in photography; while Edison invented the record player.
But It was electrical pioneers like Michael Faraday who discovered the principle of
electro-magnetism; in 1831 and Nikola Tesla who discovered
Alternating Current in the later 1800s that were the real forces behind
Nikola Tesla. 1857-1943
Without whose work and discoveries we would
not have Electricity as we know it today. While Michael Faraday discovered
in 1831 that moving a magnet around a wire created an electric current,
this discovery led on to many scientific discoveries which led to the direct
current generator being invented along with many prototypes of the electric
lamp, the Englishman Swan probably
credited with the first practical working electric lamp in 1879 and a young Nikola Tesla who saw that Direct
Current Electricity was not only wasteful but had severe limitations.
Edison Patented his electric lamp in 1880
which was based not only on the lamp but a direct current power distribution
system to power it.
What people do not realise
is that while Thomas Edison is called the "Father of Electricity",
and did indeed patent the first commercial electric lamp; his system was
based on Direct Current..As such the idea of Alternating current was frowned
upon by Edison. He feared that; correctly; his system would be "taken
over" by Alternating Current. Edison tried to discredit Tesla as -
Nikola Tesla was the inventor
of Alternating Current.
Edison was a very aggressive, posturing, public image
person while Tesla was a quiet, withdrawing, sensitive person. Two completely
However Tesla had truth on his side; as George Westinghouse
once said to him. Alternating Current was 100 per cent more efficient than
Direct Current; and could travel extremely long distances over wires; while
Direct Current could only travel a few Kilometers. An Alternator operating
at full load is very very efficient as far as input to output. As Tesla
said "it is in harmony with nature".
Teslas's life was as amazing as his discoveries. Like
Faraday; Tesla knew that Electricity and Magnetism were unique forces in
Nature. They make up one of the four forces that are part of the physical
world we live in; and everything in it. Both men knew that Gravity; one
of the other of the four forces; was also connected to Electricity and Magnetism.
Electricity and Magnetism are the same
thing. (one force)
Tesla's Alternating current
"vision" came to him as he was in a public park and a poem about
the dying of the day; and a new day being born across the world at the same
time was being read. His immediate thoughts were of a spinning generator
which reversed the poles. (an Alternator). He realised that this would provide
unlimited power. He started writing on the ground in front of him with a
stick; the now well known sine wave; used to signify Alternating Current.
Tesla was very sensitive to all the senses. He could
hear a clock ticking three rooms away. He had "visions" as he
put it "sudden bursts of energy". Ordinary people thought him
strange; he refused to shake hands with anyone as he put it - it -"disturbed
his magnetic field". He had a fetish for washing his hands 30 or 40
times a day; could not stand fruit, and talked about outer space and possible
life out there; which in the 1890's was considered as the sign of madness.
Tesla knew that the world is full of energy; and natural
energy which is now called ELF or extra-low-frequency energy; is what he
played around with. This is energy which exists as the Earth is like a giant
generator in space; and properly harnessed this could provide us all with
unlimited energy for our needs without needing to burn coal or use nuclear
fission to produce electricity. Tesla looked forward to the present day
where his Alternating Current power stations would be powered by ELF technology.
Tesla's energy was based
not on Electromagnetic but on a waveform called Scalar or Longitudinal.It's
what the scientific community calls the "zero point energy" of
the vacuum or the Scalar value of zero. It's what the Occult calls the "ether".
Two intersecting Scalar waves form an Electromagnetic wave.
Tesla, with the financial backing of famous financier
J.P. Morgan, built a Transmission tower (picture above) which housed a resonating
tesla coil. It was shaped like a pyramid and it's intention was to transmit
energy around the world, from a single tower. Morgan provided the finance
as Tesla had successfully developed Alternating Current, and with the backing
of Morgan had built the world's first Alternating Current Power station
at Niagara Falls, in the U.S.A. Morgan was receptive to Tesla and thought
that Tesla was onto something, having been impressed with Tesla's Alternating
Current Power station. HOWEVER when Morgan found out that Tesla wanted to
transmit FREE energy from the tower it was literally burnt to the ground,
and Morgan would have nothing more to do with it.
Shortly afterwards Tesla's lab was burnt to the ground,
while Tesla was away, asleep in his home.
In Teslas' time not much was known about
the Ionosphere. We now know that this, along with the Earth form a Sphere-in-a-sphere
capacitor fed by the solar winds, which are driven by the Van Allen belts
which act as the driving current with the molten inner earth acting as the
induced current. The atmosphere acts as a leaky capacitor. The Earth and
Ionosphere are about 55 Kilometers apart. In short the Earth is like a giant
generator in space.
Tesla once said that we are like people in
a boat, in a fresh water river, who are dying of thirst because we do not
know how to scoop up the water from the sides of the boat.
Tesla did not know that Scalar waves only became pronounced
at extremely low frequencies but that is the basis of ELF technology today.
Unfortunately this ELF energy has two major problems. Firstly
it is Free. How can you charge for an energy which is all around us; all
over the world ?.
And also more important; in the wrong hands it could destroy
our planet. Used correctly it would be a boom for humanity; but would be
more dangerous than letting off all the atomic bombs at once. It's literally
a double edged sword or Pandora's Box.
Both the Russians and the Americans have used Tesla'a
ELF technology. Both sides have realised it's awesome capabilities. Tesla
said that his system would abolish war as no side would be able to launch
a missile attack as a defence "shield" would stop any missile.
Unfortunately the very same "shield" could destroy the planet
by destabilising the earth's magnetic field; destroy completely the ozone
layer; or any one of a number of major disasters. This might sound like
complete rubbish; but in August 1975 the Russians and Americans signed a
draft agreement in Geneva at the International Disarmament Conference for
the banning of 19 ELF weapons which could cause such catastrophes as Landslides;
earthquakes; avalanches; volcanoes; tidal waves; as well as harnessing lightning
bolts; guiding hurricanes to specific targets; melting the ice caps; changing
the direction of rivers; generating Rain; hail; fog; snow; selectively destabilising
the earth's magnetic field; and selectively destroying parts of the Ozone
layer. US President Ford told the media that the US and USSR did not have
these weapons but were signing the treaty "just in case".
This followed a 10 year tense
standoff after the Nuclear Submarine
US Thresher "disappeared" while it was on patrol, in April 1963.
The Thresher was at the time the most advanced U.S. Submarine - Like the
Titanic - Unsinkable. The USSR was rumoured to have used a Tesla device
to remotely destroy the craft. This was after the backdown from the 1962
Cuban Missile crisis. The day after the Thresher disappeared the USSR successfully
deployed a Tesla Device to transmit an explosion to an underground location
100 miles north of Puerto Rico. The
USSR did this to prove a point to the US.
New York Times Front Page - 15th January
Tesla has somehow been written out of the history books
but invented among other things the Fluorescent light, Robotics, the car
coil, and ultra high speed electrical switches. Alternating Current Alternators. With alternating current generation/transmission. His "Tesla coil"
is used today in labs around the world, and is used for things like detecting
leaks in vacuum apparatus. In 1899, two years before Marconi sent radio
across the Atlantic , Tesla had built remote radio-controlled toy boats.
Marconi worked for Tesla in Teslas own lab. Tesla was obsessed with energy
as a form of power, while Marconi only wanted to explore the prospect of
transmitting energy as a form of communication. The worlds first Alternating
Current power station was built in the late 1800's at Niagara Falls in the
U.S. by Tesla with the backing of George Westinghouse and J.P. Morgan, the
famous financier. Tesla made a rambling speech at the opening of the plant
about how it should have been built earlier and about missed opportunities
and left the audience thinking that the man was crazy. Tesla was a very
unique person. Edison was furious ( over his D.C. power being discredited )
and began a scare campaign and rumour mill to discredit Tesla and destroy
Westinghouse. Alternating Current meant the end of Edisons' power distribution
system which was based on Direct Current. Only Teslas bailing out Westinghouse
saved him, but as a result Tesla was completely broke, and died alone, completely
disillusioned, in a hotel room in New York during the second world war,
in 1943. A great deal of speculation has occurred about
the last years of Teslas' life. It was known that Tesla worked on the infamous
Philadelphia Experiment that the US Navy conducted in the very early 1940's
. This was designed to make navy boats invisible to radar (as part of the
war effort) - the Germans had a magnetic mine that was causing a lot of
problems for the allies... Tesla did not
live much longer after that...There have been all sorts of statements made...
One can only guess about what really happened. As we sit here in the year
2021 we see for the first time in the history of entertainment
lighting; the situation where both the lights themselves, and the computer
controllers that run them are as versatile as the operator is. That is to say the possibilities of effects and
colour combinations possible is as infinite as the persons ability to program
and operate the equipment. The equipment is so sophisticated
that as each company has pretty well much what the other company has in
terms of equipment the only difference
is the level of experience and talent the operator has. It
is anyones guess what the future will be but it certainly will not be boring.
" one person's floor
is another's ceiling" . Anon.