One aspect that made rock memorable in the sixties were the light shows. Kinda pre-video on-site MTV. Atlanta had one of the best The Electric Collage. Electric Collage was the first Light Show in Atlanta. It began as experiments with light and color for The Catacombs. When a member asked David Braden if they could get things and do a light show at The Catacombs, he reportedly replied, “Go ahead, do it! Why are you asking me? I’m NOT your mother!” Thus he began to be called Mother David.
From that they grew.
Steve Cheatham and Frank Hughes have a wonderful site on the later Electric Collage.
Schroder on light shows 5 lightshows-5
I can tell you about Light Shows in Atlanta. Scott Bennett went to San Francisco in the Spring of 1966. He came back in the fall of ’66 with tales of strange lights pulsing and moving to the beat of the music and a little 45 recording of a guy named Jimi Hendrix with Purple Haze on one side. Scott had worked with a light show crew while he was out there and he convinced me we could do the same thing in Atlanta. We bought and rented equipment, tweaked our art 🙂 and we were ready. We started with a little band called the Esquires. They did High School dances, frat parties and opened for some of the better known groups in the SE. After a few months of doing light shows for next to nothing, we finally got a gig at the old Whiskey A Go Go. To my knowledge this was the first “professional” light show in Atlanta. In the spring of ’67 we were paid an obscene amount of money to do a light show at the Piedmont Driving Club. They had a “Hippie” theme party and we did the lights and also opened up the club to street people for that added touch of hippie atmosphere. It was a hoot! Our business was called “Lights By Luv Lites” We were prepared for everything except success. It was pretty much downhill after the Driving Club. We were thrown out of an armory concert in Anniston, AL for showing clips of Martin Luther King’s funeral as a background to our moving lights. Dr. King wasn’t real popular in AL….
Enough for now.
- Haynes McFadden interview
Haynes McFadden was typical of the experimental artist of the time. He came from the world of photography and got interested in color. He helped the Electric Collage Light Show rise to acclaim. He was involved in some of the early ‘scene’ in Atlanta. He resided ... Read more >>
- Bucky Wetherell interview
Bucky Wetherell was at Atlanta School of Art when ‘the scene’ started, worked with early light shows at The Catacombs with The Electric Collage Lightshow. He then became part of STOMP. STOMP was a tribal musical like Hair, but actually created by hippies. ... Read more >>
- Electric Collage interview
Haynes McFadden Tells about Atlanta’s first light show.
Haynes McFadden on color experiments.
Haynes McFadden on the Electric Collage
Haynes McFadden on experimentation of the time.
Bucky Weatherill on light shows – complete Bucky interview
- The Electric Collage Light Show
Electric Collage was the first Light Show in Atlanta. It began as experiments with light and color for The Catacombs. When a member asked David Braden if they could get things and do a light show at The Catacombs, he reportedly replied, “Go ahead, do it! Why are you asking me? I’m NOT your mother!” ... Read more >>