How you got into doing Light Shows & when?

1966. Took a trip to visit my brother at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

There was a club there called The Appalachian Lighthouse where they were doing liquid lights. Learned from them and got to do it.

Took the skills home to Cincinnati with me and showed my friends Bill Westheimer, Jamie Osher and Dan Stevenson. Eventually others joined in

Where did/does your Light Show operate?

We operated all over the Midwest but were based at the Ludlow Garage in Cincinnati where we did most of our big shows.

Who was your main influence, if any?

Jerry Abrams San Francisco Headlights

What Bands have you worked with?

Allman Brothers, Santana, Mountain, Johnny Winter, the Dead, Vanilla Fudge, et al

What was your most memorable gig?

Allman Brothers right after first album release

What other Light Shows have you worked with and/or Cooperated with?

None really

Where did the name(s) come from?

Chris Crawford, a graphic designer gave us the name

When was your Light Show formed?


How long did it run for? (is it still going or maybe back after an interval?)

Four years

Any personnel changes within the Light Show(s)

Added a few people as helpers, but the four founders remained in place

Can you share any amusing/interesting Light Show related stories that wont land you in Court?

Periodically people would come up to our platform and swear they were seeing things that weren’t being projected. Drank a lot of Mateuse red wine with the Allman Brothers and members of Santana!

What equipment you started out using, why you used it and what you changed to?

Kodak Carousels were a mainstay because Pradas were simply too expensive. Bessler Overheads were modified and various ways to adjust their throw and power.

Much was home brew color wheels and slide libraries, liquid experiments.

What non standard objects/items were used in the quest for 'better effects'?

Paper doilies on the overheads with color wheels,, motorized lazy suzans, crystal effect slides.

We created a rear-projection screen using bulk frosted plastic sheets from a showcurtain manufacturer. Taped them together and hung it behind the bands. Worked great.

How many projectors/slide machines you started out with?

4 slides and one overhead

How many projectors you finished up with?

8-10 slides, three overheads and two 16 mm film loop machines

What is your favourite aspect of doing Light Shows (maybe you prefer liquids, slides, movie clips for example)

For me, the color combinations of liquids and double-dish effects. Strobe discs and color wheels in front of the slides brought them to life.

Where has your career taken you if you are not still in the Lighting Industry?

25 years in the radio business and another 15 in advertising and digital marketing

Johnathan Crawford - January 26th 2022