Light Brigade (Sacramento)


Hi Pooters,

I can tell you a little about The Light Brigade who played in Sacramento, mainly at the Sound Factory on Alhambra Blvd.

I named the Light Show The Light Brigade.

My boyfriend was a main partner and I used to help out, working the overhead projectors with concave glass we got from old school clock faces and using water and oil colours to make the intricate patterns reflected on sheets we had to hang up on the walls in small crazy venues in late 1967-early 1968.

I can remember setting up scaffolding in the middle of skating rinks in places like Grass Valley.

The main guys were Frank Harris, Marvin Ashton, Dee Adams, Steve Sturgeon, Gene (can’t remember the last name) Dave who worked with the local news channel and used to make the crazy films with us that we used.

Frank was the Brother in Law of Gary who was one of the main promoters in Sacramento.

Most of the guys got drafted and had to serve in Vietnam. I carried on working with the Light Show and sometimes danced behind one of the lamps that had a screen on stage.

I danced behind the stage at the memorial auditorium when we did the show for Cream and the Grateful Dead….what a strange trip that was!!!!

I also worked for Whitey Davis (of the Family Dog) and Dave Keenan who ran the Sound Factory.

I was working at the Sound Factory when I met my future and now ex-husband, Chris Wright (who became Chrysalis Records) when he brought a band on March 15, 1969 called Ten Years After and the next week Jethro Tull and the next week Savoy Brown and guess what, I moved to England.

There is a story in itself… good friend Loraine Burgon, who was Alvin Lee’s lady during that time, (then was with Jim Capaldi after they broke up) and who’s best friend was Krissie Woods, married to Ronnie of the Rolling Stones….has just written a book called 'Magical Highs' all about those years and being at Woodstock with Ten Years After.

My best friend is Rosie Robinson whose husband Dave Robinson started Stiff Records many years ago and strangely enough was Jimi Henrix’s road manager when they played Sac State and I was right up at the stage during that show!

I do have this pic below which was of the Light Show in about 1969. I am not sure where it was, seems a larger venue than the area where we set up there.

Marvin and Dee had been drafted by then and The Light Brigade were the resident lightshow at the Sound Factory, though sometimes bands brought in Headlights or other big name Light Shows from San Francisco and we had to step aside.

That’s me in the front with the long black hair and above me is Frank Harris. To his right is Steve Sturgeon with his girlfriend Sylvia and the girl with long blonde hair was Donna Krasnow who was Frank Harris’s girlfriend.

I am trying to find if there were any posters for that March 15, 1969 date of Ten Years After playing the Sound Factory, or if there were any pictures of the Sound Factory itself. If you know of any could you let me know?

Thank you and I can put you in touch with some of the old members like Marv Ashton who still lives in Sacramento and he may know a lot more.

I am still in London, though I have lived in Anguilla in the West Indies for many years.


Chelle. (Carolyn Nelson Thomas) - September 25th 2023

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

Light Brigade, Circa 1969 - Photo Credit - Carolyn Nelson Thomas

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

March 11, 1968, Civic Auditorium, Sacramento, Cream and the Grateful Dead

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

8th July 1968 at the Memorial Auditorium Sacramento

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

Quicksilver Messenger Service, Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, September 14th 1968

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

Thanks to Rob Frith at Neptoon Records for Image Use

Light Brigade Light Show Sacramento

Sound Factory, August 30th, 1968.