Shambhala, a mythical Kingdom in Buddhist teachings and mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra was the name used by Ex Krishna Lights employee Gregory Brown.

Gregory Brown from Krisha Lights was already using the equally mystical name of Ashtar From Mars when he quit London in the summer of 1970 for the shores of Ireland where he quickly established himself as a Liquid Light Show artist doing the lights for Irish bands Horslips and Skid Row (who at the time had an up and coming Phil Lynott among their ranks).

I believe the name used for this Light Show at the time was Shambhala.

In 1972 Gregory Brown jumped ship again, this time heading for Rio de Janeiro leaving Horslips quite literally in the dark until Peter (Supermick) Clarke stepped in aided by a big lighting rig from Rank Strand in London via Keith Canadine (Krishna Lights, Optikinetics).

'Greg dressed like a Rainbow Spaceman when I knew him with silver RAF leather head gear, he did have a certain kudos with his show and cosmic ways' - Peter Peter (Supermick) Clarke

The text below is from Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott by Graeme Thomson (many thanks to Graeme for allowing me to publish this snippet):

Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography of Philip Lynott by Graeme Thomson

Click for bigger !!


Peter (Supermick) Clarke Interview extract:


I had fallen out with my parents and ended up crashing at my friend Gregory Brown’s pad. He was the archetypal space cadet hippie, known in social circles as Ashtar From Mars, and he was the lighting man for Horslips in their early days when Declan Sinnott and then Gus Guest were in the band.

Ashtar [who would become part of the influential Krishna Lights company] used projections, strobes, effects discs and liquid oil wheels that projected exploding patterns across the band, all of which was still in vogue years after Pink Floyd helped to pioneer the genre during the psychedelic underground era in London.

He gave me my introduction to Horslips although you couldn’t escape them in Dublin. Their oddball, arty posters were everywhere and they were headlining at university balls, and had been on TV, so they could afford to have a decent light show. On odd occasions, Ashtar would invite me to Horslips gigs and I would lend a hand, mostly setting up lighting for the support bands.

In September ’72, Ashtar announced that he wanted to go to South America to chase spaceships and discover ley lines, and [manager] Michael Deeny contacted me to say that if I could get some lights together there would be a job for me.

I bundled together some of the cash I’d made working on the motorway and Michael added some extra funding to enable me to buy a Rank Strand lighting system in London through Ashtar’s acquaintance at Optikinetics, Keith Canadine, who put the rig together and did a trial gig with it before I returned to Ireland. I loaded it all into the back of my blue Transit van and headed for Dublin, thinking all the way there that I didn’t really have much of a clue what to do with this kit!

But I’d already decided to drop Ashtar’s projection style — which was getting a bit old hat by then — and concentrate straight stage lighting. The gear amounted to two 10-12 foot scaffolding towers that I put on each side of the stage, connected by a stretch of pipe that bolted to the top of each tower, on to which I hung about 10 old-fashioned fresnels and small 500 watt spots that we thought were the dog’s bollocks! It was all brand new Rank Strand gear which was probably a bit too clever for what we needed because it was designed for theatre, not rock’n’roll.


Interview by Mark Cunningham - 2011


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