Carl worked the Ballroom during a period of great change. Edwin Green had died and handed over the running to his wife. She in turn passed it on to John Ilka who made all the modifications that I remember. Carl was responsible for helping Mrs. Green update the sound systems
Celebrating 40years of spinning discs this year
I was there from late 1968 to early 1971 doing my Friday nite American Soul show and then on Saturday nites with the live bands. First visited the Cali with Bob and Earl and Jimmy Hendrix as the show mc. Offered the residency by London promoter Barry Mason to assist Mrs. Green in kick starting the place. Needed loads of equipment: (see opposite)
I was able to bring Reggae to the Cali with The Trojan Road Show for whom I was the mc for 4 years. The Pama Record Company PA nites.
Great audiences at the Cali, well behaved (well weren't we all then.) The Bouncers local lads were absolute gents. The Cali prior to the Ilka's taking over was being allowed to run down through restrictions placed on Mrs. Green by her late husbands estate. Many of the bands were gob smacked by the lack of facilities back stage, worn out carpets, springs sticking out of the settee's a grim place. Front of house the fans were great.
Memories of the groups Marv Johnson, Edwin Starr, Jimmy Ruffin, Sam & Dave Martha Reeves were just a few of the early soul acts. I left just after John took over, as I wanted to use my own equipment rather than stand behind that huge control panel by the Hillside Bar.
2004 sees my 40th anniversary in the business, it's taken me all over the world appearing with many of the major acts of yesterday and today, encouraging new talent, training DJ's with techniques and stylisation; club design and radio station work around the globe.
It's amazing how many old Cali ravers I meet up around the world, as each show I do to this day has a 45min' slot dedicated to the California Ballroom. It's amazing who walks out of the darkness and says hello.
Sad to read of the loss of Micky Ilka and Bruce Benson I was fond of them both.
Love to you. Carl
Amplification: 5 Vamp 500watt mono amps, 8 columns (4x12") wall mounted. 4 (18" Bass cabinets) on stage. About
a mile of twin flex cable (the place was big)
Lights: None worked. Mostly in the dark except for the light from the bar.
Microphones: 4 (akg 2000e condenser mikes) placed around the stage area.
Decks: Twin Goldring Lencos mounted on self standing consol.
Mixer: WEM Studiomaster, Wem copycat echo machine. Studio Sound Jingle Machine.
Records: 2500 7" singles mostly imports (I must admit I did play ' Grandad' for a pretty girl once)
Carl on stage with 3 unknown assistants.
Can anyone name these people?