History


Started by Phil Cullen,
  who began lighting while at school in 1966. The first effect lighting show was in December  of that year, in the U.F.S. Dispensary hall in Victoria Ave Chatswood. ( now demolished ) The site is now the entrance for the Chatswood Chase Shopping centre.

Picture of the band on stage in 1966 (above)

Picture of the UFS Dispensary Hall (outside) in the 1960's (above)

Phil had seen a lightshow at the Lane Cove Town Hall that was lit by a lighting company from Mosman called Rubber Monkey Lighting. The guys who ran the company were Didge and Ross. In those days ONLY the stage was lit and the room was left in white light.
In those days it was a big thing in Australia to light the stage in moving coloured lights, for a band, and an even bigger thing to light the entire room with coloured effect lights.  Overseas at that time it had begun.

Didge and Ross had made all their own equipment, as indeed
  everyone had to do in those days, because even putting coloured paper over
  the ceiling lights was a pretty big thing to do. Didge's father was a sheet metal worker and Didge saw the potential to place coloured lights behind diffused perspex plastic. Phil was very impressed and decided at that moment that coloured effect lights were the way to go...
Phil was 14 years old at the time . Didge had a slow revolving four colour changing side of stage unit which had a 150 watt light source behind it. Phil was amazed at this and spent the whole night thinking about what to do with this and how to take it beyond.

 
picture top left  - a band in the legendary Purple Hall,
Where we did many shows in the 1960’s. It was at the rear of St Pius X College Chatswood, Next to the Girls primary school. Picture lower centre shows a band with psychedelic patterns on the wall behind them, also in the purple hall, and next photo lower right shows a history photo of the small shopfront beside the UFS Dispensary hall, c 1960.
Phil continued to do lighting up to and during 1970 at his school when he completed his higher school certificate.
By this time he was also doing lighting at many other high schools through his contacts.
  Picture centre top, Our Workshop, Willoughby, Clanwilliam St.  1969
Our workshop was at the rear, just to the right of the picture. The Picture beside (top right)  shows the rear of the hall where our entrance was.
 The  Hall has since been demolished, but the church still stands, renovated.
 We rented the small back room of the hall which was
  owned by the uniting church. Rent was a modest $15.00 per week. The minister
  was suspect about things because I came back at 2 or 3 in the morning and
  woke him up with all the noise.
 
Phil Salmon and John Gunton
  specialised in lighting in and around Epping in NSW (Sydney) They had begun
  their lighting company (Purple Cloud) in complete separance to Phil's Mac
  Enterprises. Phil later registered Mr. Mac The Lightshow Genius. Phil had his workshop in 1971 at 16 Bridge St Epping. In the 'infamous' Purple coloured house that was named in Parramatta Council. (SEE PICTURE TOP LOWER LEFT)
 
During 1971 Phil moved to Epping. This was
  the famous purple coloured slate roof house in the middle of the Epping
  shopping centre. Before the days of noise laws. Remember? you could turn
  up the music (or as we did have a band rehearse in the back of the place)
  and when the police came you could tell them anything and they basically
left and that was that. In 1971 Epping was the place to be. Being
  in the middle of the shops meant make as much noise as you can. After all
  it was commercially zoned. Not that it worried us at all. We never contacted
  the council at all right up till when the owners were faced with an eviction
notice to move us out.
Phil had Mac lighting registered at the time
  and traded as Mr Mac the lightshow genius and tried to put disco and effect
  lighting in reach of every person in the street. Throughout the 60's Phil
  did school dance and small band lighting work mostly in council and school
  halls and community centres. The big break came in 1971 with the Fairlight
  Easter 3 day music festival at Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands.
  It was a Woodstock hippie pop, type festival and had 33 bands over 3 days
  and nights. It ran 23 out of 24 hours with one hour for stage cleaning.
  The site was 200 acres in size (big)! The problems never really began until
  the electricity supply authority cut off all the power at the site and we
  had to tie generators up trees to keep everything going.
Phil was one year out of school.
The promoter was ripped off and no one was paid. After that things shot off, the 70's began  with a bang and the promise of big things to come. It was a good era; 1%
  unemployment 1% inflation and everyone had a bright future. Disco and fun
  parties were the rage. No Noise laws; and the authorities had not quite
  woken up yet to what the young were really up to.
  Phil named Mac Enterprises after his Art teacher at his school St. Pius X at Chatswood
  in Sydney - Col McDonald or "Mac" as he was known. Phil moved
  workshop quickly in the early days- 1968-69 Willoughby 1970-71 Epping 1971-72
Drummoyne 1972-73 Lane Cove 1974 Hunters Hill 1975 Cabramatta 1976  Gladesville 1977. Then in 1977 we sold the name MAC to mobydisc and began advertising the name electric sunshine as our main name.
Turmoil followed - Gladesville- 1977
  - moved five times in Gladesville till 1980 when we arrived at West Ryde.
  1981 Rushcutters Bay 1982 Pyrmont 1983 Ultimo 1984 Glebe 1985. Then things began
  to settle down. We stopped getting thrown out of places. In 1987 we moved back
  to Pyrmont (after the complex at Glebe was sold to a developer who expressed an interest in demolition - at 4am) 
  
Picture Top left  is our workshop, Glebe, 1985 (front entrance) The picture in the centre top is the inside of this huge building.
This large building, which was at the end of Glebe Point Rd, next to the water, was shared by about 50 other business organisations ranging
  from us to a guy out the back called Rocket Man who was ( true story. Really ! )
  trying to build a big space type rocket; but no one could really find out
  more about it... We couldn't get insurance on anything and the fire brigade
  used to come down once a week on a faulty fire alarm call and shake their
  heads and say if you smell smoke. Run. You'll have about 3 minutes to get out. Pictures above show  inside and outside of Glebe in workshop 1985 - about a quarter of the whole area - and we had only a small portion of this space. It was an enormous place.
   Pyrmont workshop, We were there from 1987 to 1996.. In 1996 moved to Annandale and was there till 2001. Picture above (lower left) is Scott and Anthony in Annandale workshop 1997, beside (lower centre) picture is Pat and Phil at Annandale workshop office, 1997. Picture (lower right) is front of Annandale workshop We then moved to Homebush in 2001. Back to Gladesville in 2002, and have remained there to this day.
 PICTURE above Top Right is Phil and Hugh at Pyrmont office
Sydney was seen as only an Australian city
  up till 1975, but after 1975 things begun to change, by 1980 Sydney was
  seen as an international city. We now know that Sydney is indeed world class
  but unfortunately after 1975 Sydney lost its best kept secret.The authorities
  began to start to make laws at this stage to attempt to regulate things
  like noise; liquor; and venues; in response to overseas experiences; and
  some of our own disasters; like the terrible whisky-a-go-go fire.
By 1980 Punk and the band scene was thriving. Thank
goodness for punk. Melbourne first then Sydney had boom pub band times
Disco had gone and as the 80's went on, bands'
  presentations became more and more spectacular. Until 1990, technology had
  progressed in the lighting industry at a steady pace. All of that changed,
  with the digital lighting era that was launched in 1989, with the Usitt
  protocol digital DMX 512 technology. This launched the lighting industry
  into a faster and more spectacular pace than ever before. As the 1990's
  progressed so did technology. What was Science Fiction in 1990 became reality
  by 2000. In this 10 year period so much changed. Lighting displays became
  bigger and bigger and more and more costly. Customers began to expect more
and more and were prepared to pay for it
Pictures below (left to right) (top) Whisky a gogo 1970 William St Kings Cross nightclub, Fairlight Festival Easter 1971 poster, Ryde Youth Club poster early-mid 1970's,  (lower)  late 1960's Sotweed Factor band on an old truck, Very Early 1970's band on stage, early-mid 1970's poster for a dance at Cronulla.
1969 Kings Cross nightclub
1969 Kings Cross nightclub