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Author Topic: Charie Watkins RIP  (Read 3667 times)

Steve M Smith

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Charie Watkins RIP
« on: November 13, 2014, 05:18:24 pm »

I have just learned that Charlie Watkins died on the 28th of October.

Charlie was responsible for the sound system at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival, doing much the same over here as Bill Hanley was at Woodstock, putting together modular systems the like of which had not really been used before. 

Charlie made a five channel mixer known as the Audiomaster.  Several of these were linked together at the Isle of Wight festival and for a Rolling Stones gig in Hyde Park, London.



He also made solid state 100w slave amplifiers. At the time, that sort of power was the preserve of valve (tube) amplifiers.



Early adopters of WEM PA equipment were The Who and Pink Floyd. A lot of the equipment at the Isle of Wight was borrowed from The Who as WEM did not have enough.  Most of it was column speakers. In the top right of this picture is Charlie's parabolic horn HF speaker!





http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/pa/pa6970.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Watkins_%28audio_engineer%29
http://www.tpimagazine.com/Chronicle/137802/the_buccaneers_part_two.html

Watkins also made guitars, guitar amplifiers and a tape echo called the Copycat.  I have a 17 watt (2 x EL84) guitar amp and a valve Copycat whiche are regularly gigged.


Steve.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 05:29:41 pm by Steve M Smith »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Charie Watkins RIP
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 07:58:09 am »

It took people like this to advance our industry.

People today often forget how wimpy PA gear was back in the day.

It did not just "scale up" to larger festivals.  It took learning about what you could and could not do to advance our industry.

Here is an add from back in 1975 from WEM that I have hanging on our shop bathroom wall.
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Art Welter

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Re: Charie Watkins RIP
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 01:52:38 pm »

I have just learned that Charlie Watkins died on the 28th of October.
His influence on the business was huge, most of us long in the tooth remember the WEM columns featured prominently in the equipment shots of most British artists, my favorite being on the back cover of Pink Floyd's "Ummaguma".

Watkins was a pioneer in the sound field, his Parabolic projector preceded Meyer's by decades.

Sorry to hear he's gone, just two days after my birthday marking my 40th year involved in the production industry. Charlie's memory will live on in his legacy of innovative equipment that will probably continue to survive for centuries to come.

Art
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 01:56:39 pm by Art Welter »
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Charie Watkins RIP
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 07:00:37 pm »

That's a great picture of Charlie.  In the article where I saw it, it said that Charlie looked that way as he had gone about forty hours without sleep!


Steve.
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