Heavy Water

 
 

See also Deadly Nightshade

 
 

Hello, I have followed your site for years and want to express my appreciation for your efforts to organize and maintain your list of light shows.

I want to provide some updated information for your site about Heavy Water, and while I'm at it, Deadly Nightshade.

In 1972 I joined Joan and Mary Ann/Heavy Water for their final tour with Jefferson Airplane.

One of our last shows was at the Hollywood Bowl, a photo of which is on the back cover of the Airplane's final album, "30 Seconds over Winterland".

As with the Brotherhood of Light, I was a guest artist on this tour, providing mostly 16 mm film projections.

Immediately following the tour I ended the Deadly Nightshade and officially became a part of Heavy Water.

Joan and I became lovers as well.

In early 1973, during a show in Salt Lake City with the Grateful Dead, Joan and Mary Ann visited the SLC Planetarium. They were struck by the intimacy of the space and the possibilities of doing a show there. We arranged with the planetarium to return with our show in April for a two-week run.

Soon after that successful run, Joan and I became husband and wife. In late 1973 Mary Ann decided she was done with light shows. Joan and I bought her share of the equipment, and gave her a severance package so we could continue using the name.

From March 1974 through December 1983, Joan and I toured all over North America and into Europe doing shows exclusively in planetariums. Our son Corwin was born on the road and lived his first nine years traveling constantly. We performed extended runs in many of the larger cities and the major planetariums of the United States, Canada and Germany. Most of the time we were very successful but as with any show business, there were always difficult periods. Our home base was a ranch in California, on the Central Coast near Paso Robles, on a ranch where I grew up.

We also had a home in Portland, Oregon and in 1983, while living in Portland, we made the decision to stop touring. We were rather burned out with the constant production and touring and we wanted our son to have some stability in his life and school. We had also caught the windsurfing habit, and the Columbia Gorge became our home. I went into independent film and then video production. Our final show was for the new mayor of Portland, Bud Clark, who hosted a ball in the civic stadium. The music was provided by the Kingsmen, naturally!

My contributions to the medium of light shows was mostly with motion picture film and graphics. I also did a lot of equipment "hot rodding", modifying our Prado slide projectors to have brighter halogen lamps and motorized rotating stages. 16 and 35mm motion picture projectors were modified in similar fashion, and extreme wide-angle lenses. We traveled with about a ton of gear.

Joan and I separated in 1992. Our son Corwin became a very successful entrepreneur after attaining a PhD in engineering at Stanford, but unfortunately passed away in 2012.

After a hiatus of 35 years I have started doing shows again, using video projectors, animating and digitally processing graphics and photos, and digitized and processed film. I am also engaged in building a new performing arts center for the area we live in.

John Hardham
Light Wave Communications
October 2020

 
 
Heavy Water Light Show
 
 
Heavy Water Light Show

October 1969

 
 
Heavy Water Light Show

May 1970

 
 
Heavy Water Light Show

Grateful Dead, September 1970 (Photo Credit Jim Baldocchi)

 
 
Heavy Water Light Show

Grateful Dead, September 1970 (Photo Credit Jim Baldocchi)

 
 
Heavy Water/Santana
 
 
Mary Ann Mayer (Heavy Water)

August 13th 1982, San Francisco (Mary Ann Mayer Solo)

 
 
Heavy Water Light Show
 
 
Heavy Water Light Show

1974

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1973

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1973

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1973

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1976

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1978

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1982

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1982

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1982

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1982

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1983

 
Heavy Water Light Show

June 1980 - Hamburg

 
Heavy Water Light Show

March 1974

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Portland 1983

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Toronto 1978

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1981

 
Heavy Water Light Show

1981

 
Heavy Water Light Show

John Hardham 1977

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Joan Chase 1972

 
Heavy Water Light Show

July 1976

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Setup)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Setup)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Setup)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Setup)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Show)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Show)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

Mayors Ball 1986 (Setup)

 
Heavy Water Light Show

John Hardham 1977