Prismatic Revenge (Contra Costa County)
How you got into doing Light Shows & when?
In January of 1967, I attended my first actual rock concert – at the Berkeley Community Theater.
Where did/does your Light Show operate?
Prismatic Revenge operated mostly in the East Bay Area, Contra Costa County and San Francisco.
Who was your main influence, if any?
Our influences were first other local light shows that we got to know, but things really changed when I reached out to the Brotherhood of Light, who was doing the Fillmore West shows every other week, rotating with Little Princess 109.
What Bands have you worked with?
We worked with many of the SF bands and others, including The Dead, Santana, Van Morrison, Mike Bloomfield, Joy of Cooking, It’s a Beautiful Day, BB King, Humble Pie, John Lee Hooker and many many more.
What was your most memorable gig?
I think we had two really memorable gigs. The first was when we finally made it to the Fillmore West. We had developed the show and equipment to a level to audition at the FW. So back then you did three Tuesday night auditions, and if successful, got a shot at a weekend at the FW.
The other memorable show was at Longshoreman’s Hall, A Hells Angel Party. I don’t remember who played, but I remember the evening. Was my first Hells Angels event, so was quite nervous. But they were super kind to us (not necessarily the same to one another!) and was a great show.
What other Light Shows have you worked with and/or Cooperated with?
As I mentioned earlier we worked with our Mentors, Brotherhood of Light. Ultimately that led to merging/joining the BOL.
A funny story, particularly funny for those who knew Ed, may he rest in peace, was after I began to wind down my time doing BOL. The equipment was stored with Ed. I lost contact with Ed.
I also was friends and did some work with Bob Holt Lights. Bob had a totally different approach to lightshows, very very artistic with very detailed hand painted slides. I don’t even think he used liquids as I recalled. But we became friends and I helped out with his gigs.
Where did the name (s) come from
Once we decided to start a light show, we needed a name. My friend Alan, who was an original partner in the show, but left fairly early on came up with the name.
When was your Light Show formed?
Prismatic Revenge was formed in Feb. 1967.
How long did it run for? (is it still going or maybe back after an interval?)
We ran until the merger, purchase of Brotherhood of Light in 1972. I have thought of doing it again, but with all of the equipment and art gone, probably more than I am up for.
Any personnel changes within the Light Show(s)
So original founders – Scott Bauhofer and Alan Macomber. Alan left the show in 1969.
Can you supply behind the scenes photo's of the equipment/shots from live shows/Posters/Personnel pictures/Light Show Handbills etc?
Unfortunately I do not have any photos of our rig. I will send over a couple of the posters from our Fillmore shows, and also one from a Dead concert that I put on at my high school in my senior year.
Can you share any amusing/interesting Light Show related stories that wont land you in Court?
I remember doing a show with Johnny Winter at the Fillmore West. This was after Bill Graham had closed it but a promoter tried to reopen it, and did a number of shows there, and we were the house light show.
What equipment you started out using, why you used it and what you changed to?
We started with one overhead projector, and two slide projectors, and a color wheel. From there we continued to buy equipment, more overheads, plus eventually added 16mm movie projectors.
What non standard objects/items were used in the quest for 'better effects'?
Our most non standard item as a very powerful laser that we acquired. I don’t think it was legal to have and use, but that did not stop us. We used an oscillator, and a custom built mirror setup – basically mirrors mounted on two small speakers.
How many projectors/slide machines you started out with?
We started with one overhead projector and two Kodak Carousel slide projectors. In the beginning we had nothing, so actually bought our first set of psychedelic slides through a catalog – Edmund Scientific Catalog.
How many projectors you finished up with?
At the end we had a rig with 20 slide projectors, in custom cases that we built that held 4 each. We could carry them in, open the case, add the color wheel setup, and were ready to go very quickly. Slide projectors were a combination of Kodak Carousels and Leitz/Prado. All slide projectors were run through dimmers so we could fade in and out our slide sets.
We had 3 to 4 overhead projectors, all with glass lenses, and overvolting variacs so we could juice up the wattage. They would get so hot that you could boil a liquid dish on them, which was a great effect.
We had 3 Bell and Howell 16 mm movie projectors, that we ran film loops through.
What is your favourite aspect of doing Light Shows (maybe you prefer liquids, slides, movie clips for example)
I actually enjoyed the co-ordination of all of the media types, but my favorite thing was the liquids.
Where has your career taken you if you are not still in the Lighting Industry?
After I left the lighting industry, I moved into the Consumer Electronics world. First selling stereos and televisions in Northern California - Matthew’s TV and Stereo, Pacific Stereo, The Good Guys.
Then into ecommerce, was a founding member of BestBuy.com and general manager.
I still am a huge live music fan, so go to tons of concerts (at least did until COVID, and ready to get back to them).
My son took to the space on the music side, and has a very successful career as a DJ/Producer. His DJ name is Minnesota. He plays throughout the country, though COVID has been a challenge to all of that, as all of the money is made playing live gigs. But first tour since COVID starts in August, so excited about that.
One other note, and would be interested in feedback on this subject.
Roll forward, first, I have been clear of the cancer after two bouts of it and chemo to treat it for ten years.
But in a discussion with Chris from Brotherhood of light, I mentioned how we use to do the liquids and the dye we used.
So very curious if any other of us pioneers suffered a similar fate?
Scott Bauhofer - March 2021 (Updated May 2021)
May 16th, 1969, Campolindo High School, Moraga, California
1971 Fillmore West
Humble Pie, Swamp Dogg, Shanti, May 13th - 16th, 1971 Fillmore West
John Lee Hooker, Hayward Theatre, California, 1972