We love this at SelectAV – the precursor to the modern day line array. The Grateful Dead were arguably one of America’s biggest bands in the 1970s – the musicians were innovators and the devoted fans (referred to as deadheads) traveled the USA selling acid to each other to the point that they probably didn’t care about the audio. For Australians the Grateful Dead are probably best known n in the DON Henley song – BOYS OF SUMMER …..
Out on the road today
I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice inside my head said:
“Don’t look back, you can never look back”
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever
I should just let them go but,
The Wall of Sound was an enormous public address system designed specifically for the Grateful Dead’s live performances by audio engineer Owsley “Bear” Stanley. Used in 1974, the Wall of Sound fulfilled the band’s desire for a distortion-free sound system that could also serve as its own monitoring system.
The Wall of Sound was the largest concert sound system built at that time. As Stanley described it, “The Wall of Sound is the name some people gave to a super powerful, extremely accurate PA system that I designed and supervised the building of in 1973 for the Grateful Dead. It was a massive wall of speaker arrays set behind the musicians, which they themselves controlled without a front of house mixer. It did not need any delay towers to reach a distance of half a mile from the stage without degradation.”