Hey-making time, “Y’all join in, now.”


Q. How did Barney do those cool double-bubbles at the Speakeasy?

A. Barney mixed water based paints (sometimes) and colored inks with die-coloured, oily glycerine between two 2 1/4″ slides and taped them all round with (black) electicians tape and left them in the projector to overheat. He also included cutouts and shapes floating in the slides. Like flat, projected lava-lamps, the hot, oily glycerine with a very low temperature boiling point, bubbled up, expanded, the water-based ink was displaced, and the whole shebang was beamed to the stage. Two projectors or more were bettter of course, this allowed for changes between slides and more events. Two slides could be superimposed in the same projector if you jammed them in with no holder. We used an overhead projector for graphics.

Then the water would boil, time to cool it – or the steam cracked glass would make a great visual. The sides of the slides leaked, and the resulting oily, inky, brightly-coloured projectors overheated and were a total wreck after a while. Barney’s fingers would be stained for days.

One day Jimmi Hendrix, looking bigger than I thought, he had a very large face, was leaning back in the audience up front, so I walked up, leaned over and yelled, “Hey, you want a light show?” He shook his head and that is all he said. We joked that he should have said, “I am a light show.” But he didn’t.

Anybody remember the name of the band Barney gigged his light show for?

I remembered – it was The Gun.

When Barney was in San Francisco he did work a bit at the Avalon but was disappointed in the techniques they used, for instance they wouldn’t let him put any floaters, cut outs and found objects, in the slides, because they were too concerned about the effects of leaking slides in the projector, something Barney had resigned himself too long ago. For floaters , one has to make the slides have depth, and the added dimension combined with the necessary liquid within is a leaky project. He said the San Francisco guys were “stuck in time.” Wouldn’t experiment.