The Joshua Liquid Light Show

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Michael Gerber

Publisher at The American Bystander
is Blogmom of Hey Dullblog. His novels and parodies have sold 1.25 million copies in 25 languages. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, and runs The American Bystander all-star print humor magazine.
Michael Gerber
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The Joshua Liquid Light Show, invented by artist Joshua White, was a psychedelic staple at New York’s iconic Fillmore East in the late Sixties. White and his colleagues would project their work on 30-40 foot screens behind bands like Jimi Hendrix and The Who, improvising in time with the music.

I’ve found one of their Shows on YouTube, which I’m pasting below. This work is now part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

It is a real shame that the Beatles didn’t return to touring; their post-Pepper music, plus proper mic-ing and amplification, plus bigger venues, plus an older fanbase, plus this kind of stage effect, would’ve been incredibly powerful. And with where Paul was creatively from late ’66 to mid-’69, it’s not impossible that there would’ve been a definite Cirque du Soleil aspect to their shows, as well.

I think, had Magical Mystery Tour been packaged and shown differently — as the first midnight movie, shown on college campuses and in hip neighborhoods — it would’ve received better reaction, and Paul would’ve kept going in the Pop Art direction he’d been moving. It is not impossible that this could’ve been the Beatles’ way forward. It’s a direction that has a place for Paul, John, AND Yoko. Yoko’s aesthetic simply couldn’t mesh with that of the Fabs as a rock band — but as a multi-media experience, it would’ve been easy to see her involved.

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