The Who, Yardbirds, Kinks, Sounds Incorporated, Zombies and Them


During the course of April 1965, the Who began using Vox equipment, seemingly as a means of propelling Marshall to develop a 100W amp to rival the power of the AC80/100. The Vox amps were first seen publicly at the Marquee on the 27th April of that year - see the eyewitness report of Max the Mod on this page and here for a . Up to that point Pete Townsend and John Entwistle had been fairly committed users of 50W JTM 45s, though Pete admittedly did sometimes prefer his Fender Pro through Marshall cabs. An excellent site on the Who's equipment is .

On the left, The Who playing at the Blueopera Club, Edmonton (North London) on 25 March 1965. In the centre, at the Goldhawk Road Social Club, probably 16 April 1965, with an advert for the coming week behind Keith Moon. Note the AC30, but still no AC80/100s.

Summer 1965

One of the earliest pictures showing the use, or at least presence, of AC80/100s on a Who stage is the one below, probably taken in mid 1965, possibly at Stevenage, either 14th or 17th June.

No fewer than five amps are visible - all presumably cathode biased (AC80/100s), even if they were replacements for the ones issued to the band in April had lasted. Pete, on the right, has a full rig; John, on the left has one on top of his bass cabinet; and there are three on the floor of the stage behind Keith Moon, one apparently still in its cover.

In the left-hand picture, John standing in front of his bass cabinet. In the centre, two AC80/100s one on top of the other to the right of Keith Moon, and a third still in its cover. All the amps look to be thick edged.

Above, pictures from the Uxbridge Blues Festival at the Hillingdon Borough Showground, June 19th 1965 - for the original context see the site. In the first shot, Marianne Faithful is on stage with the Who's gear (and that of another band) behind her. Pete has two SDL rigs and John two AC100s and four 2 x 15" cabs.

Below, in the clip on the left, their performance of "Anyway, Anywhere, Anyhow" from Ready Steady Go, 21st June 1965 - one can see a reduced version of same set up: Pete with one flag-draped cab, and Entwistle with a thin-edged AC80/100, driving two T60 bass units. Entwistle's equipment is on a raised platform above Moon's head. In the clip on the right, "Can't Explain" - Pete with two rigs.

Shindig, 3rd August 1965

Stills from Ready, Steady, Go! 21st August 1965.

Below, a clip and pictures of The Who perfoming at the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, 6th August 1965. The amps are likely to be the new Vox "100W Amplifiers". There are no fewer than eight on stage - two for John, four in a row for Pete, with two "spares" in covers, behind. An astonishing array.

Left and centre, The Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, 6th August. Right, a publicity photo, showing John's two cabs and amp, and an AC100 sitting on top of a Vox PA. Note the brakes on the trolleys of the cabs.

Above, probably Redhill, Market Hall, 7th August. Pictures from here.


Click here for a YouTube video of The Who at the Witch Doctor Club, St Leonard's, Hastings, 4th August (from the BBC documentary "A Whole Scene Going On", 1966). At least three AC100 cabs are visible on Pete's side of the stage (see the screengrab above).

Copenhagen, 25 September 1965. In the picture on the right, six AC100s are visible: John and Pete have two rigs each, and there are two spare heads on the drum riser behind.


The Kinks on Top of the Pops in November 1964 - the same set of amps, presumably provided by Vox, as used by the Yardbirds and Sounds Incorporated in December. See also the .


The BBC Top Beat Programme, December 1964. The Yardbirds: Paul Samwell-Smith, and the rhythm guitarist, Chris Dreja have AC80/100s. Eric Clapton seems to be using the AC50.

Yardbirds BBC

Left-hand picture, a side view (from the BBC website - click on the images tab at the top of the page). The photo was also printed on the re-release of the album "Five Live Yardbirds" (Repertoire, 1999). Centre right and right, shots from front of stage. Photos by Dezo Hoffmann.

In 1966 and 1967 both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page are pictured using AC100 Mk 2s - see the foot of .


On the set used also by the Yardbirds (immediately above). Images from Getty Images, and Photofeatures.

THE ZOMBIES 1964/1965

Greg Russo, Time of the Season. The Zombie's Collector's Guide (New York, 2009), p. 15:

"Along with current musical trends, The Zombies upgraded their equipment to accommodate larger halls. Paul Atkinson dabbled with a Gretsch on occasion, but he used a new Rickenbacker guitar on stage, while Rod Argent purchased a Vox Continental organ. Like fellow keyboard player Manfred Mann, he played the pianet on top of the Vox for dual-voiced capabilities on stage. The old PA was scrapped, replaced by a Vox AC100 and two T60 bass cabinets."

A picture probably from 1964 or 1965. Perhaps an AC80/100 - if not, then an AC50 - driving at least one T60 cab. Pic from Phil Taylor's blog.

THEM 1964/1965

Back of an album cover with a stage shot, AC100 in the foreground to right - white warning plaque to the left, sockets relatively low on the back panel. Probably a cathode biased amp.

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