Events at the EMPIRE POOL WEMBLEY
Below, details of the events formally supported by Jennings Musical Industries at the Empire Pool, Wembley, in the mid and late sixties, the principal being: The New Musical Express Poll Winner's Concerts; The Daily Express Record Star Shows; and various Balls. Of these, JMI had the longest standing arrangement with the NME, going back to the late fifties / early sixties. It may be that there was also an arrangement with the Empire Pool organisers.
The main front of the Empire Pool, 1st July 1967, fans arriving for the Monkees - see the entry below.
A second page will collect together details and pictures for other venues and events.
Some of the pictures below will be familiar from other pages, especially the one on JMI loan AC80/100s. It may be that a merging of these pages will be best in due course.
A certain amount of equipment will have come from the Artists' Loan shed at the back of 119 Dartford Road. Some is likely to have been new though. Blue hang tags, for instance, can be seen on the equipment that JMI provided for the Yardbirds in the Antonioni film "Blowup" - see this page.
Two JMI engineers normally set up the equipment for the Poll Winners' concerts amd assisted the television recording crews. One of the greatest difficulties was getting a good mix of bass both in the auditorium and on tape. The JMI staff known to have worked on the concerts are: Alan Harding, Cyril Stapleton, Geoff Hurst, and Rodney Angell.
New Musical Express Poll Winner's Concerts
26th April, 1964
A vast array or equipment this year, some of it caught in the Pathe newsreel of Cliff Richard and the Shadows.
"New Musical Express", 1st May, 1964. The images were first used as an ensemble in the Vox advert for the Dave Clark Five in February '64. Note that the "A.C. 50" is actually a T60.
The show as a whole was broadcast as "Big Beat '64". Clips from it are available on this page with a link to a further set.
A good sense of what was there is given by photos taken of the Stones' set. The Beatles' amps are at rear of stage:
Detail of the two AC80/100s provided by JMI.
11th April, 1965
The equipment supplied by JMI sits on the riser and to its right: a Foundation Bass cab, AC50, AC100 and 2x15" speaker cabinet, and an AC30. A number of bands used the equipment the Beatles are seen with.
John and Paul had their AC100 SDL speaker cabinets but with AC50s. It is likely that the AC100s were being refurbished at this time.
The Stones brought their own gear. Brian and Bill's brown-fronted AC80/100s cab be seen in this shot, along with Keith's Fender.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, August 1965, a picture of the concert under "VOX". Photos of Donovan, The Kinks, The Searchers, and Dusty Springfield at the show were used to advertise Vox in the United States (in the "King of the Beat" catalogue from late summer 1965).
"New Musical Express" magazine, 16th April, 1965.
1st May, 1966
JMI provided three AC100 SDLs and one AC100 with two 2x15" speaker cabinets. These were used by the majority of the bands. Alan Price brought his own AC50 and 2x15" cab. Three Fender Dual Showmans were also on hand (used by Dusty Springfield's backing band). Performances by The Beatles, Who and Stones were not aired on television. The others can be seen here.
Vox advert in the programme for the show, 1966.
A variant form of the advert in the NME magazine, 6th May, 1966.
Jennings shipped three new 7120s and four cabs to the concert for the Beatles. The two 7120s that had been delivered to Abbey Road in early April were not used.
Four shots of Mick Jagger on stage.
7th May, 1967
Pictures are relatively scarce, but small batches survive of Cliff Richard and Dusty Springfield:
"New Musical Express" magazine, 13th May, 1967.
Detail of the Vox advert.
A detail showing two Vox Supremes and a 2x15" bass cabinet.
12th May, 1968
A vast backline of solid state amps: Supremes (full trolleys and tilt-back stands), Super Foundation Basses, and stacks of 760 speaker cabinets.
"Beat Instrumental" magazine, August 1968. Interview with Reg Clark, General Sales Manager of Jennings, about the new company, "Vox Sound Equipment Limited". In the last paragraph he notes: "It's funny, but even though we were in the hands of the receiver, the organisers still asked us to supply the amplification for the Wembley Poll-Winner's Concert, as they have done for many years now.
The Monkees, 2nd July, 1967
The only pieces of equipment that can be made out in the contrasty photos of the concert are a LS40 column lying on its side, serving as a foldback speaker, and the side of a Gyrotone cabinet.
The Monkees' visit was a joint Dick Clark Productions / NEMS (Brian Epstein) venture. For contemporary commentary, see this page.
Daily Express Record Star Show
Pictures of the mid sixties concerts are extremely scarce. There is a small batch from 1964, but these show little of the stage or equipment.
22nd March, 1964
"Getty Images" photograph of Billy J. Kramer, a Vox T60 at left.
21st March, 1965
One can just about make out two upright bass cabinets in the programme's inset picture - either Foundations or 2x15". No other photos have come to light so far.
Above, the front cover of the programme and the Jennings Musical Industries advert a little way in.
3rd April, 1966
As in the case of the show in 1965, no photographs have come to light so far.
16th April, 1967
Cream using the new Vox solid state amps - a Supreme for Eric Clapton and a Super Foundation Bass for Jack Bruce.
29th March, 1968
The Easybeats. Two Supremes and a Super Foundation Bass accompanied by an AC100.
Pop Hit Parade Show
31st May, 1964
9th May, 1965
Ready, Steady, Go! Mad Mod Ball, 8th April 1964
The Stones with their own Vox equipment.
"Getty Images" photograph of the Merseybeats with AC30s and cabs.
All Stars Pop Concert, 25th October 1964
Concert mounted by the Variety Club of Great Britain. The comperes were Pete Murray and Roger Moore. Moore had presented the prizes at the NME Poll Winner's Concert earlier in the year. See the video at the top of this page.
Page from the concert programme. The programme as a whole is available here.
Glad Rag Ball, 20th and 21st November 1964
A concert mounted by the University of London Student's Union. Jennings provided an AC100 SDL, an early AC100 amplifier with 2x15" speaker cabinet, an AC30, Continental organ, and an AC50. Parts of the show were broadcast by Associated Rediffusion on 25 November.
Disc magazine, 7th November, 1964.
Gene Vincent and the Londoners. Click for a larger image. For details of the photo see this page.
Programme for the event. Also on the bill were The Animals, The Pretty Things, and The Rolling Stones, who played from a parti-patterned podium.
Ticket from the event.
The Stones were later mobbed by the audience. Photo copyright: Jeroen Ras. Many thanks to Jereon for kind permission to reproduce the picture.