Do you remember the early Hyde Park Concerts
starting 28th of June 1968 with Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, T Rex, & Roger Harper?
(which at the time of writing was) Forty five years ago!
Do you remember or know about The Stones In The
Park, July 5th 1969?
Great times were had by one and all but do you have any idea how and why the Stones and all the other artists were heard by so many people?
Do you know that the man who came up with the innovative sound system was arrested for disturbing the peace while testing it out at Hyde Park London?
Have you ever noticed the massive array of speaker cabinets in pictures on stages of these festivals, including the Isle Of Wight festival 1970?
The unsung hero to all of these early outdoor events is a man without whom they could never have taken place.
Neither The Rolling Stones or anybody else would have ever been heard if it hadn't been for Charlie Watkins the inventor of the then massive PA sound systems.
Forty-fouryears on it all happened again, with The Stones In The Park on the 6th July 2013
and sadly there wasn't a
PA cabinet in sight,sadly our unsung hero Charlie Watkins had been
confined to the history books without a single mention from Mick Jagger or any of the M.C's,
taking part in the event.
Charlie Watkins should have been there, on stage as a special V.I.P. guest of honour.
Today your average Disc Jockey would have more power at his fingertips than was ever possible anywhere in those pioneering days, which is why we are all now half deaf, yet none of the press, tv or publicity agents bothered to give the great Charlie Watkins or a single mention or a second thought.
Promoters, journalists, magazine editors etc please remember Charlie Watkins was there at the beginning making it all work, and holding it all together.
My dear friend Charlie Watkins, ninety in the June of 2013 was as much a part of all these shows as were the bands, yet he doesn't get a single mention.
Please please remember Charlie Watkins and his relatively small company deserved the same recognition as the mighty Rolling Stones.
The Stones, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd,
Jimi Hendrix T Rex etc
Yes, they all ROCKED LIKE HELL but remember, it was CHARLIE WATKINS who provided the vehicle that ROCKED them!
At all the outdoor festivals 1968 and into the 70's he provided his equipment and services all FREE OF CHARGE!
After which every band in ENGLAND ordered a PA sound system, and very soon they could be seen worldwide.
Ladies and gentlemen let's hear it for the star of the show
HIP HIP, HOORAY! HIP HIP, HOORAY! HIP HIP, HOORAY!
Long live the great Charlie Watkins.
NOTE: Charlie Watkins is not related in any way to Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones!
It saddens me to announce that Charlie Watkins passed away on the 28th October 2014 aged 91 years.
The brand of
speakers are often emulated by other unscrupulous companies to this very day,
but have never been equalled.
If you buy or are offered or see advertised a new Starfinder cabinet as used by David Gilmour or Pink Floyd, trust me, it will be an unofficial FAKE.
A deliberate and illegal violation of the trademark.
Go to Logo Misuse for further details.
John Beer of Amp-Fix is the only person with the licences to manufacture Watkins or products, and we DO NOT CURRENTLY MANUFACTURE THE STARFINDER OR ANY OTHER branded cabinets other than the Reissue Watkins Dominator, Watkins Westminster & Watkins Clubman amplifiers advertised on this website. / Watkins Electric Music Ltd of LONDON are still trading with Mrs June Watkins as the Managing Director.
If you need confirmation of the above paragraph, ring during normal working hours on 0208 6795575
Since writing this page, I have read a superb tribute to Charlie Watkins written by Gary Cooper, a freelance musical equipment journalist who is the editor of MI Pro, http://www.iguitarmag.com/ and has contributed to many musical magazines which include the Sound On Sound & Sound On Stage Magazines. (correct me if I'm wrong Gary) Sound On Sound published this feature by Gary, plotting the life and business achievements of Charlie Watkins who hasn't had anything like the recognition he so rightfully deserves. Gary was and still is a great friend of Charlie & June Watkins, and I believe a lot, if not most of the information he has written would have originally come straigh from the horse's mouth. Just spare half an hour or so enjoying Gary's story and viewing the picture slide show that goes with it.