Vox AC30: bands


Early AC30s (the AC2/30 and AC/30)

Bill Kent

Vox AC2/30, Bill Kent band, 1958

Raggett's Hall, Maidstone, 1958. The "VOX" logo has gone, but the small plaque underneath - "Jennings" (?) - remains.

Vox AC2/30, Bill Kent band, 1958

Bill Kent again, the amp not yet decorated, but minus its logo.

Vox AC2/30 late 1950s

"Melody Maker" magazine, 1st February, 1958.

Pictures and music from Bill's collection

The Skyriders

Another AC2/30, used for steel guitar. Picture taken at the Embassy Ballroom, Welling (Kent), 1958. Published in "The Vox Story", ed. Denney and Petersen (1993).

Vox AC2/30 late 1950s

Vox AC2/30 late 1950s

The Jennings plaque on this one is now in the conventional place on the upper front edge of the cabinet.

Gene Vincent and The Rockets

Below, Gene Vincent, early 1960 - first or second leg of his UK tour (6th to 17th January backed by "The Rockets"; 24th January to 26th February backed by "The Beat Boys").

The AC2/30 is apparently upside down, its tilt caused by a cable plugged in on its "underside" at left. Invert in your mind the illustration of the AC2/30 below.

"Accordion Times", December 1957, Jennings advert illustrating the AC2/30.

Cliff Richard and The Drifters

Vox AC2/30, Aylesbury Granada, February 1959

Aylesbury Granada, February 1959, Cliff Richard and The Drifters. Picture from .

Vox AC2/30, Aylesbury Granada, February 1959

Detail, far side of stage. Note the handle.

Single speaker AC/30

Dave Goldberg

Melody Maker magazine, 14th November, 1959, Vox ad.

"Melody Maker" magazine, 28th November, 1959, a detail from a Boosey and Hawkes advert. Dave Goldberg, noted in many adverts as being a Vox user, with what may be an AC/30.

TV Fronts

The Shadows

The Cliff Richard Show, BBC, early 1961.

The Olympics

June 1962, with three generations of Vox amps: TV Front AC30/4 at front; AC15 middle; new split-front AC30 behind.

Billy Fury

On stage, NME Poll Winners, 15th April, 1962, with two TV front AC30/4s. Picture from Getty Images.

The Tremors

The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961

The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961

"The Tremors", a band from Clacton, Essex, with a TV front AC30 and black panel split-front AC30/6 in late 1960 or early 1961, .

The Tremors with Vox AC30s in 1961

The guitar plugged into the Normal channel of the AC30/6.

The Cadillacs

The "Great Pop Prom", Albert Hall, 16th September, 1962: "The Allisons" backed by "The Cadillacs" - for the latter. The fronts of both TV front amps have the band's name in applied letters at bottom, and top left, the first name of the band member.

The Rinky Dinks

The Rinky Dinks with a TV Front AC30

From "Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar" magazine, January 1964, a rough-print picture of the "Rinky Dinks" with a TV Front AC30:

Kenny Lee and the Mark 4

The band in 1964 with a TV Front AC30, two later beige Twins, and a beige Super Twin. The first two shots were taken during a residency at The Big Ben Club, Wilhelmshaven, 9th February to 28th March, 1964. The third comes from a second residency, 4th - 10th May All three pics .

Split fronts

The Shadows

NME Poll Winner's concert, March 1961. Photographed by .

Note the logos high up on the front and the special "The Shadows" legend. Picture from Getty Images.

The two screengrabs above: the three new AC30 Twins in a sort of U formation, The Shadows' set ("FBI" and "Frightened City") on "Crackerjack", a popular children's programme, BBC 1, 27th April, 1961, 5.10pm-6.00pm.

Calais, 18th June, 1961.

A detail of one of The Shadows' AC30/6s, Abbey Road, autumn 1961. The member of the band using it was plugged into the Brilliant channel.

Further details to be added shortly (May 2022).

Sounds Incorporated

19th July, 1961. Heritage Images / Getty. The amp appears in pictures of a number of other concerts on the tour.

Sounds Incorporated joined the Gene Vincent tour of 1961 on 30th April at Bradford and remained with him for the rest of the year. The group's beige split-front AC30 was caught in a picture taken at the Rex Ballroom, Cambridge, 19th July. It is likely that this amp had been acquired by or issued to Sounds Incorporated specially for the tour - i.e. at some point shortly before 30th April 1961.

Lonnie Donegan

18th May, 1961.

Above, a screen-grab from the Donegan show broadcast on 18th May, 1961, Les Bennetts the lead guitarist in view. The AC30 is fleetingly visible in the show broadcast on the 11th.

Someone at JMI in the early 1960s - ie. prior to the arrival of Charlie Cobbett (Group Liaison Officer) - had a keen eye for the value of television - particularly programmes broadcast by ATV - as a promotional medium.

The Shadows were given new TV Front AC30 Twins for Cliff's new ATV series (Christmas 1960 to March 1961). The band was then given new split-front AC30/6s for the NME Poll Winners' Concert (5th March 1961), filmed in part by ATV. And it appears that the Lonnie Donegan band was provided with a beige split-front AC30 in advance of Donegan's fourth ATV series, beginning on 11th May, 1961.

Adam Faith's band

Received new Super Twin amps in September/October 1961. These are probably the ones seen on stage below, April 1962:

NME Poll Winners concert, 15th April 1962, photo by Harry Hammond, his archive now in the . Notice the full cloth front of the speaker cabinet, as in the early adverts. Later beige cabs had split fronts - certainly by the time of the concert - see below.

Dave Anthony and The Rebels

Picture taken around October 1961, a portion of a split-front AC30/4 belonging to Dave Anthony and The Rebels, Bure Club, Bournemouth. The amp is likely to have come from Eddie Moors' shop. Eddie sold Jennings organs and amps from the late 1950s. At the time the photo was taken, the AC30/4 had just gone out of production.

Bure Club, Bournemouth, around October 1961. Picture from .

The Phantoms

Late 1961.

A slightly later picture. The amps drove the large speaker units on which they were placed as well as the Celestion blues in their own cabinets.

Popular in the north of England in the early 1960s, the Phantoms were based in Huddersfield. The AC30s - early copper panel amps - arrived in October 1961, having been ordered from Barratt's in Manchester. Mr Barratt, owner of the shop (really a chain), went to London in person to collect the amps from Jennings. Thanks to John Weatherby, the group's bassist, for the pictures and info, and to Peter Norcliffe, whose piece on the group .

The Echoes

Following an appearance on "Sunday Night at the London Palladium", New Year's Eve, 1961, JMI made contact with the group and provided new equipment.

Dezo Hoffmann photograph.

The Hartbeats

April 1962, with an AC30 Super Twin. Photo .

Billy Fury

His band rehearsing, date unknown, but probably 1962.

The Tornados

Rehearsing, early 1962, Larry Parnes in the foreground. From left to right: AC30/6 Super Twin II (two cabinets) with an older Vox amp tucked behind; an AC30/6 Super Twin I or II; an AC30 Twin with another behind, probably a spare.

The Spotnicks

"Thank Your Lucky Stars", 6th October, 1962.