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2006/157/1 Speaker box, wood / leatherette / synthetic mesh / metal / electronic components, made by Wasp Industries, used by Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1974-1976. Click to enlarge.

Wasp speaker box used by Radio Birdman

Made
This speaker box has significance as an original piece of 1970s stage equipment used by the Australian band Radio Birdman.

Although they disliked the term, Radio Birdman was in the vanguard of what became known as 'punk rock', paving the way for its acceptance in Australia. Together for only three years (although they reformed many years later), they continue to attract fans. To many rock fans and historians, Radio Birdman's importance has grown retrospectively since their initial demise in …

Summary

Object No.

2006/157/1

Object Statement

Speaker box, wood / leatherette / synthetic mesh / metal / electronic components, made by Wasp Industries, used by Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1974-1976

Physical Description

Speaker box, wood / leatherette / synthetic mesh / metal / electronic components, made by Wasp Industries, used by Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1974-1976

Speaker box for an electric guitar amplifier with wooden casing which is covered in white coloured leatherette. The speaker box shows signs of heavy use in live performances as the leatherette is worn, chipped and stained. The Radio Birdman symbol is stencilled in black paint on either side of the box. An adhesive label with the company logo is adhered to the centre front of the black mesh front.

Marks

Company logo, printed on label adhered at centre front, 'WASP'.
Hand written in black ink on masking tape attached to reverse side, 'RADIO BIRDMAN / FAR STAGE RIGHT'.

Dimensions

Height

755 mm

Width

760 mm

Depth

355 mm

Production

Notes

The speaker box was made by Wasp Industries in Sydney, New South Wales. Ian Johnstone arrived in Australia in 1967 as a roadie from New Zealand and stayed to form Wasp Industries with Doug Henderson, making valve amplifiers under the name of 'Holden' which was a New Zealand company owned by Ron Holden. Ian bought Doug out in 1968. The WASP 200 watt bass amp became an Australian industry standard for many years, being used by bands such as Sherbet, Hush, Flying Circus, Blackfeather and Jeff St. John's Copperwine.

History

Notes

The speaker box was used by guitarist Deniz Tek with Radio Birdman in the mid 1970s. Tek used the speaker box with a Phoenix amplifier head. For many years he played an Epiphone electric guitar that had belonged to Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the Detroit proto-punk band MC5. Tek purchased the Epiphone guitar from a shop in an arcade in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The band's other guitarist Chris Masuak also used a Phoenix amp and a Wasp speaker box. The bass guitarist Warwick Gilbert used a Wasp bass amp and speaker box.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Vivien Johnson, Deniz Tek and Radio Birdman, 2006

Acquisition Date

22 November 2006

Cite this Object

Harvard

Wasp speaker box used by Radio Birdman 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 September 2021, <https://ma.as/363115>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/363115 |title=Wasp speaker box used by Radio Birdman |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 September 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}