Office (209) 522-4896
Fax (209) 521-2876
State Contractor #844761
Welcome to the WCSL scrapbook!
In 2016 we celebrated our 30th year in business! Join us in a trip down memory lane as we look back on the last 30 years, and then some! We've added entire pages of content to our scrapbook in celebration of our past 30 years, so if it's been a while since you've looked through it, you haven't seen the scrapbook! Over a quarter century old! My how time fly's! As you can imagine, these pages are all photos! Be patient, it's worth the trip! If you get an "X" instead of a photo, simply hit "refresh" on your browser and it should reload the page at a much faster rate, with the missing photos.
The 80's is where WCSL starts, but first we must go back to the 70's to see the foundation that would become WCSL. It's been said that you really can't understand where your going unless you understand where you've been.
Founder Paul Doty's first interest as a child is in anything fast or high tech. In the 60's those worlds met in NHRA drag racing. These two photos are of the original Snake and Mongoose top fuel dragsters in 1972 taken by Paul in Freemont. This is actually what the pits looked like in those days. 25 years later Paul would go to work doing sound for TNN's and ESPN's television coverage of NHRA drag racing. The autograph below is an original Don "The Snake" Prudhomme from 1972.
Paul's collection of sound equipment started during his high school years. Needless to say his room showed signs of what was to come. Much of his hi-fi gear he built himself. A talent for electronics that would eventually get him hired at another California sound company as a systems designer and sound engineer.
Paul also dabbled with personal computers during this time. It doesn't seem noteworthy in this day and age, but at that time, they simply didn't exist. Back in those day's if you wanted a computer, you had to build one. Paul purchased one of the first commercially available machines in the late 70's and began learning how to program software for it. Today Paul oversees the website for the company as well as maintaining and designing the companies network infrastructure.
Paul's first house mix. A borrowed 12 channel Peavey board with a Pioneer reel to reel engineered to work as a delay line. Paul is introduced to live sound engineering and spends one year as soundman for the local Modesto band "Saloon".
In a years time Paul meets everyone in the who's who of the local Modesto music scene and works in literally all of Modesto's night clubs. Paul's second full time sound gig was as the only church sound man for a small church of about 40 members starting out in Modesto called "Big Valley Grace Community Church." The church PA was a 4 channel Bogan.
Our first lighting system. Yep that's local sound engineer Dave Abbey at the big controls. First lighting truss circa 1978 was built out of....well mostly junk. No idea whatever happened to this system.
In those days we didn't have allot of the manufactures we have today and you had to manufacture allot of your own gear. Our second attempt at a lighting controller. I have to admit it's getting better.
In the late 70's the music scene in Modesto was a booming fertile incubator that would later form it's largest production company West Coast Sound & Light.
A multitude of concert venues like The Turlock Fairgrounds, The Sports Page, Dazzles Underground, Central Park, Carmen's, The California Ballroom, The Fable Room, The Forum, The Downtown Arena, The Brickworks, The Oasis Ballroom, The Playhouse, The Electric Sound Company, Stage-1, The Vintage, The Sylvan Club, and The Club in Turlock flourished. Area promotion companies like Guiding Light Productions, Rocking Chair Productions, and Bill Gram became legendary.
In those days a band could actually make a good living playing every week, and in some cases every night. Bands like Saloon, Rock Bottom, Destiny, Hari Kari, Tiny Nailer, Collage, The Milk House Boys, Raven, 415, Silvermoon, Hot L Sacto & Taxx were the main stays of the areas music scene, but none as prolific and successful as The Lights.
For our 20th year anniversary in 2006 we reached back into the WCSL vaults and pulled out a boat load of concert posters circa 1975-1980 to aid in our trip down memory lane. Click here to be transported to that poster page! You will be able to return to this page by clicking the link at the end of the poster tour.
The WCSL story really starts in the late seventies with Paul's post high school band days with many of Modesto's notable groups. Most notable was a five year period from 1979-1984 as Paul served as sound engineer for one of the countries earliest Christian progressive hard rock bands AthanasiA. More on that in the 80's.
In 1980 Paul began selling off stereo equipment and investing the money into sound equipment for the band "Destiny". Destiny would become the foundation of "AthanasiA". Paul and future wife Leslie would meet in the Destiny days, but would not begin dating until 81 at the start of the AthanasiA era. It was during this time that Paul & future WCSL partner Chris Gray (2nd from right in photo) would meet.
In 1980 Paul uses his electronics background and goes to work for Sound Visual Products in Jamestown California as a systems designer, builder, & engineer after owner Jerry Chapelli buys a compressor that Paul built. Paul would work for SVP on and off for about 5 years.
Special thanks to Ed Woodruff (Right in photo) for finding the old Destiny photo.
A fun shot of FOH from the Destiny days features an Echoplex tape echo for FX.
The venture grew Paul's PA gear to the point of the band providing PA for a number of events and festivals the band played at. The earliest notable person we worked with through that era was Richard Kiel who played "Jaws" in many of the bond films of that time.
Our second house mix. This picture was recently found by Shawn Gray and donated to the scrapbook. It was taken at her high school graduation party sometime around the summer of 1981. The console is a TOA (more on it below). The control rack not only contains the front of house equipment, but all the PA and monitor amps as well (all two of them.). The show was evidently being recorded by a BIC T4 cassette deck being fed by the house mix in one channel, and a Shure SM58 mic plugged into the other. I'm sure it was our highest quality mic at the time. Rack from top to bottom: Furman spring reverb (way before digital), Ibanez two rack space analog delay line (This was state of the art in its day, most people were still using tape delays like the Roland Space Echo and the Echoplex), 12 bands of EQ on mains and monitor, a Furman mono 3 way crossover, and two stereo ADCOM GFA 400 power amps for mains and monitors (200watts per side, a large amp for it's day).
Paul graduates the Recording Institute of America with a certification in modern recording techniques. Also in 81, Paul meets future wife Leslie Mace, a local lighting designer.
Paul at the controls of his first "owned" console (purchased late 70's/ early 80's), a 12 channel TOA. The console had both treble and bass. ooooooooo! Photo taken in 1982.
AthanasiA circa 1982
Our 3rd console. In 83 it was up to 24channels. This had to be accomplished by strapping two 12 channel EV boards together. It was through these early days of innovation that Paul adopted the slogan... " I've done so much with so little for so long, I can now do literally anything with nothing at all.".
In 1983 Paul & Leslie wed. Paul is using his audio knowledge working for the Federated Group selling Hi Fi.
In 1984 Paul, Chris & Leslie all worked for HIWATT amplifiers building the HIWATT 30watt combo. Paul assembled electronics, Chris did the vinyling, and Leslie loaded circuit boards. We found one of our combos in the vintage section of a Gig magazine in 1998. Wow. Guess that makes us old timers now! Wonder if that unit still has Paul's signature in the back?
Paul puts his studio engineering training into use as an engineer for Fred Eichle's local studio Villa Recorders. During the late 70's and early 80's the studio was a popular underground hang out for numerous national acts including the likes of Peter Frampton, Edgar Winter, and future WCSL clients like Toto's Bobby Kimball.
Left photo is a pre-WCSL photo taken during Paul's stint as head engineer at Villa Recorders in Modesto Circa 1985. The console was Paul's 4th, purchased in 1984. A 24ch. English Adam Hall console. Leslie hand wired the patch bay for it with well over 1000 solder points. This photo was recently found and donated by Mike of "Home Grown" and was taken during the recording of their album. Thank you Mike!
Paul & Leslie maintain a strong personal & business friendship with Fred to this day.
Durring this time Paul engineers the AthanasiA album "Time Lost". The album tracks are archived here below.
Paul & Leslie provide sound for Easter Sunrise Services at Lakewood Memorial Park in Modesto. This would be the first official then "West Coast Sound" event, although the company still had no official name. Shortly after that, Paul Doty & Chris Gray partner and form a game plan for a Modesto based sound company. A few months later, Ashley Doty is born! Partners Chris Gray and Paul Doty move their two budding families into a single home to share expenses, pool all their resources and money, and.......
West Coast Sound is born!
The early years are filled with club dates and local bands. Soon promoters are calling on the company for national acts.
Owners Paul Doty & Chris Gray mixing on the Adam Hall 24. Note the additional 24ch. console in the background, strapped to the Adam Hall to provide more inputs. Even though it was a house console, it was used as an early onstage monitor mix before commercial ones were readily affordable.
Early modes of WCSL transportation. By the way, the truck was borrowed.
PA technology through the years. At left, West Coast Sound's very first PA. Circa 1986. Boxes later became firewood.
WCSL's first REAL PA. A 10,000 watt Crest powered PA that took us through many years and saw many national acts in the early days of the company. 2 year old future entertainment industry makeup artist Ashley Doty (Now Ashley Joy Beck) on left. Picture circa 1988. A couple of the boxes were still in use as late as 2000. The last of the boxes were sold off at the end of 2004.
Sound can be a dangerous business. New Years night, 1987. A bullet whizzes through the truck roof at the San Jose Civic Center, lodging in the empty trucks floor. Glad we weren't loading at the time.
That would have been a headache.
Shawn Gray pulls this gem out of the vaults for the 25th anniversary of WCSL. I think it represented just about every piece of equipment we had in the beginning, including Mouse...The Wonder Dog!
The start of the Bloodgood era.
A mutual record industry friend introduces Paul to Les Carlson, the lead vocalist of Bloodgood. In the 80's, the three biggest Christian metal acts in the world were Stryper, Bloodgood, & Barren Cross. Paul would serve as FOH engineer for two of them.
The shot on far left was taken at Paul's very first show as front of house engineer for Bloodgood. The relationship would last well over a decade until the band disbanded.
Bloodgood would reform again in 2007, and Paul maintains a close relationship with the project today. In 2010 it was announced that Bloodgood would be inducted into the Christian Music hall of fame in recognition of their contributions to the Christian Music Industry.
The "Good 'ol Days!" When Paul took over as Engineer for Bloodgood, the band was still hand patching the system together every night.
The first change in the tour was the construction of a lot of patching looms!
The Odem Sports Arena, Chicago IL. 1988. Paul's first arena show ever as a front of house engineer.
Ashley takes to the road on her first multi month tour at age two.
Photo was taken at a stop in Yellowstone.
Photo's from the Chicago Cornerstone Festival in 1988. Paul's first time engineering FOH at a large scale outdoor festival on a large scale concert system. When we left on tour the album "Detonation" Bloodgood's second album had just been released. The band was starting to catch on. While on the road we had no idea of what was happening across the country with the bands popularity. When we arrived in Chicago in July of 88 we were pumped about the prospect of opening Christian music's largest festival for one of Christian music's largest bands of the time, Degarmo & Key. It wasn't until soundcheck that we realized we weren't opening for Degarmo & Key, they were opening for us.
Footnote: 12 years later we found a bootleg CD of the show circulating on the internet. Talk about stepping into a time machine!
WCSL opens the Modesto Centre Plaza with Bob Hope.
Mr. Hope starts WCSL's autograph collection with this photo.
An original Grand Opening ticket from the MTV dance party is seen below..
An article appears in Pro Sound News the following month featuring the grand opening of the Plaza and highlights a WCSL PA system for the first time. Pro Sound News now knows who we are.....we are somebody!
Above photos are from the MTV grand opening event at the Modesto Centre Plaza. The first shows our fifth console, a Yamaha 2404. The next picture is a shot of the very first time the new STS PA was used at an event. The last photo is of a young LD by the name of Leslie Doty.
In the late 80's a large earthquake rocks Northern California and WCSL rocks back by raising the funds needed to rebuild a town hard hit along with the help of Budweiser and numerous bands.
The remainder of the 80's saw the new business grow and develop. The years were spent raising young children, touring, and working long hours in smoke filled night clubs, trying to keep our heads above water.
Touring continued throughout 1989 with bands like Bloodgood, barren Cross & country artists Shenandoah. These YouTube videos were recorded at Cornerstone on the 1989 Rock In A Hard Place Tour. Also in 89 Paul & Leslie travel to Seattle to work on the classic live Bloodgood video, now available on DVD.
Jeff Berlin & Billy Shean 1989
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