Johnny Cash was renowned for playing concerts in prisons – notably San Quentin and Folsom. It’s less well known that he also played a gig at a European prison - at the Österåker Prison in Sweden in 1972.
In June 2011, the Johnny Cash Experience Band played at Duisburg prison in Germany. The band arrived in an American police Dodge at noon, and were, apparently, welcomed with enthusiasm by the inmates.The prison of Duisburg Hamborn features huge steel gates, two checkpoints, high walls, numbers on the windows and many bars: not exactly the most appealing event location.
The concert took place in the prison cellar, with the set list corresponding to the original set list performed by The Man In Black himself at his legendary Folsom State concert in 1968.
For event company Rogge & Derks, it proved to be an interesting experience for several reasons. First, of course, was navigating the security. Second was the opportunity to assess the performance of the new GRAVIS 12 and NOMOS LS loudspeakers from Kilng & Freitag. The third? The only power available for the gig was to be supplied by a solitary three pin socket.
For the Kling & Freitag GRAVIS 12 and NOMOS LS speakers, this wasn’t a problem. Top and bass can be operated passively by means of the K&F SystemRack on only one channel. Thus, the PA system used only two of the four channels of the SystemRack, leaving the two remaining channels to operate one SCENA 15 monitor each for the musicians.
"The whole setup was operated from only one three pin power socket, extremely simple and with excellent performance", said Oliver Derks from Rogge & Derks.
Both the band and the management of the prison were veryy satisfied with the result. The inmates, at first concerned by the press and TV cameras, warmed up only after a couple of songs. By the end, there was a standing ovation for the band and numerous shouts for an encore. However, after only one additional song, the show finished and the inmates returned to their cells.