Live Production Pioneer Eric Robinson On Australia Day Honours List

The late Eric Robinson, a pioneer of one of Australia’s live music production sectors, was honoured in the Australia Day Honours List Jan. 26.

Also on the list were internationally renowned singers Nick Cave, Jimmy Barnes and Paul Kelly.

Robinson, who died from cancer November 2015, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAMs).

He was CEO of market leaders JPJ Audio and Jands Production Services (JPS) since 1970, starting out overseeing staging and technical production by Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and ABBA. Because of high tariffs and sales tax, Jands designed and manufactured its own mixing consoles, crossovers, amplifiers, dimmer racks, speaker cabinets and lighting hardware. Its composite speaker system, the Concord, was used internationally.

Robinson went on to produce major superstar tours, major awards and concerts as well as festivals including V, Rumba and Big Day Out.

When Live Performance Australia awarded him a lifetime achievement gong in July 2015, CEO Evelyn Richardson said, “His experience encompasses every aspect of sound reinforcement, lighting, rigging, large screen projection and special effects and Mr Robinson takes great personal pride in ensuring every production runs smoothly.”

Cave, Barnes and Kelly were made the higher-ranking Officers of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to the performing arts and their charity work.

Also receiving the OAMs were R&B singer John Swan, who had a series of chart hits in the ‘70s on Warner Music, and the late jazz fusion composer and pianist Allan Zavod, who was discovered by Duke Ellington in 1969 during a visit to Melbourne and arranged for the Australian to become a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Zavod became one of the college’s youngest-ever professors and went on to play alongside Frank Zappa, Sting, Eric Clapton, and Nigel Kennedy.