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Scariest near-disaster on stage


Jode

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Share your story of the closest you ever came to just totally smashing or frying something on stage by accident. In college, I got a sub gig playing bass in the pit band for "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas." For part of the show, a segment of the band - the guitarist, banjo player, steel guitarist, and mandolin player - would slide out onstage from behind the backdrop on a little roller riser. They were part of the scene in places. The second act, after intermission, began with the lights coming up as they slid out onto the stage. I was sitting, very cramped, to their right. The riser was pushed out and pulled back by three or four stagehands.

 

So they're ready to go, and the stagehands give the riser the old heave-ho. It traveled about six inches before, to my horror, the back wall/backdrop of the riser hooked my E tuning peg. Suddenly the peghead of my bass is in a potential car-crusher situation. The the back wall of the riser and the backdrop are about to act like a paper cropper on my instrument. The stagehands are pushing, and I'm frantically trying to get my bass unhooked, and the gap is closing fast. With about six inches to spare, I got the thing free, sparing my bass from decapitation. I was so spooked I missed about the first four measures of my entrance, not to mention that my E string was out of tune for about the first three numbers. Biggest near-miss of my career.

 

Wait a minute, there's also the time I was changing a fuse in my amp when the little threaded spring-loaded cap boinged out of my fingers and disappeared into no man's land somewhere near the stage steps. And you KNOW you don't want to go looking for anything under a rock club stage. Fortunately, it didn't go down there, and I recovered it from the stage floor.

 

So who else has a white-as-a-sheet moment to share?

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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once in high school i let a friend of mine play through my rig at a big outdoor earth day concert (i had the only real rig at school so i got a lot of "i'll drive it back and forth if you let me play through it."). he wasn't the problem, he was totally cool and respectful of the gear. but there was a teacher who had decided that their set had gone on long enough and simply walked up to the amplifier, which was in use and amplifying, and yanked the plug out.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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One of my guitar players "got into the music" and was diving around, doing guitar throws and whatnot. Then out of the blew, picked up his hardshell case by two corners on a short side, lifted it over his head and SMASHED it into the stage, nearly hitting our drummer's kit, and ME PERSONALLY as I laid on the ground...

 

Just to fill "ya'll" in a bit, our drummer FLIPS out when someone accidentally lets something touch his drums (mic stand, guitar headstock ect) This same guitar player with the stupid stage antics dropped a burnt out match stick and it hit the side of the kick drum and bounced to the floor and the drummer was pissed because he saw a black mark on his drums. He's a bit overprotective... And I don't really like to have heavy wood things smashed onto my back as hard as a high-school regional champ wrestler can slam them. So that was our worse near-disaster... But every show we have someone fall/dive off stage, multiple hits from guitar headstocks ect. Us silly metal children...ren...

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We had to play a show on the back of a gooseneck trailer. Against my suggestion, the amps were set up on the very edge of the trailer. We were a ska band at the time and only 3 mics, so 1 for the singer, 1 for the horns and 1 for the drums. I was set up on the very back of the trailer. The horn section started jumping and my amp and backup bass fell to the parking lot. Luckily, nothing was damaged, but, the bass never sounded quite the same after that, but, it did sound better, so I left it alone. That was the first and last song of the set.
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Boy, this should prove to be an interesting thread... :D

 

My Kramer Voyager, Custom, Limited Edition, Signature Model (My signature on the heel of the neck. ;) ) was originally bought as a salvage body w/pickups, when Kramer went out of business in the mid - late 1980's. After securing the necessary parts and having them assembled, I had a fairly large, uniquely shaped instrument with no case or proper stand. At the first gig with my new band, I propped a tubular guitar stand on a straight mic tripod stand. Then I balanced the Voyager, headstock down on the stand. Dumb move. Before we finished soundcheck, it had fallen over, breaking 3 or the fine tuners on my Kahler vibrato and chipping some paint. Doh!

 

When I mixed hundreds of convention entertainment shows for Opryland Productions, I'd bring my Takamine sometimes to test DI's prior to the band's arrival. I put the gig bag in the box of the truck, behind a system held in place by a pressure bar, for a five to six hundred ft. drive back to the warehouse from the Opryland Hotel. The pressure bar fell, a rack case slammed into the butt end of my acoustic in it's gig bag forcing the headstock into the back door. It snapped off. These two incidents were separated by about 7 years, so I'm not quite as dumb as it sounds... Close, but not quite. :rolleyes:

 

The worst was another Opryland Productions gig. My boss had a lighting tech wire a bunch of new power cable with twist lock connected quad-boxes and extensions. I set up a stage set in the brand new, largest of the convention halls and tied into the house system. The chick singer/acoustic guitar player had her amp resting against the drum riser. She was plugged into the first quad box on the power line. During the show her amp vibrated until it slipped of the riser, falling onto the quad box. Apparently it had a loose wire.

 

What I saw was the lead guitarist, who during solos, habitually leaned back as if he were falling down, falling down! All of a sudden the music stopped. I thought he'd simply fallen.

 

The loose wire in the Ac. gtr.'s quad connected 117VAC to ground on the other quad boxes. The minute the lead player put his mouth on the SM58 he had been knocked on his ass. He insisted on showing me the mic was "really live" by arcing electricity between the mic's basket to his guitar strings. Not a particularly sharp knife, this guy. They stopped the show for 25 minutes until the hotel's engineer could confirm what I already knew. We'd had crossed wires. Yeow! :rolleyes:

 

A buddy of mine plays for country artist, Mel McDaniel. I met Gator on local crew because Mel had to take a year off after he walked off a stage into an empty orchestra pit. Ouch!

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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I was playing in a country band, and on occasion we would get calls to open for name country acts in Cypress Springs, Florida.

 

So we're playing on an outside stage, covered with tarp. Now it starts to rain. I'm thinking someone needs to stop us, as I'm thinking electrocution. Everyone is getting spray on equipment and themselves, and some water has pooled and is making it's way across stage.

 

About the fourth song into the rain, I looked up, the tarp had filled with water and was gonna let loose soon on everyone and everything under it!

 

Finally, some stage hands came out with broom handles, to push the tarp up in the middle to drain the water, and most of us are unplugging, looking for stuff to cover amps, drums. One corner finally let loose and gave a guitarists equipment a serious bath.

 

Is this what they call 'paying your dues'? :)

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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While we're sharing stories of electrocution...

 

After a high-school play dress rehearsal I was helping the sound crew collect mic cables. For the play I was barefoot, on a wooden stage. I had the longest mic cord in the world wrapped around my left arm (ok - maybe 30'). I stepped on a metal part of the stage and POW! :freak: The entire left side of my body goes numb... I limp over to make sure the far end of the cable really was unplugged and kick some sound-man &*%! My thumb had a scar for about 5 years and the skin was always extra-dry.

 

Suppose there was enough static juice left in that cable that I made a magnet out of my arm? Remember the grade school experiment with a battery, wire, and a nail... Anyway - nothing gets wrapped around the arm anymore.

- Matt W.
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Several frying stories, especially from the mid-70s when most of our gear had 2-prong non-grounded plugs (or we had to use adapters because the outlets were 2-prong). One in particular:

Our guitar player neglected to check polarity and grabbed his mic while holding his strat's strings. Turns out his guitar amp was on a different circuit than the PA, and one of the circuits had a reversed wire. He danced a mighty jig and wound up in the drum kit. We transported him to the hospital to be checked out, and dubbed him "Fryer Tuck".

 

In 1975, we were playing a 'Battle of the Bands' in Clifton, NJ, and had brought our own PA system, with these tall columns (4X12s and a horn on top). these damn things were about 6 ft. tall and some yutz from one of the other bands put another cabinet ON TOP of our columns. Of course, halfway thru our set, the top cabinet comes toppling off the column and crashes into a school cafeteria table (you know the type-like 10' long) and breaks the table in half. The end of the table punches against the column, causing it also to tumble. With dead silence in the hall, our roadie/friend yells out "it's The Who!!" and the audience breaks up. The score: Our column=no damage. The yutz's cabinet=toast. The school=one table short for Monday's lunch period.

 

We lost.

 

Peace,

Tim from Jersey :thu:

Play. Just play.
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Originally posted by CMDN:

This one time, at band camp....

12 flute and clarinet playing girls tickled you into immobility until one of them cut off a lock of dread. You sulked for a few days, and then wrapped your trombone slide around a telephone pole.

 

We were at a football stadium and hanging out before we had to play. One of the people hanging around was from a "competing" band (high school days). He lit his cigarette, and threw the match. It went into the drummer's kick, which had a blanket inside for damping. The guitar player saw the smoke and pulled the blanket and stomped it out.

 

We reached that point in the song (I think it was McCartney's "Smile Away") where the drums and voices were playing, and I wanted to do handclaps. I pushed my EB3 neck over my back so it hung upside down on my back. The tail part of the strap let go, and it went straight down onto the head, and then the body went down on it's "face". I lost the knobs (which shattered), but the bass was fine. It's a good thing the show had to go on, because it forced me to recover from the shock.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Tom Sez:

12 flute and clarinet playing girls tickled you into immobility until one of them cut off a lock of dread. You sulked for a few days, and then wrapped your trombone slide around a telephone pole.

Yeah... trombone slide.

 

You wouldn't believe how many of these little groupie chix ask me if they can have one of my dreads. Right... Like I'm gonna do that...

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Tom Sez:

12 flute and clarinet playing girls tickled you into immobility until one of them cut off a lock of dread. You sulked for a few days, and then wrapped your trombone slide around a telephone pole.

Yeah... trombone slide.

 

You wouldn't believe how many of these little groupie chix ask me if they can have one of my dreads. Right... Like I'm gonna do that...

Oh yeah, the Little Groupie Chicks. Now that would be a OT thread full of interesting stories . . . and some more sickening than interesting. And some just plain wrong.
Ah, nice marmot.
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