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  • Sleeping while driving isn't cool, take a nap if a rockstar drink won't wake you up...


    Haha...yeah, just don't drink too much. I had a friend who chugged a can of Monster and didn't sleep for the next 36 hours...

    Comment


    • Back in the 90's I was using DDrum electronic percussion. My setup was all electronic drum pads and real Zildjian cymbals. We had a substitute guitar player at one of our gigs who I worked with previously, only I had used an acoustic setup.

      So the gig is going along well but the stage volume did seem to be getting a bit loud. We were calling songs off the cuff, so I wasn't too surprised when I asked "what's next" and the guitar player said to me "turn your level down."

      I turned down, tapped the drums to verify I had turned down, and again asked "what's next?" Again, the guitar player turned to me and said "turn your level down." Again, I turned down and again asked "what's next?"

      The Q&A session went round perhaps one or two more times until my volume was completely off. Naturally, I popped a fuse when the guitar player told me once again "turn your level down." After going off on a bit of a tirade, it was only then that I realized Sal (the guitar player) was calling out the song "Turn Your Love Around."
      Will drum for food. Will drum with impeccable timing, feel, groove, and dynamics for $$$.

      Comment


      • I am a 54 year-old guitarist and occasional soundman and I used to think I had a lot of great stories until I read this forum. A *lot* of my stories have already happened to other people, only their versions are more entertaining that mine. Oh well, I'll tell a few stories...

        "HE'S BEEN SHOT!"

        In the spring of 1972 I was a senior in high school and gigging with a cover band at an Elks/Moose/something club in Sylacauga, AL. The building was L-shaped, you entered at the bar which was in the short part of the L and the dance floor was in the long part of the L. You couldn't see the bar from the stage and vice-versa. The door by the bar was the only way in and out of the club.

        We were on stage one night when a LOUD explosion came from the bar area. A man stumbled into the dance floor area, his face and shirt were covered with blood. As he fell to the floor, someone shouted "HE'S BEEN SHOT."

        Okay, I got scared fast. We were trapped in the dead-end part of the building and there was a maniac in the bar with a gun. Or so I thought.

        The bloody man eventually stood up and seemed to be doing okay and then we discovered what really happened.

        - The man was at the bar, put an M80 (powerful explosive fireworks) on the bar and lit it. It exploded, very loud.

        - This infuriated the bartender who proceeded to punch the man right in the nose, which quickly covered the man with his own blood.

        - The beat-up bloody man staggered into the dance floor area and a patron (possibly drunk?), heard the explosion, saw the blood and decided to shout "HE'S BEEN SHOT!"

        Pretty funny and exciting for me at the time, almost tame now.

        dave

        p.s. Though many fireworks are still legal in Alabama, some high-powered fireworks (like M80s) are no longer sold over the counter. When I was in the 5th Grade (mid-1960s), I had a paper route and I used to buy Cherry Bombs and M80s by the sackful. They were 5 cents each then. It's a miracle I still have all my fingers.
        David Swanger
        Auburn, AL

        Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

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        • I had a paper route and I used to buy Cherry Bombs and M80s by the sackful. They were 5 cents each then. It's a miracle I still have all my fingers.


          When I was somewhere around 8th grade, I was shooting baskets alone outside at the high school, waiting for some friends to show up for a game. The court was about 10ft down a steep embankment off the parking lot. At some point I felt something hit the top of my head, and saw some older kids running away up in the lot. I looked around to see what hit me.

          A dud cherry bomb.


          "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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          • Speaking of guns...

            "I CAUGHT YOU!"

            About 30 years ago I joined a crazy cover band that worked all the time. These guys put on a good show and chased women relentlessly offstage (fairly successfully many nights). Most of the members were married, though the further we traveled from home, the more single they became (I was single at the time and nowhere near as wild as these guys...no, really!).

            One night we were gigging at a popular club near Lake Martin, AL and on a break I was standing outside the club, talking to one the members. This guy was married and had been with a lot of women since I'd been in the band, but that night he wasn't on the prowl. There were a lot of loose good-looking country women outside the club that night and other band members were chatting them up. This was maybe 10 meters from where we were standing.

            Suddenly, the wife of the band member I was talking with appeared out of nowhere. She was pointing some kind of pistol at him and shouted "I CAUGHT YOU!"

            Everything got real quiet. That gun was aimed a few degrees away from my head. Finally he calmly said "You caught me doing what? I'm just talking to David." The one night she decided to catch him in the act, he wasn't doing anything.

            Then he reached out and grabbed the gun out of her hands. He did it effortlessly, it was like something from a movie. Then he started berating her right there in the parking lot. "I WILL NEVER CHEAT ON YOU, YOU'VE GOT TO TRUST ME, YADDA YADDA..." and so on. She broke down crying and promised to never doubt him again. She was really good-looking and seemed like a nice person, she probably deserved better than him but I stayed out of it and walked off.

            A few days later he was at it again with another loose woman at a gig and a year or two later he was divorced.
            David Swanger
            Auburn, AL

            Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

            Comment


            • ARRESTED ON STAGE

              In the early 1980s, I was still with the crazy cover band in East Alabama.

              These guys had a "shtick" that sounds stupid but crowds usually liked. They would mix "GLOW POWDER" with water, pour it in a glass, walk around the audience on break and smear the liquid on various customers shoulders, arms, faces, etc. The people had no idea what was going on, they thought they were having water smeared on them (and yes, there was often grumbling at first).

              When we'd start playing, they'd kill the house lights and wherever someone had been smeared, that part of their body would glow in the dark. People would race to the dance floor and it was funny as hell see glowing body parts bouncing around the dance floor. I think the glow powder came from a magic shop.

              We used to gig regularly at the Officer's Club at a nearby military base and one night during a set the Military Police came in the room and made us stop playing in mid-song. They asked who owned the band van. When the van owner raised his hand, they arrested him on the bandstand and took him outside.

              As far as we knew there wasn't any dope of any kind in the van, but it turns out a drug dog walked by the van and went nuts. They looked pretty hard but couldn't find any dope, though they did scrape up enough marijuana dust from the van floor to get a positive match. There must have been enough marijuana dust in the van for the dog to smell.

              Then they found a quart jar full of white powder. It took the van owner a *long* time to convince the police that this was glow powder, not cocaine (how much would a quart jar of cocaine cost in the early 1980s? Nevermind).

              While he was dealing with the MPs, I went to the club restroom and one of the band members followed me. Inside the restroom, he pulled out a very full baggie of marijuana from a pocket, threw it in a toilet and flushed. How large was the baggie? Well, it wouldn't flush, it was too big. After a few failed flushes, he picked up the baggie out of the toilet and threw it in the trash. We turned to leave the restroom just as some of the MPs entered. If they'd come in five seconds before it would have been bad. We walked out.

              Long story short, other than the marijuana dust ground into the van carpet, there was no dope in the van, so they let the van owner off with a warning and we were banned for life from every playing there again.

              About six weeks later someone there called us to play a gig and we played it.
              David Swanger
              Auburn, AL

              Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

              Comment


              • Just a few tales from a gig in my youth...

                "YOU KNOW ELVIS WADE?"

                In the late 1970s I was with a pretty good cover band that traveled a lot around the Eastern USA playing hotel bars and such. We were offered a three-week job at a bar in Columbus, GA playing six nights per week. Also we were asked to back up a well-known Nashville songwriter for a set or two each night. We'd never heard of the guy and we were a little upset that he was making as much money as our entire band combined.

                We met him at the bar the Sunday before the gig began and we quickly learned his song list. It turns out we'd heard some of his tunes done by other people. Plus he was a real nice guy and it was hard to stay mad at him just because he was making more money than us.

                The problem is, though he was a successful songwriter he wasn't a great singer or entertainer. Maybe he would have fit in at a singer-songwriter club, but people wanted to dance and party at this place. We finally brought him up for a handful of songs every set and that worked out.

                We all stayed in run-down apartments the club owned/rented but they had kitchens and we often hung around the songwriter during our off time. Although I was a non-drinker then, everyone else in the band made up for my non-drinking and then some. Once I had some left-over chili that was maybe a week old. The chili was so bad, as I heated it on the stove I grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and poured some into the pan kind of as a joke. At that point the singer became convinced I was a hard-core alcoholic and none of ever told him otherwise.

                This gig took place around the time of the Columbus Stranglings, some terrible murders that took place in Columbus, GA. We weren't a country band but we did a few Willie Nelson tunes and one night the band leader announced a song by "The Redheaded Strangler." Talk about a joke going flat. For a few seconds I thought he was going to get killed but the audience calmed down.

                And finally, the club managers were Korean and I got the impression they hadn't been in the country for long. Their English was weak and they were ridiculously nice people (no one had told them club managers were supposed to be jerks). They cooked delicious Korean food in the back and shared it with the employees which included us. One of the artists who sometimes performed in this club was an Elvis impersonator named "Elvis Wade." When we were hired, they asked us several times if we knew any songs by Elvis Wade. "You Know Elvis Wade?" We didn't do many Elvis songs but we learned some for this club. After we'd been playing there a while, it finally dawned on us...

                They thought Elvis Wade was the real Elvis!!

                Anyway, we stumbled through the gig for three weeks, backed up the semi-famous songwriter, ate free Korean food and actually got paid.

                The day we left for our next gig, I went in a pawnhop next door to the club and found a Fender Telecaster for sale. I wanted it but I was low on cash and so a band member bought it. Later we discovered it was a 1966 Telecaster. He kept it for over twenty years and lent it to me about five years ago and I still have it. I tried to give it back a few times and he told me to hang on to it for now. Whenever I play that guitar I think about that Columbus, GA gig.
                David Swanger
                Auburn, AL

                Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

                Comment


                • Speaking of fireworks...

                  JUST ONE SONG WAS BAD

                  In the 1990s I played with a local cover band at many July 4 fireworks shows in the area. A nearby town had their fireworks show on July 3, and my hometown had their fireworks show on July 4 so for several years we'd play two nights in a row outdoors before the fireworks shows.

                  One year we played the July 3 show and they moved us to a new location and like with an earlier story in this thread, there was one string of cheapo extension cords over a hundred yards long from the power box to us. We were woefully underpowered and our sound system sounded awful. Musically, we were way off that night. I was embarrassed and just wanted it to be over. About an hour before the end of the show, the breaker blew on our PA rack. The power cables were burning hot. Long story short, we disconnected the subs, bypassed the rack power strip and trashed through the rest of the set.

                  I had a lot of friends attend that show and several of them came up to me after the show and said we sounded great (liars) except "Just one song was bad." Except with each friend, it was a different song that was bad. I'm fairly certain most of the songs sounded bad.

                  That was our last fireworks show for this town, we were never asked back. I wonder why.

                  The next night we played the July 4 show in my hometown and we sounded fine. The woman who booked us every year was a friend of ours and loved the band. She retired that year and her replacement never hired us again because she had her own friends that had a band!!

                  So, after playing some easy, good-paying gigs for several years, suddenly it was over, just like that. All good things must end eventually I guess.

                  A few more things...

                  - I learned a lot of what I know about running sound (which isn't much) at these outdoor shows. For example, I had some Peavey SP2 cabinets then and I was amazed to discover how much louder they would get using an electronic crossover using the same power amp I'd used before

                  - We played on a baseball field for some of these shows and one night I lay on my back on the baseball field looking up at the fireworks which were fired nearby. It was an incredible view. Then a golf-ball sized ember fell out of the sky and missed my head by a few feet. I moved to a safer location.

                  - One night during a fireworks show, as the fireworks were going off, a power transformer on a nearby power pole EXPLODED. It was pretty wild and most of the audience thought it was part of the show. Crazy.
                  David Swanger
                  Auburn, AL

                  Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

                  Comment


                  • When I was somewhere around 8th grade, I was shooting baskets alone outside at the high school, waiting for some friends to show up for a game. The court was about 10ft down a steep embankment off the parking lot. At some point I felt something hit the top of my head, and saw some older kids running away up in the lot. I looked around to see what hit me.

                    A dud cherry bomb.


                    That could have been really, really bad.
                    David Swanger
                    Auburn, AL

                    Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

                    Comment


                    • That could have been really, really bad.


                      It didn't really (figuratively) hit me until a moment later; had it I would have at least tried to go see who did it, so I could put a hit out on them......
                      "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

                      Comment


                      • I sent the following to FOH magazine a few years ago and they printed it though someone rewrote about half of it. That irritated me, it didn't sound like me after the editing, though maybe their version made more sense, who knows?

                        Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Subwoofer?

                        In the late 90's my five-piece classic rock group was hired to play the Rodeo Club, a popular nightclub on Lake Martin in east Alabama. When we arrived at the club we saw some large speakers by the stage and we thought the club had its own sound system, which was fine with us. But no, though there had once been a House PA, parts were missing and nothing was connected. We set up our three-way system around these PA parts. About 10 minutes before showtime, we finished the soundcheck and our rig sounded very good. We were excited about playing and rushed to get ready for the show.

                        When we started playing, something was wrong with our PA. Long story short, both horns, a power amplifier and one sub-woofer were all blown. That's right, sometime during that 10 minute break about half of our PA had mysteriously fried! I checked, it was all connected correctly. I guess an electrical spike of some sort had caused the damage, though our circuit breaker hadn't flipped. Strange. I've gigged regularly since the early 70s and that was easily the worst equipment failure I'd ever experienced.

                        The audience was ready to party and we had to improvise. We connected the horns from the old house PA and they sounded great, frankly they sounded better than ours. We found some power amplifiers backstage and used one of them for the show. Eventually we used the house subs too. We only started about 45 minutes late and by the end of the night the hybrid PA sounded great, it sounded better than our original rig. The audience was happy. The club-owners were happy, they didn't mind us using their leftover equipment and hired us several more times after that. We lost money on this gig since we had to replace some gear but we never had this problem there again.
                        David Swanger
                        Auburn, AL

                        Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

                        Comment


                        • I sent the following to FOH magazine a few years ago and they printed it though someone rewrote about half of it. That irritated me, it didn't sound like me after the editing, though maybe their version made more sense, who knows?

                          Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Subwoofer?

                          In the late 90's my five-piece classic rock group was hired to play...


                          Man, I discovered this awesome thread, posted a few stories and the thread died. I can only conclude that I killed the thread. Sorry. RIP "Stupid Stories."
                          David Swanger
                          Auburn, AL

                          Guitars/amps - I have some Fender and PRS guitars along with a few Fender amplifiers and I sound about the same no matter which I combination I use.

                          Comment


                          • Man, I discovered this awesome thread, posted a few stories and the thread died. I can only conclude that I killed the thread. Sorry. RIP "Stupid Stories."


                            This thread waxes and wanes like the moon. And like the moon, it will never really die.



                            Terry D.

                            P.S. Just noticed that at 101,042 views this thread accounts for about half of the entire forum views of 202,570. I also see that even Andy has posted in it a buttload of times!
                            Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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                            • - One night during a fireworks show, as the fireworks were going off, a power transformer on a nearby power pole EXPLODED. It was pretty wild and most of the audience thought it was part of the show. Crazy.

                              Not audio related, but last summer I was outside cutting my (dead) grass and there were some dudes from Hydro One working on a telephone pole out front of my house. I didn't pay any mind to them when suddenly... BOOM!

                              The transformer EXPLODED and those two poor saps fell to the ground. I jumped off my lawnmower and raced over there... the dudes were shaken and their ears were ringing but they were otherwise unharmed... damn lucky if you ask me. The thing overloaded and melted all the buried phone lines and connection boxes in the viscinity, not really sure what they did to cause that!

                              Comment


                              • Hi,

                                I've really enjoyed paging through this thread. Some stories made me laugh out loud. Good stuff.

                                Unfortunately I do not have any good stories to share with everyone, but when one comes up I will know where to go.

                                s.

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