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Are You The MacGyver of Your Band? I Am.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Richland123, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    Are You The MacGyver of Your Band? I Am.

    In my current band, my keyboardist/drummer/singer has dubbed me MacGyver. He asks how I always have something to rig a way to fix things. I think it's funny.

    There are many instances where I have been able to fix music things and vehicle issues quickly during gigs with parts, tools, equipment, etc. on the fly that I have to get through gigs over the years; but, just over a several month period, I have done the following:

    I have taken a table sized microphone stand and duct taped it to a P.A. cabinet to accommodate a set of LED lights when the pole for the lights was missing.

    I used the table sized microphone stand with a bendable boom on it and duct taped it to an old bar stool frame with no seat and used that as a microphone stand.

    I had a part to fix a drum pedal.

    I had a part to fix a microphone stand boom.

    A nut fell off a bolt holding the handle on the side of our mixing board. I had an old, rusty wing nut that just happened to be the exact size we needed.

    I have had an extra microphone stand, microphone, bass or guitar amp head, P.A. power amp, different types of cables, fuses, knife, file, scissors, wrenches, screw drivers, dental floss, or whatever we needed.

    Last Saturday after the gig, our guitar player's truck battery died and I had a set of jumper cables and jumped his battery and my drummer/keyboardist said his tire was going flat and I had a cigarette lighter powered air compressor and filled his tire so he could drive.

    I have learned to always be somewhat prepared for things to break when you are in a band. Of course, they normally seem to break on gig night.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
    RSBBass, BassCliff, JmJ and 13 others like this.
  2. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I once had an overly flatulent drummer, and I found a way to use the methane to power a rocket, and we sent him into space!
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    yep: i tend to be the fix-it guy in my bands. but for me: it's probably because i can use tools (since childhood) and because i'm old enough to 'know a few things'.

    i play with a few younger cats (mid 20's) and i'm constantly reminded of how things have changed in my own lifetime regarding repair vs. replace. ha! grumpy i guess! :thumbsup:
    ak56 and Richland123 like this.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Nope, I have explicitly told bandmates that I will not mix my former day job and playing unless it's absolutely necessary. One of the attractions of the big band that I play in now is that there's no PA at most gigs and only one other amplified instrument. Yel_wink.
    Helix likes this.
  5. SchnaiderGT


    Jan 11, 2017
    Yes, I'm the "Repair it" guy of my band. Kind of Luthier/mechanic/driver/soundman of the group. The good thing is that covers up my mediocre playing abilities. :roflmao:
  6. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Yes! Only exactly the opposite.
  7. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    It'd be cool if your name happened to be Justin Case.
  8. Being an electrician I'm the only one in my band with any kind of technical/mechanical background. I'm kind of glad I'm there for them. One of them would be dead or injured the way they attempt to "fix" things. One of them bought some stage lights and I gave them about an hour to work it out before I had to get it straight. Removing grounds from PA equipment because of hum is another thing I had to put a stop to. I also bring a pretty complete set of tools to gigs, just in case.
    Oddly likes this.
  9. When I last had a band I was:
    I always had to find a way to jerry-rig the guitarist's under-powered amps for gigs
    I had to fit all the equipment into an undersized pickup truck bed and ride in the back with it to make sure nothing blew out
    Even I am surprised how many creative things I turned into mic stands at one point or another
    Duct tape is your friend.
    btmpancake and Oddly like this.
  10. Duder


    Dec 6, 2014
    I am, too. I'm the only one in the band that can solder, has extra cables, duct tape, straps, etc. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I'm ready. I have replaced all the bad caps in my drummers sampler (they went bad again because he ordered cheap Chinese caps, but it worked correctly for a couple months before it started to hiss again) and fixed a few of his really old Mogami mic cables. I have a few of his electronic drum triggers to look into, but haven't had the time.
    Oddly likes this.
  11. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Having over the years also worked as a roadie/sound/lighting guy, I always tended to be the go-to for any kind of technical failure.
    I'm generally the one who gets us set up, everything in it's proper place, working and secured.
    I will always have a bag of random tools, gaffer tape, cables, etc. to hand and, of course, my trusty Leatherman!
    gfaulkner and Gluvhand like this.
  12. Wait....This could be a first.
    Gaolee, Helix and PortlandBass77 like this.
  13. bwoodman

    bwoodman Supporting Member

    Yeah, but do you have the cool mullet like Mac?
    Gluvhand likes this.
  14. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I have fixed things as diverse as an inducter that broke loose from a crossover in a PA cab to a guitar neck with too much relief. I carry an Anvil case full of spare parts (one guitarist referred to as a "box of special things") and a gig bag full of tools. I hate the term MacGyver (never watched the show either), but it fits.
  15. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Me too, yet my singer/guitarist never wants help and takes forever to fix a simple problem.

    I'm the only one in the band that has any tools to do anything. I've got a pretty serious kit in the car at all times, but I take a few small things to every gig as well. They've gotten us out of a few binds.

    Oh...I'm definitely the MacGyver of the band.
    Gluvhand likes this.
  16. We have a female singer and if she sets up her own mic I'm surprised. Seems like she feels she's doing us a favor just showing up sometimes. Different thread I guess. One guitarist is a white collar guy and I swear it takes him 20 minutes to wrap up a 15' cable. The other guitarist is a taper that I think is having short term memory problems and ADD and the drummer strictly sets up his drums. All of us but the singer load in/out. Collectively I don't think they could change batteries in a flashlight.
    Albiechaser and Dave W like this.
  17. meh, sometimes. mostly just in the recording environment.
    That's where I do a lot because I know I have to to keep the session rolling along.
    but that is just mostly signal routing, gain staging, phase switching, mic placement and so on.
    at gigs I pretty much let them fend for themselves. If they can't figure out their own mess, well then I will just sit back and have another beer.
  18. I wouldn't call myself MacGyver, but I am usually the one prepared or with the know how to fix things. The main problem with this is that the rest of the band finds a way to rely on me being the one to make things work....Drummers especially. One example is I always have pliers or a small socket set in my car. Imagine who ends up coming to me when they lose their millionth drum key........
  19. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I have the gift of being able to find the inobvious solution. - I posted somewhere around here about solving a strap button screw pulling out by getting some toothpicks from whee we were playing and jamming some broken up toothpick pieces into strap button screw hole. Tightened right up and is holding fine to this day. I do that kinda stuff....
  20. Every band needs one MacGyver.

    I'm only moderately handy, but sometimes very determined. I've had some very lucky DIY moments at gigs. Most recently a remote A/C pedal for the mirror ball pin spots stopped working, and there I am five minutes before downbeat taking the thing apart and diagnosing it. The bride was promised a mirror ball and she was going to get it one way or the other. Fortunately it was a straight forward open-and-shut case and I got it working perfectly in just a minute or two.

    More importantly, I'm the random parts and tools guy. I have this big green duffle bag that I've been tossing random stuff into for about the last ten years. It goes on every gig, and when something goes wrong, one of the first cries I hear is, "Where's the green bag?"

    I am forbidden from ever traveling without the green bag.
    btmpancake likes this.

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