Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Equipment failures (humorous!)

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by blast_tyrant, Jan 20, 2005.


  1. It was around 1977, my junior year of high school. My best friend (who taught me how to play the bass) was playing in the ULTIMATE low-fi band composed of a singer/guitarist, drummer and bassist. Since they had no real PA, the singer was running a mike to a Peavey TNT bass amp. My friend was playing a Gibson Grabber through one of those HUGE Gibson bass amps. The head was only about 25 watts, but the cabinet, which was far bigger than any 8x10 I have ever seen, had what looked like about a dozen PA megaphones for speakers and had its own internal power amp. It was HEAVEY and MONGO LOUD. Anyway, they're playing Space Truckin' by Deep Purple and they are at a fever pitch. About that time, this Gibson amp starts literally smoking. It is absolutely BILLOWING out of the front and back. The tone went from punchy to DESTRUCTO distorted, but no one, including my friend, seemed to notice, other than the audience thought it was part of the show. Remember, this was the heyday of giant arena shows with lots of pyro (Kiss!). Anyway, just as the song ended, the amp finally bursts into flame (!) and DIES. Ther crowd went absolutely APE ****! Needless to say, that was the last song of the evening.
     
  2. snapple

    snapple

    Nov 25, 2003
    Victoria-Vancouver Canada
    Endorsing Artist: PCL Vintage Amps
    AWESOME!!!! I wish i had a story (well, sorta - im poor and it would take me a long time to replace broken gear)
     
  3. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    middle of second night of my first musical my nice new amp stand which was carrying my quite heavy but trusty trace amp just slips suddenly tipping the amp over backwards and nearly into the bottom of the pit (which was raised half way up)....v embarassing

    fortunately, all the wires (Di, power, jack) managed to stay in and it sufferd no real damage to I just left it where it was and played til the half time break, where i put it on the floor and chucked the stand.

    And the assured me repeatedly on the phone it would be strong enough.

    grrrr!!!

    dodge
     
  4. I've gotten my cab to smoke before. But I wheeled it outside, and let it calm down for a while. It'll probably just bite the bullet one of these days.
     
  5. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Well, i'm in grade 12 and I play bass for the school choir.

    Anyway, we were travelling to a university nearby for a grad mass. Well, somebody took the amp in a truck with other equipment. In the end, driving along the highway, the Fender bass amp topples out the back and slides along the highway. I almost cried hearing the news. The best thing is, is that it worked fine!
     
  6. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I've probably posted this story a few times, because I've only got so many memories, but when I was in high school, a band I was playing in got a chance to play in, essentially, an abandoned church. The building still had everything really from when itwas an active church. It was owned by another church that was planning to fix it up and then change buildings.

    Anyway, the important part for the sake of this post, is that the dance floor was the area where the pews had originally been. It wasn't a great big dance floor, so somebody decided to make more room, and helpfully moved our amps back against the wall...with its very old drapes/wall hangings.That gear would include a tube amp that had an open back..and tubes in it.Tubes are hot...very hot.Wall hangings, especially old ones are really flammable...especially when resting against hot power tubes.

    The firefighters were cool, though.
     
  7. LittleJaco

    LittleJaco

    Nov 4, 2004
    lol, last year, i was in the middle school jazz band and we had an amp from likethe 50s. It was one of those big junky bass amps that the poeple from supermarkets would sell. Whenever I would play it would make mean noises until during one practice it made a huge exploding sound and for some reason I starting petting it and it stopped. So whenever I get crazy annoying feedback on my amps i pet them and they stop :)
     
  8. KUDOS66

    KUDOS66

    Dec 11, 2004
    Canberra, Aust
    Don't know if this is really a " failure " ....

    One of my first gig's nearly 20 years ago :

    A par 56 can tipped over behind the drummer and set fire to the band backdrop which was painted with auto paint .

    The ensuing fire was extinguished with about 3 jugs of beer and a bourbon can ......

    I think we were more upset about the beer than the backdrop
     
  9. metalguy2

    metalguy2

    Dec 26, 2004
    Boston
    Ok... So it was the first gig for my current band. We were all real nervous about playing. We played, it sucked, we left. So one of my drunken friends comes up to me asking if he could help. Not know is was hammered I said "SURRRREE". Watching him nearly stumble down the stairs with my friends Mesa cab I say "Look man you don't need to help I got it." He insisted he helped. SO!! We get all of the stuff out near my car. Now keep in mind that this is a Mercury Cougar. Big car, two doors, old model. We were wrestleing the gear into my car while trying not to have my door hit the car next to us. FINALLY!! I got it in! Shoot it is gonna tip over! I can fix that!!! I grabbed the cabinet and pulled it back. SMMMMAAAASSSH!! Glass was everywhere. What an event to top off an awesome night.
     
  10. markus

    markus

    Jan 13, 2005
    The first gig ever, for my band and me, I was 12 years old. I think we played like, knocking on heaven's door, all along the watchtower and maybe suck my kiss by RHCP... Anyway, during the last song, one of the PA speakers' warning diode started to burn, creating heavy smoke. A guy comes up on the stage, from behind, screaming STOP PLAYING!!!! We continue and afterwards we're overwhelmed by the enormous applause from the 25 10year olds that was in the audience. It kinda got me hooked on gigging. :bassist:
     
  11. I don't know how or why this happened, but I was at an all day festival in a parking lot at a skate park, when this guy in one of the bands was setting up his guitar head. It was one of those heads with the whole mess of tubes in it that glows like the sun when its turned on.

    Anyway, The guy power on his amp, cranked the volume, strummed a chord and BAM! The tubes just shatter. Big explosion, and shards of glass come flying out the back of the amp (Towards the drummer of course). I really don't understand why it happened, tube amps can generally take a lot of abuse before they die, and I had never heard of one exploding like that. It was strange.
     
  12. DubDubs

    DubDubs

    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Once I was playing and we finished our set and people are cheering so we decide to play another song. About 30 seconds into it one of the rack toms just falls off of it's mount and we just say **** it and go up to the mic and announce that we're not playing anymore songs and leave the stage.

    This next one isn't as much of a failure as it is a misunderstanding. So I'm at this party and all my band mates happen to be there and some people ask us to play. There was a live jazz band playing (1 guitar/vocalist, a bass and drummer) our band has 2 guitarists a vocalist a bassist and drummer but one of the guitarists happens to have his guitar in the trunk so we agree to play with the jazz bands equipment. One problem though, the bassist has some $5,000 custom made bass that he doesn't want a 12 (I'm 15 now) year old playing on so the guitarist has a beat up old tele that he says I can use. I agree to play the bass line on a guitar even though I know it won't sound that great but everyone wanted us to play so I figured what the hell. What he hadn't told me was that the tele was in some tuning (I believe it was open G), I didn't know that so we played and it sounded awful but thankfully nobody else cared they just wanted to see a show.
     
  13. at our last gig, the guitarist stands up to play the opening tune of the last set, drummer counts him in and he hits the first chord - four of his strings break!!! :bawl:

    He just stops playing and looks helpless. Drummer was very dark about it later, so we drank beer. :)
     
  14. i know some of you will cringe reading this....cause you know

    I was on the way to the studio and I had just gotten my Hartke rig. I didnt know what I would need (never been to the studio before) so I took the cab and my HA3500. Well evidently in the 20 min trip the head shifted around and came to rest against the back hatch of his Blazer. Well, needless to say..I opened the Blazer hatch and the head fell straight out and onto the blacktop. Shattered every knob off the front of it and messed some stuff up inside. To this day I still can hear in my head that hollow metallic thud it made when it hit the ground, not to mention the feeling of my stomach jumping into my throat. I've got a road case now.
     
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB

    Jan 28, 2001
    New York
    I had my old Peavey TNT crap out during the first song of a three set show about 10 years ago. Luckily I was direct into the board, so the FOH still had Bass coming through. I asked the soundman (numerous times) if he could put some Bass into my vocal monitor so I could hear myself, but it never happened. Wound up playing the entire night w/o hearing myself.
     
  16. MazeMouse

    MazeMouse

    Jan 27, 2005
    Netherlands
    I managed to blow up every amp that wasn't mine at gigs....
    Each and everytime I play over someone elses amps I let THEM control all the buttons and EQ's, etc, etc, etc....
    And each and everytime the amp died (my count is up to 4 now. 2 laney linebackers, 1 Marshall thingy and a Peavey TKO)
     
  17. I gotta say, an opening line like that in a thread entitled equipment failure... I can't believe this has stayed on topic so long! :D
     
  18. about 2 months ago, a band before us was loading on stage and on of their buddies was helping with the guitar stuff. a brand new $1300 all tube Hughes & Kettner guitar head falls about 5 feet to the floor. right on it's glass face. tubes, glass everywhere. that poor kid who owned it.. the look on his face was priceless...
     
  19. At my highschool talent show last year a band of some of my friends was performing. The rythmn guitarist is playing and hes going beserk , flailing around like a idiot. Well, instead of rippping out, his chord , being jerked and yanked , pulls his Marshall half stack down........but instead of falling on him, it falls on the bassist who is like 5'3 100lbs! He wasnt hurt that bad, but when he got up, he demolished what was left of the expensive stack!
     
  20. I am the bassist for my school's jazz choir "shades of blue." It was the concert night and we were playing the closing tune, south of the border. right before one of my fills comes up i hear the amp(peavey series 2600 + peavey 2x12) cut out. Im like OHH sh**, the conductor comes over and trys to help me fix the amp but it is to no avail. so i jiggle all the cablkes and the amp funally comes back on at the end of the song. turns out the cable from the head to the cab was bad and caused the cut out, immediatley after the concert i made sure that cable fond its way to the garbage. :bassist: