Stage effects gone wrong

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Swampish, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Yep. Grew up in a town called Alta Loma. It’s part of a “tri-city” called Rancho Cucamonga now. Near Upland, Ontario, Etiwanda, Fontana area.
  2. shortscalesrule

    shortscalesrule Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    Oh, yeah, I know Alta Loma. When I was a kid (a long time ago) my dad had a friend who owned a steam locomotive, and it was located in Alta Loma. Cheap thrills when I got to chuck the wood into the locomotive's firebox!
    And I went to college in Claremont.
  3. Small world. Claremont colleges are great institutions. I went to San Bernardino State. Lol. Have you heard of bands by the name of Blue Hwy or Gene Poole?
  4. shortscalesrule

    shortscalesrule Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    My dad used to work in San Berdoo. Haven't heard of either band, but I left SoCal a pretty long time ago.
  5. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    Mission Accomplished!!!:D
    Swampish likes this.
  6. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    BITD I built many dry ice fog machines similar to this, with two exceptions.
    Any 30 to 50 gallon steel drum with a lid (clean.., toxic chemical containers, please) would do. Even used a commercial trash can for one I'll detail later.
    First task was to install a petcock at the base so it could be drained through a garden hose, then I mounted a dishwasher heating element to the sidewall a few inches off the bottom. Cut as many holes as you like in the sides, near the top, for attaching dryer vent hoses.
    Mount a small squirrel cage blower to the top of the lid, and a milk crate was suspended inside with a solenoid securing it.
    We filled it halfway with tapwater from the hose, then started the heater about a half hour before downbeat, and loaded the crate full of dry ice.
    When the LD wanted fog he tripped the solenoid from his lighting console which dropped the basket of DI into the, by now, hot water and then turned the blower on and off as desired. Lather, rinse, repeat.......
    Post gig we just hooked that same hose to the petcock and drained the water down the floor drain, or out into the alley, or maybe into someone's gas tank. Heck, I don't know, maybe the equipment truck ran on that stuff!!

    Oh, the previously mentioned trash can. You know the kind of garbage can with the domed top and swivel door set in it for deposits? We welded the door up, put lights in the recess, and covered that with a plastic mock-up of R2D2. Painted the rest of it to look like him, and planted him onstage with two white dryer vent hose/arms, and let him flash away. Always got the most positive reaction from females in the crowd. Go figure!
    I probably have a photo of it somewhere I can try to post.
    He looked like some mashup of R2, the robots from " The Day the Earth Stood Still", and "Lost in Space"!:thumbsup:
  7. BassholeKI


    Feb 10, 2017
    When I was in high school some guys a couple years ahead of my had a pretty good band.

    They played a decent amount of shows at the school (which was very conservative- public school with a dress code that had been written when it opened in the 1950's, girls had to wear skirts, boys had to wear ties, and "dungarees were only appropriate in shop class", as well as a hair length policy for boys "couldn't touch the collar or top of the ears", mustaches couldn't come over the top lip nor out from the corner of the mouth, single earrings for girls and none for boys), and they came up with the idea of a metal trash can with gasoline in it.

    Lid would be on all during the show, and there would be a light bulb with the glass removed exposing the bare element. When the show was over, someone would step on a switch that would send power to the filament, causing the gas to explode inside blowing the lid off.

    The administration nixed it, rightly so since it would have been horrendously dangerous inside. Even outside it would have spewed burning gasoline everywhere.

    Bands I played in we used colored bulbs in those spun aluminum with a spring loaded clamp handle behind the amps but that was about it. Unless the venue had lighting (which some did, especially when we got better bookings at clubs rather than corner bars) that was our show.
    Swampish and Stumbo like this.
  8. That is probably my favorite place in the world! Don't get me wrong: I've never been there. I just love saying it. LOL
  9. LOL. It sounds like some horrible, incurable disease!
  10. Not at all. It sounds more like a dude ranch on the Flintstones. :roflmao:
    shortscalesrule likes this.
  11. Thespis


    Feb 2, 2016
    In my teens and 20s, I was doing theatre in some pretty sketchy places. We used lots of paint can lights on rotary dimmers and flashpots made from fuses with the plastic window cut out and filled with black powder. Good times.
    Remember, any electronic device can become a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.
  12. I get the picture that the 70's was a wonderland of potential and inspiration.
    Swampish, ak56, catcauphonic and 3 others like this.
  13. 2tonic


    Dec 22, 2015
    Or wanton disrespect for personal safety!
  14. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    We had a home-made fog machine(55 gallon drum, hot water heater heating element, top with blower, dryer hose ducting to each side of the stage, modified crawfish basket for the ice-into-hot-water-dropper. JC Engineering.
    Our roadies named it "R2" referring to RD-D2.
    One night in a small club in Henderson, Louisiana the roadcrew plugged in the heater too early and left it on for many hours. When the songs for the fog came, the water was almost boiling and R2 blew up.....almost pushing the top off of the drum, fog shooting everywhere and filling the entire club up until one could barely see 12 inches in any direction. Stage and club lights added to the "buried in a rainbow cloud" feeling.

    Unique experience.....
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    Swampish, dbase, Stumbo and 1 other person like this.
  15. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking

    Feb 28, 2007
    Fontana, California
    You filled a room with flour dust in the presence of an unstable heating element?

    It's a wonder you're still alive, man!
    Swampish, dbase, 2tonic and 1 other person like this.
  16. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Yes .. we were 21 and stupid
    IconBasser likes this.
  17. shortscalesrule

    shortscalesrule Supporting Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    It's amazing how many of us made it past age 25.
    Swampish and IconBasser like this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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