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Toppling speaker stands!!!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by tornadobass, Jan 29, 2006.


  1. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    Are we the only ones?

    At last night's gig, a drunk woman...late 30s, chunky, yellow sweatshirt, shortish blond hair...kept dancing in front of the band...no other dancers...and she kept trying to get our attention through her pseudo-rockstar gestures.

    This was in a pool hall bar with no stage, just a place for the band to pay at one end of the room.

    I do my best to ignore these dumb drunks...they don't need the encouragement to act stranger yet. Did pretty well with that.

    But then she tried to dance with some guy...mostly a lot of stumbling while the guy held her up. I guess he didn't do his duty to the max, because she eventually stumbled into a speaker stand with a Yamaha cab and light can on top.

    I watched as in slow motion, the cab began to topple over. Its trajectory was aimed right at the guitar player (expensive boutique guitar and amp), the PA head, and on the far end of the pole, the drumset.

    Magically, the cab landed between everything. Instead of maiming the guitar player or destroying gear, we lost the bulb in the light can and broke the pole socket loose in the cab. The speaker still worked, the jack and cable were fine, too.

    We put the cab on a stool, since it wouldn't mount on the stand anymore, and resumed...although we did start the song over...Stevie Ray's "Texas Flood," I believe.

    Unfortunately, the drunk was back within one song and nearly stumbled into a couple of mic stands before a bartender and a few audience members began to steer her away from us.

    This is the first speaker stand disaster in the 8 or so years the band has been together...anybody else had this happen?
     
  2. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    "Are we the only ones?"

    Nope, not by a long shot. I'm surprised you made it 8 years without.

    "At last night's gig, a drunk woman...late 30s, chunky, yellow sweatshirt, shortish blond hair...kept dancing in front of the band...no other dancers...and she kept trying to get our attention through her pseudo-rockstar gestures."

    Seen a million of those.

    "This was in a pool hall bar with no stage, just a place for the band to play at one end of the room."

    That kind of place is where they get you the worst. No barrier for them to fall on before they get to you.

    "I watched as in slow motion, the cab began to topple over. Its trajectory was aimed right at the guitar player, the PA head, and on the far end of the pole, the drumset."

    And not a f'n thing you can do about it. :eek:

    "Magically, the cab landed between everything. Instead of maiming the guitar player or destroying gear, we lost the bulb in the light can and broke the pole socket loose in the cab. The speaker still worked, the jack and cable were fine, too."

    Y'all got lucky there, for sure!

    "Unfortunately, the drunk was back within one song and nearly stumbled into a couple of mic stands before a bartender and a few audience members began to steer her away from us."

    Once they get like that, it's time to go b'bye, see ya. Somebody, hopefully less drunk, take their carcass outa here!I've seen a drunk crash into the PA bass bin, knocking the high-end cab on top onto the floor, crashboom. :rollno:
    But what happens the most is they hit your mike stand, causing the mike to punch you in the teeth. Man, that hurts. I once saw a guy lose a tooth because of that. I've had a fat lip a few times myself. They always manage to wipe out right when you're singing - another example of Murphy's Law! Saw a drunk sit down on the pedal steel, collapsing the legs and causing drunk, steel, and steel player to land in a heap. Steel player was right pissed about that one. :scowl:
    Here's what I do about the mike stand thing. Use a boom stand, and put the base a little off to the right or left, not directly in front of me. I prefer it a little to my right, to leave room to swing the neck around (I'm right-handed) on the left. So I have the boom coming in at an angle. That way the full force of the drunk's weight is not coming in a straight shot to your pie hole. The mike can still hit you pretty good, but not as hard. Try it, you might save yourself some pain & possible dental work. Seriously.
     
  3. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    One of the venues I play frequently had too many problems with this.

    Its an outdoor venue, and there are multiple stages. On the main stage, people had access from all sides except the front.

    One night, my husband's band was up. This drunk chick got up on stage, hung all over the singer, stumbled into my husband's drums, knocked over a mic stand, and fell down.

    Another night, same girl decided to get up and sing. She grabbed the bassist's mic and began caterwauling, and fought when she was removed from the stage.

    Then there was the time a drunk man in a wig got up on stage with my old band, stumbled into the lead guitarist, and knocked her tiny self down on accident.

    Or the time when a statuesque, blonde lesbian fell in love with me and tried to drag me from the stage, during a set, by my face. She kept hollering, "I know youuuuu!!! I love youuuuuu!!! You're coming home with me!" Never saw her before in my life. She was BIG and SCARY! My husband trying to talk to her had no effect. But when my female lead and rhythm guitarists walked up, put an arm each around my waist, and tough, strong Kelly said, "What do you think you are doing with our girl!?!?", that big ol' woman fled the scene.

    So...the venue has chains up around the stage, now, with a sign...

    MUSICIANS ONLY, ON STAGE! ALL OTHERS WILL BE REMOVED!

    Cherie
     
  4. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    "On the main stage, people had access from all sides except the front."

    Uh-oh, that's never good.

    "So...the venue has chains up around the stage, now, with a sign...

    MUSICIANS ONLY, ON STAGE! ALL OTHERS WILL BE REMOVED!"

    Most cool. I wish more places had that arrangement!
     
  5. We were playing an outdoor festival this summer and my 4-year old Daughter got away from my wife and decided to try climbing up one of the light towers at the side of the stage. Mom talked her down, but Daddy was furious - not to mention scared - for the rest of the set.

    I don't believe you should yell at a kid when you're really mad, and I don't believe in hitting a child who's smaller than you, but if I hadn't had that bass on...anyway, she got the riot act read to her big time after I got off stage, and she now knows that it's not a good idea to climb on light towers when Dad is playing. I hope...
     
  6. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Yes, I do, too! Its really nice to have that barrier. Even though you can step right over the chain, the sign makes people stop and think. And, if someone is too drunk to read, the chain trips them up before they can grab you by the face, or fall into your board. ;)

    Cherie :)
     
  7. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    We try to stay away from bars or other "drunk people" situations... for this exact reason. Drunks are capable of anything, I've found, and I don't want their destructive habits carried out on my PA rig, you know what I mean?

    Of course, we've still had people get up on stage and steal mics to sing, blah, blah, blah... but at least they're stone cold sober!
     
  8. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Cherie, that's funny as hell! Mmmm...I'm thinking...Gruene, perhaps?

    Not one to be outdone, I was playing in the Holiday Inn in Galveston one nite, and was subbing for a friend's band. This really pretty girl came up to the stage, shyly, to request a song. My back was to her, as I was talking to the drummer between songs. I heard a voice behind me, turned around, and THWACK!Boinnnnngggg...I saw her staggering backwards with her hands on her face. Rearward momentum got the best of her, and she fell right on her keester on the dance floor! I was mortified, to say the least, and was even more mortified when she didn't move. I thought I had knocked this girl clean out with my headstock! Her friends came out to get her off the floor, and carried her away to the ladies' room, me apologizing profusely (and fearing a lawsuit!) the whole way.

    Fast forward a half-hour, we're on break, and no sign of the poor girl or her friends. I go upto the bar to get a drink to calm my frazzled nerves. I order a drink, bartender pours it and hands it to me. I have my money out to pay him, and he says "S'awright. That girl you knocked in head bought you a drink. She felt bad about that little incident." He pointed her out, sitting off to the side in a little alcove with her friends.

    I went to apologize and buy them a round, she was laughing about her "bass solo- so low it hit me in the forehead!" She had a very small bruise just over her left eye where a tuner had hit her. It was in the unmistakeable "split circle" pattern you see if you look at a bass tuner! She was very lucky- an inch lower and I'd have taken an eye out! They stayed the whole nite though, and I took their requests ON BREAKS from then on.
     
  9. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    I *wish* I could play at Gruene Hall! That is probably the coolest venue in the state. But no...it was The Lago Music Hall. Its a cool place to play. They have three stages...small, medium, large. Cable-spools and picnic tables, with plastic chairs. Lots of trees and carpet grass, with a concrete dance floor in the middle. Nice house PA, or you can set up your own. A grill serves up regular bar food, and they have an *excellent* beer selection. (Angela makes sure she stocks plenty of Shiner Blonde and Blue Moon White Ale, for me.:) They pay ~$150 in the winter, when business is slow, and in summer, you make that plus a percentage of sales, which can amount to a nice sum.

    If you're ever going to be in my neck of the woods, let me know!

    Oh, what a nice girl she was! She didn't know she was going to get a bass tuner tattoo. What a great sport! Gotta watch out for those head stocks!

    Cherie :)
     
  10. there's always drunk audience problems at one venue my covers band play at (we're there again this saturday....look forward to more)

    - one of our guitarists got his guitar neck broken when a drunk guy knocked over the PA speaker.
    fortunately the bouncers grabbed him and took all his jewellery and the venue paid for a replacement neck.

    we always have to watch for the PA speakers and also the singer's monitor. drunk people always want to get up and sing and knock the singer's monitor over.

    at the end of the night there's always broken glass all over the floor- which together with spilt drinks makes coiling PA leads fun-
    like the strings on Japanese fighting kites:rolleyes:
    no idea why the venue doesn't switch to plastic glasses only.
     
  11. txbasschik

    txbasschik

    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    <<<fortunately the bouncers grabbed him and took all his jewellery and the venue paid for a replacement neck.
    >>>

    That is a very fortunate guitarist! Many venues would not do anything about it.

    Cherie
     
  12. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond &amp; SuperSensitive strings
    In our case, a bartender led the woman out of our danger zone, but she kept coming back and almost knocked over a mic or two.

    After awhile, friends of our singer kept distracting her away from our area.
     
  13. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Let me get this right.. they took the idiot's jewelry, and what, pawned it and used the money to pay for the guitar neck? :eek:
    Is that how they do it over there? I'm glad the venue did something for you, but taking the guy's jewelry? Or did they just hold the bling until the guy coughed up some cash of his own? Don't think I approve of that method, even if the guy was a drunken fool.
     
  14. hellsgate

    hellsgate

    Dec 27, 2005
    I haven't had anything like the disasters described here, just the odd dude having a right good mosh...and thats a good thing, innit? However, I was playing a gig with my first band and we were playing in a club before another band from the same area who we knew pretty well. The bassist from that band had just got himself a new amplifier (can't remember what kind or anything, but you know the loving feeling you have when you get new gear) and he was kind enough to let me use it for the gig as I only had a 30W practice amp at the time. So there we are, 2 minutes into the sound-check. I turned round to say somehting to the drummer and WHACK! I knocked his amp off the stand it was sitting on and it dropped 2 feet to the stage, then toppled over and fell off the edge of the stage. I swear to god I thought he was going to jam his axe right up my crevice there and then! He probably would have if I hadn't got the amp back up and found it was still working OK. I've been a bit more careful with other peoples gear since then (no breakages since!)
     
  15. g00eY

    g00eY

    Sep 17, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    one time at church we were putting up the speakers for the PA on the poles. unfortunately we (me and the drummer) were not in sync with each other. i forget who lifted the speaker and who lifted the pole, but the speaker went faster than the pole and came toppling down to the ground.
     
  16. FriscoBassAce

    FriscoBassAce

    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    These are all excellent reasons to motivate me to insist our band take out a musician's insurance policy!!! The last thing we need is some drunk sueing us for all we've got because we didn't "provide a safe and secure" area where they can fall against our equipment and get hurt if it happens to land on them!

    I suppose we should nailgun everything to the floor and provide high-tension wire support so nothing falls over...

    :rollno:
     
  17. the bouncers at the venue in question are heavy-handed when they want to be- one even stopped me from using the stairs saying "there's gear coming up"- when I'd just brought my amp head up and put it on the stage, and was returning back down:rolleyes:


    as for last night's gig there, no audience or bouncer problems, apart from the usual beer split on the mic leads, but the guitarist's warwick pedalboard power supply lead got broken by someone stepping on it.

    a venue not to use expensive gear at....
     
  18. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond &amp; SuperSensitive strings
    Ahhh...no disasters last night...although there was a drunk woman riding a guy's leg while he sat in a chair only 2 or 3 feet from our speaker stand.

    But luck was with us this time :meh:
     
  19. Holmann

    Holmann

    Dec 23, 2005
    Ashland, WI
    All I'm sayin is if you're in full rock mode & decide to leap from the stage ono one of the subs, make sure it's not on wheels.
     
  20. So where does the drummer set up?