$vboptions[bbtitle]

Guitarists Who Were Electrocuted While Playing

barncat
May 12th, 2009, 09:01 AM
I heard that Keith Relf of the Yardbirds died of electrocution while playing. Any one else rememember players who were electrocuted or badly shocked while playing? How much is it still a danger today with modern equipment?

repeatofender
May 12th, 2009, 09:10 AM
Well, there was Beef...
http://www.paulwilliamscouk.plus.com/beefelectricuted.jpg

Alamo
May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Keith Richards got shocked at the Veteran's Memorial Hall in Sacramento, California December 3rd,1965.
his Hush Puppies probably saved his life.
That dude from Stone The Crows was in fact killed on stage.


http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Keith_shock.jpg

don't leave broken strings on stage or on the floor of
your rehearsal room.
they always seem to crawl into the next current socket
take care!

mr natural
May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM
I've heard the Keith Relf story as well. Terrible loss. I'm a huge Yardbirds fan. I don't see how it's possible. Anybody know how that could even happen? Bad grounding?

I thought a light tower fell on Curtis Mayfield.
-Mr. N.

HoodieMcFoodie
May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM
My brother tried pulling a fuse from a live amp once, does that count?

musicalmartin
May 12th, 2009, 09:28 AM
I put my hand in the back of an old Watkins amp when it was unpluuged .Got a huge shock.Learned my lesson well .My uncle ,an electrician, used to check if any power was present at light sockets by sticking his hands across the contacts .he has also done with power sockets with a couple of screw drivers .He died of old age ,still glowing .My uncle Tom,a track worker/platelayer , stepped on a live power rail on the Southern Electric rail system .he was fried to a frazzle but survived (just).

Alamo
May 12th, 2009, 09:33 AM
I thought a light tower fell on Curtis Mayfield.
-Mr. N.

Oops, yes you're right - my bad.:oops:

metropolis74
May 12th, 2009, 09:34 AM
It's been almost 20 years since I've seen the film Let It Be but I seem to recall a sequence where one of the Beatles keeps getting zapped. Maybe George?

pengipete
May 12th, 2009, 09:58 AM
John Rostill - bass player with The Shadows for 7 years - died in 1973. Electrocuted in his home studio. Bruce Welch had called around to Rostill's home and got no reply so Welch and Rostill's wife went into the studio and found him dead.

http://themusicsover.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/rostill.jpg?w=300&h=533

trag-o-caster
May 12th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Les Harvey from Stone the Crows. He died on stage I do believe.

casterway
May 12th, 2009, 10:26 AM
Ace Frehley of KISS. Came down a set of stairs, and put his hand on the metal railing. It shocked him bad enough that he lost consciousness on stage and had to be carried off to recover. This led him to write this:


XA5QI9JDzv0

tiktok
May 12th, 2009, 10:39 AM
I'd say EVERYONE'S been shocked, but anything serious enough to send you to the hospital is pretty rare. Les Harvey is the famous example, but I can't think of anyone else dying on stage.

Of course, in the old days, with all the two-prong outlets in the States, it was a lot easier.

reverberocket2
May 12th, 2009, 11:11 AM
Just got shocked slightly last week at the rehearsal studio.

I was playing through a vintage Marshall Plexi modded with a master volume went to sing a back up vocal my lips touched the mike and shhhhock.

I switched over to the brand new Traynor combo and had no problems. I guess that amp is not grounded properly

bo
May 12th, 2009, 11:25 AM
I remember getting a good jolt from grabbing a garage door runner while jamming back in high school. I quickly learned what grounding was all about. I guess people don't let me sing because they're concerned with the shock hazards of microphones too!

pengipete
May 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM
I tried to Google for details but couldn't find any so I'll have to rely on memory.

When I was about 17-18 years old, the teenage son of Derby's mayor died on stage. I seem to remember that he was touching his guitar and the microphone stand. It made the local papers but I can't recall reading about it elsewhere and there was no internet in those days.

Incidently, this website (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/7219/electrocuted.html) which lists details of many musicians deaths only lists the three already mentioned. It's a weirdly appealing website.

boneyguy
May 12th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I've been stung a few times by microphones while playing and singing. I don't like it. I hate getting electrocuted!
The worst was at a blues jam years ago in this dumpy old pub. I wasn't even playing at the time. It was a hot summer night and I stood on a chair to turn on the ceiling fan. When I grabbed the metal chain and pulled it .....holy shizzle....I got hit good, to the point where it was hard to let go of the chain and I could feel my muscles tightening throughout my body.

I don't even like getting those little static shocks.

Skully
May 12th, 2009, 12:45 PM
I'm a huge Yardbirds fan. I don't see how it's possible. Anybody know how that could even happen? Bad grounding?

It was rumored he was playing in the bathtub, but it turns out he was in a standing in a puddle in his basement.

metropolis74
May 12th, 2009, 12:51 PM
It's been almost 20 years since I've seen the film Let It Be but I seem to recall a sequence where one of the Beatles keeps getting zapped. Maybe George?

Hey I found it on youtube
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4Zh2i32uJxM&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4Zh2i32uJxM&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

scooteraz
May 12th, 2009, 01:00 PM
I got shocked at church a couple of weeks ago with the plug from my acoustic. Apparently the 48V phantom power supplying the DI box energizes the entire circuit above local ground plane significantly. My strap had pushed the plug out of the end socke of my guitar, and as I pushed it back in, I contacted both parts of the cable and got zapped enough to hurt and cause my hand to go numb for a short period of time.

I was so surprised (I was going to say shocked, but...) that I couldn't believe it, and I thought about trying to duplicate the effect (now just how stupid is that)? I am going to troubleshoot with my VOM this week, now that I think about it again.

I've been shocked before, but never by an acoustic plugged into a DI box. Go figure.

sjtele
May 12th, 2009, 01:16 PM
One time while playing in a dive bar.... played the intro, went to start singing and I got zapped BIG time by the mike. It was dark in there so I saw the bolt arc from the mike to my lip... that woke me up.

Sterling Indigo
May 12th, 2009, 01:31 PM
Is there a type of surge protector for guitar amps that can protect against faulty building wiring?

When I was a teenager, I accidentally touched a horse fence with my metal tennis racquet trying to retrieve a ball. I thought with a leather grip I was safe...:) Anyway, when I picked myself up off the ground I had confusingly blamed my cousin for clubbing me on the back of the head as he was standing behind me laughing. My right heel also hurt badly.

jonzer
May 12th, 2009, 01:32 PM
Ace Frehley of KISS. Came down a set of stairs, and put his hand on the metal railing. It shocked him bad enough that he lost consciousness on stage and had to be carried off to recover. This led him to write this:


XA5QI9JDzv0

And he finished the show.

I've been shocked here and there but the worst was at this dive in D.C. I was afraid of that mic for the entire night and was about six inches away from it every time I sang. I'm sure the audience couldn't hear my sing, but they probably heard the yelps.
After the show, I was kinda pissed and took it out on the sound guy.

Willie D
May 12th, 2009, 01:40 PM
There was one particular bar where we used to play that had very, very old two-prong outlets and poor grounding.

I got into the habit of putting a windscreen on the mic to keep my lip off it.

jonzer
May 12th, 2009, 01:45 PM
There was one particular bar where we used to play that had very, very old two-prong outlets and poor grounding.

I got into the habit of putting a windscreen on the mic to keep my lip off it.

That's the thing about those zaps on the lip. Being electrocuted sucks, but those lip zaps from a mic, they're probably the ones that really piss you off the most. I mean, I get furious.

PapaBeef
May 12th, 2009, 02:08 PM
The first time I played in front of a live audience...1969...It was a school dance & I had a major case of butterflies.
We had borrowed the school's PA system.
There I was on the stage with my Kent semi hollow body violin shaped guitar, strapped around my neck & looking cool, plugged into my old Premier amp.
The girls in the audience were screaming as the opening notes rang out.
I stepped up to the mike and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAP!
Killed all the butterflies though.

brewwagon
May 12th, 2009, 02:17 PM
beatles rooftop concert & the rain

at one part george gets zapped kneels down and john blows on his fingers


bw

JimmyJam
May 12th, 2009, 02:32 PM
I've been zapped by mic's too.

Also, at band practice about 22 years ago, I was playing a cheap harmony guitar through some amp in a basement. There was chicken wire to separate our space. I touched that chicken wire, and like Boneyguy described, I could feel my muscles tightening my grip. I felt physically drained after that.

RCinMempho
May 12th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Our high school garage band had its first country club dance gig. It was the first time this place had ever had a teen dance, so there were bunches of nervous parents in the audience. The front man starts singing the first song and touches his front tooth to the windscreen for the first shock of the night.

He yelled "S%%T!" The parents all thought this was the kind of music we were going to play. One parent actually unplugged the entire band. We were shut down completely. He had to explain to several parents what had happened. We turned it all back on and let a parent touch the guitar and mic to feel the shock. Once they did that, they believed him. We reversed the polarity on the PA and the rest was gravy. Played that gig for three years of high school.

Chris Clemens
May 12th, 2009, 02:47 PM
Scary stories, make you think!

I've heard a story about a local who was jaming around the house and saw his water tap was dripping. With one hand on the neck and strings and one hand on the tap. He got this current flow through his mussles and could'nt get free... After a fwe seconds he had a clever moment (lightbulb...) and "let" himself drop the hard way, auch...

15643
May 12th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Ronnie Wood was shocked once on stage playing bass with the Jeff Beck Group.
He tried to move a microphone while his hands were on his bass strings, and had to go to hospital during the show.

It's something I'll take care not to do.

PapaBeef
May 12th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Well, there was Beef...
http://www.paulwilliamscouk.plus.com/beefelectricuted.jpg

I never wore anything quite so...uh...provocative.:shock:

Wardpike
May 12th, 2009, 04:39 PM
Electrocution means "execution by electricity". So unless someone dies, it isn't an electrocution.

That being said...

When I was 18, I had a Vox V125 amplifier. I had unplugged the amp and was changing the power-tubes (my future ex-wife in the room with me at the time) and whilst putting in the last EL34, I accidentally grabbed a large capacitor that had not been discharged., I was thrown across the room and was unconscious for 20 minutes.

That was a shocking experience.

scooteraz
May 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
Electrocution means "execution by electricity". So unless someone dies, it isn't an electrocution.

Well, by that definition, if there isn't someone out there with intent controlling the flow of electricity, it isn't electrocution either:lol:

Yes, electrocution is death due electrical shock, whether by intent or accident. So you are correct that without death, there is no electrocution.

Sort of like the difference between a near drowning and a drowning. The latter includes death.

So this brings us to an odd question. If you pull someone out of the circuit that is electrocuting them, and then bring them back via CPR is that merely a shock, or electrocution (they were dead; at least that is what the instructor kept saying during my last CPR update).

Theusla
May 12th, 2009, 05:56 PM
No wonder so many artist are doing the unplugged thing now.

Del Pickup
May 12th, 2009, 06:11 PM
I don't know whether it works the same in other countries but, here in NZ, you can all but eliminate the chance of getting zapped from the mic if every piece of electrical gear - including the PA - is run off 1 power outlet.

I know it sounds like the circuit's going to be overloaded but that doesn't happen and since doing this at every gig, I've never been zapped when going to the mic to sing.

A friend who knows more about these things than I do explained that the shock would happen because of the slight difference in phase between some wall outlets - don't quote me on that cos I don't understand what I've just typed!!

But I can assure you that it works here.

And, on the question of players getting zapped, I read somewhere that was the reason why SRV's mic stand always had that foam tubing wrapped around it as he had been getting zapped fairly regularly.

gitarzan
May 12th, 2009, 06:34 PM
I've a Squier Strat that buzzes my forearm whenever it drags across the strings. I'm putting in a Kent Armstong pup this weekend, and plan to check the grounds.

Not guitar related, but I once was diddling around in the backside of an old tube TV. I touched something and woke up on the floor.

TIP: If you need to touch something that you are not sure is hot or not (electrically this is, it might work on girls too), touch it with the back of your fingers. If it's juiced enough to tighten your grip, you'll close your hand away from it instead of around it.

PapaBeef
May 12th, 2009, 07:11 PM
On the day of my 4th birthday party, I was playing with my Aunt Martha's keys & plugged them into an electrical outlet.
Woke me right the he11 up.
Sent my butt flying across the room.
I don't remember if I died or not. But if I did, I guess I got better.

scooteraz
May 12th, 2009, 07:14 PM
...A friend who knows more about these things than I do explained that the shock would happen because of the slight difference in phase between some wall outlets - don't quote me on that cos I don't understand what I've just typed!!

But I can assure you that it works here...



If you are getting zapped because of the phase difference from different outlets, then either the wiring between the two is really, really Really REALLY long, or they are powered from different phases from the local transformer. Both cases are highly unlikely.

The reason for those shocks is poor grounding, pure and simple. The voltage supply to the first tube in a tube amp is something like 200 volts (depends on the amp). This can cause the input jack (if not grounded properly) to "float" up to that potential. If the mike is grounded, and the cord (and therefore guitar and strings) are at ~200 Vdc, then as you get close to the mike, there is a 200 volt potential between the two. Usually the connections are pretty poor, so the resistance is pretty high, which limits the amperage available for the shock (a good thing) but it will hurt nonetheless.

Sometimes the poor grounding is in the amp, sometimes it is in the building. In every case, good grounding or isolation takes care of the problem.

smsuryan
May 12th, 2009, 07:16 PM
Well if you gotta go, might as well go playing your favorite axe!!! winky face

maiga
May 12th, 2009, 07:23 PM
If you're running an amp 'bare' ie naked chassis sitting on top of the speaker cabinet then you may want to remove the plug from the wall before moving the amp.

Don't ask me how I know! :shock:

Joe-Bob
May 12th, 2009, 07:29 PM
I don't see how it's possible. Anybody know how that could even happen? Bad grounding?
It happens when either the PA or the guitar amp is connected to a circuit that is wired backwards, so that one of them has power on the ground side. The guitarist completes the circuit.

A couple of years ago here in the D/FW area a minister was killed while standing in the baptismal pool and someone handed him a microphone.

Remember that 3-prong plugs used to be rare. Many older buildings/homes that have been "converted" have had nothing done to them except that the wall receptacles were replaced. Our house is half and half, but we have actually had new wires run to the ones with 3-prong plugs. It helps that the grounds can be daisy-chained.

Clutch442
May 12th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Wow guys they have these little tools that look like ink pens. They test if something is juiced or not before you grab ahold of it. My Dad has one blows my mind you don't even have to touch the thing with it and it lights up if it's hot. Dewalt makes them.

gitarzan
May 12th, 2009, 07:56 PM
..

mr natural
May 12th, 2009, 08:00 PM
Joe-Bob wrote: It happens when either the PA or the guitar amp is connected to a circuit that is wired backwards, so that one of them has power on the ground side. The guitarist completes the circuit.


Which explains why a friend of mine was getting lip shocked from his mike at a gig and I told him to flip the 2 prong plug to his bass amp around in the socket and the problem went away.
-Mr. N.

Joe-Bob
May 12th, 2009, 08:04 PM
Which explains why a friend of mine was getting lip shocked from his mike at a gig and I told him to flip the 2 prong plug to his bass amp around in the socket and the problem went away.
-Mr. N.

No, it didn't. He still has a 2-prong plug on his bass amp.

scooteraz
May 12th, 2009, 08:04 PM
It happens when either the PA or the guitar amp is connected to a circuit that is wired backwards, so that one of them has power on the ground side. The guitarist completes the circuit.

A couple of years ago here in the D/FW area a minister was killed while standing in the baptismal pool and someone handed him a microphone.

Remember that 3-prong plugs used to be rare. Many older buildings/homes that have been "converted" have had nothing done to them except that the wall receptacles were replaced. Our house is half and half, but we have actually had new wires run to the ones with 3-prong plugs. It helps that the grounds can be daisy-chained.

Well, really that only happens when the neutral and hot are miss-wired, and someone decides to use the supposed neutral for ground. If properly grounded, even mis-wiring hot and neutral won't cause the problem.

Wow guys they have these little tools that look like ink pens. They test if something is juiced or not before you grab ahold of it. My Dad has one blows my mind you don't even have to touch the thing with it and it lights up if it's hot. Dewalt makes them.

Yes, I have several, and sundry multimeters as well. I just don't usually carry them around with me at all times to verify. In addition, those little things just tell you that a circuit is hot, not that it is miss-wired. So a perfectly safe circuit that is powered will set of the "ink pen" power detectors.

studio1087
May 12th, 2009, 08:25 PM
Ace Frehley of KISS. Came down a set of stairs, and put his hand on the metal railing. It shocked him bad enough that he lost consciousness on stage and had to be carried off to recover. This led him to write this:


XA5QI9JDzv0


I did not know that. That is really cool to know. I played that song a zillion times when I was 14. Now I know.

I got shocked once. I was in a cover band in college and we had 16 par 64 cans. One of the par cans kept shorting in and out. I bought some wire and a plug to fix it. I said to our drummer....."Unplug this light box" He said "Yah OK". I cut thought the shielding and into the 110 cable with a metal jack knife. The 110 went into the knife, my fist an my arm. It was hard to let go of the knife when my brain understood what was happening. There's always that tiny delay before you understand the pain.

The drummer never heard me when I asked him to unplug the box. He just said "Yah OK" and walked out of the bar.

Ouch.

John

Alamo
May 12th, 2009, 08:31 PM
On the day of my 4th birthday party, I was playing with my Aunt Martha's keys & plugged them into an electrical outlet.
Woke me right the he11 up.
Sent my butt flying across the room.
I don't remember if I died or not. But if I did, I guess I got better.

Yeah, I remember.

Papa Beef, age 4

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/mistake.jpg

should read tziiiinnnnnnnnnnnng!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! actually.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/5_5.jpg

even Kitty goes
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/mygoditsf128626973949848325.jpg

and you shoulda seen Aunt Martha
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/surprise1.jpg

Larry F
May 12th, 2009, 10:44 PM
The stories about garage door runners, muscles tightening, and figuring out to drop are my experience. I was playing with my band barefoot on a cement floor in 1968. I had one hand on the guitar neck and I absent mindedly grabbed the garage door runner with my other hand. My muscles constricted and I couldn't let go. I, too, finally thought to drop by bending my knees to fall to the ground. Ever since then, I will not touch anything metal when I am holding my guitar neck.

TelecasterSam
May 12th, 2009, 10:55 PM
Before I knew better and learned the hard way, I was playing in a bar one night and my Twin Reverb blew a fuse. I tried replacing it in the dark with the amp still plugged in..........ouchy! I looked around to see if I was still among the living. Always unplug!

Geo
May 12th, 2009, 11:22 PM
I remember hearing on the news of the First Edition group lead guitarist
(Tele) getting electricuted in the late '60s and think it was fatal.

I saw the Stones in '67 and Brian Jones get a pretty hard shock on
stage but was able to return after they stopped the show for 20 or
so minutes. They had to carry him off when it happened.

casadyrocks
May 13th, 2009, 12:10 AM
...apparently the Grateful Dead were shocked numerous times during their set at Woodstock...

Tim Bowen
May 13th, 2009, 12:47 AM
Me nearly. Voltage almost put an end to me via a ground loop at a rehearsal in the early 90's. Fortunately, a mate (thanks Pete!) had the presence of mind to yank the amp plug from the wall, else I've little doubt I'd be toast. Nothing quite like the feeling one gets from a wildly palpitating heart due to a monster current surge.

Uriah Heep's bassist from '72 to '75, Gary Thain, was seriously injured by electric shock on his last tour with the band. That didn't take him out though, a heroin overdose did. I guess his 27th and final year must've been pretty crappy, as he also dealt with an untreatable STD.

JCSouthpawtele
May 13th, 2009, 12:51 AM
A musicians tool box should always include a outlet checker. You can get one from Lowe's or Home Depot for a couple of bucks. As a sound enginner I check outlets and most of the time run the system off the same breaker,I sometimes bring a 220v breaker box and feed off of a seperate breaker in the panel or if possible a stove plug from the clubs kitchen and run my own power. And use drop boxes for the band members and ask that they use them and not the wall sockets to eliminate the possiblity.

PapaBeef
May 13th, 2009, 08:27 AM
A musicians tool box should always include a outlet checker. You can get one from Lowe's or Home Depot for a couple of bucks. As a sound enginner I check outlets and most of the time run the system off the same breaker,I sometimes bring a 220v breaker box and feed off of a seperate breaker in the panel or if possible a stove plug from the clubs kitchen and run my own power. And use drop boxes for the band members and ask that they use them and not the wall sockets to eliminate the possiblity.

I could sure use someone like you to keep me from hurting myself.
I always have safety goggles, facemasks & knee pads in my truck.
And I always think about them when I'm in the middle of doing something that would require a normal minded person to use one or more of those devices while performing said task.
Well, I'm almost done now, so ...
What a dumb@$$ I am most of the time!

PapaBeef
May 13th, 2009, 08:37 AM
Yeah, I remember.

Papa Beef, age 4

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/mistake.jpg

should read tziiiinnnnnnnnnnnng!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! actually.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/5_5.jpg

even Kitty goes


and you shoulda seen Aunt Martha
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b237/open-g/Computer/surprise1.jpg

:lol:
It wasn't so funny at the time.
But about 15 minutes after I saw this & was able to get up off the floor...

FraKo
May 13th, 2009, 08:45 AM
26 years ago my 1972 (or so) amp shocked me while playing in a school room. Not a big shock, but enough to be scared a little bit. Once at home, my father checked with the tester and found a 150 W charge. We grounded the amp body and changed the rope with a three-wire cable, so the issue was solved. Since then I use to play it at home, I can't use it in a house or room without 3-prong plugs.

chet
May 13th, 2009, 10:23 AM
That's the thing about those zaps on the lip. Being electrocuted sucks, but those lip zaps from a mic, they're probably the ones that really piss you off the most. I mean, I get furious.

In the Elvis movie "That's The Way It Is" he gets shocked while holding a guitar in his hands and touching his lips to the mike.
He gets pissed but goes ahead and sings.

Doug 54
May 13th, 2009, 11:16 AM
"On March 27 Giddy Lee of Mahogany Rush, Ontario was playing novice guitar with friends. Touching a water pipe in the basement sent Lee into an electrical shock never witnessed before. Out of his forehead appeared small round glasses and his voiced acquired a high warble that would best carry as a warning system on the dark Mississippi waters-- from Hannibal to New Orleans. In effect, he lost his scrotum then- but is recovering at St. Lifeson Hospital."

(1967, Toronto Star)

Justinvs
May 13th, 2009, 12:52 PM
My brother-in-law and I played in a former band and i kept complaining that I was getting buzzed every time I went up to the mike. Nobody listened. Then, one magical night, he plugged into the same power-strip I was using, and low and behold he got jolted.

I just stood in my corner and smiled.

Justin

EddieN
May 13th, 2009, 01:54 PM
I was once standing on a stage during a soundcheck. There was an emergency light for power outages just within reach off the front of the stage. I couldn't resist the little red "Test" button.
http://www.wunderkraut.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/redbtn1.jpg
Problem was I happened to be touching bass strings at the same moment & got a decent shock. Almost got knocked off that high stage cause I had my toes hangin' off the edge but no real damage. It was pretty funny at the time.

*edit* Oh and the singer in the band I was in would fearlessly check for potential mic shocks for us instrument players by grabbing mic in one hand & instrument in other. He was a nut.

Paul in Colorado
May 13th, 2009, 02:48 PM
And there was that incident with Russel Hammond of Stillwater in Phoenix...

Mr. Saba
May 13th, 2009, 04:52 PM
There's some very good info HERE (http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/safety/index.php) about the causes of electric shock and how you can protect yourself...

PraiseCaster
May 13th, 2009, 07:23 PM
This band I know of (coworkers brother is Raul Pacheco, lead guitarist, vocals) called Ozomatli. They were performing in Madagascar, and Raul almost died from the shock.

His sister was telling me it was because of the headset mic, and the grounding on the stage, and one of the other band members said you could see the blue/white arc going into his mouth.

He was out of commission for a few months. Really screwed him up for a while, and he was wondering if he would be able to get it back together enough to play/sing again.

Scary stuff, that electricity..........

PapaBeef
May 14th, 2009, 12:43 PM
It's certainly not something to make light of...
And yet, make light we do...
Like a freakin' Christmas tree.

gionnio
May 15th, 2009, 01:44 AM
I accidentally grabbed a large capacitor that had not been discharged., I was thrown across the room and was unconscious for 20 minutes.

DC hurts...far worse than AC. It doesn't allow you to break the connection as easily, and it's usually a much higher voltage. Both suck though...

Remember to let those caps discharge before working on your amp!

cband7
May 15th, 2009, 03:46 AM
Everyone make some time and read the info on the site below. Has great information that might save your life and shows you how to modify and shield your guitar. I've been a radar technician most of my life, dealt with 39,000 volt systems and won't even touch a 9 volt battery to my tongue to see if it's good! Everyone also run out and by one of those inexpensive ground testers that you just plug into the socket - test EVERY socket before you use it! When it comes to electricity, BE PARANOID! If I played out I'd be using the Samson radios and good, dry tennis shoes :mrgreen:

p.s. I forgot - always run your rigs through a portable ground fault interrupter; they don't cost a lot and will kill the power if your ground craps out.


http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/electrical/safety/index.php

Westerly Sunn
May 15th, 2009, 04:21 AM
Well, by that definition, if there isn't someone out there with intent controlling the flow of electricity, it isn't electrocution either:lol:

Yes, electrocution is death due electrical shock, whether by intent or accident. So you are correct that without death, there is no electrocution.

Sort of like the difference between a near drowning and a drowning. The latter includes death.

So this brings us to an odd question. If you pull someone out of the circuit that is electrocuting them, and then bring them back via CPR is that merely a shock, or electrocution (they were dead; at least that is what the instructor kept saying during my last CPR update).

to revive the victim, then it was an electrocusurrection... :lol:

supernewt
May 15th, 2009, 09:19 AM
The stories about garage door runners, muscles tightening, and figuring out to drop are my experience. I was playing with my band barefoot on a cement floor in 1968. I had one hand on the guitar neck and I absent mindedly grabbed the garage door runner with my other hand. My muscles constricted and I couldn't let go. I, too, finally thought to drop by bending my knees to fall to the ground. Ever since then, I will not touch anything metal when I am holding my guitar neck.

Yes, concrete floor, bare feet, and electric guitar are not a good mix. I got jolted by my strings one time sitting in a fold out chair on a concrete floor when I kicked off my shoes - It was about like touching an electric fence.

collinsman
May 15th, 2009, 09:21 AM
My question is..I have one of those conversion plugs ( three prong to a two prong ) & it always made me a little nervous as to the question of a ground. So lately I've been plugging into a three prong power strip, yet it's still plugged in with the conversion plug. Q: any danger there...thanks

ACK75
May 15th, 2009, 10:12 AM
Ace Frehley of KISS. Came down a set of stairs, and put his hand on the metal railing. It shocked him bad enough that he lost consciousness on stage and had to be carried off to recover. This led him to write this:


XA5QI9JDzv0

Pics from that night. Lakeland Fl, 1976.

http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh3/metaldog75/Lakeland__76.jpg

http://i252.photobucket.com/albums/hh3/metaldog75/Shock_Me__76a.jpg

telelicious90
May 16th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I got electrocuted once when playing my CBS strat through my peavey bass amp. The electricity went through the amp and to the strings I guess and I got shocked. My fingers were all shocked and it hurt like hell.

PapaBeef
May 16th, 2009, 07:19 PM
My question is..I have one of those conversion plugs ( three prong to a two prong ) & it always made me a little nervous as to the question of a ground. So lately I've been plugging into a three prong power strip, yet it's still plugged in with the conversion plug. Q: any danger there...thanks

Those adapters should always have a grounding connection of some type...either a green wire with a terminal or a metal loop...that should be connected to the center screw on the receptacle cover.
That's no guarantee either. But it does tie the ground ouf the strip you have plugged into it, to the frame of the receptacle, which should then be tied to the box.
If the receptacle and/or box are grounded, you're good. But it could be a plastic box or an old circuit that's not grounded properly you're still taking a chance.

Slow Reflexes
September 10th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Sorry, bad bump.

Bozo Bus
September 10th, 2009, 03:47 PM
Not a bad bump Slow.... This information needs to be heard. As most of us seem to DIY from amps to guitars, it is important to know that a simple mistake can have serious consequenses (Sorry about the spelling....)

With much reserve..... I took my 64 DR to my amp guy and had him thow in a grounded power cable. I thought I was marring a real relic, however the way I have my power set up now, it is not as much of a problem as it was.
I built my own pedal board with a power regulator and a switch to kill the power that goes to everything. My whole rig needs only to be plugged to one recepticle. I control the power to everything else.
Let's be safe out there....
PEACE,
Phil

smsuryan
September 10th, 2009, 03:54 PM
I heard that Keith Relf of the Yardbirds died of electrocution while playing. Any one else rememember players who were electrocuted or badly shocked while playing? How much is it still a danger today with modern equipment?

i got shocked when i played thru that old samick i used to have.....!!! not fun not fun

Blazer
September 10th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Two pages and nobody mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughan?
r3N1DbLi0A4
The guy got zapped by his microphone stad a couple of times so he bought a piece of isolation foam and wrapped it around the stand. The Clip clearly shows the foam wrap.

sonserve
September 10th, 2009, 04:20 PM
It happens when either the PA or the guitar amp is connected to a circuit that is wired backwards, so that one of them has power on the ground side. The guitarist completes the circuit.

A couple of years ago here in the D/FW area a minister was killed while standing in the baptismal pool and someone handed him a microphone.

Remember that 3-prong plugs used to be rare. Many older buildings/homes that have been "converted" have had nothing done to them except that the wall receptacles were replaced. Our house is half and half, but we have actually had new wires run to the ones with 3-prong plugs. It helps that the grounds can be daisy-chained.

It can happen if the plug on the amp cord is wired backward and the PA isn't or vice versa. It is the result of one circuit being reverse polarity.
If someone wires a lamp plug backward the socket the bulb screws into will be hot all the time. When you turn it off at the lamp switch the path to ground is broken and the lamp goes out but guess what...:shock:

neocaster
September 10th, 2009, 05:12 PM
Protect your most important piece of gear, yourself.

http://1510365blog.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/how-to-check-electrical-receptacle-polarity-2.jpg

freddie
September 11th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I remember watching Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne on the telly singing and playing guitar barefooted. I thought it was cool looking. I tried it and got a good zap from a Marshall Stack. Never again....I always wear shoes when playing electric or singing into a mike.

Good advice here folks..Thanks!!!!

Freddie

Lerb21
September 11th, 2009, 09:15 PM
At one of the coffee houses I played the freakin mics would shock you.

One zap was enough to make your entire mouth numb.

That was a fun set.

tweedtone
September 11th, 2009, 10:12 PM
I always insist on using an SM-57 because the metal mesh your lips night touch aren't connected physically to the rest of the mic meaning, no shock hazard.

Marc Rutters
September 11th, 2009, 10:40 PM
Taylor Guitars solidbody comes with a proprietary ground fault on board. During a tour of the plant I was able to see the little GFCI and the new tremolo bridge but when I held them up for a closer view Mr. Taylor (standing next to me) smiled and took them back.
I'm not sure exactly how it works, Quote from website "Fused String Ground.
Even reckless rock 'n' rollers have to respect the "blue spark" effect of getting shocked when grabbing the mic at a venue with improper ground. We designed a fused string ground (wired to the switch plate inside the guitar), so that in the event of faulty ground or funky wiring, the 5-milliamp fuse will fry instead of you. If the fuse blows, your guitar will still play, but it may be susceptible to more noise until you can replace it, which is easy to do, especially since you wont be in the hospital."
Anyway interesting stuff.

Mark F
September 19th, 2009, 08:33 PM
just to reiterate (to people with less experience in case they come across this thread) the importance of a socket tester to check all used sockets BEFORE a gig (as a leccy), it is especially important at gigging venues (be it a small pub/club), as if the live and neutral are swapped on a socket, the socket will still work without any problem, but the fuse will not act at all in the event of a short...

I say especially important at gigging venues as they could be 3 phase (different sockets on different phases), meaning you could get a 400v shock (uk) or 208v (us) or other large shock depending where you are, without any fuse protection at all if you were to (for example) grab a mic whilst with the other hand touching your strings... i say this as, if the path for the current goes from one hand to the other, your heart is smack in the middle...

Also, as people mention amp shocks, don't assume an amp is dead because its off (amp builders and most of you will already know), as the capacitors/tubes/valves can still be carrying a voltage until it is discharged, just make sure its not through yourself...

Doug 54
September 19th, 2009, 09:17 PM
Giddy Lee was in 1967.







*(see: "Tom and Dianne Sawyer: Mean, Mean Warriors")




/

Harvey
September 19th, 2009, 10:38 PM
I always thought Keith Relf's death was a suicide with an electric guitar. He was probably depressed seeing his former bassist take the Yardbirds to greater heights as Led Zepplin. Les Harvey was the brother of Alex Harvey (who is now gone as well). Maggie Bell was the singer for his band Stone the Crows and she was on the Tommy soundtrack that Lou Adler put out. Glad to see somebody remembers the Shadow John Rostill.

sonserve
September 19th, 2009, 11:43 PM
just to reiterate (to people with less experience in case they come across this thread) the importance of a socket tester to check all used sockets BEFORE a gig (as a leccy), it is especially important at gigging venues (be it a small pub/club), as if the live and neutral are swapped on a socket, the socket will still work without any problem, but the fuse will not act at all in the event of a short...

I say especially important at gigging venues as they could be 3 phase (different sockets on different phases), meaning you could get a 400v shock (uk) or 208v (us) or other large shock depending where you are, without any fuse protection at all if you were to (for example) grab a mic whilst with the other hand touching your strings... i say this as, if the path for the current goes from one hand to the other, your heart is smack in the middle...

Also, as people mention amp shocks, don't assume an amp is dead because its off (amp builders and most of you will already know), as the capacitors/tubes/valves can still be carrying a voltage until it is discharged, just make sure its not through yourself...

No offense man but the fuse protects the circuit conductors from the effects of over current, not the person getting shocked. If a person gets hung up on a 15 amp circuit they will fry before the breaker trips. If an outlet is wired reverse polarity it is still the hot wire that is connected to the breaker that carries potential.
The hazard is getting between one wired correctly, your amp for instance, and one reversed, the PA.
Three phase has nothing to do with it either, Wye or Delta. I won't go into that other than to say if your gear gets hooked up to 208V it won't be working, along with all the other appliances energized on that circuit.

Yeah kids, check those outlets! Play it safe.

Mark F
September 20th, 2009, 07:19 AM
No offense man but the fuse protects the circuit conductors from the effects of over current, not the person getting shocked. If a person gets hung up on a 15 amp circuit they will fry before the breaker trips. If an outlet is wired reverse polarity it is still the hot wire that is connected to the breaker that carries potential.
The hazard is getting between one wired correctly, your amp for instance, and one reversed, the PA.
Three phase has nothing to do with it either, Wye or Delta. I won't go into that other than to say if your gear gets hooked up to 208V it won't be working, along with all the other appliances energized on that circuit.

Yeah kids, check those outlets! Play it safe.

No offence taken :) and i must admit i don't know too much about US wiring reg's, here in the UK though, if a socket is wired in reverse polarity and you have a live to ground fault, the smaller fuse in the plug (for an amp as an example) is taken completely out of the equation, and instead if there being a 5 amp fuse on the amp for some protection, it would be left to a much further away 32 amp breaker to disconnect.

Also, here in the UK (US may be different), venues can have 3 phase supplies, with 2 ring mains in the same room each fed from a different live phase, leading to a possible 400v shock if 2 different lives are crossed (mic fed from one phase, amp fed from another, as said i don't know about the US, kind of assumed similar conditions could arise, but admit i may be wrong)

promagnum
September 20th, 2009, 04:15 PM
Is it just me or do I remember seeing Vince Gill getting shocked by the microphone on the Grand Ole Opry and stopping the song?

hannigan
September 20th, 2009, 04:38 PM
A few years ago I saw Neil Young at the Columbia Gorge. It was pouring rain and the harder it rained the harder he played.
I was shocked nobody got zapped at that show.

Lawn Boy
September 21st, 2009, 12:00 AM
Wall warts only have 2 prongs. Are they grounded? LB