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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Guitarists Who Were Electrocuted While Playing

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?

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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, there was Beef...
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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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.




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Last edited by Alamo; May 12th, 2009 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Curtis Mayfield wasn't shocked
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My brother tried pulling a fuse from a live amp once, does that count?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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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).
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I thought a light tower fell on Curtis Mayfield.
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Oops, yes you're right - my bad.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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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?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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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.

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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Les Harvey from Stone the Crows. He died on stage I do believe.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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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:


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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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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
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Old May 12th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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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!
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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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 which lists details of many musicians deaths only lists the three already mentioned. It's a weirdly appealing website.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
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