Long ago, at a gig far, far away..

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mike SS, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Mike 1971.jpg 1971, 16 years old, at the gig from Hell! Performing at some Air Force squadron picnic on Offutt AFB. We did not rent a good PA, because the Air Force said they would provide one. It was an antique military public address system consisting of a 100 watt amp and 10 power horns on tripods. All treble, and feed back galore. I am standing in the only place we could put their mic and get it to function at all. Our mic, pictured in the foreground was 1/4 phono plug and could not be used. Power to the stage consisted of a bunch of extension cords hooked together to make it to the pavilion in the back ground. Half way through a song some grumpy old *** unplugged us. Good times.
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Oh yes, the hell of poorly thought out events by someone who thought "we should have a band"!
    ..or the hell of a place that "has their own PA, use ours"
    We played an outdoor wedding reception once at this ranch. Why they hired a raunchy blues-rock band I'll never know. After playing a few songs this lady informed us that the music was "too raunchy, there are little kids here!" We were playing Creedence Clearwater "Born on the Bayou". Absolutely no one except 3 or 4 dancing little kids on the grass were paying any attention to the music anyway. The trailer used for a bandstand faced the summer sun directly with no shade.
     
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  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Part of the "thrill of victory/agony of defeat" of playing live. And then you still have no idea how you actually sounded to the audience.
     
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  4. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ha ha! I want to remind Mike SS and schmee that back in those days, you did not rent a good PA because you could not rent a good PA. PA's were usually built-in at a hall, and they were - by our standards - pathetic. But there were no companies providing PA for rock groups - at least not where I was living (which was one of the hot areas for electric band music).

    The Stones tour that ended at Altamont in '69 was the first tour where a band carried their own PA.

    In 71-72, my own little group had to build our own copies of Altec A7 "Voice of the Theatre" boxes - huge and ungainly but beautiful, with the honeycomb high-end horns on top. And we had two mics that we plugged in to a little Radio Shack passive microphone mixer wit 1/4" phone plug inputs. Our PA amp was a Fender Bandmaster, until my brother built some kind of "Tiger" kit amp that provided a stunning 150 Watts of power!

    RE: the gig from Hell - we were asked to play a cotillion ball for the combined Demolay boys and the Job's Daughters of the East Bay. A big night for them, most certainly! They were all dressed up in gowns and tuxedo's and the like.

    Why they wouldn't like a band that was mostly a tribute to the MC5 plus a bunch of Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones, and Alice Cooper numbers, I'll never know. I thought we were great! But they paid us our 50 bucks and asked us to please pack up and leave as soon as possible - after 3 songs.

    I was happy to be outta there.

    Here's a photo from the sound check. I'm on the right, with the 4x15 cabinet (!!) The Altec cabinets are at either end of the stage.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  5. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    every kid that was there that day remembers this show, and remembers how completely cool and rocking your group was. You probably inspired many of them to play guitars and form their own groups. You are a rock-n-roll hero... never forget it!
     
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  6. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Baby, that's Rock-N-Roll!!!
     
  7. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    We played a few gigs with my old Bassman Ten acting as our PA.

    It worked...ok...

    ...but hey, we were on-stage and those losers that were complaining weren’t! :lol:
     
  8. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    There were actually two places in town where you could rent amps, and PA equipment. One of them was Joe Voda's Drum City, and it was basically a power amp and two 2X12 cabinets, but was far superior to the crap the Air Force set up for us. Rental for the afternoon would have been around $50, with a $100 security deposit, refunded upon return of the equipment.
     
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  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My high school garage band was so cool.
    We had mains and monitors.
    The mains were padded black Kustom columns.
    The monitors were Shure Vocal Master columns lain on their (long) side.
    All powered somehow by a Kustom 100W 4 Channel mixer.
    It actually worked pretty well, because only our front guy/lead singer went through it.
    It was SO much fun!
     
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  10. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    actually, there may have been places like that in Oakland CA too. But we were hard-headed and we were gonna do it ourselves! So we spent all our time and money building copies of Altec Voice of the Theatre boxes. I probably still have the plans around here somewhere.

    Actually, the deciding factor was this: our drummer's father was an executive at one of the auto plants in Detroit. Something bad happened in the economy, and his position was eliminated. He moved out to California and brought his home stereo system with him - which was based on Macintosh amplifiers and contained all the exact same speakers and horns as the VoT system. The speakers had been built-in at his house in Ann Arbor. They were just laying around in cardboard boxes in Oakland! We appropriated them for the revolution, and repurposed them!
     
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  11. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I love it. Shure Vocal Master... We messed around with a few of those, too!

    It was crap gear - but we had so much time, energy, dedication, and fun doing it. Oh, to be 16 again, and not even know what a monitor speaker was!
     
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