>A Tough Night for Gear

>The gremlins, or whatever it is that sometimes seem to wreak havoc on stuff, were definitely gunning for me last night. Sunday evening is LAZERWOLFS practice. I went downstairs to retrieve my bass, where Sid had been jamming with one of his buddies and was using it. Anyway, I go downstairs and the case is open, but it’s wide open flat, not open 90 degrees like it’s supposed to be; the little straps that keep the lid up while it’s open were broken. It would require some force to break them, so it didn’t just happen by itself. Of course Sid has no idea how it happened. Funny how stuff like that works.

No big deal. Cheap case, and it is still fully functional. I load up, go to practice. It takes us about 20 minutes to get set up. I have my amp set up, start getting my pedal board set up, about ready to deliver the thunder, and all of a sudden the amp starts making a weird cracking and popping noise and suddenly shuts down. The smell of burned electric fills the air. Nice. Now this is a sweet amp — we are talking vintage, ’73ish era Ampeg SVT. Ask any bass player worth his “E” string and he/she will tell you it is the real deal. So I’m concerned, but not that surprised — it is an old amp, definitely needs new tubes, and was probably due to have something like this happen. Here is is below, the venerable item being discussed is prominently circled:

We check it out, find a blown fuse, replace it, fire the amp back up and it works . . . for about 5 minutes, then fizzles again. We are thinking blown rectifier tube, or at least hope that is what is wrong. Fixing it is one thing, but replacing it will be $1000+, easy. And Lemmy knows our band needs the thunder an amp like that delivers.

So I run home, get my backup amp, which I’ve never run with my full speaker cabinet configuration, and commence to rock. It does the job admirably. Doesn’t have the whoomph! I usually have, but will still bury most scrawny little indie bands. We rock the set we have been working on for our big show this week (more details on that tomorrow!), then work on some new stuff, and then run the set again to wrap things up. With a few songs to go, I open up a liter bottle of soda to freshen my pipes, take a single swig, and we continue rocking. The thunderous vibrations apparently pushed that bottle across the table it was on, and it inverted itself . . . into my bass case, which is lying wide open beneath it. Or course I didn’t see it happen, I just looked over and saw the empty bottle with the telltale glisten of moisture in the padding beneath it.

We are a rock band, for crissakes. The least the gremlins could have done is made sure it was beer that soiled my case.

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