Many moons ago, I was in a rock band with a drummer who fancied himself as a ‘McGyver’ sort of guy. He was always rigging up these insane contraptions that he believed would make our gigs better and propel us into instant stardom, or at least the occasional backstage case of beer. Trouble was, none of them worked. Ever. Why, once he welded one metal snare drum shell ON TOP of another. Why? I don’t know.
Anyway, I still vividly recall the time he had the brilliant idea to take one of my old, empty 4 x12 guitar cabinets and build himself a little monitor system, so he could hear things better while drumming at our gigs. So, he wired up and old 12 inch, 30 watt guitar speaker of mine and placed it in the cabinet. He was really proud of himself.
He brought it to a gig we had (4 hours, 3 sets) and when we set up out P.A. system, he rigged up his speaker directly to the main power amps that were powering our entire P.A. system. So, he had about 600 watts of power going into a 30 watt speaker. Not a good idea.
In the middle of our first song, The bass player and I are rocking out like nobody’s business when all of a sudden the drummer stops playing. We turned around to find his fancy little monitor IN FLAMES! and he was blowing on it and sort of patting at it in hopes of putting out the fire. Did he think that no one notice? Fortunately, one of the bouncers tossed a pitcher of water on the cabinet and the fire went out. Thankfully, no one was hurt – just freaked out. However, most everyone left the bar – you know, because of the fire…
Needless to say the owners of the club were extremely furious (in a wanting to kick our asses sort of way), they didn’t pay us (but they made us play all night) and the agent that booked that gig for us never booked us again.
So, yeah. That was my earliest “Spinal Tap’ moment.