Don’t stand your drink on my amp

How would you feel if you opened your car door this morning and water spilled out on your shoes, or worse, coffee or beer? Bad enough if you know you left a drink perched on your seat when you got out but suppose you hadn’t…?

That’s a bit like what happened to me last year; I was playing in the band at a multi-day event and had brought all my own gear with me but during the late night events I wasn’t playing at the other bass players onstage were using backline that had been provided for them by the organisers. My gear included a pre-amp and power-amp that sat in a rack case on top of my cabs. Each night when I finished I reattached the front to the rack to protect the gear inside and did my best to leave the area clear for the rest of the night’s musicians.

The morning after one of these late night gigs I opened the front of my rack to set up for the day …and cold coffee ran out!
We were due to be playing within half an hour and it was clear that there was a puddle still sitting inside the rack case but I had no time to investigate further just then, so I quickly rejigged everything to bypass the wet equipment, left it powered down and got on with the gig.

Afterward I was able to dismantle the rack and take apart the pre-amp, which, it seemed, had collected most of the fluid. Fortunately, as it turned out, none had got inside the pre-amp itself and, after a quick clean and dry out, everything was up and running again before I was due to play again.

Presumably someone had perched a drink on the top of my gear the night before and had accidentally knocked it over. There was no sign of the cup the next morning, or spilled coffee on the stage, so they must have realised that their drink had gone everywhere. Most people know that liquid and electricity make a potentially lethal combination (and anyone who’s seen a musician get an electric shock onstage, whatever the cause – a story for another time, does not forget it in a hurry) and of course there was also the potential risk of damage to equipment – yet they said nothing!

Thank God no-one was hurt and no permanent damage was done, to people or equipment!

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