Sometimes everything goes wrong during a gig, do you recall your worst “nightmare gig”?
“At the end of the day, as long as everyone is safe, that is all that really matters. I have been at gigs where tragedy struck, but that is not really a guitar thing. As far as gear mishaps, over the years I have had a few, but one stands out. When I flew out to cover Slash on Guns N’ Roses the first show in Manila, I shadowed Adam Day to learn the gig. (Side note: Adam Day is an amazing guitar tech and a good friend of mine). Then we flew to Kuala Lumpur to do my first show by myself. It was raining hard, the kind of rain you only get in the jungle, where you have to cover your mouth not to breathe in water. The band was just about to take the stage and I tested Slash’s wah pedal one last time. It wasn’t working. On Gn’R, Slash has multiple wahs positioned around the stage. I had to call over the radio to hold the band, and keep rolling the intro.
I ran out there and resealed and re-waterproofed all the wahs as fast as humanly possible. Ran back, tested them and they worked. They kept working the entire show, though I was sweating bullets. Needless to say, it is a little nerve wracking to be the “new guy” on the biggest tour in the world and call for extra time before your first gig. I, of course, didn’t tell Slash at the time, he has enough on his mind – you don’t send your artist on stage worried his wahs are going to fail. In fact, I have never told him. I wonder if he is going to read this….
At the end of the day, the key to avoiding gig nightmares is to always be thinking and always have a backup plan. I run through scenarios in my head “if this fails, I am going to do this”. Have a spare, know where it is. Try and find what is likely to fail and repair or replace it before it does. At the end of the day, nobody bats 1.000 Shit breaks. It’s up to us to fix it as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Some of the most difficult feats I have pulled off as a guitar tech nobody knew about because there was no interruption in the show.”