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This is a series of lessons from the on-the-road gear guys and what they learned. Some are from roadies who were there and some are from the players themselves and what they learned.

LESSON #3:
“Don’t Piss Off The Sound Guy”

This lesson is from gear roadie Steve Dikum. Steve honed his skills from spending close to 20 years on the road. He’s toured with bands like ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac, Warren Zevon, Aerosmith and Little Feat; just to name a few. Here’s a story of when he worked for Z.Z. Top.

One summer, years back, ZZ Top was on tour, and Loverboy was opening for them. Well, Mike Reno, the lead singer of Loverboy, had a bad habit of complaining over the microphone during the shows. They’d be in the middle of a set, and he’d ramble on about how bad their monitors sounded. Well, to everyone else present, this was an inexperienced, insecure bands way of saying, “We might not sound so good, but that’s not our fault — it’s the sound guy.”

And as the tour went on, Reno became known for saying, “These monitors sound like shit.” That exact phrase, again and again, at every single show. So, of course, the sound company wasn’t happy about that. And ZZ Top didn’t have a problem with the same exact monitors. So it’s like, “Well maybe it’s your band.”

Well, on the last day of the tour, Loverboy goes out to do their forty-minute set, and instead of his own voice, all that comes out of Mike Reno’s monitor are shit sounds. Turns out, one of the sound guys went out and made a cassette tape with nothing on it but various fart and shit noises. So Reno had to play the whole set with nothing in his ears but the glorious sounds of crapping.

These monitors sound like shit, well there’s your shit for you pal.

This story originally came from Vintage Guitar Magazine and this website.

Copyright 2007 © RockandRollDoctor

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