Story #14 “The Fair, Electricity, and Set List”

My band Steamer had just played our first gig with the DeLuca brothers, in a concert at Mitch Wards Ranch! We were discovered by a person on the Nevada County Fair Board and were contacted soon after to play the Pine Tree Stage on Saturday Night of the fair.

Steamer would never go by a set song list. After we finished playing a song we would look at each other and have a little band meeting. We would talk about what song we wanted to play next. Sometimes it would take us two or three minutes to decide on what we were going to play next. We had three weeks to practice for the gig, so we decided on fifteen songs and put them in a set order that we planned to follow. The band gave me the list, and I was to call out the next song. We were going to start with “Smokin” by Boston, so when we were ready to play I called out “Smokin.” My brother Stan piped up and said let’s do “Good Bye Your Honor” instead!

So I took the set list, waded it up and threw it over my shoulder, and we started playing “Good Bye Your Honor” while Stan stepped up to the microphone to sing the first verse. What Stan didn’t know was his guitar wasn’t grounded to the PA system. SNAP! Went the microphone and Stan stumbled back, dazed from a severe shock. John DeLuca saw what had happen, and started singing the first verse. Since we had two drummers, I jumped up to see if Stan was OK. He was pretty dazed for a few seconds but he quickly recovered. I switched the ground on the back of his amp, then he stepped up to the microphone and started singing the chorus. After the song was over we all looked at Stan, he said he was OK. Although we could tell he was still a little dazed, he played fine the rest of the night.

After the gig was over he told us how much it hurt when he got shocked. “That’s what you get for not going by the set list.” I told him. I guess a set song list and Steamer were never meant to be!

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