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Tips, Tricks and Road Stories


The Road To Ruin—Another Tale From The Trail

March 15, 2012; Derek "D-Day" Kendall (

Anyone who has ever experienced the "Road Life" knows that it ain’t all glitz and glam and that, at times, it can get downright boring.

Long hours on the bus (or in the van or the U-haul or . . . ) traveling to the next city in line to fall prey to the onslaught you and the boys would unleash upon them, kindled during those long hours and deserving of a much needed outlet.

We were notorious for surfing that "outlet."

So, there I was, my first time in what was to become my home of 26 years now, Phoenix, where we were playing at "Rockers," a 1000 or so seat night club in its prime. During sound check I confronted our sound man, Tom, with a matter that was becoming increasingly urgent.

You see, I was the lead singer for this rabble and a Shure SM58 was my weapon of choice and my weapon was developing a habit of cutting my lip from where I had abused the hell out of it over and over and over again. That’s why I used it. It could take the punishment. However, even though the mic still worked and sounded great, the metal screen was broken and a few of its pieces would stick out and cut me. When I approached Tom with the aspect of procuring a new "58", he reminded me of the fact that, though he was a good sound man, he would have been better named "Richard" for the names derivative.

I was told that if I could go 2 weeks without breaking anything or anyone, including myself or some jealous boyfriend, that he would buy me a new SM58 out of his own pocket. So, there I was, 2 weeks later in Colorado Springs at sound check when lo-and-behold I was awarded a brand new Shure SM58 for having been a good boy—or at least a relatively sober one, and hadn’t destroyed even a marriage.

I remember, as other vocalists will attest, that it was Colorado Springs because of the altitude and the way it would make me light headed after some of the more strenuous, upper range passages.
It was after such a passage, while partaking in some high-fiving appreciation from the capacity crowd, that I was reaching between my two monitors for, yet another up reached palm, when I was zapped by a vivid blue arc from the monitor jack that apparently was not grounded properly, with such a jolt that it involuntarily spasm-ed my arm that was holding my mic so as to send it sailing out over the heads of the crowd—sailing, sailing, until with the echo and reverb still on, it landed:

I started reeling it in by the cable, all the while trying to get Tom’s attention so he would turn the volume off, and as I finally retrieved it from the crowd, I looked at it and saw my brand new Shure SM58—that I had waited 2 weeks for—ruined.

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