What's the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

TheHeelDrummer

Senior Member
So I have broken just about everything possible at the worst possible moments as I am sure most everyone has... but there is one that sticks out as a "WHAT!?" moment...

About ten years ago I was really laying into a groove, I believe it was the building solo during Evenflow by Pearl Jam, and we extended it and the dynamics went waaaaaay up.

So we're jamming and all in the sudden I'm pushing my bass drum pedal and there's no noise coming from it. I look down and much to my surprise the beater is gone and the half of the shaft that was left was stabbing into my bass drum head.

The bass drum beater shaft had broken in half. It was ridiculous and I still cant explain it. I akwardly finished the song by flipping my stick and using the butt end of the stick to play (poorly I'm sure) the rest of the song.

Luckily the sound guy was a drummer and he hesitantly let me borrow his bass drum beater for the rest of the night.

So what have you broken that was weird/amusing while playing?
 

jtfusion

Junior Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I have had the occasional slip of a wing nut, stand, and cymbal fall over... But 2 weeks ago I was playing a VH1 save the music foundation benefit and completely busted thru an aquarian snare head. It ripped the whole head in half leaving me to play the edge. I was able to finish the song and quickly slapped on a new head. Members of the audience said they had no idea it even happened lol!

Another good one was forgetting to extend my bass drum spurs.. The kick slowly started sliding off the riser and away from the beater. The only time I have ever had to stop mid-song it was very embarrassing.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

A few weeks ago, I broke the mechanism that lets me tighten my throne to the post. I saw some weird piece of metal lying on the ground and couldn't figure out what it was until I went to break down my kit.

The throne still fits on the shaft fine, I just can't tighten it.
 

keepitgreen

Senior Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

So I have broken just about everything possible at the worst possible moments as I am sure most everyone has... but there is one that sticks out as a "WHAT!?" moment...

About ten years ago I was really laying into a groove, I believe it was the building solo during Evenflow by Pearl Jam, and we extended it and the dynamics went waaaaaay up.

So we're jamming and all in the sudden I'm pushing my bass drum pedal and there's no noise coming from it. I look down and much to my surprise the beater is gone and the half of the shaft that was left was stabbing into my bass drum head.

The bass drum beater shaft had broken in half. It was ridiculous and I still cant explain it. I akwardly finished the song by flipping my stick and using the butt end of the stick to play (poorly I'm sure) the rest of the song.

Luckily the sound guy was a drummer and he hesitantly let me borrow his bass drum beater for the rest of the night.

So what have you broken that was weird/amusing while playing?
Nearly the exact same thing happened to me about a year and 1/2 ago... We were a few song into a gig at a bar, and a local university act had opened for us.. The other drummer and I were sharing the house kit. Anyway, a couple of songs into our first set, and about half way through one of our original songs that has a real driving 4-on-the-floor bass beat, suddenly there was no more sound coming from the bass drum! I looked down and was horrified to see that the felt head of the beater was facing me, and the sharp plastic back of the beater was tearing a substantial rip into the head.... I stopped beating the pedal, and I think I finished the song using the floor tom to keep the 4/4 beat going, but it took a lot away from me being to do anything else through the song! There was no replacement head at all, so I had to finish the rest of the gig with the pedal awkwardly shifted off-center on the bass drum, avoiding the rip in the beater head. Challenging, but I managed...Barely...
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

1. Basically the same beater story. I noticed the sound and feel of the bass drum dramatically weaken. I looked down to see the felt beater was no longer there, just the rod. Don't know how i didn't poke a hole through the head.

2. Music stand with light loosened, collapsed and landed on my hi hats. Could not open the hats and of course during a tune with a ton of open hi hat accents!
 

evolving_machine

Silver Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

The beater broke off many years ago when I was using Ghost pedals. I spoke to some other drummers and I thought this only happened to me.

I am happy this forum lets me see how un-unique I am. When it happened, I looked at the shaft after it broke, and the shaft had that classic sheared off look to it that you get in a shear test fixture.

At the time I used to stuff my bass drums with pillows, so the beater had some resistance when the head was hit. Now, I hardly use any mutes on the bass drum and instead I have broken a few bass drum heads recent years.

I am curious how often this happens with other drummers. Would this happen often enough to warrant the manufacturing of thicker beater shafts? Or are these breakages just a weird thing happening because of heat-treatment or the use of steel with too many impurities?
 

keepitgreen

Senior Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I just remembered another great story that I gotta pass on... Nothing was broken per se, but still left a mark...

In my last year of high school, my band played at a "pit party". For anyone who grew up in rural Canada, these were an integral part of growing up. For those of you who didn't, first: I pity you, second: they were basically just a huge party in the middle of abandoned old gravel pits or rock quarries. The acoustics are incredible, so naturally we'd set up a stage with an old generator, drag our gear out, and rock all night. There'd be anywhere from a close group of friends to several 1000 people at some of these pit parties...

Anyway, at one of the last ones that I was involved in, the bass player decided to liven up our show with some pyrotechnics, which was basically just a bunch of roman candles and some sparklers. One of them was one of those spinning UFO sparkler thing, which basically launches up in the air, spinning around and shooting out sparks. I'm sure we've all seen them. So in the middle of a song, he pulls out a lighter and lights the fuse. It goes up about ten feet, does a quick left U-turn, and lands DIRECTLY on my hi-hats. This is mid song, and it's spinning and spitting sparks all over me. I remember gawking at it, but I reflexively swatted at it with my drum sticks, and knocked it off the hats and behind me. Into the dry grass behind the stage. Which then proceeded to ignite into a nice little grass fire. Thankfully there were a bunch of people who ran over and put it out, but not before the flames were licking up onto the stage and scorched the back-side directly behind me.

I'm pretty proud to say that I didn't stop playing, but kept things rolling.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

The Tom arm on my sonor 14x12.

I'm now anti floating floortoms.

Also had a beater fly out. Lucky I was using a double pedal and limped the rest of the way through the song.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I have also had a bass drum pedal beater fly off during a song, and I was also using double kick (although it was two drums), so I dropped the hats and finished left foot lamely. It was a great incentive to start working on left foot.

A worse incident happened about ten years ago. My band was playing a pretty big gig in a fairly prestigious club for the first time, and we wanted to knock it out of the park. We devised a short introductory instrumental that ended up with the band hitting paired eighth notes in unison, me hitting my two mounted "floor" toms on a rack -- DUN DUN ... DUN DUN ... DUN DUN! Halfway through the next song, the entire right side of my rack began rotating in towards me and falling apart. It turned out the t-clamp attaching the horizontal bar to the legs had snapped in two and the pipe was twisting freely between the bolts. My wife and I quickly wrapped about six yards of duct tape around it and I managed to baby it through the rest of the set. These days I don't use a rack.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

The Tom arm on my sonor 14x12.

I'm now anti floating floortoms.
One time I setup for a show, and some member of my band setup the floor tom for me to be nice. I have tape on it so they got the right height and I didn't even bother messing with it. About half way through the second song, there's a fun little "tribal" type part that includes lots of floor tom stuff with accents... And as I'm playing it, I notice the tom seems a bit wobbly. Then one of the 3 leg-sides suddenly collapses down on me! I kept going but it was really awkward, we got back to the main part of the song, then once more to the tribal thing... Yep, the whole tom slid down the feet almost all the way, it happened kinda slow, too. I was playing around the legs as they were higher than the top of the tom. Sure I looked ridiculous reaching down to reach it.

I guess whoever "setup" my floor tom neglected to turn the little knobs and tighten down the tom to the legs!
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

A few weeks ago, I broke the mechanism that lets me tighten my throne to the post. I saw some weird piece of metal lying on the ground and couldn't figure out what it was until I went to break down my kit.

The throne still fits on the shaft fine, I just can't tighten it.
My throne's been like this for a couple years now. On the upside, it's a Pearl throne with the memory lock that has a little hitch on it, so it locks into place, and prevents the seat from spinning. I really should get a new one...

Oh, and yes, this did happen on a gig. I guess the mechanism just gave out :(
 

TheHeelDrummer

Senior Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I have had the occasional slip of a wing nut, stand, and cymbal fall over...
A few weeks ago I was watching some unmarked DVDs from old shows and watched a bit of each one. In just about every SINGLE one it seems like a cymbal went flying through the air during the song I watched. Didnt feel like it happened that often but apparently it did. I had a Ludwig straight cymbal stand that I loved but the top swivel ALWAYS came loose. Couple that with the fact I lost the wing nut and didnt replace it for a while and it was dangerous to be my guitar player for a while.

I think it was funnier with the wing nut on though because the thing would just flop over and sit there taunting me for the rest of the song or until a break in the song.

Still have that Damned stand. Sentimental I guess.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

A snare stand.

Back in 99/2000 I was playing in this industrial hard rock band (think Rob Zombie).
Dynamics weren't much in this band, everything was played at 11.

The stand didn't give way during the show, thankfully. But as I packing it up, I noticed the casting had cracked. Not split at a seam, but cracked.

I wish I had taken a picture of it!
 

Smoke

Silver Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I haven't had gear break during a show (not a steady gigger), but did did lose power to an outdoor stage in the middle of "Margaritaville." The acoustic guitar and I played right through to the end of the song. Got some laughs and even more applause!
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I've snapped two different beater shafts in half. One was during a show and the other wasn't, luckily. I've put my beater through three bass drum heads in the last three years. I was very fortunate that all of these occurrences were during rehearsals. Now I always have an extra beater and kick head with me at a show. I also always have a backup snare all ready to go in case anything happens there. Seems like I break more bottom heads than top heads. What's up with that?
 

porter

Platinum Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

Also had a beater fly out. Lucky I was using a double pedal and limped the rest of the way through the song.
I have had that happen twice with my 9000 double pedal! Months inbetween (and many switches as well) so I don't know exactly why. Unfortunately, I use the single unit with that band, so I spent about a minute of the song just playing the snare and trying to fix it with my right hand... eventually just had to stop and start the song over again. It was the premier of a song I had written as well.

Luckily, the second time was during practice with the same band.

Not during a gig, but I also had the bassist's little brother fall on and knock over a cymbal stand onto cobblestone after I had moved it off the stage, cracking my prized 17" Saluda crash. Siiiigh~
 

TopHat

Senior Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I use Yamaha Drums and Hardware, I've never broken anything :)
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
Re: Whats the weirdest thing you ever broke on your kit during a gig?

I use Yamaha Drums and Hardware, I've never broken anything :)
One of the beater shafts I broke was from a Yamaha pedal. It had a titanium shaft. I've seen a few broken Yamaha tom mounts as well. I'm a Yamaha guy all the way but it's not indestructible.
 
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