Note. Being a musician is not always nice and pleasant, as it turns out. Let the following story be an eye-opener for everyone who’s thinking about starting a stage career.
I used to work in a concert venue and one of my many jobs was to set up the performer’s equipment on stage.
Every day, I would be running around plugging in amplifiers and instruments and it never occurred to me that I might be in danger despite the rather run down nature of the club.
Now, I hear that a guitarist has suffered horrible burns from a massive electric shock he received as he was about to start playing.
Dominic Zyntek is a singer and guitarist from Coventry who was part of a covers band called The Vinyl Countdown. In November 2012, the group had landed a gig on board the P&O Ferry Pride of Hull and were to play AC/DC tracks on the sailing from Rotterdam in Holland to Hull.
The night before the gig, a member of the entertainments crew on the ship had received a serious electric shock from the equipment on stage which resulted in a hospital visit.
The problem was supposed to have been corrected before Zyntek and his band took to the stage the following evening, but disaster struck again just as they were about to do a sound check for the gig.
As Zyntek reached for his guitar and microphone, he received the enormous shock as the rest of the band looked horrified and screaming.
Poor Dominic had bitten his tongue and was spitting blood making the incident appear even more horrific. His fellow band members were shouting for help and thought he was going to die.
Zyntek received severe burns to the hands and was rushed to hospital. More than a year from the incident, he still experiences pain despite a lengthy treatment regime and has sadly given up music.
The shock was caused by a faulty adaptor which had also been the cause of the incident the night before but was inadequately repaired.
Ironically, The Vinyl Countdown were to have performed the AC/DC tracks Flick on the Switch, High Voltage and Live Wire! Zyntek has described the shock as feeling like being burned alive and after the incident, he engaged lawyers to assist in his fight for compensation.
He received a payout of L6240 after the Ferry company admitted liability. P&O launched an investigation and took the appropriate action to ensure that such a situation would not happen again.
It is a pity that they didn’t think to do that before the band played! All that was required was a circuit breaker.
When I stumbled across this story, I couldn’t help wondering how close I came to suffering a similar fate. To say health and safety was an afterthought in those days would be an understatement.
I am sure the electrics were dodgy and there were always wires and cables everywhere just waiting for someone to trip over them.
I am sorry to hear that Dominic Zyntek has given up music. Perhaps he could continue, but maybe with acoustic instruments in the future, although it sounds like he was a bit of a rocker!
Head photo by pagedooley / CC BY 2.0
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her shop.