Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Loudest Band in the World

It began as a simple question about amplification. I was chatting with Paul, (refer to 'Tuesday Night Ride') the former bass player with Doc Walker and I asked him how bands are able to jack the volume for their shows.

(Paul's in the back left)

I was anticipating a technically in-depth response but Paul simply said, "You take a hockey stick and lay it on the sound board and then push all the sliders up at once!"

Awesome! He also said Doc Walker was the loudest band he's ever played in. Now that's my kind of country. And that started the wheels spinning, I wondered which band is the loudest.

Let's start with a band that's synonymous with loud shows The Who.

On May 31st 1976, they set the record at 126dB.

In 1984 the band Manowar made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the loudest band in the world. A record which they have since broken on 2 occasions.

(For a good laugh, click on this link to a Google search of Manowar images. OMG I almost cracked a nut!)

They hit a measurement of 129.5db in 1994 in Hanover. They then broke that record at the Magic Circle Fest in 2008 hitting 139 frickn' dB's, that's loud mo-fo!

One band has allegedly hit the 140db mark. New York noise rock band, Swans apparently has hit the mark on a few occasions however, it's never been officially verified. WTF is noise rock?

Our boys Motörhead, 'Everything Louder Than Everyone Else', officially hit 132 decibels in 1985. Ya, but they've unofficially gone way higher. And if you've ever gone to a concert and experienced the ringing in your ears for days following the show, you'll know what 132db (and higher) feels like. There isn't a band out there that doesn't hit in the upper 130's nightly. So... nuff' said.

In Europe there's a Commission looking at putting limits on noise in the work place which could impact live concerts. Here's a write up on Lemmy's response in NME.

Which brings me to one of the reason Lemmy can crank out the sound.

Last year Marshall released the 1992Lem Signature Series Super Bass 100 watt head amp.

Lemmy has pet names for his amp stacks. 'No Remorse' & 'Killer' were on his left side and 'Murder One' was on the right. 'Murder One' blew up so he replaced it with 'Marsha'. BTW those cool bronze wreaths and stars on the face, Lemmy found em' in a small road side antique shop during a fuel and lunch stop while on tour through the US mid-west.

Here he is in action in front of his stacks.

I'm not musically inclined nor am I that knowledgeable when it come to instruments and gear so I'll leave that to the experts.

Here's a couple of articles on Lemmy's 1992Lem Bass Amp from premiereguitar.com and gearwire.com

All I know is that Jim Marshall himself, with Lemmy's input, help design and build the signature series line.

Jim and his crew also designed a signature series line named after Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Randy Rhoads and Jimmy Hnedrix. Kerry and Marshall produced this video to give folks a chance to see what Kerry's series looks and sounds like.

That's one kick a$$ set of amps.

In one other article I read, it states Lemmy is the only bass player in the world (not confirmed) to have a line of amps named after him.

If you want to buy a stack for yourself there is a few for sale on eBay.

Just under $7,000.

I thought this was inventive. Take a look at this Heavy Metal amp picture I found. Now, look closely at the 'loudness' knob. The blue sticker indicates the dial has been modified and now goes to 11.

You knew invariably, this post was going down this road. Speaking of going to eleven....

This is a snap of Nigel's Marshall amp and face plate. Marshall was actually commissioned to make (source: Telegraph.co.uk) the amp for the movie 'This is Spinal Tap'.

From what I've read and according to recent reviews, the new documentary called 'Anvil, the story of Anvil' is the real life version of Spinal Tap.

(click on poster to see the trailer)
The trailer is hilarious. I've just picked up a copy of the flick, so I'll post a review soon.

Ace ♠

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