I Had No Idea Electric Guitars Were So Damn Dangerous

Well, they are electric. But, I guess I'd never really thought about it. But if you've never wondered what happens if there isn't proper grounding, watch this.

That's Bae Chul-soo, the singer for the legendary Korean band Song Gol Meh. The clip is super old, but was recently unearthed on Japanese site Livedoor News.

The shock burned his hand, but he turned out ok! He's currently a famous radio personality in South Korea. Here, you can hear him interview Noel Gallagher a few years back, and check out this funky Song Gol Meh track "A Chance Encounter" right here.

As tipster Sang points out, there wasn't an ambulance, so they had to pack him up in an auto rickshaw and transport him to a hospital. The announcer said (via Sang), "We are very sorry on this live broadcast. It looks like Mr. Bae has been electrocuted. We are live right now. We are very sorry."

While Yahoo! Answers (heh) says electric guitars are not dangerous, here's an electronics technician saying, "What usually happens is you touch a mike and ZAP, you bounce back, you lose track of the lyrics for a second, but then things are OK, no harm done. But this is dangerous."

感電 韓国製怖い リアル電撃ネットワーク [Hey [email protected]]


    Bad grounding of stage / studio gear is a genuine fear to have. There was an infamous gig played by Tool years ago in Newcastle where they left the stage after two songs. The rumour at the time was that the roof was leaking, but I later heard that their sound guy was getting constant shocks while working the board.

    I'd believe it.

    I played the same stage a few years later, and while doing sound check got a huge jolt through my hand when i went to re-position my mic while holding my guitar. Nothing as bad as the above though. The fix was to move my amp to another circuit. People forget that most stage and audio systems are hooked up to three-phase power, so if the grounding is wired wrong it is not a tickle.

    Can't happen in Australia as far as I know, but I do remember reading about 12 people a year die from this in the US. If you want to be extra careful get a Taylor, they have a safety mechanism in them for just this reason.

    And you're right, it's not the guitar doing it, it's touching the mike and creating a loop.

      Has happened her in Australia. Melbourne Espy hotel some years ago. A band called "67 Special" playing in the front bar. Lead singer holding his guitar (fingers on strings) approached the mic touched it with his lips......and POP. the stage was shut down and off to hospital he went. "ER- Emergency" one of those Australian reality hospital shows where filming that night and filmed him as he was treated. Small burns and a little shaky but otherwise fine. Very lucky.

        If their power was up to safety standards I'm pretty sure it can't happen here, I guess that's a long shot with a lot of old venues though! Glad he was okay.

    If touched microphones before on stage (in Australia) and have felt a pulse coming from the microphone to my hand, and even have been zapped (a little more than a static zap, but every time and with no recharge time) when going to sing into it. I've linked it to dodgy DIY electrical work where the earth is leaking (well that's what my electrician friend told me).

    I'm more surprised the poster didn't know this was a thing (well more of a thing of the past since safety is better these days).

    Also, it happened in "Almost Famous" and well-documented numerous real life cases.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now