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Classic Rock N Recall: Rolling Stones Keith Richards and Big Wally Electrocuted

(Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images

Today In Classic Rock History

In 1965
Keith Richards was knocked unconscious during a concert In Sacramento, California, when he touched an ungrounded mic with his electric guitar.  After a brief interruption, Richards returned to finish the show.

And here’s how Keith Richards and Big Wally share the same ‘Beast of Burden.’  No. It’s not that I can swing the Axe like my main man from merry old England.  It’s the ‘ELECTRIC’ personality we both exude.

I also, was electrocuted….

Yup, it was about ten years ago on a Sunday morning at SpiediFest. I used to be the guy for the radio group that was ‘charged’ with making things happen at all our events. And that literally happened that day.

I was setting up our sound system, right next to Tall Pines farm Stoves and Fireplaces. It was around 9am, and I was attempting to innocently plug a speaker wire into the sound system, as I had done thousands of times before.

As I grabbed the tent pole to stretch over the table and behind the sound unit. And as I plugged the wire into the unit, I felt this amazingly huge rush of energy surge through my body, and it didn’t stop. It kept going, and going, and going. Why? I could not let go of the metal tent pole.

Uh oh…

I was conscious, and new exactly what was going on. But I could not stop it and I could not let go. I knew that I HAD TO LET GO and I HAD TO LET GO NOW.

I have no idea how long I was electrically attached to the pole. What I did know was that I had to try something… ANYTHING.

There was no one around to see this. I was on my own. So… I remember looking at my feet and thinking ‘PUSH!’  I mustered everything I had into that ‘PUSH’, and it wasn’t much, but the next thing I remember is being propelled backwards into the south field at Otsiningo Park in Binghamton.

My heart was beating 3 times faster than Billy Idol’s ‘Shock to the System!’ My breathing was fast and furious, and I was spitting grass that dogs probably peed on, outta my mouth. But I didn’t care. I don’t know exactly how but I was free from my electrified pole dance.

After what seemed like a long time, I tried to get up, and felt a knee in the middle of my back. It was the EMT’s at SpiediFest who were there to check me out. They were alerted by George from Tall Pines Farm and I am forever in his debt. Thank you George.

The EMS people made sure I was carted off to the hospital to get checked out. Apparently there is a bunch of things that can go wrong inside your body when you have a New York State Electric and Gas substation attached to your body.

It’s truly amazing how many people said they saw it all happen. How many different versions of this story exist. And how many different locations this all happened at.
I just smile because everyone wants to be be part of a sensational story. That is, unless they ARE the sensational story!

The cause of my mishap? An an ungrounded cable with a broken insulator plugged into a gas powered generator.

As it turned out, all my parts were in fine working order and the Docs let me go home that same day.  I was no worse for wear, AND I had one heck of a story to tell. And apparently, I am the only who can tell it, correctly.

 

 

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