It happened last night when Rebecca did music solo on the deck at Seven Bridges Grille and Brewery on Jacksonville’s southside. Just as she started a song, there was a pop. It was not a pretty pop. For a second, I thought she’d torched a guitar string. Then I saw the look on her face. Her first sound system, the one she bought when she started performing as a solo artist, had gone belly up.
It took her only a few minutes to address the problem by switching some equipment out. Fortunately, she had been able to park close to the deck. Once she’d done the switch, she proceeded as though everything was great. I knew better because she knew she was looking at having to buy another system.
Not long ago she had actually purchased another system, a bigger one. But because she does music fulltime she has to have two systems available, and she matches the system to the venue. Last week she had been talking with us about picking up another small system because the Stagepas 500 was ageing. As we loaded her gear after the show last night, I told her I felt like we needed to hold a memorial service for that first system because it was a workhorse of epic proportions.
The Stagepas 500 had traveled alongside Rebecca to shows in Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Florida—wherever the music led her. That system had held up for I have no idea how many performances for roughly 6 ½ years. This was her staple system for average-sized venues once she bought the other system. She and her bandmates also used it for various practices, video sessions, and other purposes. There was one event where the festival stage wasn’t anchored, and it tipped, toppling the equipment. That system survived that ordeal and 100+ heat.
She’s hauled that system into restaurants, pubs, and festivals in all kinds of weather. For several years, it was her only system, and it held up for all that and held up some more.
As we headed home last night, she fretted over what a new system was going to cost, but she had to admit the irony in it because she’d just come off of one of her biggest months ever. I told her equipment of any kind always knows when you tuck away a little money for a rainy day. I recalled when her dad and I were young, with two small children, and the stove, washing machine, and my hair dryer decommissioned themselves in a one-week span, one right after the other. We were living paycheck to paycheck, but we found a way to replace them all. I tried to make her feel better, but that’s admittedly hard when you’re trying to comfort a working musician.
It’s funny how you can develop affection for an inanimate object that is animated only when you bring it alive. But losing that first system last night brought back a treasure trove of memories of all the places and people who’ve welcomed her and her music, from her early solo-only days to her sister Jen Day Thompson coming on board and ultimately to bandmates Wes Goode, Chris Sands, and others.
So this post is an ‘in memoriam’ to that Stagepas 500 sound system that helped enable her to realize her dream, one that served her well through all sorts of challenges and in all manner of strange and distant places. It paid for itself many times over. All I can say to that particular system is, “Well done,” and thanks.
She’s currently looking at new systems. She’ll go for a Yamaha again and The Crazy Daysies will take it to places distant and near.
By way of disclosure, no one in this music family gets a dime for praising that system or any other product. We just like to give credit where it’s due, and that Stagepas 500 is definitely due some serious credit.
(Kay B. Day/July 18, 2019)