Volunteer Lighting Guy Saves Molly Hatchet

Posted 19 Jul 2010 in Artist News, Guitar Heroics

From the Olean Times Herald:

SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — If music fans who attended Friday night’s Molly Hatchet band concert enjoyed the smooth playing of guitarist Bobby Ingram, they’ve got a Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo volunteer to thank.
After a unique guitar normally played by Ingram was lost by an airline en route to Billings, SPURS volunteer Joe Campbell offered up his own guitar for Ingram to play at the show.
Ingram performed the concert using Campbell’s Gibson Les Paul guitar for all but one song of the band’s performance.
Concert volunteer Doug Meier was notified of the situation Friday afternoon by a phone call from Molly Hatchet’s tour manager informing him that the guitarist’s prized Gibson Les Paul had been misplaced by the airline and wouldn’t arrive in time to be used for the Sheridan concert.
The tour manager then asked Meier if he could try to locate the same model.
“I asked around and found that they’re really hard to find,” Meier said. “I was telling Joe about my issues and the phone call I’d gotten, and he said, ‘I’ve got one of those sitting at home.’ It never dawned on me to ask him if he had one.”
A software developer and Sheridan native, Campbell spent 15 years working as a set carpenter and stage manager for a variety of rock bands, including Metallica. Campbell describes himself as a hobbyist guitarist who owns about six guitars.
He offered his Gibson Les Paul to Ingram, not knowing if Molly Hatchet’s guitarist would even want to use it during the band’s performance.
“The guitar tech said if he likes it, he’ll play it,” Campbell said. “It has a distinct sound. I bought it because guitar players I’ve liked have always had them.”
When the Molly Hatchet band hit the stage, Campbell was operating the spotlight that followed Ingram. Campbell said he was pleased when he noticed that Ingram was wielding his personal guitar.
“I was up there waiting for them to start, and I thought I could sort of see it,” Campbell said. “I was proud he played the whole show with it, so he didn’t hate the way he sounded.”
Meier praised Campbell’s quick thinking as a symbol of the community effort that helps Sheridan residents pull off a successful Rodeo Week. He noted that Campbell is a four-year volunteer whose background in live concert production has been appreciated.
“He’s been there every year for us, and his knowledge and experience are really an irreplaceable asset for the Wyo-Rodeo in putting on the concert,” Meier said. “Sheridan never ceases to amaze me.”
Campbell said that Ingram was gracious and appreciative of the loaned guitar, which the band’s guitar tech restrung for him.
“It proved to me the problem isn’t the guitar, it’s the playing, and someone can play that guitar,” Campbell joked. “It sounded really good.”

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