The members of Steel Panther are reasonably certain that their entire band and crew got infected by the novel coronavirus while touring Europe this past winter.
Guitarist Satchel told Q104.3 New York's QN'A in a recent conversation that nearly everyone traveling with the band this past January got sick with a severe cold or flu. While the band didn't think much of it at the time, in retrospect, all indications suggest it was COVID-19.
"Our singer [Michael Starr] got tested for antibodies, and he had it," Satchel said. "We all had different reactions to it. Our tour manager got really knocked on his ass by it. But the rest of us, it felt kind of like a cold. So it can affect everybody differently. It wasn't until months later — recently, that we came to that conclusion."
Satchel said that band saw the same reports out of China as everyone else. But like most people, they assumed the virus had stayed in China.
"It definitely hit our tour manager like a ton of bricks," he continued. "One day he was okay and the next he couldn't get out of bed, so he isolated for a couple days. He ended up traveling — he didn't know he had coronavirus either. He traveled home to the states and probably gave it to a hundred people on the way."
New studies suggest the virus had made its way around the world within a few months of its discovery in Wuhan, China.
Steel Panther is launching its 'Concert to Save the World' this Sunday, June 7 at 5 p.m. Eastern/ 2 p.m. Pacific, in a benefit for Live Nation's Crew Nation Fund, which provides assistance to touring personnel who can't work because of the pandemic, and the Heavenly Pets Animal Rescue in Los Angeles.
Satchel says the band is looking forward to making a big donation and to seeing how willing fans are to pay for a live concert that they can enjoy from home.
"When people are home, people are conditioned to get everything for free," he says. "So this is a test run for us; can we do a show online and actually get people to pay $10 - $15 to see it?
With live concerts not likely to resume anytime soon, virtual ones could provide a critical revenue source for struggling musicians.
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