Everyone knows music has positive soothing effects but ask a builder or engineer about music and they’ll pour naught but scorn. Many a stage in the history of live performance has had to be fortified against collapse due to sheer sonic power, not just from slap-dash work by custard-brained roadies.
Only recently a section of a restaurant’s roof collapsed onto diners below due ‘a vociferous rendition of the Happy Birthday song’. The construction industry is now calling for the compulsory testing of all complex structures utilising music.
Leading the testing field is Shakin’ Stevens, real name Steven Shakins, whose CV of construction industry toe-tapping safety talents include: precisely controlled structural analysis, building demolition, minefield clearance and quarrying. Stevens has also demonstrated the capacity to clear thick fog at major international airports utilising vortices created through pelvic gyrations.
Testing of complex structures can involve an a Capella run-through of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ for short-span bridges right through to a full band jam of ‘This Ole House’ for earthquake-proofing skyscrapers. The Atomic Energy Commission now insist all nuclear reactors are constructed to withstand a subterranean ‘Marie Marie’, equivalent to 9.7 on the Richter scale.
In the aftermath of recent bridge and building tragedies, calls for compulsory testing of all new superstructures by musicians have been cranked up to 11. When it comes to structural safety there’s no need for constructors’ heads to rock and roll, which almost happened with the opening of the Millennium Bridge in London.
A 400 page analytical report compiled by Shakey on the structural integrity of the footbridge concluded: ‘it wouldn’t withstand a rendition of ‘Lipstick, Powder and Paint’, even if I whispered it whilst wearing marshmallow sneakers.’ A damning indictment and comprehensive warning from a safety professional that ultimately fell on deaf ears.
The final word is given to one of the architects of the Millennium Bridge, ‘We were pushed for time, we knew we shouldn’t have opened the bridge up to the public. There was a problem within the first few bars of ‘Green Door’. The whole structure adopted a waveform with a frequency synchronised to Mr Stevens. That bridge wanted to be Shakey, and for a few precious verses, it was.’