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Banjo Joke

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GUEST,Sweeney 01 Apr 07 - 06:04 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Apr 07 - 06:37 AM
Moses 01 Apr 07 - 04:45 PM
Peace 01 Apr 07 - 04:47 PM
Balsto da Loteya 01 Apr 07 - 05:02 PM
Balsto da Loteya 01 Apr 07 - 05:04 PM
terrier 01 Apr 07 - 05:05 PM
The Fooles Troupe 01 Apr 07 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Gerry 01 Apr 07 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,banjoman 02 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM
BanjoRay 02 Apr 07 - 07:39 AM
BanjoRay 02 Apr 07 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Dicmack 02 Apr 07 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Greycap 02 Apr 07 - 09:00 AM
Roger the Skiffler 02 Apr 07 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM
Moses 02 Apr 07 - 12:01 PM
BanjoRay 02 Apr 07 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM
Waddon Pete 02 Apr 07 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Greycap 02 Apr 07 - 07:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Apr 07 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Greycap 02 Apr 07 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,The A Train 03 Apr 07 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,Gerry 03 Apr 07 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,Neovo 03 Apr 07 - 03:42 AM
GUEST,Sweeney 03 Apr 07 - 05:55 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Apr 07 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk 03 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM
nickp 03 Apr 07 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk 03 Apr 07 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Ewan 03 Apr 07 - 03:18 PM
Big Al Whittle 04 Apr 07 - 05:36 AM
Roger the Skiffler 04 Apr 07 - 09:34 AM
Dave Hanson 04 Apr 07 - 10:16 AM
Roger the Skiffler 05 Apr 07 - 09:30 AM
GUEST 06 Apr 07 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Greycap 06 Apr 07 - 07:58 PM
rock chick 07 Apr 07 - 12:10 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 07 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk 08 Apr 07 - 07:36 AM
GUEST 08 Apr 07 - 08:45 AM
GUEST 09 Apr 07 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Greycap 09 Apr 07 - 05:54 PM
Jim McLean 10 Apr 07 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Guest, Mike Rogers 10 Apr 07 - 12:14 PM
Ned Ludd 10 Apr 07 - 01:08 PM
avrosimones 12 Apr 07 - 01:23 PM
avrosimones 22 Apr 07 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Greycap 22 Apr 07 - 03:34 PM
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Subject: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Sweeney
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 06:04 AM

Click for the 'PermaThread™: List of all joke threads'


For UK banjo freaks, there is a programme on BBC1 TV this evening at 8.00p.m. when an alleged comedian Frank Skinner attempts to learn banjo in a few short months. The man given the task of attemting to teach him is Pete Stanley.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 06:37 AM

Apparently not all goes to plan, Frank and Pete don't see eye to eye.

eric


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Moses
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:45 PM

Pete Stanley and John Dowling have very different styles of teaching that may suit one person and not another. They are both very talented performers and musicians and, having had lessons at different times from both of them, I can vouch that even with the best teacher in the world if you don't practice you won't progress.

In Pete's words - If you want to play banjo, you have to play banjo.

From a very lazy and, ashamed to say, unpracticed would-be banjo player.

Christine


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Peace
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 04:47 PM

"Excuse me, sir. Could you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?"


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Balsto da Loteya
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:02 PM

mR pEACE dEAR: i AM AFRAID MY eNGLISH IS NOT GOOD, BUT |i THINK THE ANSWER TO YOUR Q


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Balsto da Loteya
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:04 PM

uestion is "playing with yourself"
Respectfully
Balsto


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: terrier
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 05:05 PM

is.......?


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 06:12 PM

The proper Answer is of course "Practice! Practice! Practice!"


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 01 Apr 07 - 09:01 PM

But a more musical answer is, take the A train.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM

watched the Frank Skinner prog last night - well worth it - I dont think Pete Stanley came across as a very enthusiatic teacher although I respect his playing ability. I remember seeing him years ago with Wiz Jones and thinking then that he came across as a bit abrasive to the audience.
Anyway - well done Frank Skinner and to the producers who may have finally laid to rest all the crap thats spouted about banjos - to quote Frank Skinner "Its just a beautiful instrument"
Keep picking Frank


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: BanjoRay
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:39 AM

I was very impressed with John Dowling as a teacher and as a banjo player. He sorted out Frank's problems (except the stage fright) very quickly. I've seen him at a few festivals over the last few years, he's made an impact at Sore Fingers Summer School (near Stow On The Wold) and he'll be teaching beginner's bluegrass banjo there in a week's time, so catter's can try him out!
Ray


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: BanjoRay
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:42 AM

Another good thing about the program was the emphasis on how great a live acoustic jam can be - something you never see any reference to normally - and the friendliness and good humour at festivals. Well done, Frank.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Dicmack
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:41 AM

To try to learn a new instrument and achieve competition standard within four months was very ambitious, even with inlimited practice time.
I agree with the comments about Pete's teaching style/committment. I play a basic Pete Seegar picking style and can pass myself in company but I've always found bluegrass difficult to master.Having tried to teach myself bluegrass at various times over the years I now realise I need a new teacher.

For anyone who has never stood in front of an audience they might never have realised how difficult this can be and even for an experienced stage performer Frank was very nervous.

I particularly liked the comments in my newspaper that referred to the banjo as "a natoriously difficult instrument to play" and have taken great delight in showing this to my friends.

Well done Frank for having a go.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:00 AM

If I may be forgiven for taking Pete Stanley's side, as I worked with hime for five years,in the discussion of last night's programme, I felt that Skinner came across as a complete and utter pillock, with little or no understanding of the music or culture he was hoping to assimilate.
My humble opinion ...


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:37 AM

...and it was unrealistic to enter him for that competition after such a short learning period. His first comedy performance in front of an audience was probably a local pub or club NOT the Royal Coomand Performance so I'm not surprised he had nerves- his first comedy performance was probably awful (...some would say still is- but at least he's not nervous!).
RtS


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 11:15 AM

So, John Dowling "sorted out Frank's problems (except the stage fright) very quickly" ? seeing Skinner's final performance I didn't see much/any evidence of this. I am not putting down Dowling's obvious ability as a player or Pete Stanley as a player/teacher. The whole idea of the programme(s) was completely unrealistic and it is obvious that the people that produced the programme know nothing about the music.
A complete disaster of a programme in my humble opinion.

I wonder if there is any chance that one of the TV stations might repeat Mathew Whitehead's programme "Echoes of America". This was one programme made by intelligent people that treated the instrument with knowledge and respect and showed what the instrument is capable of.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Moses
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:01 PM

I enjoyed the programme and Good on the producers for, if nothing else, bringing to the public's notice that it can be possible to learn a new instrument once you are out of your teens. Old dogs new tricks and all that.

The programme with Jo Brand illustrated, to me, that my impression that the pipe organ was akin to a glorified piano were totally misplaced and that the playing techniques are vastly different. I found that programme enlightening and entertaining.

I think that the programmes are meant to be fun and meant to show that making music can be fun but at the same time showing that it's not a piece of cake for the average person to learn any instrument.

Maybe Jo Public will appreciate musicianship a little more for having it spelled out that it all takes hard work and dedication.

And, who knows, maybe a few more people will try their hands at this making music lark.

Christine


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: BanjoRay
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:18 PM

Hootenanny - in his competition performance Frank Skinner tried to play what was a good arrangement of John Hardy, which I suspect he'd got sussed in his practicing. It's the stage fright that prevented him from making a good job of it, causing him to lose his thread a few times. I've tried playing banjo in front of an audience of American experts and I know the feeling - it's desperate unless you know the tune so well you can play it while thinking of other things entirely. I agree the makers had no clue about the music and the culture.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 12:31 PM

So Ray,

What part of the programme did I miss where Frank showed that his problem had been sorted out?

I'll have to check and see if any one I know taped it so I can watch and see the miracle performed.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 01:40 PM

Hello,

I think the best part of the programme was the part where Frank said that he would carry on playing the banjo...because he enjoyed it!

....I guess we've all suffered from stage fright!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 07:36 PM

To continue on this thread, if the BBC really wanted to put forward a British candidate at the Winfield, Kansas banjo festival/competition, no finer person would have been Pete Stanley,a performer whose many years of devotion, experience, talent and love of American folk banjo styles should have been evident to any panel of judges.He could have walked it.
Instead, they chose a total clown with no knowledge of the music whatsoever, he just wanted further exposure for himself on television, to further his shallow aims in what passes for humour.
This is what you money goes on when you pay your TV licence to the BBC!!! Anyone else agree?
Oh, I do get to be a grumpy old man sometimes, sorry, folks,
Roger Knowles


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:10 PM

Greycap

the bean counters decided that the watching public would prefer a known name, even if he was an utter klutz and failed utterly (and thus they could laugh at him) instead of an unknown, no matter how competent he was. I suspect that a few failed ex-US TV executives were involved in that decision...

Many of us unknowns fight this sort of discrimination!


:-)


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:14 PM

That's about right-you got it.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,The A Train
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:27 AM

The A Train doesn't go to Carnegie Hall. It goes to Harlem.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 01:54 AM

Yes, the A train goes to Harlem, and past Harlem, to Washington Heights, and Inwood. But you can get off at 59th Street and walk from there to Carnegie Hall.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:42 AM

To Greycap and Foulestroupe - this was not about Britain trying to win the competition, it was about trying to encourage people to take up musical instruments by showing novices reaching targets and achieving in a short space of time. Whatever you may think about Frank Skinner's comedy, the programme gave some encouraging insights. Pete Stanley is clearly a cracking banjo player of the highest order - but maybe not talented as a teacher. Another pupil might have responded better to his teaching style. What matters is that Frank found a teacher whose style he could respond to and succeeded.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Sweeney
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 05:55 AM

If this programme was about encouraging people to take up musical instruments why wasn't more music used? Surely more should have been shown of the informal session where complete strangers can get together and play and have a good time even without being virtuosi.
The programme seemed to be about Skinner and his faffing around instead of getting down to learning. He mentioned at the beginning of the programme that he had taken up several things such as horse riding, skating etc and always gave up a little way through, this seems to be what he did here. His "guitar playing" seems to have gone the same way. Another question that I can't quite fathom is why the TV camera crew went to a small Bluegrass get together in Surrey to film a very brief extract of Pete's playing, why wasn't Frank there getting a little taste of what his chosen instrument and music was all about. I guess there must have a football match on that afternoon.
I tend to agree with Greycap with regard to BBC TV, it's my money that they are spending on downmarket crap. I'm a little surprised that we weren't all asked to e-mail or text or push our red buttons to vote for Frank Skinner at Winfield.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:16 AM

"I'm a little surprised that we weren't all asked to e-mail or text or push our red buttons to vote for Frank Skinner at Winfield."

Damn! And they thought they would spring that one on next year as a big "surprise development of the concept"! That business makes lots of money from the suckers audience too!


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Black Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:23 AM

I agree with Greycap & Sweeney.

Pete Stanley tried to teach Frank a tune to play at the Competition (the one he did play). He wrote out & demonstrated a style (3-finger). Frank decided he knew better & practiced 2-finger style. Then blamed Pete when he was struggling.
His new teacher taught him scales but the tune he played in the comp was Petes played 3-finger style.
He failed because of nerves/ inexperience.

A couple of things here.
1. If I had to play a tune on an instrument I had not played before (i.e. piano) with a deadline, I would like to have the notes pointed out to me & practice playing those notes until they were second nature. I would not have time to learn basic scales, sight reading, history of the instrument etc. This seemed to me the way Pete was going. (This is not to decry John Downing)

2. Far from encouraging people, I believe it is giving the message that any instrument can be learnt up to concert standard very quickly. We all know this is not true. Its another case of 'pop idol' syndrome - when do we want it, we want it NOW!

3. I would like to have seen part of the programme given over to performances by true players (Pete & John etc.) to show what can be done thru HARD WORK rather than the small snippets we saw.

(I also took note of Franks statement that he had tried many things and given up when the going got tough.)


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: nickp
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:33 AM

Yeah, please show "Echoes of America" again.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Black Hawk
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 08:28 AM

Re-reading my post above I realise it may be open to mis-interpretation. I hope it reads that IMO Pete Stanley was trying to teach Frank the tune he was to compete with & not to confuse him with musical theory. (Have you heard Frank sing on his TV shows? Should be edited out it is the worst I have heard , ever).


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Ewan
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:18 PM

Skinner was a serious to**er maybe if he continues he will learn his dummy came out with his teacher and thats why he choked on stage. His ego was incredible and I can see now what a low level clown he is. Stick to football Frank thats your level.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 05:36 AM

I enjoyed the programme. Real musicians on telly - I thought I'd entered an alternative universe.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 09:34 AM

I think the failure of this series is the emphasis on "competition" and "deadlines". If it is really menat to encourage oldies to learn an instrument, the "fun" element (like Frank playing casually with the campfire group before the competition)should be emphasised. The competition/public concert (as with Jo Brand) element just made it another competitive reality tv show.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 10:16 AM

Has anyone got as many hub caps as Pete Stanley ?

eric


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 09:30 AM

While we're on Joking Banjos...
In the current issue of Jazz UK the guy in charge of Derby Jazz is interviewed. To the question on his booking policy he replies: "Anything that doesn't have banjos in it".

RtS


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 01:39 PM

I saw this programme and thought Frank dealt admirably with the challenge and for putting up with obsessive-compulsive bore, Pete Stanley. Although my favourite part of the show was when miserable Stanley took a swipe David Baddiel, who always borders on arrogrant smugness. In my view Skinner is a talented comedian with a very quick wit that few could match...


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 07:58 PM

Well, Guest, you are allowed your opinion.
I failed to detect any humour,wit or musical talent or application whatsoever in Frank Skinner in the limited time I watched him on the programme in question. I'm often wrong however...convince me.
What I do know, for certain from personal experience, is that Pete Stanley has lots of musical talent, an ability to teach his subject to many happy receptive & keen students, and feel that he was badly represented by the BBC on this occasion.
I've known Pete since about 1963. worked with him full-time for a few years on radio, tv, recording studios,in many countries, and don't want to hear from you or anyone else that he couldn't teach a person to play banjo in four months to the standard required for the Winfield festival. It's an impossible task.
John Dowling couldn't do it either, nice man that he is, I'm sure. Frank Skinner simply hasn't got the application, knowledge of the subject or drive required.
The BBC are only interested in the programme, not the music.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: rock chick
Date: 07 Apr 07 - 12:10 PM

Quick banjo joke then i am outta here.

Just because its got a skin doesn't mean it's gone off (BG) sad joke i know but it makes me smile, ;-))


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 06:58 AM

If you really were interested in seeing Frank in his profession, Greycap, I'd advise you catch his current tour. If you're lucky he might even have a few choice words to say about banjo playing in his performance.

You should be aware I only described the perception I got of Pete Stanley in the programme (as I don't him in real life). I'm not sure how well you know Frank (perhaps your great mate, Pete told you about him), but you have asserted your critical verdict of him on this forum like he was your former pupil. And finally in in my defence, I never once claimed to be able to teach anybody the banjo in any time frame.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Black Hawk
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 07:36 AM

Guest
My reading of his posts is that Greycap did not suggest that you claimed to teach banjo, his remark was that nobody 'including John Dowling' could teach to the required standard in 4 months. If you took it personal does that mean that you are John Dowling?


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 07 - 08:45 AM

Black Hawk,

After re-reading Greycap's post I see I mistook "he" for "who". I apologise my erroneous scan and no I'm not John Dowling. Although I wonder why Greycap harshly blasts Skinner when he admits himself teaching the banjo in four months to the Winfield standard is an impossible task?


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 05:03 PM

Hello everyone

Two and a half years ago, I decided to take up the five-string banjo. After struggling with teach-it-yourself manuals for a couple of months, I sought out a teacher, and was fortunate enough to come across Pete Stanley.

I have found Pete an effective and inspiring tutor. Moreover, he is a kind and patient man, and it would be foolish to judge either him or his ability as a teacher on the grounds of a pressure-cooker situation where a very busy man aims to achieve an extremely difficult goal while being filmed by the BBC.

Dave Watkins


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 05:54 PM

Hi, Folks,
back again. I harshly blast Skinner 'cos he apparently showed no real interest in banjo music, or in practising like hell when it was obviously needed.
He came across as pretty shallow in the music application area.
I could go on further, but I think we've exhausted the subject.
That's all, I'm out of this thread,
Cheers,
Roger


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 06:50 AM

I've known Pete since the early 60s and once shared a house with him. He was never abrasive or arrogant and always appeared to be a very reasonable guy and a great banjo player. The BBC can do a lot with their editing suite and I don't think they did Pete a lot of favours.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Guest, Mike Rogers
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 12:14 PM

The Beeb, in its infinite wisdom, decided that a complete no talent could be taught 5-string to a high level within 4 months. Oh yes,this is the same organaisation investing megabucks in Doctor Who and its spin-offs. Perhaps that explains it.
Next time they decide to waste our money, they might like to take the trouble to find some unknown who would dearly love to master the instrument and who would be prepared to put the effort in.
To reach a decent standard with any instrument requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Thank gawd for Pete Stanley.

The idle and untalented Skinner should concentrate on his feeble comedy.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 10 Apr 07 - 01:08 PM

I enjoyed the prog and knowing a few banjo players both successful and failed, didn't expect Frank to succeed at the competition. I think it unfair to Knock either him or the two teachers for lack of competence or idleness, as I thought he attained a fair standard in a relatively short time.Fair enough I think this type of program is flawed and it will be nice when they are out of vogue.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: avrosimones
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 01:23 PM

Just for anyone who may be interested, Pete Stanley is playing at Green Note in Camden next Friday (20th April)

See www.greennote.co.uk for more details.

Specific gig info here


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: avrosimones
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 12:03 PM

I went to the gig on Friday - Pete Stanley was incredible. It was great to see bnajo being played as it should be.
Which recordings would anyone recommend of Pete or similar artists?

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Joke
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 03:34 PM

avrosimones,
E-mail me at: roger.knowles2@ntlworld.com with your postal address and I'll send you some cds of stuff Pete & I recorded in the 70's. It's a bit old now but I feel it's still ok,
Roger


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