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BS: What was new is old again

BeauDangles 09 May 00 - 01:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 00 - 02:07 PM
SINSULL 09 May 00 - 02:30 PM
catspaw49 09 May 00 - 02:35 PM
Peg 09 May 00 - 02:40 PM
Amergin 09 May 00 - 02:40 PM
Peg 09 May 00 - 02:58 PM
Whistle Stop 09 May 00 - 03:03 PM
Mbo 09 May 00 - 03:04 PM
Wesley S 09 May 00 - 03:28 PM
Jon Freeman 09 May 00 - 03:42 PM
SINSULL 09 May 00 - 04:05 PM
BeauDangles 09 May 00 - 04:25 PM
catspaw49 09 May 00 - 04:34 PM
Sourdough 09 May 00 - 04:56 PM
Bert 09 May 00 - 05:46 PM
BeauDangles 09 May 00 - 05:53 PM
BeauDangles 09 May 00 - 06:10 PM
catspaw49 09 May 00 - 06:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 00 - 06:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 00 - 06:34 PM
Jon Freeman 09 May 00 - 06:52 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 09 May 00 - 06:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 00 - 07:24 PM
sophocleese 09 May 00 - 07:24 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 09 May 00 - 08:27 PM
SINSULL 09 May 00 - 08:29 PM
Racer 09 May 00 - 10:53 PM
sophocleese 10 May 00 - 12:20 AM
Sourdough 10 May 00 - 12:29 AM
Sourdough 10 May 00 - 12:32 AM
Amergin 10 May 00 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 10 May 00 - 04:20 AM
Whistle Stop 10 May 00 - 08:58 AM
Bert 10 May 00 - 10:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 May 00 - 10:24 AM
Night Owl 10 May 00 - 10:37 AM
Bert 10 May 00 - 10:39 AM
BeauDangles 10 May 00 - 12:40 PM
Wesley S 10 May 00 - 12:52 PM
BeauDangles 10 May 00 - 01:12 PM
SINSULL 10 May 00 - 01:40 PM
jeffp 10 May 00 - 02:40 PM
SINSULL 10 May 00 - 04:39 PM
Peter T. 10 May 00 - 04:53 PM
catspaw49 10 May 00 - 06:17 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 10 May 00 - 08:17 PM
keltcgrasshoppper 10 May 00 - 10:16 PM
catspaw49 10 May 00 - 10:36 PM
katlaughing 11 May 00 - 01:20 AM
Racer 11 May 00 - 02:44 AM
Whistle Stop 11 May 00 - 08:47 AM

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Subject: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 09 May 00 - 01:54 PM

The thread about PeterT's recently deceased 'puter, and the subsequent discussion about waht to do with obsolete equipment got me thinking about my various musical instruments, and about one particular albatross that I carried around for way too long.

Manymany years ago I, like virtually every other teenager, decided I wanted to learn to play guitar. This was before I had discovered my interest in folk music, or my passion for celtic music in particular. I just had this vague, formless longing that would raise its head whenever I would listen to Steve Howe play the opening bars to Roundabout.

So, off to the music store we went, myself and my long suffering mother. She bought me a cheap student model acoustic, and arranged for some lessons. My "instructor" turned out to be a kid three years my junior. Now, I can't criticize his playing skills, but his teaching skills left much to be desired. So after a few weeks of stumbling around in the dark, I could play the opening bars of Yes' Roundabout and Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, but I still had no idea how to play guitar. I just didn't grok the instrument. So into the closet it went, and there it stayed.

Time wore on, as it has a way of doing. I moved away from home, went off to college, graduated, took a job, moved, changed jobs, moved again. Like little BeauD Peep's sheep, everywhere I went, that old guitar was sure to follow. I would get it out from time to time, convinced that this time would be the charm. But, somehow that guitar hero that lay buried within my psyche never emerged.

So it went until the waters of time washed me ashore in 1994. Over the years, I had discovered I had some skill with Irish flute, tin whistle, didjeridu, bones, bodhran. But still the guitar eluded me. I remember, it was winter-- a time of hibernation, introspection, and slow transformation. I began meditating on the magic of artfully played backup guitar, and the mysteries of open tunings. "I can do that," I thought to myself. All of these years I had been trying to learn this arcane instrument, but I had been going about it the wrong way! It was so obvious to me, now that I had seen the light. Standard tuning was just not the right vehicle for my particular musical genius! Yeah, that's the ticket! I just needed to retune my instrument, and then the scales would fall from my eyes. I would become the Thief of DADGAD!

So out comes the old guitar, like Lazarus from the tomb. Yes, it was a little battered and scuffed, but I would breathe new life into it. Making myself comfortable, I set about painstakingly retuning it. Only to have one of the tuning pegs break off in my hand! In a funny way, I the scales did fall from my eyes. I had an epiphany...just not the one I was hoping for. It was obvious to me now that I was just not meant to play guitar. At least not this one. I realized that I had been toting this weight around for years in the futile hope that I would one day be able to play it; that I had enough musical skill already, that only wanted honing. I needed to focus on the cards I had in my hand, not the one card I didn't have.

I considered what to do with the guitar. I could fix it up and sell it, but it would cost more to fix than it was worth, and it wasn't really that good an instrument. I probably wouldn't be able to sell it. Being that it was winter, we were approaching 12th Night. An hour away in Lexington at the Lime Kiln Theatre they were going to have a bonfire for people who wanted to get rid of their old Christmas trees; trees which had been severed from their roots, and no longer had a real purpose to serve. The presents were opened, and the lights packed up and put back into storage for another year. Fragrant evergreens whose sap had dried up, consigned to the flames, converted to light and heat and returned to the Universe. Yes. I knew what I had to do.

So, a week later, I packed up the remains of the old guitar, and a few other pieces of detritus from my life that were weighing me down, and made a pilgrimage to Lexington, VA. When I arrived, the flames were already high and hungry. Guitar in hand, I stalked around the fire three times widdershins. By the time I stopped, I had attracted a small crowd of onlookers. The flames from the bonfire were topping out at 20 feet. The heat was unbearable. Twice I approached the fire, pretending to lightly toss in the guitar, but stopping short. Hear and there I heard people shouting, "Do it! Do it!" But I shook my head, and began to walk away. When I was 20 feet from the flames, I stopped, turned around and began to run back towards the fire. I spun around once, and flung the guitar into the air. It arced high, and seemed to pause for a second, hanging in the air as the hungry flames licked it, and then it disappeared from my sight. I turned around and headed back to my car feeling taller and lighter than I had in years....


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:07 PM

I remember a few years back there was a fashion for having sponsored piano-smashing events - they had to smash all the bits small enough to get through a hoop of some kind.

I always avoided those things. The idea made me feel sick, like burning books. It seems to have gone out of fashion - I suppose most of the old pianos have gone by now.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:30 PM

I know at least 20 kids at a school for the learning disabled who are waiting their turn to play the school's guitars. Most come from families who can't afford carfare never mind a guitar. Anyone contemplating throwing any working instrument on the fire, CONTACT ME. I'll even pay the freight.

Beau, I understand your story, just hate the ending. Burning musical instruments and books is an obscenity.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:35 PM

Yeah Beau....You're gonna' take some flak here for sure. I have had that feeling regarding any number of things in my life and it can be cathartic to shed yourself physically and mentally of them, but some things are able to be used as Sinsull put it, in other ways. And of course there are some of us so wacky that we believe instruments and alot of other things have a soul of their own.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Peg
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:40 PM

along those lines, there was an article in the Boston Globe last year about hundreds of musical instruments rotting in attics and basements of schools because there are no longer anywhere near as many musical instruction programs (budget cuts and all)--no money to pay the teachers, and probably less interest from kids (who now have video games and Pokemon to take up their time). When I learned of this I wanted to immediately implement a program where local musicians would donate their time, say, two hours a week, to give workshops to get kids interested in learning an instrument...and once interest was established, to see if the city would donate money to hire musicians to then lead classes in the instruments of their specialization or private lessons...as long as the instruments were there to be used, rotting away and collecting dust...


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Amergin
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:40 PM

I once burned several notebooks full of my poetry. Now I wish I hadn't. Would dearly love to be able to look upon them and see how far I had come.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Peg
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:58 PM

Amergin; burning some objects or possessions can be a profound magical act...but once lost there is no getting them back. As a writer I sometimes think I should get rid of old journals but the thought of losing those words forever horrifies me...even as the thought of some of them appearing in print frightens me...


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 May 00 - 03:03 PM

Beau, I thought it was a great story. I'm sure that the guitar may have had some value in another context, but to me it also sounds like adding it to the bonfire had value all its own. I don't question your decision.

Reminds me of the story in the Gospels about Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus' feet, and being berated (by Judas) for wasting the precious ointment rather than selling it for money to feed the poor. Jesus seemed to feel there was value in savoring the moment ("the poor will always be with you," etc.). I'm not a Christian myself, but I liked the way that story turned out.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Mbo
Date: 09 May 00 - 03:04 PM

I have nightmares about instruments getting destroyed, really! Hmm...the only thing I ever burned was the hair off my knuckles when, ahem, **attempting** to light a gas grill! FUH-LAYMZ!!!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 May 00 - 03:28 PM

I would never burn a musical instrument - I agree with it being called an obscenity. Having said that - many years ago I put a lot of thought into picking out what I thought was the perfect Christmas present for a woman I cared deeply for. In return she got me a wooden duck. Trust me - it wasn't folk art. It was just a wooden duck. After the relationship ended I took great joy in torching that stupid duck. Much hatred was released and floated up the chimney. No offence intended to lovers of ducks. Please don't tell PETA.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 May 00 - 03:42 PM

I must admit that my frist reaction was anger but as one who once threw an Anglo Concertina in to the sea in a fit of temper and also is guilty of snapping the neck of a tenor banjo, I don't think I can say to much except that this was a long while ago say 13 years ago and my temper is nothing like it was then.

The concertina was rescued - somebody on the quay asked me if they could have it if they retrieved it and I agreed. Poor sod - it was the most sluggish Anglo I have ever touched and I have no regrets about loosing it. If I remember rightly, I gave what was left of the banjo (it was one of those alloy framed ones) to somebody else for spares so it didn't all go to waste.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 May 00 - 04:05 PM

Wesley, Sorry about the duck. I know a lonesome gnome who would have enjoyed the company.

Catspaw, Insane or not, I believe that most things have a soul and a place. Also that instruments sing when they are in the right home. Wish I had a less gushy way of expressing this. I am usually painfully cynical and proud of it. But I actually teared up over the burned guitar and all the possibilities lost with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 09 May 00 - 04:25 PM

'spaw,

Thanks for the warning. Shields are raised. Bring on the flak! Let me just say a few things first, though.

First, I too believe that musical instruments have soul, and are magical. And I don't think that is wacky at all. In my life I have restored one instrument (my granddads tenor banjo), destroyed one (the guitar), and had a beautiful flute eaten by a dog. Interestingly, I mourned the last one, and celebrated the first two.

I will admit to a twinge of guilt when someone posted that the instrument could have been restored and donated to someone who could not afford to buy one. My act of destruction was one of self-healing. I like to think that that guitar gave up it's life to help heal mine. What it could not do for me in life, it did in death. It was a communion of sorts. I don't think it was an act of obscenity. Extravagant, maybe. Was I sad about it? Yes. But it was a symbolic act, signifying to myself and the Universe that it can be unhealthy to hold onto somethings too long. And holding onto things is something I do a lot. Old books, journals, movie stubs, emotional wounds....I have them in great store. I get rid of them when they no longer serve a positive purpose in my life.

So there. ;)

BeauD


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 May 00 - 04:34 PM

Sinsull, you'll apprecaite this old Luthier's saying, originally found (supposedly) written inside a violin:

I was alive in the forest.
I was cut by the cruel axe.
In life, I was silent.
In death, I sweetly sing.

And I am with you my friend. I "impart life" to all kinds of things and most folks don't understand. I think it started with stuffed animals as a child and went on to include many other things in my life, cars included.

And Wesley.......I think most of us have had that experience, but somehow your telling of it with the duck just cracked me up. Best laugh I've had in days!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Sourdough
Date: 09 May 00 - 04:56 PM

BeauDangles: I always enjoy reading something that is an honest attempt to communicate a feeling, even more so when the writer shows the respect and caring for his potential readers by taking some time to tell the story with craft but I can't feel the guitar was evil. It had a potential for good, even if only as a decoration bought by a bargain hunter at a Salvation Army store where you donated it.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Bert
Date: 09 May 00 - 05:46 PM

I grew up in England during rationing in WWII. Waste was just not allowed, so your burning of a guitar is a horror story for me. I'm still getting shivers down my spine.

I sentence you to the following punishment...

One day you will learn a couple of chords and you'll forever regret burning you first guitar.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 09 May 00 - 05:53 PM

Hello Sourdough,

Thank you for your kind, and tactful words. If I somehow conveyed that I thought the guitar was evil, then I misspoke. I think I would go so far as to say that my relationship with that instrument was a toxic one. Since the guitar was for all intents and purposes (all talk of soul and relationship aside) an inanimate object, I must shoulder the brunt of the fault for that toxicity myself. The only problem with the instrument was that it was a really very bad guitar. The action was too high, it wasn't in tune with itself, the tuning pegs (when they weren't breaking off in my hand) had a tendency to slip. I have an appreciation bordering on the mystical for well-carfted instruments and for their parents (their makers, and their adoptive parents who purchase them and begin to play them). But this was not a well-crafted instrument. And in my experience, learning on a poorly made instrument can, in the extreme teach the learner bad habits and can sour that person on the whole idea of learning to play music.

Had this guitar been anything other than a mere step above a dime store guitar I would have found some other use for it. To me, though, the idea of keeping an instrument around for purely decorative reasons is the most obscene use for it. The word "musical" is like the word "magical," but you take out the "ag" and put in "use." If it ain't being used, it ain't gonna do the magic. I shudder to go into some of these theme restaurants that decorate their walls with old instruments. Sure it looks kitschy and all, but...how sad to see all of those dead instruments nailed to the walls. Kinda like killing an animal just to mount its head on your living room wall.

Just so you guys will know that I am not evil incarnate, I did buy a little celtic knee harp once, convinced that it would leap to life under my hands. I discoverd that I had absolutely no affinity for it whatsoever. It was a pretty, but very mediocre instrument. After carrying it around for nearly three years I showed it to a new friend. He said, "Oh, neat!" picked it up and started playing it. Never had a lesson in his life, just sat down and noodled with it for 30 minutes and was able to do more on it than I had been able to teach myself in 3 years. I let him babysit it for a while to see if he would like to own it. I ended up selling it to him and a very reasonable price. He has now graduated to a full sized Celtic harp made buy a local craftsman.

To me, that was "the little harp that could" coupled with someone who had a real passion and curiosity for the instrument. My friend recognized that it was not the best of instruments, but it was a doorway for him. And that is magic. I s'pose it is possible that that guitar could have been a doorway for someone. But more than likely it would have languished in that persons basement or attic, because try as they might, they just couldn't get it to make a good sound. There it would sit. Alon. In the dark. Getting dusty, or moldy, or both. With spiders crawling around inside it. Slowly warping and twisting. If I were and instrument, that would be a fate worse than death. What is it they say? Better to burn out than to fade away.

Of course, maybe I am justifying to assuage a guilty conscience....

BeauD


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:10 PM

Hey Bert,

Wow! That's a whole new slant on things. I didn't realize that things got so bad that the English were eating guitars! Which brings to mind a whole other issue. You will remember the poor soccer/rugby team that crashed in the Andes and had to cannibalize their teammates (already dead) to survive.

All kidding aside, after burning the guitar I moved on to begin learning tenor banjo and octave mandolin. I am not great at them, but I have attained a level of understanding that I never had on that guitar. I attribute that to the sense of closure that my cermony made possible for me.

I will never intentionally harm any of my present instruments. (Although, now that I think about it, my first bodhran has been supplanted by a much better one made by a friend of mine. The old one is really atrocious. You know, I think I can smell the goat skin burning now....No, actually I have promised it to my roomate who wants to play an instrument but has arthritis and needs something with minimal impact on his joints. Of course, some would argue the identification of a bodhran as a musical instrument at all. Others might say that burning it would be a blessing, as long as the bodhran player was burnt at the same time!) The banjo and the octave mando are both mid-level instruments. But the banjo was my grandfathers, and it is an honor to have such an heirloom, and a priviledge to play it, even if I only play it badly. The mando I might end up selling. Who knows, I may end up taking the money and buying a guitar.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:23 PM

Ah.......Now we're into something we can all relate to............Burning Bodhran Players!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:27 PM

I thought you might get some flack for that, Beau.

But burning things ceremonially has quite a tradition to it - read here about the Whittlesea Straw Bear. After parading around the town dancing away, he's taken to a bonfire and solemnly burnt. Quite a moving experience. (mind, they let the fellow who dances round in side the bear get out for the actual burning.

The same thing happens to ritual objects at the end of lots of carnivals and suchlike.

And of course no bonfire on 5th November is complete without a Guy. These days Guy Fawkes tends to be seen as the hero of the occasion. (Down in Lewes in Sussex they burn the Pope - but that's another story.)


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:34 PM

I don't know what happened to the link to the Whittlesea Straw Bear. I hope it'll come through this time.

If not, here it is in the open: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pete_shaw_3/whittles.htm"


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:52 PM

Well Beau, please get angry and throw the tenor banjo or the mandola in my direction ;-) I may have wrecked one banjo but I love them and I can't see myself parting with my best one. It is a Kildare - a modern British built job. I am no great player but I seem to know (or probably more accurately, think I know) a good instrument when I find one and I think that you would have to do a lot of searching to find a better banjo for the GDAE playing.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 09 May 00 - 06:56 PM

SPAW.. Burn Bodhran Players huh.. Wouldn't that put an interesting twist to all of those fiddle players that can't keep a beat worth a darn..I am so fed up with all of the Bodhran comments that I have heard over the past 20 years I COULD SCREAM!!!!. What would the Chieftans be without Kevin Connors.. now I ask you!!!! Granted some folks just don't get it gee maybe you don't...ANYWAY.. I have a little poem about this subject... written for my husband who is a luthier....." Music should be as easy to play as it is to hear. For you it is.. The wood the strings, the color ,the way it feels, all music..Even before we hear the sound...I'ts there ..It's you. Like a flower before it blooms...We know its a rose or a daffodil... but when it happens..each time...it's wonder it's you... it's music... " KGH


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 00 - 07:24 PM

Now you know we really love bodhrans, grasshopper. It's just that there's a tradition of being rude about you, like there is about Morris Dancers, and squeezeboxes, and banjos, and a few other things.

And you've got to respect tradition.

The only trouble with bodhrans is that someone can buy a bodhran off a stall and take it straight into a session and hammer the hell out of it, without a clue how to play it, or how it fits into the music. And at a festival there are hundreds of bodhrans sold to people who've never touched them, and they all turn up at the sessions...

But in the right hands - and I don't mean the hands of a flashy virtuoso - the bodhran can lift the music to another level sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: sophocleese
Date: 09 May 00 - 07:24 PM

For the delight in destruction I have this story.

At the end of my last year of University my boyfriend moved away and left behind him several 45s that he no longer wanted and which I thought were terrible. I taped all of them onto a tape which I now call my Party Death Tape. A friend came by with a bottle of wine and in solemn ceremony we played each record one last time, toasted it and flung it across the room to smash against the doorway. It felt wonderful! I still have the tape, now and agin I look at it and remember that evening, but I feel no need to listen to the tape.

For the burden of carrying around things that you don't need I have shelves of books that I should read but probably never will, clothes I will never wear again and dishes that may be used when my 5 year old daughter gets married in 20 years. I find I get rid of these things most easily if I hand them onto someone who needs them and will use them.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 09 May 00 - 08:27 PM

Mcgrath.. I understand I understand..But I still don't like it.. The thing that I really like about this site is that musicians all types.. can come together and really discuss openly their fears, pet pieves,and concerns.. I for one would never burn a guitar..or a book .. or throw away a drawing my children did in 1st grade.. I treasure these things no matter how poorly done.. I also would never knowingly insult another musician, in jest or not.. We should support each other not belittle. KGH


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 May 00 - 08:29 PM

Jon Freeman - GOD DAMN IT!!!!!. I love your banjo. Please tell me that you are fishing for a compliment and really know how well you play.....

Beau - sorry for the abuse. I am always giving away things which no longer belong in my life and accepting things which do. I can't tolerate waste. I repeat: I understood your story.

Catspaw - do you think the writer would prefer to be the tree, the axe, or the violin?


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Racer
Date: 09 May 00 - 10:53 PM

What should I do with my old guitars? I've got three acoustic guitars that are unplayable. They aren't worth the money it would cost to fix them up.

I really don't want to throw them away, and I don't want to give them to someone who's learning because the guitars have some serious action issues. I think that a new guitar player should be able to develope his/her ear on his/her instrument. A guitar with bad action will always sound out of tune, no matter how one tunes it.

I've been saving up guitars for years, and I'm looking for a way to get rid of them without destroying them.

I also wanted to respond to something Peg wrote earlier. I like the idea of musicians donating some of their time to teaching other musicians. As a result she wrote, I'm going to start looking for ways of doing that.

-Racer


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:20 AM

Racer, if you took the best of three bad guitars with you to a class you can let kids, particularily young and exuberant kids - like Mbo for instance -, feel it and touch it and even get SOME sound out of it. You can explain that it is not a great guitar and that there are problems with it, but it might be useful for showing what a guitar feels like on the lap and under the fingers. Alternatively they might be useful as models of what a guitar looks like inside if you cut away one side of one.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Sourdough
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:29 AM

BeauD:

Several times, over the years at parties, one of the musicians from the Greenbrier Boys would spot my guitar, never remembering he had "met" it before and would play on it. He was and is a much better musician than I am and I couldn't help but feel somewhat betrayed by my guitar that it would play that way for him while for me it would buzz and sound muffled. It is like watching your wife dance the Tango with a stranger when the best you can do is count "One..Two..THree" when you dance with her.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Sourdough
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:32 AM

I wasn't through writing when my computer got it into its pretty little head to send the previous message out anyway. I was going to say that your Celtic Harp story reminded me of those times.

Sourdough

Actually, there was even going to be more of my earlier message. The computer sent that prematurely, too. I wonder what is going on.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Amergin
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:55 AM

Peg, at the time yes it did feel kinda magical and melodramatic, but it was also (and perhaps moreso) a feeling of self-destructiveness.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 May 00 - 04:20 AM

I have inherited the remains of my late father-in-law's jazz 78s (and my wife's grandfather's piano rolls, but that's another story). The story F-in-L told me about the fate of the rest touched me deeply. (I hoard books, records etc.)
At a New Year party they threw one year someone noticed how brittle shellac records were and as everyone was well tanked up,people started breaking them over each other's heads. It was only in the cold light of dawn, looking at the fragments, that he realised what he had lost.
Fortunately the Weavers survived as did the Andrews Sisters "Rum and Coca Cola", though it is practically worn through: it was one of the few records he had with him as a naval doctor on a destroyer on the Arctic convoys during WWII. Even though we have versions on other media we'd never destroy the disc.
Even therapy at the NYCFTTS hasn't cured me of RAS (record acquisition syndrome)
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 10 May 00 - 08:58 AM

Well, I'm a little surprised by the level of consternation and disapproval that is being expressed over Beau's ritual sacrifice. I've been playing guitar for 32 years, and absolutely love them. But there are some guitars that are worth more as fuel than as musical instruments. I say go ahead and burn 'em -- and if you can get a good story (or a song?) out of the experience, so much the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Bert
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:16 AM

Beau, Actually I was kinda teasing you a little. No, we didn't eat guitars during rationing. We couldn't get 'em, otherwise we might have.

Food and necessities were rationed. Luxuries were not available.

Perhaps if someone has a good recipe then Racer will be able to eat for a week or so.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:24 AM

Racer's "Three acoustic guitars that are unplayable".

If it's the action that's too high, you could try making it even higher, and turning the instrument into a sort of dobro.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Night Owl
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:37 AM

Beau...I think the emotions you've written here are beautifully expressed..thank you. For me, instruments heal. They HELP me center, regain focus, and put pain behind me. They help me look forward to the future with an expression of joy as well. Sounds to me like you ultimately found a way for your guitar to do what it was made to do...heal/comfort/give joy to/open a world for....a soul.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Bert
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:39 AM

Racer, you could auction them on Mudcat. Just explain what's wrong with them.

Where do you live? A nearby Mudcatter might like to relieve you of them.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:40 PM

Sinsull, Sourdough, 'Spaw, McGrath, Bert, Whistlestop, NightOwl, and all you 'Cats who have responded with such passion (& compassion) & tact to my initial posting and each others subsequent postings:

Thank you. I don't feel abused. Quite to the contrary, I feel energized, educated and edified. It is fascinating to me to see such varied and heartfelt responses to one situation, all of them valid. As to how I feel now about my act of constructive destruction: at the very least, it led to this very spirited discussion. I am not the same person today, as I was 6 years ago--nor, indeed, as I was last year, last month, or even yesterday. The person I am today might not have sacrificed that guitar. Of course, the person I was in 1994 didn't have you Mudcatters to bounce these crazy ideas off of, either. Had I but known you kind souls then, I might have even had more success with that little guitar.

I still believe in the efficacy of a little banishing from time to time. We carry a lot of burdens thru our lives. And some of us gather them in spades along the way. You get to a point when you don't even realize how weighted down you are. At such times, it can be very cathartic to rid yourself of some of those burdens. It is a way of demonstrating to yourself and to the Universe that that object/memory/person has no power over you anymore Of course, one 'Cat's burden is another Cat's treasure. And you guys have helped me to see that.

Sophocleese: I loved your story about the 45's. That you were able to have your cake and eat it too makes it all the more wonderful!


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Wesley S
Date: 10 May 00 - 12:52 PM

BD - Now that you're a different person are you tempted to get a new guitar and give it a good home??


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: BeauDangles
Date: 10 May 00 - 01:12 PM

Wesley,

Stranger things have happened. First I have to pay off a flute that is being made for me. Then look into a new(er) car. If after that I am still fiscally fit, I may look into it. Rest assured, I will come here for advide before making the leap.

BD


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 May 00 - 01:40 PM

Life is strange. Beau is rethinking his "Guitar Burning" and I, embracing the concept of "Constructive Destruction" am gathering together a lifetime of china, glassware, music boxes and assorted debris for smashing. Or maybe I'll donate it a local flea market.

Don't know why this comes to mind but I keep seeing Felix Unger snickering at the spaghetti on the wall and correctly identifying it as "Linguine" while Oscar pronounces it "Garbage".

Food for thought?


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: jeffp
Date: 10 May 00 - 02:40 PM

SINSULL, if you are of a visually creative bent, you might combine your destructive urges with constructive ones and use the smashed crockery for creating mosaics. I helped my wife and a friend smash up some old saucers and such which they then used to create some interesting pieces of art. Very satisfying all around. Just a thought.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 May 00 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Jeff but most of my efforts in that direction look like Girl Scout Projects "gone bad". I am attempting lampworking and so far have not set myself on fire. However my efforts here also look like Girl Scout Projects "gone bad". The artists at Urban Glass are very much like Mudcatters - always nodding encouragingly.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 May 00 - 04:53 PM

SMASH THE SUCKER!!!!I am 100% behind Beau's original impulse -- my musical experience was hampered for years by bad guitars, first a bad cheap one, and then a bad expensive one. You cannot help thinking it is your fault, and it blocks you, CRIPPLES YOU. I think that smashing an instrument to free yourself -- if that is what it takes -- is terrific. It takes courage -- I salute the courage that took you to that bonfire!!!

Your freedom is more important than any instrument (sorry -- boy am I going to be in trouble for this one, Jesus)!

Wait!! If I could chop up that damned piano with my old piano teacher still in it, and I could get away with it, that would be a 2 for 1 bonus!!

But I think that Beau is actually drawn to guitars, in spite of it all. All this other stuff is just circling around to get back to the original guitar of his young dreams, and do it right finally.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 May 00 - 06:17 PM

Now Peter......hacking up a piano teacher is not environmentally sound as they are tougher than nails and do not deteriorate under normal conditions. I also don't suggest you go the burning route since that got me in trouble with kelticgrasshopper.

AND to you 'Hopper........I'm sorry, but my insults are kinda' expected around here and when I DON'T insult them, they think I'm pissed at them. I only "hurt" the ones I love. If I go a day without some sarcastic, wiseass comment, I get messages asking if I'm OK. Sorry if I hit a nerve. And.....I'm awful sorry too about your husband being a Lutheran, but trust me, it would be worse if he was a Baptist.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 10 May 00 - 08:17 PM

LOL very funny now that I know insults are expected I'll not be offended nor will my LUTHERAN husband...


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:16 PM

this is the Lutheran husband{dulcimerdan}You are all very brave. Kgh(hopper)was on the front page of not one but three major newspappers during Viet Nam era and her best friends were white panthers. She`s always been a drummer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 May 00 - 10:36 PM

Hi DullDan......I think we have something in common. Go to the Quick Links and "bbc's Mudcat Resources"....Check the photos ans specifically my page. Third picture down I think.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 00 - 01:20 AM

Sinsull, maybe you could offer the music boxes in the Mudcat Auction?


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Racer
Date: 11 May 00 - 02:44 AM

In reference to Dobro's comment:

I live in Va Beach, but travel to Richmond and D.C. fairly regularly. Anyone who lives near these areas is welcome to have any of my "unplayable" guitars.

The breakdown:

One guitar is a twelve string. The neck seems to be attached by only the fretboard. The gap where the back of the neck is supposed to meet the body is about 3/16 of an inch. The guitar is up in Northern VA right now, so I'm working from memory. I think the gap between the strings (only six) and the twelth fret is about 1/4 of an inch.

The next guitar seems to have been used as a cane (I turned my back for five minutes!). All the way at the base of the guitar, where the right end of the strap goes, the body wood is split. I think at some point the peg that holds the strap was driven inot the body. The split has moved almost to the point where the body has started to curve back inward. As a result, the neck has been raised.

The third guitar was ruined at the factory. The distance between the nut and the first fret is a little too large. I bought this guitar from a wholesale outlet for a nine year old girl who was trying to learn to play. It's a medium-sized guitar built for little hands, and costs about $25. I couldn't even come close to tuning it, so she never saw it. She has an electric Lotus with a "Ken&Barbie" amp, but she wanted an acoustic.

That's the low-down. If anyone's interested, give me a holler. I live in a shoe-box apartment; I need all the space I can get. If I can get rid of these guitars, I can get a banjo and/or a violin(fiddle).

-Racer


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Subject: RE: BS: What was new is old again
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 May 00 - 08:47 AM

Racer, I think that your next move should be to a shoebox-sized apartment with a fireplace -- you'll pay the same low rent, but suddenly have a lot more space.


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 5 March 12:06 AM EST

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