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Why the cigarette in the guitar?

The Shambles 28 Jan 02 - 07:18 PM
Murray MacLeod 28 Jan 02 - 07:29 PM
Deckman 28 Jan 02 - 07:33 PM
Murray MacLeod 28 Jan 02 - 07:34 PM
bill\sables 28 Jan 02 - 07:53 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Jan 02 - 09:15 PM
Gary T 28 Jan 02 - 10:00 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM
Deckman 29 Jan 02 - 12:59 AM
The Shambles 29 Jan 02 - 01:53 AM
The Shambles 29 Jan 02 - 01:58 AM
Clinton Hammond 29 Jan 02 - 03:16 AM
Cappuccino 29 Jan 02 - 03:31 AM
bill\sables 29 Jan 02 - 04:26 AM
Abuwood 29 Jan 02 - 04:38 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Jan 02 - 04:42 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 02 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 29 Jan 02 - 10:29 AM
Steve Parkes 29 Jan 02 - 10:31 AM
Steve Parkes 29 Jan 02 - 11:39 AM
Don Firth 29 Jan 02 - 01:55 PM
WyoWoman 30 Jan 02 - 01:16 AM
Hrothgar 30 Jan 02 - 02:05 AM
Steve Parkes 30 Jan 02 - 03:28 AM
BanjoRay 30 Jan 02 - 06:29 AM
Les from Hull 30 Jan 02 - 03:54 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jan 02 - 05:55 PM
AliUK 30 Jan 02 - 07:06 PM
The Shambles 31 Jan 02 - 04:57 AM
Hrothgar 31 Jan 02 - 05:04 AM
AliUK 31 Jan 02 - 08:12 AM
The Shambles 31 Jan 02 - 09:52 AM
vectis 31 Jan 02 - 04:44 PM
vectis 31 Jan 02 - 04:54 PM
GUEST 01 Feb 02 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,Bardford 01 Feb 02 - 10:20 PM
53 01 Feb 02 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,Bardford 01 Feb 02 - 11:47 PM
WyoWoman 01 Feb 02 - 11:51 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 02 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Gareth 14 Oct 11 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Oct 11 - 11:23 AM
Amos 14 Oct 11 - 12:23 PM
Amos 14 Oct 11 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Beetle Bailey 14 Oct 11 - 02:11 PM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Oct 11 - 02:44 PM
goatfell 14 Oct 11 - 03:34 PM
Steve Parkes 14 Oct 11 - 04:35 PM
JohnInKansas 14 Oct 11 - 11:11 PM
GUEST 14 Oct 11 - 11:35 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Oct 11 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Spailpin 15 Oct 11 - 06:13 PM
GUEST 29 Jan 18 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,DTM 29 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,paperback 29 Jan 18 - 08:55 PM
SPB-Cooperator 30 Jan 18 - 06:31 AM
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Subject: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:18 PM

Many years ago, aspiring and earnest young guitar players would place a lighted cigarette carefully between the strings at the top of their guitar. This would then be ignored and allowed to burn down slowly and add to the moody atmosphere (and general pollution).

This apparently had the effect of adding to the earnestness and authenticity of their performance.

I must confess that (even as non-smoker)I tried this in my youth. I can't honestly claim that my playing improved as a result but the girls seemed to fall for the effect (or the resulting lack of oxygen).

Anyone else going to admit to doing this?

Who was responsible for starting this practice?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:29 PM

I think this practice was started by electric players, and I suspect a youthful Eric Clapton of being the instigator.

I used to do it too, even though I didn't smoke . It was just so unutterably cool...(at the time, that is)

Murray


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Deckman
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:33 PM

This is an old performers trick from long ago. The first, and best, that I ever saw was Walt Robertson. He would light the cigarette, puff a bit, introduce the song, puff and bit, and s l o w l y spear the cigarette on a long string. You were mesmerized between the words of his song introduction and watching the ash of the cigarette. Then ... he would start to sing the song. It was always something of a contest. Would the ash fall from the cigarette before the song ended? He was a master! As the ash got longer, he would start to sway with his body and guitar. Would he knock the ash off? He never lost. (I've often suspected that he speared the cigarette with a fine wire to hold the ash ridged). The bottom line ... just another great performers trick to keep attention. POST SCRIPT ... cigarettes killed Walt. Bob


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:34 PM

Just noticed Roger said "between the strings".

Naw, the ultra cool thing was to leave your E string uncut and impale the filter end of the stogie and have the glowing end bobbing around as you played.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: bill\sables
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 07:53 PM

The Americans came up with the ultimate guitar cigarette holder when they introduced the Kiser Capo. The early ones had a hole in the end which held a cigarette very firmly, they said it was for taking string pegs out with but that never worked for me. When they brought out their new improved model they had put a scrol on the end which also holds a cigarette firmly.
Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 09:15 PM

Josh White (the real one, not the Jr.) always kept a lit cigarette in his guitar strings. I did too, when I smoked. Where else you you keep it?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Gary T
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 10:00 PM

Some people do this because they need a handy place to park the cigarette, which they lit intending to smoke it but it's time to start the song now. I've done it, and it never crossed my mind that there was an effect to be achieved.

I've never noticed one impaled on a string. I have seen them stuck into the scroll on a Kyser capo. The most common way, though, is to wedge it between the bass E string and the neck.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 10:06 PM

Seems to me I recall, back in the flower-child era, seeing someone with a stick of burning incense stuck in their guitar strings in the same manner.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 12:59 AM

Gawd, it was hard enough to find breath to sing with a smoking cigarette burning 12 inches from your nose. An incense stick would leave me incensed! Bob


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 01:53 AM

Josh White (the real one, not the Jr.) always kept a lit cigarette in his guitar strings. I did too, when I smoked. Where else you you keep it?

I think with all the wonderful reasons given in another thread, for placing one's finger in one's ear to improve one's singing and the difficulties of doing this whilst playing an instrument, the best place for the cigarette was in one's ear.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 01:58 AM

Why the finger in the ear?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 03:16 AM

Sounds like a waste of a good smoke to me....


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Cappuccino
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 03:31 AM

The Deckman writes - "it was hard enough to find breath to sing with a smoking cigarette burning 12 inches from your nose." American Catters will exercise a high level of incredulity here, but in the 80s, in the British country-and-western boom, the audience would be dressed as cowboys, in the bizarre belief that there was some connection between country music and the wild west. They would have, in the interval, shoot-outs with replica guns that fired blanks.

Going onstage after that was like playing in fog. You could barely see the audience, and the first couple of songs would be coughed rather than sung!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: bill\sables
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 04:26 AM

And it would all start up again if you played "Ghost Riders in the Sky"


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Abuwood
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 04:38 AM

Steve does this, it's really annoying, waste of money and drops ash all over the carpet!


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 04:42 AM

What about Dave Swarbrick - he always seemed to have a cigarette stuck on the end of his fiddle - and I don't think that it was straight tobacco either ! It's a bit sad to see him with the oxygen tubes now, but he's still playing wonderfully - and there aren't that many people who survive AN OBITUARY.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 10:25 AM

Josh White (the real one, not the Jr.) always kept a lit cigarette in his guitar strings. I did too, when I smoked. Where else you you keep it?

I guess this moron (a real dick) never heard of an ashtray.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 10:29 AM

Odetta still uses incense in her guitar as she comes on-stage, playing. And I find the effect intoxicatingly beautiful and powerful. And I always found the cigarette thing a bit to hip to be genuine.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 10:31 AM

The really cool guitarists (i.e. those who didn't care about the cool effect) would squeeze the filter (unless they were even more cool and smoked Paley's Full Strength!) and force it between the bottom E and the headstock, so it stuck straight up in the air.

Steve

P.S. What about those guys who played with the ciggie in their mouths?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 11:39 AM

My typing has just gone to pieces since I stopped smoking! I mistyped Players', and it should have been Capstan!!


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 01:55 PM

Walt Robertson told me that he picked up the "cigarette on the headstock" thing from Josh White. He said that another stunt Josh White used to pull would be to stick a lit cigarette behind his ear, like a pencil, then launch into a song (granted, usually a fairly short song). Used to drive people crazy wondering when he was going to set fire to his hair and/or blister the side of his head. At the end of the song, he'd casually reach for the cigarette and take a luxurious drag.

Once, one of Churchill's political adversaries was due to deliver a speech. As the speech started, Churchill lit up one of his ever-present stogies. The speech droned on and Chuchill puffed away and the ash on the cigar got longer and longer, eventually achieving what appeared to be a physically impossible length. The listeners got so fascinated wondering when the ash was going to drop that no one remembered anything about the speech. This, of course, was exactly what Churchill had in mind when prior to the beginning of the speech, he inserted a long hat-pin lengthwise through the cigar.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 01:16 AM

This is part of how my ex-husband first seduced me. He looked so damned cool doing that thing with the cigarette. He also had a couple of other cool-guy cigarette behaviors that intrigued me. I am, er, was so easy.

ww


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 02:05 AM

Because it won't fit in the ear with a finger there already.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 03:28 AM

Hrothgar, you play guitar with a finger in your ear? That expalins a lot!
Steve


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 06:29 AM

Back in the sixties when I was at Aberystwyth university, we used to have a good session in the Angel on a saturday night. There'd be half a dozen guys playing instruments and everybody had an impaled fag (cigarette, that is!) hanging on a string end and waving about to the rhythm of San Francisco Bay Blues or Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out. Its a miracle the place didn't get burned down.

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 03:54 PM

This trick has never worked well on my melodeon.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 05:55 PM

Local (Manchester) Folk/Jazz/Blues performer extaordinaire, Pete Ryder, does it - But he usualy smokes roll-ups so they go out before too long! Suits Petes style to the ground though - any more laid back and he'd be horizontal...;-)

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: AliUK
Date: 30 Jan 02 - 07:06 PM

I always thought that it was so the guitar players could see their fingers on the strings in the atmospheric ( i.e. bloody gloomy clubs) they played in. Now I know why they didnt use a candel rammed between the e-string and the guitar neck. Thanks guys.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 04:57 AM

Interesting to contrast the addmissions of plain affectation and of even being attracted by it, on this thread, to the other one where a serious argument is put forward for the benefits of placing one's finger in one's ear.

It is a fact with no shame attached, that when young in particular, we are very impressionable and need also to impress.

Singers with guitars, seem here to have a sense of humour and an ability to laugh at themselves. A quality not appearently shared by some of our more serious FIE singers.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 05:04 AM

Actually, last time I played a guitar, lots of people stuck fingers in their ears.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: AliUK
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 08:12 AM

I find if I stick my finger up my nose I can get that really good nasal quality that is prized amongst traditional singers, I think the FIE crowd got their extremities mixed up.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 09:52 AM

Is the the FIE is the same as playing 'air guitar', or rather playing the 'air mobile phone'?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: vectis
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 04:44 PM

What's the difference between a C&W singer and a folk singer?
Folk singers stick a finger in their ear C&W singers stick a finger up their nose.
C&W sounds very messy to me that's why I became a folk singer.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: vectis
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 04:54 PM

Oh and yes, I did keep my cigarette stuck between my E and A strings when I smoked. Everyone "cool" did the same and, being youg, I really wanted to be grown up and cool.
Don't we do some daft things when young???????


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 04:40 PM

Why, O Woman, would you be stupid enough to think that smoking is cool?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 10:20 PM

The Shambles- Funny you should mention 'air guitar', I just found this link with an illustration which clearly indicates where the cigarette should go:

Philson Air Guitar

Cheers, Bardford


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: 53
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 10:39 PM

cool.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,Bardford
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 11:47 PM

That you, Bob? Welcome back.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 11:51 PM

Well, duh, Guest. It was 30 years ago and I was young, dumb and had seen too many movies in which the anti-hero peered out at the world through the haze of his cigarette smoke. Now, if I know a man smokes--at least if he has a habit--I'm not inclined that direction. I still bum 'em from time to time when I drink a beer, but I'm not interested in the health ill-effects from cigarettes -- which really begin to stack up once we reach our late 40s and up ... Nor am I interested in helping make some corporation rich at the expense of my own health.

ww


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 02 - 02:01 AM

The breakdown of the perfect 'air guitar' was proof positive. Thanks.

Maybe we could have a similar one for the perfect FIE traditional singer?

The importance of the facial expression, in order to obtain the correct tone when 'whiddling above the 12 fret' on conventional electric or on 'air guitar', must be stresssed too.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,Gareth
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 08:42 AM

I was wondering if it may be a way of getting a little nicotine fix when you are gasping for a fag but cant really stop playing for long.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 11:23 AM

Have you ever heard that a burning cigarette produces carbon monoxide, which when inhaled, hurts blood oxygen and then brain function?

Because why the hell, really, would you put a burning cigarette near your guitar?

Similar case - two weeks ago somebody flicked a lit butt into some mulch here in River City and started a fire which did $200,000 damage to a nice home. Good thing nobody was burned or killed.

Let's all sing it together: Just GOTTA have that cigarette!"


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 12:23 PM

Well, no, let us not be over hasty. In the 60's, when 9 out of ten doctors smoked Camels, smoking WAS cool. And Woody Guthrie was walking proof. As were many others of the archetypal folkies we saw hovering in the constellation. If you were a smoker, and had a cigarette going, what to do with it when youhad to pick up and play? Sticking it between two of the strings above the nut was the perfect answer, where it would be ready to your hand when your number ended.

A


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 12:25 PM

9 out of ten doctors smoked Camels, AND L&M had found the secret that unlocked the flavor and there wasn't a cough in a carload...


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,Beetle Bailey
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 02:11 PM

especially after Luck Strike green went off to war


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 02:44 PM

I thought they only did it to annoy the person sitting on their right.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: goatfell
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 03:34 PM

you cannae sing with it in your mouth


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 04:35 PM

A, but don't forget Nat King Cole! He always had a fag on when he was playing ... and look what happened to him.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 11:11 PM

you cannae sing with it in your mouth

But if you lick your lip just right it'll hang there, off to one side.

In younger times I've been known to smoke the cig, sip a beer, and play the penny whistle simultaneously for short passages - but it don't work at all with a harmonica.

John


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 11 - 11:35 PM

"Have you ever heard that a burning cigarette produces carbon monoxide, which when inhaled, hurts blood oxygen and then brain function?"

Yes. Now, what's your point?


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 12:52 PM

I suspect this is a habit that caused serious problems before filter tips became the norm.

I remember putting a Players Medium Navy Cut (famous UK non filter ciggie) between the bottom pair on my BM Classical......Double twang...!

Only did it the once!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,Spailpin
Date: 15 Oct 11 - 06:13 PM

Brings back memories of bygone days , west Kerry and a benson stuck on the headstock ... I still smile at that burnt out paramount banjo !


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 08:14 PM

It's just stupid!


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM

Alas, my little 60's combo amp still bears the burn scars from abandoned cigarettes back in those RnR days. It was a revelation when someone discovered you could stick your ciggie on the end of the top E string. As I recall, it was more of a convenience than trying to being cool. Thank goodness I gave up the filthy habit of smoking years ago.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: GUEST,paperback
Date: 29 Jan 18 - 08:55 PM

John Constantine: You mind?

[reaches for cigarettes]

Satan: Oh, go - go right ahead; I've got stock.

John Constantine: [chuckles] Coffin nail.

Satan: Very fitting, John.


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Subject: RE: Why the cigarette in the guitar?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 06:31 AM

I found the practice put me off listening to the performance.


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