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unforgivable damage?

29 Nov 05 - 02:20 PM (#1616520)
Subject: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,12StringStan

I Post this to see if anybody has been faced with this dilema.

My own guitar is away at the luthier's being refretted, and general renovation work, and in it's absence, an aquaintance (not friend, AQUAINTANCE) very kindly offered me his guitar for use while he holidays in spain. Last night i was playing a gig, and all was well, took my break halfway through, and while having a puff outside (Irish law) a fight erupted in the pub, resulting in a group of lads ending up on the stage, being shoved etc. One of my speakers hit the ground and smashed the casing, my mixing desk drunk a pint of lager, but worst of all is the guitar. a 1970's Martin D1 in Bits. The headstock in 2 pieces The neck, is split head to toe, the front of the body had a foot put through it, and from the pre amp on top to the bottom is split.
I am sick.
The pub refuses to accept liability, as they say i'm responsible for my equipment on stage, even though i argue, they filled these lads with drink....

My main worry is that my aquaintance is due back Thursday afternoon, with a gig thursday night, and he won't know anything till he arrives at my house. I have no contact number or anything.

In my eyes his guitar is damaged beyond all repair, and i will without fault re imburse him financially or with a replacement guitar (70's Martin????) But how on earth can i possibly break this news to him in the nicest easiest way. I never slept last night or ate today with my churning over this.

If any catter's have ever been in this awfull situation, any advice??

29 Nov 05 - 02:30 PM (#1616527)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: greg stephens

First, forget about the "unforgivable" in the thread title. People are mostly quite forgiving.And nothing is irreplacable, especially a 70's Martin. it's not as if it's a very old one. He'll be uspest, but maybe not as upset as you think.
   As regards the financial damages. maybe the pub landlord won't admit liability, but he (or someone else) may be of some help in having a friendly word with the lads responsible. A little advice might result in their putting their hands in their pockets to put things right.
Good luck! I've lost a few treasures in my time, and I've generally managed to forgive and forget. (After a decade or two).

29 Nov 05 - 02:31 PM (#1616528)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: John MacKenzie

You can only tell it like it is, whatever way you go about it he's going to be upset.
As for the pub, if they were paying you then you should have a claim on their employers liability insurance, if they weren't then you have a claim on their Public Liability insurance. As far as I'm aware all businesses are legally required to carry both types of insurance.
I would be paying my solicitor a visit regarding that.
Good Luck

29 Nov 05 - 02:47 PM (#1616544)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Mooh

Oh crap, my worst nightmare...

There was considerable damage to yours, and your acquaintance's, gear. Do as has been suggested. First, find the culprits and offer them a chance to make things right. Second, keep the pub owner (or whoever) in the loop, but offer him a chance to make things right. Failing either or both actions, get a sympthetic lawyer to rattle their cages. Your own insurance (I trust, since you didn't mention it) is non-existent, so get some now.

It strikes me that where I live this would have been a criminal act and the police would have been involved. I'd say get them involved.

Last and worst case is for you to pay for damages, but you will need to pay your acquaintance asap and look for compensation from the guilty parties later. Whatever happens, be entirely up front and honest and do everything you can to make things right.

Good luck.

Peace, Mooh.

29 Nov 05 - 03:09 PM (#1616561)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: treewind

Isn't this what insurance is for?

As a member of a ceilidh band I've found some venues insist on bands having public liability insurance, so we have it. It costs a fraction of the earnings from one gig.

Insurance on your instruments is a good idea, too. It wouldn't help here but in this case PLI would cover damage to a borrowed instrument. (It also covers claims between performers in the band: accidents can happen many ways)


29 Nov 05 - 03:29 PM (#1616582)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Clinton Hammond

Yet another good reason to NOT smoke

29 Nov 05 - 03:42 PM (#1616598)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Deckman

My brother's pretty hungry this time of the year. If you'll pay for the plane and accomedations, I'm sure he'll collect your compensation for you. He LOVES those kind of jobs, being ex-Mafia, and all. CHEERS, Bob

29 Nov 05 - 05:01 PM (#1616670)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: jacqui.c

Get a solicitor and the police involved.

The landlord has a duty of care toward anyone on his premises and should not have allowed this incident to get so far out of hand. What would have happened if you had been there and been injured? It is quite normal for someone in this position to try and offload the blame but a good solicitor should concentrate his mind on his responsibilities.

Explain to your friend exactly what happened and what steps you are taking to get compensated. Check with local music shops to see if you can find a similar instrument and, if so, check whether your friend wants that or the option of the cash to buy something himself. If this is not possible in the timescale do you know of anyone who will loan a guitar for his gig, so long as the instrument is kept under strict guard?

He probably won't be too happy but if he can see that you are doing all you can to make amends, even though this was not your fault, that will probably sugar the pill.

29 Nov 05 - 05:18 PM (#1616677)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,zachary

All the above looks like great advice. If I may "drift" a bit, it does raise the issue of "loaning" your instrument doesn't it? I recently loaned my guitar to have it returned with the preamp fried. But it was a friend, and responsibility for the damage was a little "iffy"; they might well have shorted the thing out by not plugging it in all the way, the jack being a tight fit. But it might not have been them at all. Cost a bundle for a new preamp. But as you tell people about it it's often "Well that's what you get.." kind of stuff. As greg above implies, people are more important than property, but when you rely on that property as many musicians do, it's tough to be nice sometimes. z

29 Nov 05 - 05:25 PM (#1616679)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: breezy

You could be accused of being negligent in that you left your equipment unattended.


29 Nov 05 - 05:29 PM (#1616681)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Mo the caller

Better hire a guitar quick. Maybe your friendly local music shop can sort some thing out sale or return.
It fills me with horror though.I should think every band has gigs where they set up first then go off while people eat or another act is on, certainly when we do a Barn dance at a wedding we are sometimes asked to.
With sympathy

29 Nov 05 - 05:38 PM (#1616684)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Deckman

Like I always said, never borrow another man's guitar or woman. It never works! Bob (O.K. I'm shut now)

29 Nov 05 - 05:58 PM (#1616697)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Roger in Baltimore

I think you should make some arrangement for your associate to have a guitar for his gig when he gets back. Sometimes a friendly music store (especially one with which you do business) will provide a loaner for little or no cost.

I hope you collected all of the pieces. A luthier may be able to restore the guitar (for you not your associate). I feel your pain.

Roger in Baltimore

29 Nov 05 - 06:23 PM (#1616719)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Richard Bridge

Consult my former partner, James Wolsey (solicitor), who now practices in Ireland. You should find him onthe internet.

29 Nov 05 - 07:04 PM (#1616751)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Leadfingers

Musicians Union or Equity membership has the advantage of free legal advice . AND Public Liability Insurance as part of the fee !!

29 Nov 05 - 07:24 PM (#1616758)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: The Fooles Troupe


I thought there was no such thing as EX-mafia...

29 Nov 05 - 07:39 PM (#1616765)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Deckman

FOOLESTROUPE ... You are quite right. Except, and there ARE exceptions. It depends on two things: your circumstances and where you served! Bob

29 Nov 05 - 07:47 PM (#1616769)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Arbuthnot

While all the above is useful advice, nobody suggested that you should collect evidence - you will need witnesses, and you will need their particulars - gather asap

29 Nov 05 - 08:35 PM (#1616803)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Mooh

There's a very short list of who can play my guitars, not even some of my band mates would be on that list. My 12 string got pretty beat up once when I loaned it to a guy at a song circle that I attended. Luckily, most of the scratches buffed out. I thought it was safe given what I knew of the player, but I was wrong.

Next time rent a guitar...or buy a spare. I hate not having back-up axes.

I'm interested in how this story ends. Keep us in the loop, okay?

Peace, Mooh.

29 Nov 05 - 08:46 PM (#1616816)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Justa Picker

Martin didn't make a D1 model in the no worries as far as authentic period replacement.
D1's are readily available today, and are among their lower end, relatively inexpensive dreadnoughts.

30 Nov 05 - 04:10 AM (#1616978)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Liath

How awful! It truly is a nighmare.

If I were you, I'd take up the advice of the folk here who suggest pursuing the pub for an insurance claim. If they have no insurance, then they risk closure - so even if that's the case, you have a great deal of bargaining power. I'm sure they'd be happier to pay up for a new guitar rather than have you making phone calls...

In the meantime, I would replace the guys guitar for him. With anything you can get for now, so hiring is a good idea. Otherwise, he'll be without an instrument for a long while - you know what insurance companies are like...

Good luck,


30 Nov 05 - 04:33 AM (#1617001)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: breezy

Anyone wanna buy a Martin D 28, 15 years old , mint condition, hardly used, never been seen in public?

One extremely careful owner.

plus case, of course.

buyer collects

oiro 2500

no time wasters please

pm for further details.

30 Nov 05 - 04:57 AM (#1617015)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Big Al Whittle

are you an equity or mu member - you might be covered for some of the money by your insurance. they might sue the pub for you.

Most contracts are generally pretty crap - more holes in than a swiss cheese, but you might be covered by the contract with the pub.
was there an agent involved in the gig? if so there was probably some sort of contract - get your hands on it!

i think you're wasting your time reasoning with the kind of arsehole who would jump on a Martin - whatever the joyous mood of the evening.

like the guy said - get the police in. chances are, they haven't got a pot to piss in, so even if you were awarded damages - you might be waiting a while.

there are all sorts of probable outcomes but in the short term, your friend is going to want a guitar - and there was some sort of obligation to keep it safe, having borrowed it. I suppose it depends if your mate, knew you were the sort of guy prone to this sort of happenstance.

I read somewhere that Hank Williams appeared on TV with a Martin , but bought a new cheap one evry week to smash over heads of his more exuberant fans. so your fans are following in a long and proud tradition.

30 Nov 05 - 06:15 AM (#1617058)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Mo the caller

Its going to be hard to get the money from the lads, the foot that broke it wasn't the man who pushed him wasn't the one who started it all. Impossible to sort out I'd have thought

30 Nov 05 - 08:12 AM (#1617105)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: jacqui.c

The pub landlord has a liability here. From the description of the event the incident on stage was just the culmination of a longer incident which should have been obvious to staff and which should have been stopped by staff/landord before it got to the stage where some of the participants got onto the stage.

If the fighters were drunk all the more reason for staff to a) refuse to serve them anymore booze or b) to keep a close eye on their behaviour. I've worked in pubs, one of which was owned by my son, and, in any half decent establishment, that attitude would come as natural as breathing. There is a duty of care to ALL other occupants of the premises to ensure their safety and that means stopping trouble before it really gets started.

30 Nov 05 - 09:22 AM (#1617170)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,maryrrf at work

I feel so awful for 12stringsam that I was up last night thinking about this. What a nightmare. I would not want to be the one to have to break this news to an acquaintance who had lent me his guitar. Actually, this happened to me many years ago, not with a Martin, but with a Guild, and it was my guitar that was damaged. It was semi-negligence on the part of the borrower, but one of those things that could have happened to anybody. I wasn't too pleased when she told me but fortunately it was reparable and she did arrange for the repair, so that was resolved amicably. In this case, with the Martin guitar being totalled, I guess the issue is whether or not the guy had a strong sentimental attachment to it and if so that would be very unfortunate.   However I must disagree with the poster who implied that 12stringsam was negligent for leaving the instrument on stage while he went out for a smoke on his break. I would always leave my instrument on stage when I take a break at a gig, unless there was another act during the interim, and I've seen many performers to the same. In no way was 12stringsam negligent. The pub owner was and especially the jerks who couldn't restrain themselves and started fighting - but it probably will be difficult to get any money out of them. If it is possible to sue them and make things difficult I think that is the way to go, if for no other reason than to make them think twice about fighting in a public place. If a speaker fell on a guitar and crushed it - what if it had fallen on somebody's head?

30 Nov 05 - 09:42 AM (#1617187)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Stan, where in Ireland are you? What city did this take place in?

30 Nov 05 - 12:05 PM (#1617301)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Grimmy


Start running!

30 Nov 05 - 12:05 PM (#1617302)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Big Mick

Obviously some folks here that don't perform. Of course the pub owner is liable. It is up to him/her to provide for the security of the equipment. The only other option is to break down between sets. Obviously that doesn't work.


30 Nov 05 - 04:40 PM (#1617502)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson

True, there was no such thing as a 1970s D1. I am not sure what a D1 is at all except perhaps what the original D model was called in the early 1930s.

But it could have been a D18. Even a 1970s one today can go for about $1500

30 Nov 05 - 05:51 PM (#1617542)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Richard Bridge

Martin D-1

30 Nov 05 - 05:57 PM (#1617546)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?

but I do not believe this guitar was made in the 1970s.

It is made of laminated woods, and though still a Martin, of the much lower priced variety. Nonethless, too bad it got smashed up. I would still take it over most Yamahas and Takemine sushi servers.

30 Nov 05 - 05:58 PM (#1617550)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,Lady Policeman

I would have thought that if you approached the Landlord asking for names of witnesses etc and mentioning the police involvemnt he would quickly supply the name of his insurers as he will be unlikely to want the local police thinking he runs an unruly house especially with the new licensing laws!

30 Nov 05 - 07:10 PM (#1617611)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: pdq

The Martin D-1 production seems to have started in 1994.

An average used copy in the US, about $500 dollars, or about $300 British pounds.

You may want to look at the label to verify what model it really is (was?).

01 Dec 05 - 12:40 AM (#1617828)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Clontarf83

Played in a pub in the dockland area of dublin in the early seventies. Tiny room, tiny stage next to front door. Piano at the back of the stage. We took the first break and the landlady came out from behind the bar with a huge german shepherd hound on a leash. She tied it to the leg of the piano.

We took our guitars with us real quick. Lesson learned.

03 Dec 05 - 11:07 AM (#1619298)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,12stringstan

Sorry for neglecting this thread. thank you for replies and suggestions, but the incident seems to be sorting itself out.

The lads were arrested later that night, drunk and disorderly, and given a bed in the cells. unbeknown to me the landlord has a brother in law, a member of the very same station. making his initial reaction even stranger i think, But he has now reported them, and is bringing a case against them, claiming damage to premises and furniture, breach of the peace, and basically anything else he can.

To my end, he has offered to repair or replace the equipment, to my discretion, in so far as we do as we feel nesacerry, he will then come with us personally, to collect and pay for all equipment, believing he may recover part of the expense in court.

It was the morning after i initially posted this, he rang up, with a full apology, invited me and the family down for a meal, and put the offer to us. That's what you call sleeping on it huh!.

My Aquantaince was a little annoyed to put it mildly, but eventually confessed it could have easily happened to him, so we are thankfully still on speaking terms, I offered him a bodhran to smash up in return, but his heart wasn't in it!

The Future's bright..........

03 Dec 05 - 11:18 AM (#1619303)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: Leadfingers

Glad this has all been sorted out satisfactorally (Sp) - Getting an instrunent damaged at a gig is just a teensy bit traumatic !

03 Dec 05 - 11:36 AM (#1619314)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: GUEST,leeneia

"My Aquantaince was a little annoyed to put it mildly, but eventually confessed it could have easily happened to him"

Those are words of true wisdom. They were so apt that I chuckled when I read them. You know, that chuckle that comes when something is startlingly right. You have a good friend there.

I'm glad the situation is sorting itself out.

03 Dec 05 - 11:40 AM (#1619316)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: John MacKenzie

I always worry about these 'Pub Props' , as they hold you intrument fast so that a stray kick can do more damage, instead of just knocking it over. Mind you I still have one!!
Glad it's all sorting itself out, I just wouldn't take my guitar out if it wasn't insured, as I'll never be able to afford another Martin.

12 Dec 05 - 05:25 PM (#1625912)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: open mike

what's a solicitor?
was your guitar finished re-fretting in time to offer it to the
unfortunate chap who lost his in this incident?

"invited me and the family down for a meal" what did you have to eat?

12 Dec 05 - 09:55 PM (#1626083)
Subject: RE: unforgivable damage?
From: DonMeixner

Thanks for the help.