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Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?

Henry Krinkle 04 Oct 12 - 07:50 AM
Bobert 04 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM
Jack Campin 04 Oct 12 - 08:12 AM
Henry Krinkle 04 Oct 12 - 08:17 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 12 - 08:51 AM
Rapparee 04 Oct 12 - 08:57 AM
Rapparee 04 Oct 12 - 08:59 AM
Charley Noble 04 Oct 12 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Indiana guest 04 Oct 12 - 11:53 AM
Leadfingers 04 Oct 12 - 06:57 PM
Don Firth 04 Oct 12 - 08:30 PM
Rapparee 04 Oct 12 - 11:54 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 09:23 AM
Henry Krinkle 05 Oct 12 - 10:27 AM
Don Firth 05 Oct 12 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 05:47 PM
Henry Krinkle 05 Oct 12 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Oct 12 - 10:00 PM
John P 05 Oct 12 - 11:25 PM
Bert 06 Oct 12 - 12:43 AM
Gurney 06 Oct 12 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,Tootler on Mrs T's computer 06 Oct 12 - 05:13 AM
Henry Krinkle 06 Oct 12 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Felix Titling 06 Oct 12 - 05:59 AM
Mark Ross 06 Oct 12 - 12:04 PM
alex s 06 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Jenny without cookie 06 Oct 12 - 01:52 PM
Henry Krinkle 06 Oct 12 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Jenny still without cookie 07 Oct 12 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken) 07 Oct 12 - 04:55 AM
Henry Krinkle 07 Oct 12 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 07 Oct 12 - 06:51 AM
Don Firth 07 Oct 12 - 04:44 PM
JohnInKansas 07 Oct 12 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Brian Grayson 07 Oct 12 - 11:19 PM
Jenny S 08 Oct 12 - 09:29 AM
Henry Krinkle 09 Oct 12 - 04:19 AM
PHJim 09 Oct 12 - 03:17 PM
Henry Krinkle 09 Oct 12 - 08:56 PM
Henry Krinkle 10 Oct 12 - 06:25 PM
EBarnacle 10 Oct 12 - 10:45 PM
Ebbie 10 Oct 12 - 11:04 PM
olddude 10 Oct 12 - 11:23 PM
CupOfTea 11 Oct 12 - 03:49 PM
Don Firth 11 Oct 12 - 05:17 PM
Allen in Oz 11 Oct 12 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Oct 12 - 10:32 AM
HuwG 12 Oct 12 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Oct 12 - 10:20 AM
Kele 13 Oct 12 - 11:32 AM
PHJim 13 Oct 12 - 10:07 PM
Henry Krinkle 13 Oct 12 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Fyldeplayer 14 Oct 12 - 04:20 AM
Henry Krinkle 14 Oct 12 - 09:08 AM
PHJim 15 Oct 12 - 12:23 AM
PHJim 15 Oct 12 - 12:31 AM
Henry Krinkle 19 Oct 12 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Noddy 19 Oct 12 - 05:24 AM
Henry Krinkle 20 Oct 12 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 12 - 01:50 AM
Lonesome EJ 21 Oct 12 - 12:57 PM
reggie miles 22 Oct 12 - 12:37 AM
Lonesome EJ 22 Oct 12 - 01:51 AM
MAG 22 Oct 12 - 02:58 PM
Rumncoke 25 Jan 13 - 07:30 AM
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Subject: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 07:50 AM

You know. The Gibson Les Paul Custom you traded away for a cheap Japanese acoustic (one of mine). Or the so called repairman who butchered your prized and rare Mosrite built Acoustic Black Widow (another one of mine). Come on. Share your stories.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:02 AM

What, like a buckle coming loose on my gig bag and my Washburn ES10 resonator falling so hard that it not cracked the body but bent the cone???

B;~(


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:12 AM

Found on the web a long time ago. Must have been reproduced in many places.

This story comes from Larry Long, 2nd bassoon of the Owensboro Symphony, who swears it is true. He works as a woodwind repairman at Music Central in Bowling Green, KY.

Last week a woman called the store asking for a repairman. The reconstructed conversation follows:

Woman: I need a repairman to come out to the house immediately.

Larry: Well, Ma'am, we don't usually make house calls. Can't you bring the instrument to the shop?

Woman: No, you don't understand, this is an emergency. My son has his penis stuck in his clarinet.

Larry: Well, Ma'am, what do you expect me to do?

Woman: I want you to come get it off!

Larry: Ma'am I'm really sorry but I can't do that. You'll have to call 911 or take him to the emergency room.

Woman: No, you don't understand, I don't want the doctor to hurt the clarinet, because it's not paid for yet.

This is the end of the story as related, but Larry says several questions come to mind:

1. Which end of the clarinet?

2. E-Flat?, B-flat, A, or bass?

3. What Is going to happen to this kid the next time he hears a Sousa march?


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:17 AM

Yea. Or the cat that jumped onto the top of my Seagull Mini Jumbo and scratched the cedar top deeply.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:51 AM

The first time I ever saw a bouzouki used at a folk club was in the late (swinging) sixties at Manchester University F.C. (The Toast Rack)
The guest was a very well known folk star who turned up with her current feller - also a well-known folk star, who had an extremely beautifully crafted bouzouki, which he carefully placed on a chair on the stage.
In the fashion of the time, she was into whacky-backy, of which she had had a surfeit of before the show commenced.
Part of the way through the second half she decided to sing something which required accompaniment, so she announced the song and stood up to hand him the instrument, which she managed to knock off the chair. She tried to catch it, stumbled and overturned the chair onto the bouzouki splintering it into smithereens - brrrrr - still gives me goosebumps.
It was at the same club around the same time that I went to see the late Harry Boardman who had been booked as guest.
Harry had a tendency to rise in pitch on some songs, especially very rangy Flying Cloud, his favourite at that time.
He launched into the song, not noticing that that two students were sharing a joint behind him, just to the side of the stage and had managed to set the backdrop curtains alight.
Harry had progressed about halfway through the song and had risen considerably in pitch so he was somewhat red-facededly straining to reach the top notes.
He proceeded through the song with his eyes shut, impervious of the blazing curtains and the knot of people desperately trying to beat out the flames.
Apocalyptic
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:57 AM

I was just a wee little child when someone showed me a euphonium and told me that if I continued tossing popcorn into the bell they'd shove me inside to clean it out.

I still awaken screaming "Not in the euphonium!"


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:59 AM

Then there was the time I mistook a french horn for a urinal.

Well, it's an easy mistake to make. However, the young lady who played it wasn't impressed OR pleased. What she did has pained me through countless ages.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 11:29 AM

I had patiently waited for my chance to shine at the late night open-mic at Passim's in Cambridge, Massachustts, and my name was finally called. I climbed up the stairs to the stage, strode to the microphones, adjusted them for maximum effect, strapped on my banjo, and the strap button flew off. Well, I sort of stared out at the audience and said, "I had a dream last night that something like this would happen." That got a laugh, and I did manage to find the black button on the black carpeted stage and my two songs went off reasonably well. But now I always recheck the strap buttons.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Indiana guest
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 11:53 AM

As we were getting ready to take a break, my father placed his fiddle on top of my guitar amp. seconds later, my guitar strap came loose (at the neck end), sending the head of the guitar swinging down axe-like and INTO my father's fiddle. I gasped, immediately grabbed the guitar neck to raise it up, with his fiddle firmly impaled on the end.
The crowd got a few chuckles, but it was a looong ride home.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 06:57 PM

Check the weight of the Top Lid of an upright piano , then imagine the noise when the screws holding the (Open) lid fail ! Then think about the BORROWED Alto Sax That I had placed behind the piano while we had a break .


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 08:30 PM

Sometimes things work out okay.

A friend of mine named Terry Wadsworth (he wound up singing for two years with the New Christy Minstrels), who was living in Seattle at the time, was going to Tacoma (some thirty or so miles south of Seattle) for the day. And he was taking a number of items, including his guitar, a Goya classic. He got his car packed, jumped in, drove to Tacoma, and when he got there—no guitar!

He suddenly realized, with horror, what he had done. Driven off, leaving the guitar sitting on the parking strip.

A fellow by the name of Dick Chalcraft came home from work and parked in front of his apartment house. As he got out of the car, he spotted a guitar case sitting on the parking strip. He opened it up and, although he didn't know much about guitars, it looked like a pretty nice instrument. He had heard his upstairs neighbor playing the guitar and singing from time to time, so two and two came together immediately. He took the guitar into his apartment. Then the following day, he heard his neighbor moving around upstairs, so he took the guitar up to him.

Terry practically collapsed in gratitude and relief!

Terry and Dick and Dick's wife Beverly became good friends.

When it came to domestic duties, Terry was a catastrophe on the hoof. He once tried to bake a potato, and after the explosion, the potato had to be cleaned out of the oven with a hammer and chisel. After doing his laundry, he tried to iron a dress shirt. Fortunately he didn't incinerate it, but it would have been a whole lot better if he'd simply put it on straight out of the dryer, even though it wasn't wash-and-wear.

Bev took pity on him and did such things as feeding him and seeing to it that he didn't destroy his wardrobe. It wasn't that Terry was malingering to induce Bev to do his chores for him. He WAS a genuine, certified, and ordained klutz!

One thing led to another and Dick and Bev started hosting song fests at their apartment, then when they moved to a big house out north of Seattle, they would host hootenannies, house concerts, and song fests there, too. Sometimes they would be all-day things, starting with a picnic in their big back yard and run long into the evening.

Great people!!

Don Firth

P. S. Terry with the NCMs, back row, third from the left, CLICKY #1. And here's a characteristic shot, CLICKY #2)


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Oct 12 - 11:54 PM

My brother plays trombone. He had just started learning when one day he operated the spit valve and nothing came out! Never thinking that this was because there wasn't any spit in there he decided, all on his own, that it was plugged. Sure, music (or something similar) came out when he played but there was no spit!

So he took it into the yard and, bell end up, filled it with water and then poured in a drain opening chemical.

First, this did the trombone no good at all and second, it didn't reach the spit valve area. So he simply kept pouring in the water until it overflowed from the bell. Then he reversed the instrument and did the same thing via the mouthpiece. He drained it through the spit valve, taking the cork seal off it at the same time.

Drain cleaners don't mix well with the finish or the innards of trombones. They don't improve the tone or anything else about them.

Fortunately it was a very old and very used trombone Mother had bought at an auction for a very few dollars.

My brother went on to finish his trombonic education with an instrument borrowed from the school -- and while it's difficult to believe he actually became a fairly decent trombonist. He also learned the correct way to clean a trombone and that a lack of spit is not a problem as long as there's no lack of music coming out.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 09:23 AM

One day long ago I carelessly put my guitar in its case but did not fasten the clasps.

The next time I picked up the case, the lid came open, the bottom flopped down, and the guitar itself slipped out and crashed to the floor. Now I fasten all the clasps whenever I put a guitar in a case.

"The average man learns from his mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others." I hope somebody will learn from my mistake.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:27 AM

I did that with my guitar too. A Les Paul.
Only a few tiny dings. I got lucky.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 03:51 PM

Not a horror story as such, but still, when I think about it from time to time, I give myself a dope-slap!

In 1963, when I enrolled in the Cornish College of the Arts Music Conservatory, there was plenty of opportunity to practice between classes, so I wanted to bring my guitar with me to the school. But unless I wanted to pack it upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber, I had to leave it somewhere, and the only semi-convenient place would be under the table in the coffee room. Actually, a couple of other guitar students were keeping their guitars there as well, so…….

But anybody could simply walk off with a guitar or two.

I had two guitars at the time, a very pricy classic and an extraordinarily good flamenco guitar. Very stealable stuff, and I didn't want to take a chance with either of them. So—buy a beater that, if someone pinched it, I'd be totally pissed, but it wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg.

I went to a small shop that a couple of friends ran. They imported guitars from various countries, Spain and France mostly, but a couple from Japan. Some of them were concert quality, but they also had a line of "student guitars," serviceable, but not so pricy.

I spent an evening trying out a bunch of them. It came down to two. One was a Spanish-made classic made by an apprentice of the luthier who had made my flamenco guitar. The other was a Japanese-made guitar made by a luthier completely unknown to me:   Masaru Kohno.

I was familiar with Fernandez because I had one of his guitars, and I assumed his apprentice would be well-guided by the master. Kohno was completely unknown to me. The "Casa Fernandez" guitar played nicely and sounded pretty good. The Kohno also played nicely, and actually sounded great.

But I had heard all kinds of bad things about Japanese-made guitars, so I opted for the "Casa Fernandez." The prices of the two guitars were about even.

About six months after I bought it, the "Casa Fernandez" developed a spilt in the back. Then another one on the lower bout. In fact, it spent a fair amount of time back in the shop being repaired.

In the meantime—Kohno guitars have not only held up well, but are now considered some of the best concert guitars in the world!

Selling for many thousands of dollars now. And I could have had one for well under $300!

I didn't know it at the time, but Masaru Kohno had also apprenticed under Arcangel Fernandez, and now that he had his own shop in Tokyo, he was making his guitars of top-quality woods, which was not the case with most apprentice-made instruments. The maestro doesn't want a student to screw up first rate woods in case he botches the job, and the woods used in the "Casa" were kind of second rate. Something that Arcangel Fernandez would never have used in his own guitars.

Here's some poop on Kohno guitars:   CLICKY.

My mistake was in listening to what people who didn't know from Shinola told me about "cheesy Japanese guitars" instead of trusting what my own ears told me!

So—self-administered dope-slap!!

Don Firth

P. S. One thing about practicing between classes at Cornish. At the time I as there, Cornish didn't have practice rooms as such, so it was sometimes a bit tricky to find someplace where you wouldn't be distracted or distract other people. But I blundered into a neat place that only a couple of other students had thought of.

There was a performance hall in the building that nobody used during the day. I'd go in, flip on the stage lights, and set a chair in the middle of the stage. For guitar practice or singing, in addition to practice as such, I could get a feel for what it's like to perform in a concert hall—and how the sounds I made projected. It got to the point where I felt comfortable performing on stage. That helped my actual performances quite a bit.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:47 PM

Had you but known, eh Don?

You encourage me to treasure the inexpensive (but loveable) guitars I own.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 05:53 PM

They start out inexpensive. Then they become vintage and valuable investments.
(:-( O)=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 10:00 PM

We shall see.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: John P
Date: 05 Oct 12 - 11:25 PM

A friend of mine stood on the shore watching his instruments get stolen from his sailboat while the Coast Guard and the shore patrol both denied jurisdiction to go do anything about. One of the instruments was a nice classical from Spain.

Quite a long time later he was contacted by the guitar maker -- someone had fished the guitar sealed in its case out of the ocean and contacted the builder to find out who owned it. He got it back.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Bert
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 12:43 AM

We had this talent contest at work, just a fun thing, nothing special. I got my guitar out of its case and found that Number One Son had borrowed it and broken a string and put it back in the case without telling me. I always carry a spare set of strings with me now.

Oh, and don't leave your guitar in the car on a hot day, 'cos the bridge may come unglued. I know!


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 02:19 AM

It started out as a horror story.
Facebook: United Breaks Guitars.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Tootler on Mrs T's computer
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 05:13 AM

A former boyfriend of my daughter's had a genuine Gibson Les Paul.

Being short of money once, he pawned it. When he went back to redeem it, the pawnshop had sold it. He has regretted it ever since.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 05:25 AM

That happened to Brownie Mcghee I understand. He obtained Blind Boy Fuller's guitar from his widow. Pawned it. Came back to get it. Sold.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Felix Titling
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 05:59 AM

I once bought a Victorian violin from a noted antique shop that is no longer there; it used to stand in a row of old shops just of Elvet Bridge in Durham and was noted for its many musical curiosities. The violin was an old one - locally made according to the proprietor - very much a folk fiddle in every sense: roughly carved, but quite charming as much folk-art can be. In lieu of a scroll there was a grotesque 'Green Man' which I recognised as being copied from a prototype in the cloisters of Durham Cathedral. An odd choice, I thought, for a Victorian violin maker to incorporate such a thing when fashionability for Green Men began no early than 1970, some 140 years after my fiddle was made. Still, there is a gravestone from 1830 in the churchyard of St Brandons at Brancepeth Castle featuring a copy of a 'Green Man' from Rosslyn Chapel; that my fiddle was from 1830 too only served to add to the intrigue and, if I'm honest, the unease. For no sooner had I bought my violin (did I say it was cheap? Even by the standards of the time I felt £50 for such piece was too good to be true somehow) and left the shop than I got the impression that I wasn't alone; that I was being followed, a presence, forever on the edge of my vision, a figure, in black, I fancied (or figmented) in top hat and tail-coat, with a cane, and , absurdly, although I was quite sure of it, a pair of very dark glasses.

He was with me during a perambulation around the Cathedral cloister, where I checked the details of the foliate head on the peg pox of my fiddle with that in the dark North West corner. Yes, indeed, it was exact in every detail, however so adapted for the purpose. I noted also, in the cold light of that winter day, the reddish brown bloody sheen that seemed to glow from deep within the ancient patina of the body; and there, unseen in the gloom of the shop, was a crudely incised Latin inscription. It said Factus sum in silva cum sanguine irrigata. Tacui in vita et in morte canam.

I recognised the last bit as being a variant of a common enough couplet found on many venerable old fiddles, it simply means when I grew in the wood I was silent, only in death do I sing, but the first bit was a puzzle. I indicated the inscription passing cleric who chanced to show an interest in my purchase, asking if might supply a translation, which he did, and it was simply this: when I grew in the wood, I was watered with blood.

I recognised those words too, at least something very similar, and, after purchasing a second-hand copy of The Collected Ghost Stories of M R James from the local branch of the SPCK, I sat down with tea and scones in one of Durham's more picturesque tea-rooms and read the story of The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral to clarify some points of detail. But even I here I got the distinct impression I was not alone, as did the waitress, who kept looking over into a dark but empty corner with some puzzlement: 'Eh, I could have sworn - but - must be my eyes playing tricks.' etc.

Suitably refreshed, and not a little enlightened, I took the violin back to the shop and insisted upon an explanation from the eccentric proprietor.

'Ah - thought you might be back, sir - though - maybe not so soon, sir, eh? Thought it might take a while, sir - usually does - thought it might even take several days, sir - for the penny to drop - as it were - as to the price and all for - that's a fine piece o' work that fiddle is and no mistake - no ordinary work either - you can see that much, sir - see it for yourself - and hear it too if you had a mind to play it - but - not in here, sir - if you would be so kind - which is why I keeps his strings slackened you see - so he won't play - which he does, sir, oh he plays alright - on certain nights - and days - days like this - high days, I call 'em, sir - high dark days in winter when he might play even if his strings are slacked off. Anyway, sir, suppose you'll be wanting the prarvernarnce on that, will you, sir? I have it just here, sir - I would have given it to earlier, sir - but - well I knew you'd be back, sir - sooner or later because - well - they always are, sir - but it's such a relief, sir, just to get it out the shop - even if only for a few hours. Now - where did I put that prarvernarnce?'

'No need for the provenance I'm sure,' said I, laying the case on the counter. ' - Just a refund, if I may?'

'And - perhaps a little more if you'd be so good not to mention it being as how a fiddle can get a bad name, sir and - I wouldn't like to be stuck with him - not all the time, sir, for - a man needs respite, sir - if only for a few hours - as I say - '

'Indeed. So - how came you by it?'

'Gentleman brought it in, sir, oh - twenty years since now, sir - said he'd found it in an old house he was working on - a house with a reputation for ghostly music - student house it was, sir - up Crossgate - near The Angel - number fifty-four as I remember it - said he found it walled up in one of the rooms - in an old fireplace - that it looked as if someone had been trying to burn it but - well I've tried that, sir - tried it myself - many the time - '

And here he paused, and placing his hand on the violin case, and with an expression of grave sadness, he said:

' - But it won't burn, sir, it just won't burn - the case neither. Oh I've tried - and many the time - even had in on stoves and bonfires - but it just won't burn, sir, it just won't burn - so - suppose I'm stuck with him, eh?'

'I should think you jolly well are,' said I, making haste to the door.

'Oh, sir - just one more thing - '

'Yes?'

'You won't be too alarmed by The Gentleman , sir - will you?'

'The Gentleman?'

'Yes, sir - I suspect you may have noticed him - tall fellah - very dark in his dress - but - I've reason to believe it's old Mr Havercroft who made the violin in the first place, sir. He'll follow you round a bit longer - at least until someone else buys the fiddle when - he'll follow them around instead but - he's quite harmless, sir, although - it's his face, sir - '

'His face?'

'Yes, sir - you see - it can affright, sir - at night - when you wake up and there he is - right there - staring at you out of the dark - supposing he can see because - he's got no eyes, sir - he lost 'em as a boy - according to the prarvernarnce - lost 'em in an accident felling the very tree from which he then made this very violin here. Years later. Made it blind so he did, which is all the more remarkable when you think of it. But - he means no harm by it, sir, I'm sure - at least - I've never heard of any harm - so - well - should you know of anyone else who you feel might take a fancy to it, sir - I'd be very grateful if you could spread the word - and - I suspect you will you too, sir, come the morning.'


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 12:04 PM

My Gibson LG1 was stolen from my apartment while I slept. The thief walked all the way across town, from the Lower East Side to the Village, walked into the coffehouse where I usually played, and tried to sell MY Guitar to my roommate. He recognized it by the funny colors all over the case.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: alex s
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 12:48 PM

A guitarist mate proudly showed me his brand-new-that-day guitar and dropped it on to the flagstone floor of the pub we were in. Punched the bottom strap button clean through the body, which unfortunately was an Ovation composite. What a mess.

Dr John Barrow tells a tale of putting his beautiful classical guitar down to talk to a student in the car park and then running over it (the guitar) with his car.

I was once playing banjo when the strap snapped. I asked if anyone had any string and a lady in the audience gave me her tights. Grey ones. We displayed them for years at our gigs.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Jenny without cookie
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 01:52 PM

It was a pub session and we had finished playing. I was sitting with my hammer dulcimer on my lap (supported on it's single screw-in leg) when an elderly gentleman who had been standing at the bar beside me most of the evening collapsed onto the dulcimer, wrenching out the dulcimer-leg screw-housing, and scattering half-inch delrin bridge rods far and wide.

Being a typical english pub, the carpet was of a busy red/black/white pattern, expressly designed to camouflage small items of debris. Everyone was so concerned to find the lost delrin that most of the clientelle spent the next ten minutes or so on hands and knees searching for the lost pieces.

It was not until the delrin rods were recovered that anyone paid any attention to the gentleman who had fallen. He was sitting beside me looking as bemused as I felt ... I had assumed that he had had a glass too many - but not so. His wooden leg had collapsed.

So now there were two of us with a dodgy wooden leg to fix.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 06 Oct 12 - 01:56 PM

That's pretty good.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Jenny still without cookie
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 04:17 AM

Yep - that was around 25 years ago and the dulcimer's still sounding great (it was even still in tune the following day, once we had re-inserted all the bridges).
Not so sure about the gentleman with the wooden leg though.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Ted Crum (Steamchicken)
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 04:55 AM

Try inhaling a broken harmonica reed in mid-tune. Doesn't half clear the chest, and it makes the audience laugh a treat!


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 05:23 AM

Ouch.
(:-( O)=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 06:51 AM

When we were kids we weren't allowed harmonicas because someone died choking on a broken read...


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 04:44 PM

A little different kind of instrument horror story:

Pamir House, one of the coffee houses where I sang a lot in the early 1960s, had a small group of regular hired and paid singers, of which I was one. But the owner was amenable to letting people who wandered in off the street sing a song or two also. In fact, he hired a couple of darn good singers that way.

But this led to some people thinking that our song sets were free-for-all jam sessions and would sometimes join in without being asked, often to the exasperation of the "official" singer(s) and the general annoyance of the audience.

A plague upon the face of the earth are—bongos. They're cheap enough to buy and any idiot can bang around on them. An equivalent in some cultures is the bodhran. They can add if tastefully and appropriately used, but they so rarely are!!

Anyhoo, there is this half-witted but eager interloper there one night with his accursed bongos. I'm sitting up on the stool doing my set, with this yahoo throbbing and thumping along with me, mostly out of rhythm......

When one of the women customers asks me to sing "Greensleeves."

Now, this is a song I do well, if I do say so myself. A carefully worked out lute-like arrangement on the classic guitar, and rather than the interminable number of verses, I have condensed it to three, or at the max, four.

So I sing it.

And this brainless ninnyhammer sits there trying to add a calypso beat to a Renaissance love song!!

I go the applause, he got the dirty looks!

Don Firth

P. S. It was a few minutes later that the owner of the coffee house came out of the back and asked the guy to either put the bongos away or leave.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 09:25 PM

About the closest I can come to a disaster story was just after I'd arrived at the WVA festival for the month long sit in line to get a place in the line to get in.

I sat down to do a little warm up practice, and halfway through the first piece the bridge on my mandolin split right in the middle.

It only takes a few minutes to verify that no place in Winfield Kansas is going to come up with a mando bridge, and the idea of the 150 mile round trip back to Wichita to look for one didn't sound too interesting, so I looked around for a piece of wood that might be suitable. The only thing handy was an old clothespin that I found in the "ready to wash" hamper, so I whittled something resembling a bridge out of it.

When I did get back to the big city, I found that the trip to look for a real one wouldn't have done much good, since nobody there had one either. I played the mando with the clothespin bridge for about three years before I finally scrounged a "real bridge." It actually didn't sound much different, but that's probably more a comment on my playing than on the quality of the part.

(Hard Maple isn't the wood of choice for recreational whittlin' of small parts. A decent hunk of brass is (I've done it) easier to cut, although the best tools for the two are a little different.)

John


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Brian Grayson
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 11:19 PM

Feral drummers - don't get me started...

When I was a young man I used to be found
At festivals, concerts and sessions
Where you'd hear singers kill both the fox and the hound
And do bad Louis Killen impressions
They played cheap concertinas and plywood guitars
And sang twelve-part harmonies in dark smoky bars
But even on acid and orbiting Mars
They still sounded better than drummers

For the drummers play African rhythms
They play them all day and all night
And it fair gets me goat
That with only one note
The bastards still can't get it right

Now there's drums and mirimbas and didgeridoos
And they've all got the one thing in common
They're loud and discordant, and if I could choose
I'd get in a plane and I'd bomb 'em
For everyone thinks that they're easy to play
They thump and they buzz through the night and all day
And I wish that the buggers were far, far away
In Chad or Tierra del Fuego

It's attracted the tone-deaf, the rhythmless and lame
A rag-bag of musical ferrets
The gormless, the clueless, the same prats who claim
That punk-rock has musical merits
World Music's a Good Thing, I cannot deny
And if it sounds pleasant I'll give it a try
But I'd cheerfully live till the day that I die
In a world that had no bloody drummers

(Brian Grayson 1994/The Band Played Waltzing Matilda)


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Jenny S
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 09:29 AM

Drummers - we heard them last Saturday, thought they were partying at our neighbours' place. We could still hear them Sunday, so decided to go see where they were. It took us a while, but we found them at last - 20 miles away, over the other side of the mountains.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 04:19 AM

In the army there was a guy who played. I traded him a cheap, crappy solid state amp for his guitar. He went through a doorway in the barracks with it and the headstock got between the door and the jamb. Snapped it off. He had glued it back, but not too good.I used it for a long time. A Conn guitar. Matsumoku I think.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: PHJim
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 03:17 PM

My wife and I had just finished a set at a festival in Cobourg, Ontario and she left her 1921 O-18 on a stand while she talked to an audience member.
The next group must have been very impatient to get set up, because they decided to put her guitar away for her in a tight fitting case. When she went to ahd put it away and saw that it was already in the case, she assumed that I had done it.
When she got home and opened the case, we found that it had been forced while not sitting right and there was a foot long crack in the treble rib of her poor little guitar. It has since been repaired, but a lesson about leaving a guitar unattended was learned.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 09 Oct 12 - 08:56 PM

Ow. I always keep mine with me. Even to go to the john.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 06:25 PM

There was that brand new Jew's harp I bought. Took it out of the box to play it. It stunk like it'd been in somebody elses mouth. I nearly puked.
(:-( O)=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 10:45 PM

The night of the big blackout I was in NYC at an Ed Trickett concert at South Street on Pier 17. I had my recently acquired Wheatstone E2 with me.

When we finally gave up due to lack of power and light I went back to my car, put the concertina on top of the car, unlocked it and headed for home. In the middle of the Holland Tunnel I looked over at the concertina and it wasn't there.

Oh SHIT moment. Went back to where I had parked and found the concertina lying safely in its case in the middle of the street. It was actually OK. I had left it on top of the car and it rolled off in the middle of Fulton Street. Somehow, the looters did not see it.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 11:04 PM

I was at a music party when a woman picked up her Martin by its strap from its case. The strap came off the button, the guitar fell and suffered a nasty gash on its top. She eventually had it repaired, I think, but it was a sad night.

Another time - I wasn't there that time - a fiddler had propped his bow against a chair and this same woman stepped onto the middle of it. It broke in two. He had it repaired but said it has never sounded the same since.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: olddude
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 11:23 PM

Well my buddie in College had his girlfriend catch him in the act with another coed ..

Next day he found his Martin D-35 soaking in the bathtub in hot water with bubble bath included ... OHHHHHH that is just mean


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: CupOfTea
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 03:49 PM

oooooh, Dan that IS indeed mean - but it might have made an interesting photo for an album cover.

Joanne


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 05:17 PM

Guitar arrangement of Handel's "Water Music?"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Allen in Oz
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 10:13 PM

In the mid 1960s I was just about to go on stage in a church hall before a big crowd in Sydney Australia when a non musical lady friend of mine walked past and said " What are these" as she laughingly proceeded to loosen the nuts which tuned the guitar strings ...aaargh!. It is like it happened yesterday

Still , some of the above stories are far, far worse

AD in Oz


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 10:32 AM

Hi, Allen. Twisting a dial when you don't know what it's for is a sign of a very immature person.

I was at a fashion show where a four-year-old walked up to the amp and turned the volume dial, sending out a painful blast of high-pitched feedback.

That was when I realized that all children should be imbued from Day 1 with the idea that children play with their toys and Nothing Else. Or Else.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: HuwG
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 08:02 PM

I was at a pub session, where one of the players had left a new Martin 28LD Lonnie Donegan signature guitar propped up in the centre of the room.

A bass guitar player walked into the middle of the playing arena, bearing a pint of Guinness, and tripped over his own amplifier lead. The pint of Guinness left the glass and described a beautiful ballistic arc, straight into the soundhole of the Lonnie Donegan guitar. The howl of agony from its owner and several others present was quite harmonic.

Oddly, we all thought that the guitar always sounded more mellow afterwards.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 10:20 AM

But how did it smell?


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Kele
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 11:32 AM

This isn't precisely a horror story, but it's funny:

A friend of mine was practicing banjo out in back of a local restaurant before a gig, on the edge of a creek that ran behind the place. Another friend, a bass player, walked by, saw her there, and shouted:

"Don't jump, Pam! Just throw the banjo!"


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: PHJim
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 10:07 PM

My brother Dave and I were going from Hamilton to Port Hope one cold winter night and decided to stop and watch my son, who was playing at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. We left my '62 D-21 and his 72 D-18 in the trunk of my car. (No lectures please. I know better but...)
We took the guitars out of the car in Port Hope and left them in the cases all night. In the morning, when we opened the cases, Dave's guitar's lacquer was covered with tiny cracks. Mine had always had these cracks and I noticed no changes to my guitar. Dave was devastated, but almost everyone who's played the guitar before and after this happened agrees that it sounds much better since the crazing in the lacquer.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 13 Oct 12 - 10:12 PM

My Gibson LGO is crazed all over and sounds great.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Fyldeplayer
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 04:20 AM

Performing at Battersea Arts Centre in a Folk Show, the over enthusiastic perucssionist 'rocks' the stage so hard my valuable bouzouki slid from stand 'engraving' my recently acquired Fylde Oberon! - since then I always think 'First cut is the deepest'.

Who remembers the Reginald Perrin/Joan Collins Cinzano advert on the plane (the tipped drink)? Standing by a chair where I had placed octave mandola face up, I enquired about the time. In slow motion the caller who was holding a bottle of beer rotated his wrist to check his watch sending a stream of alcohol neatly into the sound hole!!


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 09:08 AM

I went to do a job and stayed overnight. When I got back a cat had jumped on top of my Seagull Mini Jumbo and put a couple of deep scratches into the cedar top. It had been in mint condition.
(:-( o)=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 12:23 AM

My friend Washboard Hank had his old D-18 run over by a truck at a festival a few years back. When I visited the Hank To Hendrix guitar shop in Peterborough, I saw that it was on it's way back to becoming a guitar again.    Hank's Broken Guitar


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 12:31 AM

Here's a link to a blog about a horribly modified pre-war O-21 or OO-21 that I bought over 30 years ago. It has been rebuilt by Ed Dick and is living in British Columbia.    Sorry guitar modification


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 05:16 AM

I asked about having my Mosrite built Acoustic Black Widow solidbody electric set up and to have the frets leveled and recrowned. They recommended a local fellow who worked out of his house. I told him what I wanted and trusted it would be done properly. When I saw my guitar again all the yellowed lacquer down one side of the neck had been stripped off. A new chip was in the back of the neck. He had also taken the neck off and put a thick wooden shim in the neck pocket, making the string action extremely low. I told him to put it back the way it was. Must have made him mad. He screwed the neck back on, distorting the metal neck plate and cracking the body at the neck joint. My first decent guitar and very rare. He must have gotten a Stew Mac catalog and thought he could be a pro luthier. Off in Fantasyland.
(:-( o)=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST,Noddy
Date: 19 Oct 12 - 05:24 AM

It was a long time ago at the Rhuddlan Folk Festival (now no longer with us)two guitarists were standing chatting behind a car with cases on the ground both the worse for ware after a great session in the bar. One left and joined us while the other got into the car and drove off. Unfortunately he forgot to put his guitar in the car and reversed over it. Matchwood.
We did not know wether to laugh or cry. But we did have a bit of a collection around the festival to help buy a new one.


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Henry Krinkle
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 03:22 AM

A common thing to happen, I think. That, and leaving it on top of a car and driving away.
(:-( ))=


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 01:50 AM

I was playing music at a summer dance. Two hot dancers with sweaty hands who had been drinking, lost their grip and one of their heads smashed into my guitar top leaving a splintered hole. My fellow musician beside me covered the damage with his hand so I would not see it right away....my guitar has not been the same since. It needed major surgery to repair....


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 12:57 PM

The Dead Man's Guitar
From several Halloweens ago...


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: reggie miles
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 12:37 AM

A tad on the edge of this thread's parameters perhaps but here goes.

Though any salty seafarin' scoundrel'll do, you may wish to read the following tale using your best Robert Newton impersonation of Long John Silver from his 1950 performance in "Treasure Island". AR!

At the following link you'll find an obscure foot note in the annals of maritime jugbandalry...

The One What Bitsed Me Washboard's Leg Off!

Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 01:51 AM

Felix, GREAT little story there!


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: MAG
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 02:58 PM

My contra dance band was playing on a rickety stage which turned out to have tied together sections.

A leg of my chair went down as a section pulled free and over I went' landing on my David Webber and smashing it flat.

Thank you, David, for somehow managing to put it back together. at a price I could manage to pay.

love love love my guitar


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Subject: RE: Any Good Instrument Horror Stories?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 25 Jan 13 - 07:30 AM

My first guitar was an old thing with F holes, but it sounded sweet, and I had worked all summer in a canteen kitchen to buy it so I felt a strong attachment to it.

It went with me to college in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, and met a fellow named Adrian Bell - self proclaimed expert in all things who had been everywhere and done it all.

He said he could mend a small crack in the seam, which did not need mending, prised the back of, stripped off a layer of ply, glued it back with Bostik and tuned it up before the glue dried so the seam opened up several inches wide.

I could probably forgive him for almost everything he did and said, if I tried, but not for ruining my poor old guitar.


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