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Thread: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I fixed that for you. If I can get this to load.
    Thanks,
    sounds_good

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise NM View Post
    You need a didgeridoo in there somewhere.
    Ahhh, Louise, while I am not in the least offended that you would list the didgeridoo as offensive, when played authentically and in the right context by an Australian Aborigine it is a very spiritual and sacred instrument. Unfortunately the didgeridoo has been taken up by many non-indigenous players and in my opinion they lack the knowledge of the "The Dreaming" to play it with the feeling and depth of a traditional player. It can't be too bad seeing how it's been around for about 40,000 years.
    If you have time you may like to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLu9...%26Didgeridoos
    Cheers.
    Last edited by David Kennedy; Oct-04-2020 at 12:08am.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I once used my mandolin case as a defensive weapon. Does that fit the thread parameters?

    Once upon a time, 1972, I was working in a travelling circus. (Way too many stories about this; sticking to the matter at hand). We roustabouts slept in bunk rooms, sections of a semi, six bunks per section, three on either side of the door. Yeah, pretty cramped. We slept in there while the trucks rolled overnight to the next town. In the morning, after breakfast, we'd set up the big top and the bleachers, then we could do what we wanted - even watch the show - until it was time to break it all down, pack it up, and drive to the next town.

    We had a rare weekend stand in Somerset PA. That gave us time to hang out and see what passed for social life there. Some of us found the pool hall, and had some fun competing with the locals. Someone mentioned there was an oil survey team looking for workers on a road crew. It paid a lot better than the circus, so I quit. But somehow I left my mandolin in my bunk. It was a Gibson A in a hard shell case. Sure, they're small, but not THAT small. And of course, the circus had gone on to the next town, Newcastle, a couple hundred miles away. I hitchhiked there, found the circus (an advance team puts up little signs to direct the drivers, so I knew what to look for), found my mandolin, and started to head back.

    For some unknown reason, a group of five or six black teenagers began hassling me. I was a hippie, with a big afro, so I used to get this often, though usually from rednecks or jocks, not blacks. A friend of mine who had grown up in a predominately black neighborhood in St. Louis had told me, if I ever found myself in a situation like this, to be cool and hip and use the right lingo, which he said was, "Hey, man. Cool it with the jive sh*t." So I said that - which had a different effect than I'd expected. They got around me on the sidewalk, yelling and swearing, and one of them punched me in the head. I instinctively swung my mandolin around, spinning in a circle, which kept them at a safe distance. I didn't know what this would lead to beyond a pause in the action. Maybe I was hoping I could hold them off long enough for someone to rescue me. No such luck. So I went a little crazy, and stepped into the street, still swinging it around. They yelled at me to come in out of the street. I said, "No, I don't think so!" I figured I had a better chance with the cars than with those kids. After a couple of minutes a black guy with his family in a station wagon stopped and told me to get in. Thank goodness for that. I didn't see a way out of that mess. I managed to get back to Somerset by the evening and life went on its course.

    So let that be a lesson to you. Gig bags and fiber board cases are all good and well, but for good true protection, for mandolin and mandolinist alike, get a hard shell case.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    ... they found my harmonica in a side pocket. The TSA supervisor told me that on x-ray, it looked like the magazine for a .22 auto pistol ...
    And yet, that is EXACTLY what happened in the story from the OP!
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

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    Silverangel Econo A #438
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    As a bagpiper for over 15 years, I once had an "experience" flying with my pipes. I was flying from MA to WA for, likely to visit my brother or my nephew-both of whom were stationed at Lewis. This must have been about 2011 or so.
    I was going through security in the airport in Boston, and the security guard told me that bagpipes were illegal because they are considered "weapons of war". I laughed, figured he was joking.
    He wasnt.
    He was going to confiscate my pipes (silver scribed McCallums) right then and there. I told him that if he so much as touched them, we would have issues. I then held up the line until a state police officer was called over. I had played with the Boston Gaelic Column (police band) several times, and kinda knew where this was going.
    The trooper asked what the problem was. The TSA guy told him my pipes were illegal. He asked him how so...after a brief explanation by the agent, the trooper just smiled, called him an idiot, and let me through.
    There is no factual documentation of bagpipes being outlawed (the famous myth of them being so after the uprising in 1745 is false). The Proscription Act of 1746 was an attempt to weaken the Gaelic culture and clan systems, but there is no documentation of them ever being outlawed, nor is there any record of anyone being arrested for carrying or playing them.
    In fact, the Proscription act led to the English using the Scots for their army to bolster the ranks, and were often the ones sent overseas to, well, die. And these regiments had pipers-there is historical documentation of them in America and India. So, no, they were never declared instruments of war. Although, they have been USED in war...and I have personally witnessed the Territorial Guard (in the late 80s) using them as a form of psychological weapon against the IRA in training. Its what ultimately drove me to that instrument that I swear to God the Devil himself helped invent.

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  10. #31

    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    My pick for "offensive weapon" is the bombarde:

    Oboe on diatonic steroids!

    Perhaps I should chime in - being a player of nearly all the aforementioned (sans didj); I used to practice oboe in a closet in deference to my neighbors

    Wire harpers were reportedly subjected to punishments:

    Queen Elizabeth I came into power in 1558, inheriting all of the Empire’s colonial entities. Both she and King Henry VIII have been justly celebrated for their contributions to English court music in terms of patronage, and singers still perform the famous madrigals and motets of Elizabethan England. Elizabeth’s work regarding Ireland, however, reveals a different relationship to the musical arts. The government, in general, felt that Irish musicians were “seditious and dangerous persons” (Rimmer 1977: 39). Shortly before she died in 1603, Elizabeth I issued a proclamation to “Hang all harpers where found and burn the instruments” (O’Boyle 1976: 10). One by one, the upper-class bards who had been such an important part of Gaelic Irish life were killed. Some of them escaped by going “underground” with their talents, and a few harpers were left to carry on the tradition, but nowhere near the numbers that had existed before. Ireland collectively underwent an upheaval as the society that had supported the culture bearers, upon whom many people depended, was shattered.

    Re air travel: an image of a concertina under x-ray is highly provocative - resembling as it does some kind of wired explosive device.. But if one's goal is to render a stealth attack on an unsuspecting individual, an effective approach would be a wire garrote - easily procured from one's instrument in the overhead bin.

    Then of course, there's the mariachi approach..
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Re air travel: an image of a concertina under x-ray is highly provocative - resembling as it does some kind of wired explosive device.. But if one's goal is to render a stealth attack on an unsuspecting individual, an effective approach would be a wire garrote - easily procured from one's instrument in the overhead bin.
    As a matter of fact, a fiddling friend of mine claims that one time when flying, she was told to remove the strings from her violin for precisely that reason. She said that she was eventually able to convince security that the idea of a five-foot-tall woman during a flight, climbing up onto a seat, removing her violin from the rack, then spreading the case across both her lap and her neighbour's so that she could remove strings, all without attracting attention was a mite ludicrous --without even getting into overpowering the crew with her garrottes. She got onto the flight, fiddle intact -- and, as in previous stories, it was only once. And this old fella says, If it's a lie... see Post #11, above.)
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  13. #33

    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I carried a McNally Strumstick on a plane in its soft case (which unlike the picture in the link was green and has no giant logo on it). TSA did not hassle me. They asked me what it was and I just said it's a musical instrument and I was on my way. I have had a lot of people ask me if it's a gun whenever it's in the case.

    I carried the Strumstick in its case on the university campus where I work from my office, along a sidewalk on the outer edge of some dorms that have security cameras pointed in all directions and out onto the cliffs over the beach. I sat on a bench, pulled it out and started playing some tunes. Suddenly a campus police officer on a bicycle comes toward me on the path at high speed. He screeches to a partial stop in front of me, kicking up a cloud of dirt, and when realizing that the thing I had been carrying was indeed not a rifle at all but a musical instrument, he gives me a thumbs up, keeps going and sort of pretends like nothing had happened. It took me a second to realize what had happened but since so many people have asked if it's a gun, I put two-and-two together. When I walked back to my office I made sure not to put it in the case. I no longer will use that case anymore. I'll put it in plastic bag or nothing.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I carried a McNally Strumstick on a plane in its soft case (which unlike the picture in the link was green and has no giant logo on it). TSA did not hassle me. They asked me what it was and I just said it's a musical instrument and I was on my way. I have had a lot of people ask me if it's a gun whenever it's in the case.

    I carried the Strumstick in its case on the university campus where I work from my office, along a sidewalk on the outer edge of some dorms that have security cameras pointed in all directions and out onto the cliffs over the beach. I sat on a bench, pulled it out and started playing some tunes. Suddenly a campus police officer on a bicycle comes toward me on the path at high speed. He screeches to a partial stop in front of me, kicking up a cloud of dirt, and when realizing that the thing I had been carrying was indeed not a rifle at all but a musical instrument, he gives me a thumbs up, keeps going and sort of pretends like nothing had happened. It took me a second to realize what had happened but since so many people have asked if it's a gun, I put two-and-two together. When I walked back to my office I made sure not to put it in the case. I no longer will use that case anymore. I'll put it in plastic bag or nothing.
    I'd be nervous too if I saw you pull something out of that case in the middle of campus.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Here's Al Capone in Alcatraz. I guess the banjo is not considered an offensive weapon in the US prison system.

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    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  17. #36

    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    A fellow up here in the mountains invented a concoction he calls a banjammer which has a a dulcimer neck coupled to a little drum. In the hands of a skilled player it just sounds bad, but with a "hacker" playing one it is a clear and present danger.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Here's Al Capone in Alcatraz. I guess the banjo is not considered an offensive weapon in the US prison system.

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    Some Capone lore: That banjo was sent to him by his wife, Mae. He later switched to playing the mandola. He actually wrote some songs in prison, including a love ballad entitled "Madonna Mia," about his wife. He also joined the Alcatraz music ensemble, the Rock Island Band, that performed for the prisoners every Sunday.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Here's Al Capone in Alcatraz. I guess the banjo is not considered an offensive weapon in the US prison system.

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    Capone was suffering from neurosyphilis. This can cause you to do many irrational things, even playing a banjo

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Here is a song Al Capone wrote while in prison. This got some news coverage when it came up for auction in 2009. I assume it was written on/for mandola.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    The nice thing about banjo jokes is that the same jokes are used for just about every other (obnoxiously played) instrument; the only difference is that the instrument names are changed to protect the innocent.

    Though half a century of surviving bad jokes, I've heard the exact same jokes for electric and double bass, accordion, bassoon, viola, cajon, bagpipes, electric and acoustic guitar, Dobro, fiddle, pipes, and yes, even mandolin. Happily for banjo players, no instrument is really exempt.
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    The nice thing about banjo jokes is that the same jokes are used for just about every other (obnoxiously played) instrument; the only difference is that the instrument names are changed to protect the innocent.

    Though half a century of surviving bad jokes, I've heard the exact same jokes for electric and double bass, accordion, bassoon, viola, cajon, bagpipes, electric and acoustic guitar, Dobro, fiddle, pipes, and yes, even mandolin. Happily for banjo players, no instrument is really exempt.
    Interestingly, the article that I connected to in Post 1 told of a man being arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, a harmonica. In the previous 38 posts, I don't think that anyone other than me used the word "harmonica." I'm not even sure if many read the article. I've been enjoying the thread though -- plenty of good stories and funny comments, even a lesson about and a tune by a famous criminal. Thanks, all.
    Last edited by Ranald; Oct-07-2020 at 1:18pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Here's something that might not be much of a weapon, but is pretty offensive. It could be yours for only $829.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    Interestingly, the article that I connected to in Post 1 told of a man being arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, a harmonica. In the previous 38 posts, I don't think that anyone other than me used the word "harmonica." I'm not even sure if many read the article. I've been enjoying the thread though -- plenty of good stories and funny comments, even a lesson about and a tune by a famous criminal. Thanks, all.
    Actually, John Flynn did, in post #10, describing a similar case of mistaken identity at an airport. I referenced this in post #28, noting the similarity in the two misunderstandings.

    Just sayin' ...
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Actually, John Flynn did, in post #10, describing a similar case of mistaken identity at an airport. I referenced this in post #28, noting the similarity in the two misunderstandings.
    You're right, Bear. As soon as I read your comment, I remembered the harmonica being mistaken for the magazine for a .22 hand gun. Apologies to John. But let's face it, harmonicas are soon forgotten when mandolin players have banjos to ridicule.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  31. #44

    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    The nice thing about banjo jokes is that the same jokes are used for just about every other (obnoxiously played) instrument; the only difference is that the instrument names are changed to protect the innocent.

    Though half a century of surviving bad jokes, I've heard the exact same jokes for electric and double bass, accordion, bassoon, viola, cajon, bagpipes, electric and acoustic guitar, Dobro, fiddle, pipes, and yes, even mandolin. Happily for banjo players, no instrument is really exempt.
    I once saw Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach) as a guest conductor with the KU band. He said, "These should be saxophone jokes, but since I usually work with orchestras, I'll tell them as viola jokes". He then proceeded to tell 30 minutes worth of hilarious viola jokes.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Due to their inspirational influence, bagpipes were classified as instruments of war during the Highland uprisings of the early 1700s,
    and following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden in 1746,
    the government in London attempted to crush the rebellious clan system.
    An Act of Parliament was passed which made the carrying of weapons, such as those vicious bagpipes,

    and the wearing of kilts a penal offence. ( the Act was .. repealed in 1785)
    writing about music
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Due to their inspirational influence, bagpipes were classified as instruments of war during the Highland uprisings of the early 1700s,
    and following the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden in 1746,
    the government in London attempted to crush the rebellious clan system.
    An Act of Parliament was passed which made the carrying of weapons, such as those vicious bagpipes,

    and the wearing of kilts a penal offence. ( the Act was .. repealed in 1785)
    Sorry, but that's a legend -- see Post 30, above. This legend even has variants. At a fiddle camp, some years ago, an instructor told us that fiddles had been outlawed after Culloden. The sad thing is that she had an honorary doctorate, and taught a course on the history of Cape Breton fiddling at a university, so she got to spread such ignorance under the guise of formal education. You'd be amazed how much folklore we all learn, presented as fact by teachers and professors.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    For pure aural obnoxiousness, a plain old Tin Whistle has enormous potential.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I don't have any super fun stories like y'all, but I do travel with harmonicas frequently. I one time walked through a metal detector at an airport and it went off. I realized my mistake and went through again, sans harmonica, with no issue. I also always have my backpack searched manually because of harmonicas, and one time they wanted to know what the rack was. I never had further issues after explaining that I'm an obnoxious person who hangs out with musicians
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    We could morph into a whole new thread over instruments that just sound obnoxious. The most obnoxious instrument I ever jammed with was actually one of my favorite instruments...but only when played in competent hands. I attended an Irish session with a guy who played the Uilleann pipes, but he was not very good. It sounded like we were jamming with a dozen cartoon car horns!

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    I don't have any super fun stories like y'all, but I do travel with harmonicas frequently. I one time walked through a metal detector at an airport and it went off. I realized my mistake and went through again, sans harmonica, with no issue. I also always have my backpack searched manually because of harmonicas, and one time they wanted to know what the rack was. I never had further issues after explaining that I'm an obnoxious person who hangs out with musicians
    Hi Gunnar...in the US we have learned not to make ANY snarky comments to airport security. Those folks have no sense of humor at all.....

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