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Thread: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

  1. #1
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    There's been plenty of discussion here about which musical instrument is the worst -- banjo, accordion, bagpipes being the prime contenders, and banjolin not far behind. (I love 'em all.) Still, legal issues seldom arise, although, a few years back, a busking piper in Ottawa's Bytown Market claimed to be the victim of discrimination against Scots after merchants complained about him. I think volume and proximity were the issues -- Scots-Canadians can hardly claim to be an oppressed minority. However, this news story tells us that one musical instrument is considered "an offensive weapon" by Canadian law. I hope its players aren't offended.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thund...rest-1.5412764
    Last edited by Ranald; Oct-02-2020 at 3:54pm.
    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.

  2. #2

    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I used to think banjo jokes were the viola jokes of the folk/bluegrass (or otherwise non-classical) world. i.e. exaggerated concepts as a lever for humor. Then I discovered Rhiannon Giddens and now I think banjo jokes are blasphemy. Maybe you just have to be a beautiful singer to cover it up - idk - but I love her.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I'll keep the story short, but when the Gainesville University of Florida murders were happening many years ago (and I had three young daughters to protect), a '57 mandocaster was my defensive weapon of choice.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    My electric bass haas defended me from more than one drunk trying to climb up on stage and sing.

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    My 1970's apartment lease in Atlanta, Georgia, prohibited the loud playing of "musical instruments or saxophones".

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Some of my Lark camp buddies wanted to make an "offensive" band - their idea of an instrumentation was 5 string banjo, bagpipes (several types), hurdy-gurdy, accordions, steel drums, very loud rock guitar, zurna, theremin, steel guitar, etc.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Some of my Lark camp buddies wanted to make an "offensive" band - their idea of an instrumentation was 5 string banjo, bagpipes (several types), hurdy-gurdy, accordions, steel drums, very loud rock guitar, zurna, theremin, steel guitar, etc.
    But harmonica was going too far?
    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)

    When our youngest (now 30) was in the third grade he was trying to select an instrument to learn. My wife quickly put her foot down and said,"No" when he suggested trumpet. For trumpet fans don't take this wrong as I have heard some beautiful music from a trumpet, but she knew neither of us were ready to hear the noise that could come from an 8 year old trying to learn trumpet. He chose cello to the relief of both his mother and me.
    I'm certain that had he chose trumpet it would now sound just as beautiful as he now does on cello or mandolin, but the early cello years were much easier on our ears.
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I think maybe now with the advent of new CPAP cleaners i might just try the pipes. . . . . Naw

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    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I got pulled out of the TSA line at an airport once for a manual bag search. They searched, found nothing, then put the bag through the x-ray again. They pulled the bag out again and did a manual search. I asked what they were looking for, but they said they couldn't tell me. Finally, 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. Anyone who knows anything about guns will know how ridiculous that is. Then he scolded me that I should have put it in the bin. I had carried that harmonica in my luggage for dozens of flights, but that never happened before. I kept carrying it that way and it never happened since. Go figure...

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    I got pulled out of the TSA line at an airport once for a manual bag search. They searched, found nothing, then put the bag through the x-ray again. They pulled the bag out again and did a manual search. I asked what they were looking for, but they said they couldn't tell me. Finally, 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. Anyone who knows anything about guns will know how ridiculous that is. Then he scolded me that I should have put it in the bin. I had carried that harmonica in my luggage for dozens of flights, but that never happened before. I kept carrying it that way and it never happened since. Go figure...
    I enjoy it when I introduce a topic that really interests people.

    Regarding John's story: a American buddy told me that one time he was returning to the States and had to put his flute together, with a customs officer warily watching him, then play a tune before the officer was convinced it wasn't a weapon. As with John, it only happened once. (And, as the old fellas say, If it's a lie, it's a lie that was told to me. Oops, I am an old fella.)
    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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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    Some of my Lark camp buddies wanted to make an "offensive" band - their idea of an instrumentation was 5 string banjo, bagpipes (several types), hurdy-gurdy, accordions, steel drums, very loud rock guitar, zurna, theremin, steel guitar, etc.
    You need a didgeridoo in there somewhere.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I enjoy it when I introduce a topic that really interests people.

    Regarding John's story: a American buddy told me that one time he was returning to the States and had to put his flute together, with a customs officer warily watching him, then play a tune before the officer was convinced it wasn't a weapon. As with John, it only happened once. (And, as the old fellas say, If it's a lie, it's a lie that was told to me. Oops, I am an old fella.)
    LOL. I had to do that with a Mederios travel mandolin once at the St. Louis airport. They made me play it. It was all out of tune, so when I went to play, it sounded terrible, and of course dozens of people where watching and listening. I tried to tune it real quick, but the TSA guy said, "That's enough, move on." He just wanted to hear notes come out of it. That was embarrassing. That only happened once also, and I must have carried that mandolin on a hundred flights.

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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.
    It wouldn't be loud enough to compete!

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    You want an offensive weapon-you should hear me play fiddle! Now if that don't get the point across I sure don't know what will!

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    A late friend, who was one of the best old-time harmonica players ever, used to say - harmonica, the only instrument that both sucks and blows.

    Interesting on the offensive band - I appreciate most of those instruments, although it's tough listening to pipers in a smaller enclosed space. Same probably could be said for a good hurdy gurdy. Probably could add the bodhran to the list just to be safe.
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    A late friend, who was one of the best old-time harmonica players ever, used to say - harmonica, the only instrument that both sucks and blows.

    Interesting on the offensive band - I appreciate most of those instruments, although it's tough listening to pipers in a smaller enclosed space. Same probably could be said for a good hurdy gurdy. Probably could add the bodhran to the list just to be safe.
    That's a good suggestion.

    BTW, we had players available for all those instruments at Lark camp...and could have added a brass section if needed.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Adding the bodhran to the list says more about the lack of rhythmic feel in most US Irish sessions than it does about the instrument.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    A number of years ago I had picked up a banjolin.....a buddy called it "The Mother Of All Evil". He would only let me play it with him on "When I'm 64". It was a "remarkable" instrument.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    At one of our local jams one of our regulars is an excellent harmonica player. We did a few outdoor sessions but he wasn’t invited because of Covid guidelines.
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    I love my octave banjolin. I think it sounds nice. I think accordions are great--a band in a box. The trumpet player in my high school jazz band had his choice of girls.

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bevan View Post
    Adding the bodhran to the list says more about the lack of rhythmic feel in most US Irish sessions than it does about the instrument.
    The thing is, I have actually heard good bodhran players.

    But I am reminded of Chet Baker's comment about jazz drummers:

    "It takes a good drummer to be better than no drummer".

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
    I got pulled out of the TSA line at an airport once for a manual bag search. They searched, found nothing, then put the bag through the x-ray again. They pulled the bag out again and did a manual search. I asked what they were looking for, but they said they couldn't tell me. Finally, 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. Anyone who knows anything about guns will know how ridiculous that is. Then he scolded me that I should have put it in the bin. I had carried that harmonica in my luggage for dozens of flights, but that never happened before. I kept carrying it that way and it never happened since. Go figure...
    As a geologist, it is no surprise that when I travel for work, I bring back rock samples for the collection. I was flying through Frankfurt, Germay airport. I had a piece of galena (btw, galena is a lead sulfide based mineral). The x ray tech kept send my backpack through the x ray. Eventually they did a manual search of my back pack and pulled out the rocks. They put each one in a bin and then through the x ray (apologies to anyone that was behind me during this). The x ray tech said that could not have been a rock because all rocks come up green on the x ray. I had to explain that galena was lead (Pb) sulfide. After 3-4 more times through the x ray, they let me pack up my rocks and backpack and let me on my way.

    Not complaining, just telling a funny story. I'd rather they do what they did to confirm I wasn't carrying anything illegal.
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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    Quote Originally Posted by Heady View Post
    I used to think banjo jokes were the viola jokes of the folk/bluegrass (or otherwise non-classical) world. i.e. exaggerated concepts as a lever for humor. Then I discovered Rhiannon Giddens and now I think banjo jokes are blasphemy. Maybe you just have to be a beautiful singer to cover it up - idk - but I love her.
    Well, I agree with you on Rhiannon Giddens, but not so sure about banjo jokes. Blasphemous seems a bit much. Maybe "somewhat cruel, but still funny."

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    Default Re: instrument an offensive weapon (no mando)

    My pick for "offensive weapon" is the bombarde:



    Oboe on diatonic steroids!
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    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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