Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: The Mandolin in America

  1. #1
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    819

    Default The Mandolin in America

    Thanks to the Post Office, Christmas continues to be a rolling affair in our household, as items ordered long ago in anticipation continue to slowly arrive. Yesterday, one such gift showed up for me - Walter Carter's "The Mandolin in America." Last night, when things quieted down for the evening, I opened it up and started scanning through the pages. The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous pictures. The book is packed with them, lovingly identified by age and maker. The text seems equally detailed and complete. Really looking forward to digging into all that copy to round out my understanding of the history and evolution of the instrument. Taking one last flip through before heading to sleep, I realized something quite important is missing from the book. I didn't see one picture or mention of either the Shmergel Devastator or Destroyer. Do I have too early an edition of the book? Or was it removed for some reason? I am perplexed.
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

    1916 Gibson A1, 2013 Collings MF, 2018 Pomeroy Oval V style, 2019 Northfield Big Mon F
    1968 Martin D12-20, 2008 Martin HD28, 2016 Waterloo WLS Deluxe
    1978 Ibanez Artist "Flying Eagle" Masterclone Banjo

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Russ Donahue For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,128

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    You can only buy that edition in person, supplied in a plain brown paper wrapper from the back room at Carter's. You have to wear a mask. You slide cash under the back door out in the alley and the book is delivered to you through a slot in the door. They randomly supply samples of the picks made from Unobtanium for about 1:1,000 purchases. You are supposed to throw salt over your left shoulder and walk away quickly without verbally addressing anybody or looking them in the eye. If you do not follow these instructions, the book will immediately self-immolate!

  4. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to John Soper For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    773
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    You can only buy that edition in person, supplied in a plain brown paper wrapper from the back room at Carter's. You have to wear a mask. You slide cash under the back door out in the alley and the book is delivered to you through a slot in the door. They randomly supply samples of the picks made from Unobtanium for about 1:1,000 purchases. You are supposed to throw salt over your left shoulder and walk away quickly without verbally addressing anybody or looking them in the eye. If you do not follow these instructions, the book will immediately self-immolate!
    Nice to know they are following WHO recommendations but perhaps taking them to a new level. OK with me.
    Stiver A style (MAS has stopped here)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Harley Benton A style (grandchildren's learner)

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Pittsburgh Bill For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,473

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Perhaps just another conspiracy by anti-Shmergel subversives (Gibson, Weber, Collings, Eastman et. al.) to cover up the existence of this nonpareil gem of mandolins?

    No, I think not. Access to Shmergel instruments is so limited (each one takes over 15 years to construct, including the aging process for each of the 79 coats of finish), that I speculate an agreement between Carter and members of the Shmergel dynasty, to omit mention of Shmergel instruments in the book. Some things, as we know, are better left unsaid -- or, as spoken in many '50's sic-fi moves, "There are things we were never meant to learn!"

    The other possibility is that the Mandolin In America title was a factor; it's not known exactly where Shmergel instruments are constructed. Some have guessed a remote Pacific island, others a secret workshop built inside a Chilean volcano. No one has tracked their delivery system; they appear (and disappear) quite mysteriously. Part of their appeal -- beyond their miraculous work-person-ship, and their supernatural tone and volume -- has been their elusive production and distribution methods.

    We may never know. Does Bigfoot play a Shmergel? Did D W Cooper use his airborne crime proceeds to buy a Devastator? Speculation runs rife, but them that know, ain't tellin'...
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to allenhopkins For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Resident Hack
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Has everyone forgotten the first rule of the Shmergel Devastator?
    What I play
    Eastwood 'Ricky'
    Morgan Monroe RT-1E
    Epiphone Genesis guitars
    Various Basses

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mitch Stein For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    I speculate an agreement between Carter and members of the Shmergel dynasty, to omit mention of Shmergel instruments in the book.
    I can neither confirm nor deny having any knowledge of a conspiracy to suppress Schmergel instruments.

  12. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to walter carter For This Useful Post:


  13. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,473

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by walter carter View Post
    I can neither confirm nor deny having any knowledge of a conspiracy to suppress Schmergel instruments.
    Exactly the response one would expect.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  14. #8

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Did D W Cooper use his airborne crime proceeds to buy a Devastator?
    Quite possibly. DW Cooper was in fact a highly talented mandolinist who, like his more famous older brother DB Cooper, also engaged in various unorthodox aerial activities that generated unlimited tax-free income. DW may very well have sought to obtain one of these mythical mandolins that were a better match for his advanced playing abilities.


  15. The following members say thank you to JL277z for this post:


  16. #9
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,182

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by JL277z View Post
    Quite possibly. DW Cooper was in fact a highly talented mandolinist who, like his more famous older brother DB Cooper, also engaged in various unorthodox aerial activities that generated unlimited tax-free income. DW may very well have sought to obtain one of these mythical mandolins that were a better match for his advanced playing abilities.

    Wait, now I'm confused. I thought DW Cooper was the stage name for DW Washburn?

    https://youtu.be/4cRCv06YNhM
    2008 Weber Gallatin F, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Eric Platt For This Useful Post:


  18. #10

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Wait, now I'm confused. I thought DW Cooper was the stage name for DW Washburn?

    https://youtu.be/4cRCv06YNhM

  19. #11
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    near Boston, MA
    Posts
    482

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    I ordered "The Mandolin in America" on seeing the OP. Recieved it today and spent 30 minutes just flipping through, gazing at pictures and diagrams of beautiful mandolins. Looks like a good read, just have to make time...

  20. The following members say thank you to Frankdolin for this post:


  21. #12
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    12,026
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: The Mandolin in America

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    I didn't see one picture or mention of either the Shmergel Devastator or Destroyer. Do I have too early an edition of the book? Or was it removed for some reason? I am perplexed.
    My understanding is that there is an industry-wide prohibition on publishing images of Shmergels in any form. This is out of concern for public safety, owing to the deleterious effect they may have on the eyes and minds of any and all who may chance upon perceiving such imagery, however briefly.


    It seems to me the country of origin is a moot consideration. Wherever they originated, their presence presents pressing problems.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    The big blowhard in his conch shell blowing championship form

  22. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to journeybear For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •