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PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!

Dickmac 10 Jul 04 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Confederado 10 Jul 04 - 09:40 AM
CapriUni 10 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM
Dickmac 10 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM
Once Famous 10 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM
Franz S. 10 Jul 04 - 12:06 PM
Franz S. 10 Jul 04 - 12:11 PM
Joe_F 10 Jul 04 - 06:47 PM
YOR 10 Jul 04 - 10:09 PM
Blackcatter 11 Jul 04 - 01:28 AM
GUEST 11 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Mappa Mundi 11 Jul 04 - 09:58 AM
CapriUni 11 Jul 04 - 10:36 AM
BaldEagle2 11 Jul 04 - 12:44 PM
Willa 11 Jul 04 - 02:18 PM
The Villan 11 Jul 04 - 04:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 04 - 05:14 PM
Joe Richman 11 Jul 04 - 06:08 PM
Joe Richman 11 Jul 04 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 11 Jul 04 - 11:23 PM
Blackcatter 12 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 12 Jul 04 - 12:03 PM
Steve Parkes 12 Jul 04 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 12 Jul 04 - 12:38 PM
bbc 12 Jul 04 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 12 Jul 04 - 12:50 PM
Ernest 12 Jul 04 - 03:48 PM
Arnie 12 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM
artbrooks 12 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM
Blackcatter 12 Jul 04 - 07:25 PM
Joe Richman 12 Jul 04 - 09:31 PM
Joe Richman 12 Jul 04 - 09:47 PM
ex-pat 12 Jul 04 - 10:40 PM
Steve Parkes 13 Jul 04 - 04:00 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Jul 04 - 04:59 AM
GUEST,Blackcatter 13 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jul 04 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,Frank 14 Jul 04 - 06:06 PM
Ernest 16 Jul 04 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Tom Hamilton 17 Jul 04 - 07:24 AM
Blackcatter 17 Jul 04 - 12:32 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jul 04 - 09:19 PM
Dave Hanson 18 Jul 04 - 04:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jul 04 - 01:54 PM
Joe Richman 18 Jul 04 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Frank 19 Jul 04 - 10:59 AM
Ernest 19 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Jul 04 - 03:07 AM
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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dickmac
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 08:30 AM

YES- DEFEND THE BANJO
As a banjo player (with more enthusiasim than skill)I get lots of fun
picking away - so what's the problem. Other folks have hobbies that can, and do, annoy me but life's too short to worry about things like that.
I don't mind the jokes and some are actually quite funny.
What I can't stand are those musical snobs who think their instrument is the only instrument or their style of music is the only stlye.
Live and let live.

I can't believe that this thread has produced such a response in such a short time. Have some folk nothing better to do with their time?

I'll sign off with the blessing given by the late Danny Kyle
"May the skin of your arse never cover a banjo"


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Confederado
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 09:40 AM

Most of you all have probably seen this, but for those of you who haven't here's a "canonical list" of banjo jokes. I suppose the humor is that most of them have roots in truth.
http://bluegrassbanjo.org/banjokes.html


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CapriUni
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM

Besides Mudcat, among the forums where I sometimes hang out are the usenet groups dedicated the British Sci-fi series Doctor Who. One of the regular posters there, a writer of DW novels (Dave Stone), signs his posts:

"Take care. Have fun. Bring your own banjo."

Seems like a good general motto for life, if you ask me! ;-)


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dickmac
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:50 AM

For our American cousins, just in case you don't know,my earlier e mail referred to "arse" - it's your "ass"


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Once Famous
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM

eric the Red

you misread what I wrote about Tommy Makem. He was really the only Irish banjo player anyone in America really had any exposure to. He made the Clancy Brothers watchable and listenable on the old Hootenany show. If wasn't for his banjo, I wouldn't of even wasted my time with any Irish music. I never heard of the guy you mentioned.

Sometime some threads just need to degenerate.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Franz S.
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 12:06 PM

To add some weight to this discussion, there is a scholarly work on the history of banjo-making which has beautiful color plates of 19th century banjos. It's also interesting reading, but then I am both a bibliophile and a banjophile.
America's Instrument: The Banjo in the Nineteenth Century
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry, that was supposed to be a blue clicky, but I hope cut&paste will work. Or Google.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Franz S.
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 12:11 PM

Hey, it did work! Wow!


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 06:47 PM

Dickmac: Actually, if my corpse is ever fished from a river by a miller, he may feel free....


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: YOR
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:09 PM

And who can forget one of the greatest banjo players of all times:

Pete Townshend!


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 01:28 AM

Steve Martin! He's even won a grammy for banjo playin'!



And Art - you know better than starting a thread and expecting the idiots around here not to try to hijack it. It's predictable that they are sharing all the stupid old jokes. By the way - I always look forward to seeing your posts, Art. There's only a handful around here of which I can say that.



My good friend, who has played the sweney banjo since 1963, just did a short workshop on the banjo's history for a bunch of us last night. It was wonderful.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM

A banjo was the best door stop I ever had


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Mappa Mundi
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 09:58 AM

I'm going to be giving banjo lessons soon, if any of you would like to learn.
Philistines welcome too ;0)


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 10:36 AM

Hmmm... the flaming and insults have pushed this down to the BS section, I see...Shame. If banjos aren't musical, what is?


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: BaldEagle2
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 12:44 PM

Why, Mr Bo Jangles:

    When plucking at your banjo, you sure should not forget
    You is suitably armed, and can deal with disrespect.
    Dance softly with joy - knowing this is stays true
    A banjo makes a good club, should some-one mock you.   
   
    Grip it firmly by the neck, as if it were a baseball bat
    Swing it high in the air and firmly down - just like that!
    Onto the head of that ignorant jerk in the crowd
    And his resulting silence will let your tunes ring loud.

    We banjoists can walk with head held high
    For with banjo in hand, no-one dare us decry:
    When persons mouth off to cause musical obstruction
    Then make your banjo a weapon of trash destruction.

At least, I think that is what my mommy once told me.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Willa
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 02:18 PM

Clipping from the local paper http://www.thisishull.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=136265&command=displayContent&sourceNode=136248&contentPK=10567894


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:31 PM

One of the great guys of the skiffle world, non other than Lonnie Donegan played banjo.

So do you guys want to criticise him?

That will certainly get things hotted up.

Lonnie Donegan was one of my heroes and a true pro.

All you anti Banjo players are talking up your a*** and are very selfish in your opinions. You are all probably pretty crap musicians yourself and are trying to divert the flak away from yourselves.

In this world, there is enough room for all musicians whatever they play.

I think it is all about how good you are as a musician, not what you play.

This only makes me more determined to offer a spot to a good banjo player at my club. Come on you banjo players, who is good enough to play at my club? You will get a sincerely warm welcome with no piss taking. you will be respected for your skills.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 05:14 PM

..."any thread he involves himself in quickly degenerates..

Shouldn't that be "exposes himself in"?
.........................

The default mode of converse for people in the British Isles tends to be ironic. So generally speaking, ostensibly rude remarks about banjos from this side of the water are best understood as really having a friendly intent.

If there really are people around who really dislike the banjo as an instrument, I'm sorry for them. Of course, like any instrument, it isn't always played as well as it deserves; and that is accentuated by the fact that, sometimes, people who don't play it too well set it up so that it is over loud. But that can apply to many instruments.

I think banjos sound a lot better without resonators.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 06:08 PM

Someone asked a lot earlier about the Liberty Buckdancer. Bob Flesher still makes the Buckdancer I think under his own label now. www.flesherbanjos.com I think


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 06:21 PM

The banjo, like the guitar, is actually a family of instruments with a lot of different sounds within the group. I own a banjo strung with nylon strings that sounds a lot different from the common steel string resonator banjo ( which I also own ). I also own one of Bob Flesher's gut string fretless wonders, which has a deep thunderous tone. Very 19th century.   

I'm not going to list all of the different types of banjos made over the years, but those who post to this thread could come up with a list of banjos in these categories they own (or used to own) themselves. So much more for banjo haters to hate and banjo lovers to love!

Joe


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 11:23 PM

Old friend, the late great John Hartford was fond of saying, "A banjo will get you through times of no money, but money won't get you through times of no banjo."

How true.

Art


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM

Well, except with money you could buy a banjo which isn't exactly the same thing, but it would end the times of no banjo.


Sounds like an interesting song: The Times of No Banjo

or how 'bout: The Times of Noh Banjo

?


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:03 PM

What's the definition of Perfect Pitch ?
.....Getting the banjo into the skip without touching the sides

What's the difference between a banjo and a Harley Davidson?
.....You can tune a Harley.

What's the difference between a banjo and a chain saw?
.....The chain saw has greater dynamic range.

What's the difference between a banjo and a cattle grid?
.....People slow down before they drive over a cattle grid.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:26 PM

Hey, that's the first time I've heard any of those jokes ... this week.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:38 PM

Well, the times of no banjo, for me, now, means not being able to play it any more because of illness and being unable to feel the strings. I've still got my good ol' banjo. I'm looking at it fondly as we speak. And I could buy several more if I was so inclined. ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: bbc
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:40 PM

Art,

Benjo or byan so does mean bathroom in Korean. I can't say whether it does in Japanese or not. Glad you liked your card, dear. Blessings on every year you're w/ us!

love,

barbara


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 12:50 PM

BBC--thanks. I ought to be here a good long time. This malady pretty much don't kill folks. It just helps precipitate your coping mechanisms (i.e. philosophical spiritual growth ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 03:48 PM

Don`t worry about the banjo* jokes:
They** were all invented by guitar players who can`t stand the idea that there are instruments that are louder than their precious axes...
Regards
Ernest

P.S.: Another variant is the McCalmans Song "Bodhrans and Banjos" - I`ve posted the lyrics a while ago...


* = refers also to melodeon jokes & bodhran jokes
** = Yes, both jokes


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Arnie
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM

Wasn't it King George Vth who, on his deathbed, spoke the immortal words "Bugger banjos!"


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM

Perhaps so Arnie, but he was known for somewhat peculiar proclivities.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 07:25 PM

Why those would be immortal words is anyone's guess.


Question: Is the banjo the only truly American (U.S.) invented instrument?


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 09:31 PM

Depends on what you define as an invented instrument. Weren't electronic synthesizers invented in the US? ( Like the Moog Synthesizer.) And are solid body electric guitars different enough from traditional guitars to be considered a separate category? Then I live only about 10 miles from the original shop that turned out the first such beasts.

Also, do you consider the gourd banjo to be a different instrument from the modern banjo? If not, then the banjo is an African (or maybe Arab?) instrument, and not American at all!

Joe


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 09:47 PM

Oops, I guess I'd live about 10 miles from the old Fender workshop regardless of whether one considers solid body electric guitars to be a "noteworthy" invention.   Well, my typing got ahead of my thought processes there.

Biological taxonomy circles are divided into groups known as "lumpers" and "splitters". The same must be true of musical instrument taxonomy.

Joe


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: ex-pat
Date: 12 Jul 04 - 10:40 PM

Heard "Washington Square", Pete Seeger and the Kingston Trio as a boy in in the 60's. Bought my first 5 string in 1964.
Picked up the guitar in '71. I find the guitar useful but nothing compares to the rhythm and melodies one can find on a good banjo.

As for banjo jokes, Hell, I tell them myself. I have no problem of laughing at myself. I grew up in the north of England, try being a banjo player there 30 years ago! Our band has a hammered dulcimer and button accordion too, we love to take the piss out of each other.
Lighten up some of you lot.

Banjos are special and those of us who know that smile confidently.

Deliverance gave us an image, just drool sometimes to freak people out!
Ollie


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 04:00 AM

I'm afraid that the eponymous Moog synthesizer was inspired by the equally eponymous Theremin, a Russian invention. The (also eponymous) Sousaphone was a differently-shaped tuba[?]. Not being American or Black, I'll hold my peace about the banjo.

And it's OK for banjo players to tell banjo jokes; the better you are, the more you can tell 'em: we know it's not jealousy!

Steve


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 04:59 AM

My banjo don't need no defending, it could fell an ox.
And no Arnie it was ' bugger Bogner '

eric


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM

Hi,

I know the banjo came from the African gourd insturment, but it is still a pretty big departure from that instrument, isn't it?

As for electronic instruments, that's another venue for debate. Synthesizers and electric guitars are played essentially like their accoustic parents. I don't know.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 11:42 PM

Electric guitar techniques can be very different from acoustic guitar techniques.

'Real' synthesisers have no acoustic parents (Thermemin). Midi keyboards are what many people mistakenly think are a form of synthesiser. Think 'Moog'. If you want to hear 'real' synthesised music - look up 'Musique Concrete'.

I have done my share of large hand spliced tape loops run around chair legs...

Robin


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 06:06 PM

Reasons to like the banjo.

1. It's part of American history and culture.
2. It's a happy instrument that doesn't take itself too seriously.
3. It's fun to play and to listen to.
4. it's versatile. Bluegrass is one form, old time, plectrum and tenor jazz style, Irish style and now it is geing used as a classical musical instrument. Bach sounds quite good on it.
5. It's a wonderful accompaniment instrument for singing. it suits the voice.
6. In most cases, you don't need amplification. It is self-contained.
7. It sounds good in the hands of a beginner or advanced player.
(A caveat. It can be obnoxious in the hands of someone who thinks he/she is a better player than he/she really is.)
8. Old-time banjo is expressive with many different tunings giving the banjo many tonal "colors".
9. It sounds good with other accoustic instruments. Round-Peak, Bluegrass, old style jazz and others.
10. It is a highly rhythmic instrument which makes it suitable for accompanying dances.
11. it's distinctive style has been the impetus for many good songs and tunes.
12. There is a version of it that is popular all over the world. Samisen in Japan, Sarod in India, Griot's instrument in Africa, found in Chinese music to accompany the Chinese Opera, and at one time popular in England as a classical instrument. The famous maker who fashioned the channelled fifth-string (I forget his name now) made a lovely banjo and I used to own one.

Hope this helps the case for defense of a great instrument.

Frank


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 02:36 PM

Why are we just defending ourselves & our instruments (the best in the world )???
It`s time to attack !!!!!!!!!!!
So let`s start making jokes about guitars...
there`s lots of them: viel Feind, viel Ehr!
Start now!
Ernest


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Tom Hamilton
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 07:24 AM

I also like banjos but I wouldn't defend them just like I wouldn't defend borran players as I am one myself.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Blackcatter
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 12:32 PM

The worst thing about guitars: Some players who only know three chords consider themselves musicians and worthy of praise.

I've left more than one note on a napkin in the guitar case of these idiots letting them know that not everyone is fooled.


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 09:19 PM

Some 'Three Chord & Capo' Guitarists are nice people, and even do make nice music, especially if they sing well, and use the guitar as a backing only; even though I do agree in principle with Blackcatter's comment.

But note that attacking other instruments does not defend any particular instrument any more than attacking other people defends the person doing the attacking.

Robin


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 04:40 AM

Guitars are good instruments, not as good as banjos or mandolins mind.
eric


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 01:54 PM

why should we take your word for it eric, you were the one who discovered america?


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Joe Richman
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 02:37 PM

Robin "Foolestroupe" has said some of the wisest things I've seen in this thread. We amateur musicians nowadays are constantly being held up to the glare of the studio-polished product of the professional recording artists, and of course we're usually found wanting. But music as a community art is not endangered yet because we just ignore our critics and go right on plunking and thwacking our bodhrans, guitars, banjos, zithers, squeeze boxes, etc.

I don't think it is very important to us banjo lovers whether they came from Africa, America or Antarctica. We just love the jarring sound the critters produce, and it gets better with time. More addictive than codeine! (At least for me.)

Joe


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 10:59 AM

The thing about the banjo is that it doesn't take itself seriously. If it does, it no longer is a banjo any more but has become co-opted by the corporate ruling class-ical music tyrants.
Arise ye banjo players. Shake off the shackles of conformity and morose long-faced depressive psuedo-academic pronouncements that bind you. It is truly the instrument of the People (whoever they are) and is the great equalizer in the music class-ical warfare.
It's time to revolt and give revolting music it's due. The vision for the banjo is that it's about having fun. It's a radical new idea in music that is never mentioned by the hidebound artsy press. and the critics whose job depends upon their inane profundity. There is no place for the banjo in the Pantheon of famous composers and serious musicians who have endeavored to impede the progress of music and send it back to slavish times. The banjo is   a jester, a lovely clown who delights children and makes the listener happy. It was King in the jazz Twenties and you could dance to it. It dances all by itself. I believe that even Michelangelo's output would have been improved by having his marble David play the banjo. Tschaikovsky would have elevated his music to a new level by the inclusion of this wonderfully abrasive and twangy instrument which in the hands of a great musician can laugh and cry at the same time. The banjo, although African is the epitome of Americana and when you hear it, it evokes lovely memories of mountains or stimulating rip-roaring times.

It's an instrument for all seasons and places. It especially sounds good in maudlin church functions or funerals. It is festive for all celebrations. I pity the poor individual who is not captivated by this wonderful instrument. They have been robbed of their soul.

Frank


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM

Amen to that, Frank. One of the best remarks yet.
Regards
Ernest


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Subject: RE: PLEASE, defend BANJOS !!!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 03:07 AM

Thanks Joe Richman. It's not often that people listen to what 'The Foole' says... :p


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