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Topic: Musical magicians who play any of the "unholy three."
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 19, 2005 10:51AM)
We all know that there are several magicians who are also musicians. For example, Michael Close is a keyboard artist. So is Marshall Thornside. Dick Zimmerman plays ragtime piano. But most keyboardists play the piano; after all, that's what most of us learned on when we took up "the keyboards."

Among musicians, there is an old joke -- What is "Perfect Pitch?"

Then answer is usually: "That's when you toss a banjo into the dumpster, it clears both sides, ricochets off the accordion and lands on the bagpipes."

The piano is a nice, respectable instrument. But the accordion, the bagpipes and the banjo are the ones that are known far and wide as "the unholy three."

I know that several of us play one or more of these instruments? Anyone want to confess?

I play banjo and accordion.

Eugene Burger took accordion lessons when he was a kid.

Glenn Godsey plays the banjo.

Michael Weber plays the banjo.

Anyone else want to 'fess up? Or, would you prefer to point the finger at someone else?
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (May 19, 2005 11:27AM)
I like ALL of those instruments, but play none of them.

If I could play the banjo, I would. I love the instrument. I consider Earl Scruggs a genius and I admire his work greatly.

The accordian is still pretty popular around here. I don't know if this is the case nationwide, but from what I understand, if you wanted to take piano lessons in Milwaukee that you would almost certainly be required to begin on the accordian. This seems to have been the policy up until the 70's at least and some teachers still do it this way.

The bagpipes are just haunting, I've always loved them as well.

If you partake of the "unholy trinity", my hats off to ya.

Vandy
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 19, 2005 12:22PM)
You just reminded me of the Far Side cartoon of the angel welcoming souls to Heaven; "Welcome to Heaven, here's your harp" and a demon welcoming souls to Hell; "Welcome to Hell, here's your accordian!"

I'm also reminded of a comedian who once observed; "The bagpipes are an Irish invention... the Irish introduced them to the Scots and the Scots never caught on to the joke!"

Don't know any banjo jokes.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (May 19, 2005 01:12PM)
I must admit. . . I. . . play. . .all three. But not at the same time. I'm sorry.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (May 19, 2005 01:17PM)
I don't really play the banjo, But I can play it. I perfer the juice harp.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (May 19, 2005 01:24PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-19 14:17, Corey Harris wrote:
I perfer the juice harp.
[/quote]

Is this the new PC name for the instrument? LOL. I knew it by another name, which admittedly, always kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

Vandy
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (May 19, 2005 01:31PM)
That was just wrong Vandy. lol.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (May 19, 2005 01:36PM)
I was being serious! I never liked the other name so I always called it a jaw harp. I never heard juice harp. I like it!!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 19, 2005 03:28PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-19 13:22, mandrake01 wrote:
You just reminded me of the Far Side cartoon of the angel welcoming souls to Heaven; "Welcome to Heaven, here's your harp" and a demon welcoming souls to Hell; "Welcome to Hell, here's your accordian!"

I'm also reminded of a comedian who once observed; "The bagpipes are an Irish invention... the Irish introduced them to the Scots and the Scots never caught on to the joke!"

Don't know any banjo jokes.
[/quote]

My father was the Palmer of the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course, which was the largest selling accordion course of the 1940's and 1950's -- the good old days. That cartoon was his favorite.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 19, 2005 03:30PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-19 14:17, Corey Harris wrote:
I don't really play the banjo, But I can play it. I perfer the juice harp.
[/quote]

The old name of the instrument in question raised a lot of eyebrows right after WW II, what with the Holocaust, etc. So it was sold with a really interesting name, "The Bruce Harp." Those who played it could be spotted by the chipped front teeth!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 21, 2005 09:38AM)
They did a Peanuts movie in which Snoopy played a "jaw harp." They tried marketing it on a card with Snoopy playing one. (I never understood the other name to begin with.)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 21, 2005 10:01AM)
It was just one of those names that was given to the instrument that "stuck." There are other examples of this historically, which I will not post to the web site, because they are generally racist or otherwise offensive.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (May 21, 2005 02:23PM)
'Sfunny...In Mexico, the accordian is an integral instrument in the popular music style called "Rancho" (best described as Mexican C&W), among other styles. It is admired and respected as a lead instrument while the guitar falls back to support. I've seen blind accordian players that just WAIL on the thing and make music I've never heard before.

The banjo isn't so well known here. But I, as a lover of Bluegrass, have great admiration for it. I've always liked fingerstyle over picking. And the banjo does exactly that. I've also heard that the banjo is the only instrument that was invented, designed, and developed in the USA.

Bagpipes...I'm the grandson of a Scottish immigrant. Up your kilt!
Message: Posted by: scott b. (May 21, 2005 04:11PM)
I've always loved the banjo and bagpipes. Never could play the bagpipes but attempted to. Would still love to get into playing a banjo.
Message: Posted by: Vincent (May 21, 2005 06:08PM)
Well, let's see...

... coming from a traditional Italian family I was 'encouraged' to play the accordian.

Some how I won out with the aide of one of my aunts and begged, borrowed and pleaded for a guitar.
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan of course.

The guitar is still the prevalent instrument but now oddly enough I find myself intrigued with the accordian.

Go figure.

As far as banjo I can play fake banjo and pass it off on a date but my banjo chops are sorely lacking.

As for bagpipes, now that I no longer smoke, maybe I have a shot.

However I think my neighbors would run me out of town on a rail.

They already put up with a variety of musical and non musical sounds emanating from my four walls.

Take Care,

Vincent :die: :magicrabbit: :die:
Message: Posted by: Justin R (May 21, 2005 09:26PM)
What do you call a guitarist at a banjo convention ? A musician . That's just an old joke I heard, not a personal belief.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 21, 2005 11:31PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-21 15:23, Patrick Differ wrote:
'Sfunny...In Mexico, the accordian is an integral instrument in the popular music style called "Rancho" (best described as Mexican C&W), among other styles. It is admired and respected as a lead instrument while the guitar falls back to support. I've seen blind accordian players that just WAIL on the thing and make music I've never heard before.
[/quote]

We hear a lot of conjunto up here. Flaco Jimenez is one of the real wizards of the instrument. A friend of mine, the late John Gabbanelli, was from a family that made accordions in Italy. Hohner was the brand of choice in Mexico until John came along. He started making accordions that were red, white and green. Completely took the market over from right here in Houston.

[quote]
The banjo isn't so well known here. But I, as a lover of Bluegrass, have great admiration for it. I've always liked fingerstyle over picking. And the banjo does exactly that. I've also heard that the banjo is the only instrument that was invented, designed, and developed in the USA.

Bagpipes...I'm the grandson of a Scottish immigrant. Up your kilt!
[/quote]

I have a website devoted to banjo setup. Most of the banjo players on this forum have been there -- http://www.banjowizard.com -- it's world famous. I have had banjo players from Mexico use it for a reference when building their own instruments.

I wish we could say that the banjo was "born in the USA," but that is a myth that Joel Walker Sweeney perpetrated in order to get a patent on it. It was an instrument that came over from Africa with the slaves. You can still find its ancestors there; one, the Akonting, from the Jola tribe, is played in a style very much like Appalachian clawhammer.

But I do have to say that the development of the banjo from the old style instruments to what we have nowadays is pretty much an American thing, as is the development of the electric guitar.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 21, 2005 11:39PM)
Banjo, bagpipe and accordion jokes:

A fellow with an accordion case and a fellow with a banjo case are waiting for a taxi. Which one is the musician?

The taxi driver.

What is the difference between an accordion player and a large pizza?

A large pizza can feed a family of four.

How can you tell if the stage is level?

The drool runs out of both sides of the accordion player's mouth.

How do you get a banjo player to leave?

Pay him for the pizza.

How can you tell that the pizza delivery man is a banjo player?

When he knocks on the door, it gets faster and faster, and he doesn't know when to come in.

What is the difference between a trampoline and a bagpipe?

You have to take off your shoes before you jump up and down on a trampoline.

What is the difference between an onion and an accordion?

Nobody cries if you cut up an accordion.

Last week, Earl Scruggs left his banjo in the back of his car. When he returned, someone had broken the window and put in three more banjos.

TA DA!!!!!
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (May 22, 2005 12:07AM)
With a last name of [b][i]Campbell[/i][/b], which would you suspect?

(Actually, I don't play any of them. I used to play the guitar, so a banjo would be the most likely. I truly enjoy both bagpipes and banjos.)

During the four years that our daughter was in her high school band, we used to see (and hear) Glendora (CA) High School's Tartan marching band at parade and field show competitions. It's hard to imagine that in Glendora, CA one could find a half-dozen high-schoolers who could play the bagpipes at all, much less six who are exceptionally good. Glendora had (and probably still has) six exceptionally good pipers. To hear them burst into [b][i]Scotland the Brave[/i][/b] was one of the highlights of every parade in which we saw them.

I cannot think of any music that will fill me with more emotion than hearing [b][i]Amazing Grace[/i][/b] on bagpipes.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 22, 2005 03:29PM)
I love the pipes. However, I have a standing order that Amazing Grace is not to be played on the pipes at my funeral.

I also don't want the Beer Barrel Polka, Lady of Spain or Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 22, 2005 05:59PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-22 16:29, Bill Palmer wrote:
I love the pipes. However, I have a standing order that Amazing Grace is not to be played on the pipes at my funeral.

I also don't want the Beer Barrel Polka, Lady of Spain or Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

[/quote]

How about "Mull of Kyntire"? - I'm probably misspelling that!
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (May 22, 2005 06:36PM)
I remember spending a happy night, fifteen or twenty years ago, coaxing a not-too-shoddy bagpipe sound out of my trusty CZ 101. So much more fun than booting up a sampler.
Message: Posted by: saxmangeoff (May 23, 2005 01:45PM)
Don't forget other maligned instruments:

Q: What's the definition of a minor second?

A: Two oboes playing unison.

Q: How many bluegrass bass players does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: I - V - I - V - I - V - I - V

Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?

A: A viola burns longer, and you can tune a violin.

Q; How do you get a guitarist to play quieter?

A: Put sheet music in front of him.

I got a million of 'em folks. Thank you very much. You're a wonderful audience. I'll be here all week....

Geoff
Message: Posted by: danielrhall (May 23, 2005 03:32PM)
Q: What's the definition of a Scottish gentleman?

A: A man who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (May 23, 2005 03:51PM)
So, the story is that at Old Dominion University (in Virginia Beach), there is, in residence, one of the world champion pipers. He was forced to emigrate to the US after the folks in his home town threatened to cause bodily damage because he practiced TOO much.

True or not, I like the story.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (May 23, 2005 04:48PM)
Or the music producer that asked the drummer if wearing headphones in the studio had affected his hearing.
'I don't wear an earring,' came the reply.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 23, 2005 05:17PM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-23 16:51, lastnitesfun wrote:
So, the story is that at Old Dominion University (in Virginia Beach), there is, in residence, one of the world champion pipers. He was forced to emigrate to the US after the folks in his home town threatened to cause bodily damage because he practiced TOO much.

True or not, I like the story.

Mark
[/quote]

One of my friends was a world champion piper for a while. This is interesting because he is not from Scotland and is of Czech descent. However, he is an excellent piper. He was forced to practice in his parents' automobile with the windows rolled up. This isn't too bad during the winter, but during the summer it is pretty rough!
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (May 25, 2005 11:16AM)
O.K.
I'll admit to being a bagpipe player. The only one as far as I can see.

But I play the Northumbrian pipes. An English, bellows blown, indoor instrument.
It has a unique sound, and one of the two best bagpipes. The other being the Irish.

And bagpipes have nothing to do with Scotland. They just have the most visible type and best p.r.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 25, 2005 11:22AM)
And more Pakistanis play the Highland Pipes than the Northumbrian Pipes.