Sunday, July 12, 2009

United will fix broken guitar

United Breaks Guitars (music video)

Airline protest song makes Halifax songwriter 'a hero' to travelling bands

CBC: Dave Carroll, whose song about United Airlines damaging his guitar has become an internet sensation, is a hero to Canadian musicians' association AFM Canada...

'He accomplished with his one song more than all the lawyers and lobbyists and union officials in North America for the past eight years,' said Bill Skolnik, vice-president of the organization representing 17,000 Canadian musicians.

Carroll, the songwriter for Halifax band Sons of Maxwell, wrote a song about seeing the band's guitars deliberately damaged by baggage handlers outside the plane window, an incident that led to his $3,500 Taylor guitar being broken.

After trying for nine months to get compensation from United Airlines and being turned down flat, he vowed to write three songs about the experience. The video of the first song... has had more than 1.3 million hits [in five days]. That got the attention of United Airlines and every airline in North America, Skolnik told CBC News.

'To us, Dave is a hero. The working life of every musician is going to be better because of his music,' Skolnik said. 'It's not money, it's care. That's really what his video's about. I mean, treat our instruments the way you treat your planes.'

Whether airlines will transport musical instruments, and how they handle them, has been an issue for AFM Canada since 2001, Skolnik said. He estimates AFM Canada handles two cases a year of serious damage to musical instruments -- including the National Ballet orchestra cellist who had his instrument smashed on a major tour.

'Every instrument is unique in how it sounds or how it feels.' he said. 'Musicians need the security of having their precious things with them.' The problem is that they never know whether they will be able to take their instruments into the cabin until they actually get on the plane.

Company says it will compensate musician for breaking his guitar

Image: Dave Carroll; source here.