United Breaks Guitars…Israel Shoots Them

United Airlines has taken a lot of heat in the past year over their Customer Service policies…or the lack thereof.  They’ve been the brunt of some recent jokes on late-night T.V., and it prompted me to revisit a hilarious music video on YouTube called “United Breaks Guitars,” by Dave Carroll. 

On July 5, 2009, Dave Carroll posted a music video on YouTube.  It was a song he wrote about an unpleasant experience with United Airlines.  Their employees were throwing his band’s guitars around on the tarmac, while he watched in horror through his little window on the airplane.  His Taylor guitar sustained $1,200 in damages.  Tired of dealing with United’s uncaring response for months on end, Dave chose to present a light-hearted approach in dealing with the situation.  As of this writing, his initial video has had 8,499,994 views.  Millions of people now sympathize with Dave.  More importantly, millions of people now know Dave, and his heart-felt style of music.

I’m reminded of something my son experienced in Isreal.  He’s taking graduate studies there.  Before going to Israel, he took up the oud, a middle eastern guitar-like instrument.  On one of his first days there, he brought his instrument to the campus.  He asked a random person if they thought it would be OK if he left his oud in its case in a main room of the school.  They said, “I think so.”

So he left it and went to class.  Moments later, security officers interrupted his class.

“Did anyone leave an instrument in the lobby?”

 My son acknowledged.  They pulled him from class, questioned him, then directed him to take his instrument off campus.

He found out he was most fortunate that day.  Usually, when Israeli security officials find a package, bag, or case all by its lonesome, they cordon off the area, and evacuate everyone from the area/building.  Then they proceed to…I kid you not…shoot the object, to set off any intended explosion.

Good for Israel…but bad for my son’s instrument.

When he told me all about this experience, I said, “Man, you should write a song.  Call it ‘Israel Shoots Guitars.’  You can video an old guitar case getting blown up!”  He laughed, but didn’t bite.  Israel is way too serious for jokes like that.  And who can blame them?  There’s a world of hurt going on in that part of the world…for both sides. 

We’re just glad they didn’t shoot this particular guitar!


2 Responses to “United Breaks Guitars…Israel Shoots Them”

  1. Tony Says:

    Shooting an innocent stringed instrument! Maybe if it didn’t stay in tune, I could see it happening 🙂 But shoot an oud! I could see maybe putting a guitar KISS used out of buisness……

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