Trombone Trouble: The Final Chapter
Well, first a word about that old trombone of mine.
You'd think that $15 wouldn't buy much of a trombone and you'd be right.
This trombone was actually low-grade scrap metal posing as a musical instrument. As far as I can determine, the Cavalier brand was sold through the Sears catalog. I haven't been able to pin down a date of manufacture, but my suspicion is that this might have been the third or fourth trombone ever made. Oh, hell, it was probably a prototype and a rejected prototype at that!
The metal plating was such that a really strong fortissimo blast would project a shower of silver-plating out of the bell. It was like watching the punchline to one of Rip Taylor's jokes!
Now, I can't really vouch for the tone of the instrument, as I am the only one I ever heard play it. The few times I tried to record my trombone-tooting with my old Wollensak T-1500, it sounded like an asthmatic humming through a kazoo.
A cheap kazoo.
The kind of kazoo that gives kazoos a bad name.
Also, during one of these recording sessions, I caught the historic moment when my brother stepped on the damned thing! Unhappily, the slide was not damaged, but this incident left some cracks in the "U" leading to the bell. The solution? A few winds of friction tape and the problem was solved!
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. But what happened to the trombone?" I imagine you asking. "Do you still have it?"
"Happily, no," I answer.
I managed to pass along the monkey's paw to the next generation of hapless trombone tormentor.
Pictured here is a child actor by the name of Robbie Rist. Perhaps you remember this John Denver look-alike from his role as "Cousin Oliver" during the death-rattle season of the Brady Bunch.
Well, I put an ad in the newspaper: "Student trombone, poor condition. $15."
A telephone call later, a man appeared at our front door with his blond, mushroom-topped son, the Rist-wannabe.
I showed them the trombone, resplendent with the electrical tape patch job.
Mr. Moneybags obviously was shopping price ahead of quality.
The son's name?
With the purchase of this instrument, the dorkification process was complete.
Ah, the circle of life...
Labels: Trombone Trouble