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Customs Bias Against Guitarists?


BluesKing777

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A bit quiet around the place so...

 

 

We need to set up a blind test with the same person, no guitar and then with guitar to see if Customs are targeting!

 

 

I was watching the tv, nothing much on as everyone is on holidays and ratings over here....pfft., but the customs saw the guitarist coming down the off ramp and had him pulled aside and search before you could say Jack Rat......

 

(Admittedly, they did catch him with all kinds of things he shouldn't have and should know better, but all the same, was he victimised a bit because of the guitar case?)

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I've suspected that since I was about 15 actually.

 

Same thing with State Troopers, Local City cops, Sheriff's Dept., CIA, FBI, regular Narcs, "special" Narcs, the Security guy at the Mall, Crossing Guards and even the Manager at the Waffle House working the 2:30 a.m. shift.

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Sometimes it's targeting, sometimes it's curiosity. I've been approached by aircrew at the boarding gate several times, asking what I've got in the case. Turns out they were guitarists who were curious about what guitar the old guy was carrying on the airplane.

 

I also got targeted once at the security point for having a 9-volt battery inside a guitar to power the electronics. They told me the standard 9-volt battery is commonly used to operate an explosives detonator.

 

Took the battery out, and never put it back. I don't use the electronics, so I don't need it.

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I've never been stopped with my banjo case.

 

 

I'm surprised they let you through with a known weapon of mass destruction.

 

On a related note, I sometimes hear the sound of a banjo coming from the house behind ours, which has new owners.

 

There goes the neighborhood.

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I’ve had this happen dozens of times over the years. Drug swabs, locked cases busted open, back in 2003 I even had one security agent at Heathrow drop my 1972 Thinline Telecaster from waist height onto the floor and say “oops!” When I asked him why musicians always get stopped but guys with camera peli cases or ski gear just get waved through. I told him I wasn’t impressed, so he dropped my guitar. He was obviously baiting me so he could have me arrested, but I didn’t rise to it. I made a note of his name and complained to the airport afterwards, but they denied the incident totally.

 

Thankfully the guitar was unharmed, but it left me VERY cagey around airport security:

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The only time I had to bring a musical instrument through airport customs was when I living in Scotland and had bought a fiddle in the Shetland Islands which I brought back to the States with me. They just opened the old coffin case and looked inside. This though was a very long time ago. Other than that I used to bring a guitar back and forth into Canada. I used to cross at Calais, Maine. Even with hair down past my armpits and driving a VW bus, they would maybe ask a question or two and then wave you through. Never once searched me. Once in the 1960s though, we did have the cops walk into the bar in which we were playing and proceed to open guitar cases, turn amps over, and lift my acoustic guitar over their head and shake it to see if anything fell out looking for drugs. Back then you could not have bought better publicity.

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Maybe it's because I'm a slow fat white guy, but I've never had an issue. I've had to open my case a few times while they check through the gear compartment, but that's it.

 

The only time I had anything close to an issue was last spring, changing planes in Amsterdam. I had my reso with me, and there was something on the X-ray that really caught their interest. So I opened up the case and the thing they wanted to check out was -- get this -- my Shubb capo. The guy said there was something about the mechanism (?!?) that looked suspicious on the X-ray. Go figure.

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Hey, another guy (on the customs/border show or whatever it was on tv); came happily out the shute, smiling at the beginning of a nice holiday to be stopped after they x-rayed his case....

 

He got pulled into a ‘Biotech’ area and his face dropped when they opened his case and found a container of banned food items that he immediately recognized as a ‘care package’ his mother must have slipped in to his case after he had finished packing. She didn’t want her poor son to starve on his holiday, so packed his faves but instead got him the full body search and attentions of the whole airport. [unsure]

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Homeboys, like me, never have to hassle about this. Heck, I've never been on a plane in my 65 years on the planet, and never will. I worry more about satellite images and drones flying over the property. Hehe.

 

 

Sitting in your bunker wearing camo?

 

I joined the online Lotto buyers last week and a local one was 40 million smackas lsst night and for me, not one brass razoo, while the winner, I suspect, is probably another one of those that ‘can’t wait to get to work to tell everyone’ types...while I face more time tied to a pc. Though there is a 35 million draw tomorrow, which I better get a ticket for, but really apart from that...grounded!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I don’t have to go anywhere - when I bought my block of land all those years ago, the real estate agents promised lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle! Beaches, wetlands, rivers, full time holidays and I guess they forgot about the sign that says “No Dogs” on the beach in summer during the day.....

 

So to avoid another fine from the beach inspector who hides I don’t know where, I now drive to the beach car park and dog and I walk around there - at least we can see the (nice) beach! (we can go there after 7pm and before 9am...err, never made it before 9 but often after 7!)

 

And I was sitting in the car just daydreaming a bit after walking the dog there the other day and it was a very nice day with blue skies, a fair breeze, glary sands, not many about.....and I took notice of the 2 delivery style vans, turned into renter-campers and their plates were from about 5000 miles away, the people had put their cases and large items out on the ground so they could sit in the back part of the van in the only shade in miles! Hot, sunburnt, tired, and a bit of the ‘sick of it, just wanna go home’ look about them..... their home was days and days drive away and mine was a ......couple of minutes..... [biggrin] So I went home! And we went back on New Years Eve! [flapper]

 

(Just to cheer you people up to it in snow and ice....)

 

 

 

Car park:

 

NnhP6oMh.jpg

 

 

 

Today, just then, next car park down the road.... awful isn't it?:

 

4QRLqHyh.jpg

 

 

0x0jJdch.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I think I see shark fins.

 

-15 degrees by Fri here in the Northern Catskills. Thanks for the travelogue.

 

 

Hee hee, fins would be another good reason to stay back in the car park with the sunburnt tourists!

 

100 degrees here Friday and 110 maybe on Saturday and 65 on Sunday and probably 70 at this very moment.....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I think I see shark fins.

 

-15 degrees by Fri here in the Northern Catskills. Thanks for the travelogue.

 

 

 

 

Addendum:

 

 

This is going on and on - a dead whale washed up on an ocean beach (home to the rich and famous) and it keeps floating off and back on the tides - years ago, another one was cut up on the beach and carried off, but it scared the locals and now - they are leaving it....attracting every monster shark in the Southern Ocean!:

 

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/south-east/jubilee-point-whale-carcass-continues-to-decompose-and-may-attract-sharks-to-beaches/news-story/5f29272e5f8f4dde65c6490fa40cfef8

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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