Government Ends Ban on Steel-Stringed Guitars

In prisons that is. In the U.K.

Apparently, the powers that be in the United Kingdom -- have you ever watched one of their hilarious Parliamentary sessions on C-SPAN? -- had previously decided that prisoners in the custody of "Queen and Country" needed only one daily feeding of bread and water, and a short one-minute glimpse of blue sky every 90 days.

Guitars were strictly verboten. At least the steel-stringed variety. Musta been using the D'Addarios as a garrote on unaware prison guards, and stealing their donuts, or something. 

But anyway, a bunch of rock and rollers came to the rescue, as we so often do. 

Maybe Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, former Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr, and singer-songwriter/left-wing activist Billy Bragg were worried they might soon be called upon to serve. So as a pre-emptive strike, they rallied the masses, turned them into an angry mob, and foisted a bunch of petitions on ol' Elizabeth and her henchmen, urging them to reverse position on the no-guitars decree. Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, doncha know, but she doesn't have a lot to say.

Gilmour and his collection of ne'er-do-wells argued that guitar playing and music-making was good for rehabilitation, but then, look what guitar playing has done for Willie Nelson. Gilmour et al even went so far as to put together an organization, which probably required some amount of reading and signing documents.

So at this point, if your brother is doin' time, and he needs help getting his hands on a guitar, you might reach out to JailGuitarDoors.Org for help. They've even got a U.S. branch, spearheaded by former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, who sometimes brings rabble-rouser Tom Morello along for the added press coverage. 

English prisoners receving books, or visits by family dentists, by the way, are still on the wish list.

Find out how to send your old guitar to the big house: JailGuitarDoors.Org

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