2. May 2014
NEWS: British Prisons Ban Steel-String Guitars
|Billy Bragg (Photo: Facebook)|
For some odd reasoning there is a ban on steel-string guitars in British prisons and Billy Bragg, David Gilmour, Johnny Marr among others, No Sir, don’t like it.
The artists sent off a letter in protest that was published in The Guardian urging Minister for Justice (which sounds like a cool superhero handle), Chris Grayling, to stop the insanity!
“I’ve seen the positive impact giving prisoners these guitars can have first hand, which is why I am involved in this issue. There’s never been to my knowledge, an incident in a British prison where someone has been attacked with a steel string guitar. It makes no sense – where’s the logic behind this? Where’s the thinking behind this?” – Billy Bragg
We offer the opinion, it sucks you got yourself all up in prison for whatever reason and we hate to hear that you can’t jam. We hope this is reversed. Some of the best songs in history were written in, right after getting out or just simply about prison. Something outlaw romantic about it all. You crazy convicts…Shine on!
Oh, Minister for Justice Grayling hates books or something as well…
Read the full Guardian bit here or better yet, read Michael Leonard’s article over at gibson.com here.
“54-46 (That’s My Number): Fred “Toots” Hibbert wrote this ska classic in 1968 shortly after being released from prison on drugs charges.
“Greystone Chapel”: While serving another prison term, this time for armed robbery, Glen Sherley wrote this gem that later would be recorded by Johnny Cash and released on the Folsom Prison Blues masterpiece.
“Jailbreak”: Thin Lizzy (1976) and breaking out of confinement. Enough said.