"Beethoven can't really be great because his picture
isn't on a bubble gum card." — Charles Schulz, quoted in
"Play Ball!," AARP Bulletin, March 2011
From various soundchecks:
- "Does this mic make my hair look big?"
- "Can you make me sound sexy?"
- "Can you make my hair look red?"
- "Check, check, check, money order, MasterCard, Visa, Discover,
cash, Johnny Cash."
- "This is my sound check song.
I hope that it doesn't take long.
It's not very pretty and it doesn't rhyme.
It's only a sound check song."
"Did you hear about the composer who could only compose
in 3/4 time? Yeah, he had Waltz-heimers disease." —
"Life is like a beautiful melody ... only most
of the time you can't remember the words ... and you're singing way
off-key ... an no one's listening to you anyway." — Brian
Crane, "Pickles," The Denver Post, May 18, 2009
Doctor: "Captain! Johnson's been infected with a
song he can't get out of his head! He's a carrier! We must quarantine
him before he infects others!"
Captain: "Which strain is it? 'Chicken Dance'? 'It's a Small World'?
'Who Let the Dogs Out'?"
Johnson: "It's the 'Meow Mix' jingle."
Captain: "Good lord! He could start an epidemic!" —
Tim Rickard, "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!," The Denver Post,
May 18, 2009
I was a musical prodigy. At three, I composed an opera.
At four, I wrote a minuet. At five, I wrote a complete symphony. And
at five thirty, I went down and had a cup of tea. — contributed
by Steve Langer
"The difference between a banjo and a parrot: One
is loud and squawky. The other has feathers." — John Fisher
at Wet Mountain Days in Westcliffe, CO
I'm in a three-piece band. We only know three pieces.
— contributed by Steve Langer
Did you hear about the bassist who was so out-of-tune
that his section noticed? — contributed by Steve Langer
An old jazz player, a real pro, found himself in a band
with a new hot-shot lead player. The hot-shot was all over the map,
playing every note on his instrument in every song, playing riffs
that didn't go with the songs, and displaying no feel for the music.
Finally the old pro took him aside and said, "What are you doing?"
The hot-shot said, "I'm just playin' what I feel, man!"
The old pro said, "Well, this song, try to feel
something in B-flat!" — contributed by Mike Billings
"Didija hear about the kazoo that married a doorbell?
"They had a humdinger." — "Sophisticated Humor
for January," Intermountain Acoustic Musician, January 2009
"If you're abnormally sensitive to sound ... get
sharp, shooting pains in your ears ... or have a constant ringing
... you may have already damaged your hearing. Which would really
be a shame ... because you want to be able to grow up to hear all
of the beautiful music in the world." — Tom Batuik, "Funky
Winkerbean," Rocky Mountain News, January 8, 2009
First panel: "Old School 'Guitar?' I teach both
kinds: Acoustic and electric!!'"
Second panel: "New school 'Guitar?' I teach both
kinds: Air & Guitar Hero!!'" — Keith
Knight, "The Knight Life," Rocky Mountain News, January 8,
"Banjo player: That last solo of yours sounded purty
"Mando player: I wish I could say the same about yours.
"Banjo player: You could, if you were as tone-deaf as I am."
— "Sophisticated Humor for December, Intermountain Acoustic
Musician, December 2008
Mallard: "This just in...Drawing on advances in particle
physics, scientists have finally been able to trace the eventual collapse
and decay of the universe ..."
Singer: "Oh, I own a guitarrr...So I must be a starrr..."
Mallard: "...directly to the rise of the 'Singer-Songwriter' tradition..."
— Bruce Tinsly, "Mallard Fillmore," The Denver Post,
Nov. 8, 2008
"Singers are smart. They make music without having
to carry instruments." — Jeff and Bil Keane, "The
Family Circus," Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 11, 2008
"Walter Pluff is Dingburg's new Town Greeter.
"He was chosen because of his outgoing personality and upbeat attitude
toward life. ("Goin' to Kansas City....")
"Walter Pluff just wants to make other people happy.
"Surprisingly, he doesn't really have a 'dark side' or a secret
past, unless you count the images of Alice Cooper & Bon Jovi he
likes to paint on his ukulele." — Bill Griffith, "Zippy
/ Welcome to My Nightmare," Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 11, 2008
"I had some other notes to play but they're all
in storage." — Rick Riman
"First Guy: I read about this kingdom where the king
keeps all of the poets chained to their desks, writing poetry day and
night. Once each year they're released from their chains and armed with
whips. They flail each other until only one is left standing. That winner
is allowed to enjoy the favors of a beautiful nubile babe for the night.
"Second Guy: You mean...?
"First Guy: YES! BARDS OF A FETTER FLOG TO GET HER!" —
"June Joques," Intermountain Acoustic Music, June 2008
— contributed by Bob Turner
"An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine
man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin
strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off,
chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day.
"After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief
was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, 'The thong is ended, but the
malady lingers on.'"
— contributed by Bob Turner
"Give a man an iPod, and he'll listen to music for a day. But
teach a man to play guitar, and he'll annoy his neighbors for a lifetime."
— Richard Stevens, "Diesel Sweeties," Colorado Springs
Gazette, Feb. 25, 2008
Student: "Wasn't 'Ring Around the Rosie' supposed to be about
Frazz: "That's a myth. Diseases really don't make for great poetry."
Student: "Obviously, you've never heard 'Beans, Beans.'"
Frazz: "That's more like a condition." — Jef Mallett,
"Frazz," in the Colorado Springs Gazette, December 6, 2007
Apteryx: "Hi! I'm an apteryx, a wingless bird with hairy feathers."
Platypus: "I'm a platypus, an aquatic egg-laying marsupial with
webbed feet and a duck bill."
Apteryx: "I thought I had a lousy agent."
— Hart, in "B.C.," in the Colorado Springs Gazette,
December 6, 2007
"Bluegrass musician went into a bookstore, bought a CD of classical
music for his mother. Told the clerk, 'Put it in a plain wrapper, so's
the fellers in the band won't see me with it.' " — Lame Humor,
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, November 2007
Frazz: "My old choir teacher, Mr. Gordon, would tolerate mistakes
but not timidity. He always said, it's okay to make a mistake; just
make a loud one."
Student: "I don't know Mr. Gordon."
Frazz: "He's retired."
Student: "When did he retire?"
Frazz: "When they moved the choir room to the bus garage."
— Jef Mallett, in Frazz, Colorado Springs Gazette, Nov. 6, 2007
"Folks, we're in full swing now, so as you wander around the campground
yourself, be mindful of all the people walking around, the vehicles
wearving in and out of all these people and watch out for kids and banjo
pickers as they often run across the road without looking both ways!"
— Ernie Hill, WVA
Voice, Sept. 15, 2007
Did you hear about the tenor who was so arrogant the other tenors
A banjo player decided to learn to play a "real" musical
instrument, so he went into a music store and looked around.
The sales clerk approached the banjo player and asked, "May I help
The banjo player answered, "Yes, I'm interested in the white accordian
and the red saxophone."
The clerk looked around then finally said, "I can sell you the
fire extinquisher but I can't sell you the radiator. It's attached to
Sir Rodney (on horseback, with a guitar strapped to his back): "I'm
off to slay the dragon"
Wizard: "I can't believe he's gonna kill a dragon with a guitar"
King: "Have you heard how badly he plays?" — Brant
Parker and Johnny Hart, "Wizard of Id", from the Colorado
Springs Gazette, July 17, 2007
Frazz's Girlfriend: "...How did you prepare for your S.A.T.s?
Frazz: "I think I went to a Barenaked Ladies Concert in Cincinnati."
— Jef Mallett, "Frazz", from the Colorado Springs Gazette,
July 16, 2007
Robot: "What's wrong, Indie Rock Pete? You look like a diabetic
Pete: "I got dumped."
Pete: "I think I'm destined to be a single, not an album."
— Richard Stevens, "Diesel Sweeties", from the Colorado
Springs Gazette, July 11, 2007
"Arranging a garage band practice is like hearding cats made of
jello." — Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, "Zits",
from the Colorado Springs Gazette, July 8, 2007
"Bluegrass musician shows up at the gate to the
White House, carrying an instrument case. Guard says, 'What's in the
case.' Guy opens it to reveal a submachine gun. Guard says, 'Okay.
I was afraid it was a banjo.'" — Intermountain Acoustic
Musician, June 2007
"Apple Computer reported today that it has developed
computer chips that can be implanted and play music inside women's breasts.
"The music is in stereo.
"This is considered to be a major breakthrough because women are
always complaining about men staring at their breasts, and not listening
to them." — unknown
— contributed by Peter
"I'll listen to reason when it comes out on a CD."
"My grampa was a virtuoso with a world-famous orchestra...
He played 1st 'buffoon' with Spike Jones." — Johnny Hart,
B.C. Denver Post, Oct. 30, 2006
"It's not a piano. It's a sympathizer." —
The Family Circus, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 28, 2006
"A guy walks into a diner leading a grizzly bear.
Says, 'Do you serve bluegrass musicians here?'
"Counterman: 'We sure do.'
"Guy: 'Then I'll have a cheeseburger, and the bear'll have a banjo
player...no onions.'" — Intermountain Acoustic Musician,
"Mando: 'I'm trying to decide what to get our banjo
player for his birthday.'
"Guitar: 'Maybe get him a book?'
"Mando: 'Why? He already has a book.'" — Intermountain
Acoustic Musician, Oct. 2006
"Mando: 'We had to take our banjo player to the hospital,
'cause he accidentally swallowed a handful of nickels and quarters.'
"Guitar: 'How's he doing?'
"Mando: 'No change yet.'" — Intermountain Acoustic Musician,
"The musician became a counterfeiter because he
was good at — Making 'notes' — Jumble answer, The Denver
Post, Sept 29, 2006
Husband: "The local school is staging two musicals
this year. Darn Yankees and Heckzapoppin'."
Wife: "The local religious school?"
Husband: "Of course." — One Big Happy, The Denver Post,
Sept. 28, 2006
- "Clem: 'My doctor advised me to give up playing the banjo.'
- "Luke: 'Why?'
- "Clem: 'He lives in the apartment next door.'" —
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, Sept. 2006
"God is love. Love is blind. Doc Watson is blind. Therefore, Doc
Watson is God." — Intermountain Acoustic Musician, Sept.
"What was the guy who invented the bagpipe really
trying to do?" — Parker, Wizard of Id, Rocky Mountain News,
May 20, 2006
"The old church, lacking any keyboard instruments, may soon be
seeking an organ donor." — Cryptoquip, The Denver Post, May
"Super Bowl XL
"...Two-minute warning? Already?
"...Rolling Stones life expectancy..." — Jack Ohman,
"Second Opinions", The Denver Post, Feb. 12, 2006
Teacher: "OK, Class, what singing group started the long-hair
craze? Who had the most top 10 hits during the 60's? What's the name
of Madonna's current husband? When did Britney Spears get married?"
Student: "I hate these 'pop' quizzes." — Dana Summers,
"Bound and Gagged", The Denver Post, Feb. 5, 2006
Child: "I heard a song I hate at the grocery store."
Frazz: "You think that's bad, try hearing a song you like
at the grocery store." — Mallett, "Frazz", Rocky
Mountain News, Feb. 4, 2006
"Take This Hammer and Flatten Scruggs" — attributed
to Ginger Boatwright by Jack Davis
"Sign seen in a music store: Back in a minuet." —
from Colorado Country Life, Dec. 2001
"If you put on headphones and plug them into the input on a tape
recorder, can you hear yourself think?" — Dave
"Did you hear about the church that caters to bluegrass musicians?
It's called 'Our Lady of Constant Sorrow'." — Butch Hause
on stage at Swallow Hill Music Association, March
8, 2002, borrowed from
"Are you going in to lay down bass tracks? What kind of tracks
would a bass leave anyway? little flipper marks? or flipper, flop, flipper,
flop, flipper, etc...?" — B.
"pick magazine issue 41 inside: choosing the right guitar
for your pick" — Scott Dahms
"Banjo players always did it digitally." — unknown
"Is Arpeggio a town in Italy?" — Mike Fraley
"Oh, That's an all-bluegrass soundtrack of 'Oedipus Rex'—I
call it 'O Mother, Where Art Thou?'..." — Mike Cavna, in
"Middle-aged musicians never die, they just go back to the first
verse and take a solo!" — Scott Dahms
"Bad note! Bad note! Go to your room!" — unknown
"There's always room for cello." —
&/or Lyle Lovett
"Re, our discussion of what title you should have, e.g., Web-mistress,
Web Wench, Kilobyte Kahuna, Bandwidth Babe, etc., I just noticed Dennis
Atkinson on the BRAS site calls himself the Duke of URL. Ark, ark, ark!"
— Bill Donaldson
"Erroneous Note? Isn't that a cousin of Thelonius Monk?"
"When Jonas and I were dating, our song was 'I Wanna Hold Your
Hand.' Then after 15 years of marriage it was 'We Can Work it Out.'
"Now it's 'If I Had a Hammer'..." — Vic Lee, in "Pardon
My Planet", the Denver Post, Sunday, May 18, 2003
"Sigh...You know you're getting old when your favorite songs
start turning up on elevator music." — Art & Chip Sansom
in "The Born Loser", The Denver Post, July 13, 2003
"... an all-woman bluegrass band: She Haw" — David
Thompson, of Kane's River, at the 2003 Sunlight Mountain Bluegrass Festival
followed by: " ... the All-Jug Band..." — Art Kershaw,
sound man for Old Blue Sound, at the 2003 Sunlight Mountain Bluegrass
"...Yee Haw with lazers..." — Julie Elkins of Kane's
River, at the 2003 Sunlight Mountain Bluegrass Festival
"Bluegrass. Ask your doctor if it's right for you." —
Kane's River at the 2003 Sunlight Mountain Bluegrass Festival
"...delusions of banjers..." —
"'We play long after you want us to leave.' For rates call Sharon.
For better rates call Gillian.... For a fax of our only business card,
call Tom...." — Loose Shoes band membership ad, Intermountain
Acoustic Musician, December, 2003
"[Johnny Gimble] said that when he was a kid he'd told his mother,
'Moma, when I grow up, I'm gonna be a musician.' His mother had answered,
'Make up your mind, son, because you can't do both.'" — Kinky
Friedman, "Kinky Friedman's Guide to Texas Etiquette"
"It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere."
— Written in the dust on the back of a bus, Wickenburg, AZ
"Is that a rubber band? Do they play a lot of snappy tunes?"
— Al Ossinger
"In the old days of folk music, bad musicians were guitarred
and feathered." — Al Ossinger
"Does this microphone make me look fat?" — R.E.I. ad
on The Mountain Radio, 99.5 FM
"Grandma says they should have an Easter carol called 'Son Rise
Serenade'." — Bil Keane, "The Family Circus"
in the Denver Post, April 11, 2004
"Most harpists like to be spirited and brave. They're very plucky
musicians." — Cryptoquip, May 12, 2004, Denver Post
"The bass players were tired of being picked on by their neighbors,
so they all moved to a place out on Route 5." — Butch Hause
"183 bass players walked into a bar and ordered drinks. The bartender
told them, 'I don't serve liquor to bass players.' They answered, 'It's
okay. We'll just stick to tonic.'" — Scott Bennett
"There's no shortage of chords for the sound system." —
"Bagpipes are the safest musical instruments because they are
the only instrument with a driver's side air bag." — Ben
Holmes, at the Colorado Renaissance Festival
"E = Fb
"The Theory of Relativity for Musicians" — seen on
"bass...the lowest form of music" — t-shirt in Lemur
sales catalog, November 2004
"A bad day playing bass is still better than a good day of playing
cello." — t-shirt in Lemur sales catalog, November 2004
"You are base and vile" — said the club owner to the
upright bass viol (or is that vile bass?) player (both of whom will
remain anonymous to protect the guilty)
"I have no job
I have no money
I have no car
But I'm in a band" — T-shirt seen on
at the Stocking Stuffers concert, Dec. 18, 2004
"Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes
out of a bagpipe."
— contributed by Bob Turner
"For some reason, the butchershop quartet never got the same
following." — "Rhymes with Orange", The Denver
Post, Feb.20, 2005
"I was in a garage band in high school. We were so bad that whenver
we got a gig, we were never asked back. So instead of breaking up, we
just kept changing our name." — "Rhymes with Orange",
The Denver Post, Feb. 18, 2005
Sign in the vendor room at the Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festival, Feb.
2005: "Banjo jokes - 25 cents. Festival Special - 3 for a dollar"
"Strawberry Roan, the Energizer Cowboy song. It just keeps riding
and riding." —
Charley: "Hey Nate — No matter how bad you sound now,
you keep practicing, all right? Don't listen to your critics. You
keep on playing. And I feel strongly that that is your right, okay?"
Nate: "So when the accordion disappears over the side of the ship
some night, I don't come to you, right, Charley?"
Charley [thinking]: "Dang.." — Chip Dunham, "Overboard",
The Denver Post
"If a couple of cool ghosts formed a band, I suppose they might
play rhythm and boos." — Cryptoquip, The Denver Post
"A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand
times the memory."
— contributed by Bob
Alexander, on the phone: "I don't know if I can make it tonight,
Conner. I've been grounded. But let me see what I can do."
To his parents: "May I go out tonight, or would you rather I stay home
and practice my guitar?" — Blondie, Rocky Mountain News,
Jan. 14, 2006
"How to tell it's time to lower your expectations for the new
year...Santa Clause performing on stage at the Way Down Blues Club"
— "Non Sequitur", The Rocky Mountain News, Dec. 31,
"The neighbor's Labrador is more on key that Loretta." —-
"The Lockhorns", Rocky Mountain News, June 4, 2005
"Supposing an insect was singing with closed lips, might it
be called a humbug?" — "Cryptoquip", Denver Post,
March 7, 2005
"When the fiddler was shown a dirty hotel room, he called it a
— Vile Inn" — "Jumble", The Denver Post,
November 26, 2004
"'And now, to make us feel even MORE lonely & homesick,
I shall whine out a nasally song with depressing lyrics.' [THE BIRTH
OF COUNTRY MUSIC]" — Dan Piraro, "Bizarro", Rocky
Mountain News, Dec. 3, 2005
"Molly was musically inclined. The rest of the time she was upright."
— Bilpin & Blazek, "Loose Parts", The Denver Post,
Nov. 7, 2005
"Somebody said they were gonna start a Bluegrass Heavy Metal
band and call it 'Nine Inch Hammer'." — Bangs Tapscott,
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, November 2005
"Sometimes I lie awake at night and think about that little red-haired
girl...I don't ever want to forget her face, but if I don't forget her
face, I'll go crazy...How can I remember the face I can't forget?
"Suddenly I'm writing country western music." — Charlie Brown
in "Peanuts/Fifty Years of Charles Schulz", Rocky Mountain
News, Oct. 8, 2005
"REINTARNATION: Coming back to life as a hillbilly" —
"That's a turnip song....when you hear it, you want to 'turnip'
the radio." — Batuik and Yers, "Crankshaft", The
Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 1, 2005
"Pianist who lost her score? Denoted Musician" —
"New York Times Crossword Puzzle" (20 across), in The Denver
Post, Sep 21, 2005
"When the lumberjacks formed a jazz group they ended up with a
— Log 'jam'" — Answer to "Jumble", The Denver
Post, Sept. 16, 2005
"They're off to a barn dance in aid of the church roof...A holy
hoedown!" — "Fred Basset"
"Banjo Player: 'I've been trying to pass this test they give on
the radio, but all it ever does is go beeeeep'.
"Mando Player: 'Er, you can't pass a test of the Early Warning System.'
"Banjo Player: 'Hey! You think I'm too dumb to pass, just because I
play the banjo?'" — Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician,
"Fiddle Player: 'I'm worried about the fingerboard on my violin.'
"Guitar Player: 'Oh, don't fret on it.'" — Bangs Tapscott,
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, August 2005
"Bass Player: 'If you could take lessons from one person, alive
or dead, who would it be?'
"Banjo Player: 'The live one of course. Think I'm stupid?'" —
Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician, August 2005
"If some thieves stole your string instrument, I'd say you might
feel viol-ated." — "Crytoquip", The Denver Post,
August 4, 2005
"Sentimental pop tune that I'd guess any vampire should love:
'Fangs for the memory.'" — "Cryptoquip", The Denver
Post, July 20, 2005
"Banjo player dragged a car door with him everywhere he went.
In case it got too warm, he could roll the window down." —
Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician, July 2005
"Somebody gave a banjo player a pair of water skis. he threw them
away...couldn't find a lake with a hill in it." — Bangs Tapscott,
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, July 2005
"The banjo player selected the new car because he was —
Good at "picking" — "Jumble", The Denver
Post, July 1, 2005
"How about that...A Tubadour." — Batiuk, "Funky
Winkerbean", Rocky Mountain News, June 25, 2005
"I'm going to play 'Flight of the Bumblebee'
"It'll never get off the ground" — Bud Blake, "Tiger",
Rocky Mountain News, June 25, 2005
"Sally: 'Its time like these that I want to quit the corporate
world and go into business for myself.'
"Ted: 'Well, if we formed a band and got a bus...'
"Sally: 'Once again, Ted, The Patridge Family is not a
viable business model.'" — "Sally Forth", Rocky Mountain
News, June 25, 2005
C, E-flat, and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry,
but we don't serve minors." So, E-flat leaves, and C and G have
an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished;
G is out flat.
An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp
A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom saying,
"Excuse me. I'll just be a second."
An A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that
this relative of C is not a minor.
Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar
and exclaims, "Get out now! You're the seventh minor I've found
in this bar tonight."
The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night
in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bar tender says: "You're
looking sharp tonight, come on in! C'mon in. This could be a major
development." This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes
off the suit and everything else, and stands there au naturel.
Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under
a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing
to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without
Coda at an upscale correctional facility.
On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrongdoing, even
accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.
The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so
patrons, the soprano out in the bathroom and everything has become
alto much treble, he needs a rest and closes the bar.
— contributed by Bob Turner
— ending contributed by Bob
"Now *that's* what I call an inside joke! Thanks for giving me
the rest of the story.
"However....I think the sentence was too light. I would have
sentenced C to The Lawrence Welk Correctional Facility and placed
C in accordion confinement. [Play an accordion — Go to jail]
" All of this brings to mind that the last time I had a flatted-fifth:
it was of champagne on the morning after my 21st birthday party —
and, yes, I had been listening to Stan Kenton."
— contributed by Bob Dolan
"Bass Player: 'I believe in taking it one day at a time.'
"Banjo Player: 'Sounds good to me. I think I'll take Christmas.'"
— Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician, June 2005
"Banjo Player: 'I'm trying to figure out a way to become more
"Guitar Player: 'Have you thought oabout switching to harmonica?'"
— Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain Acoustic Musician, June 2005
Eminem's tour of Ireland is to go ahead despite concerns over a sickening
attitude to women, appallingly obscene language, an irresponsible attitude
to sex and violence, and, of course, the booze. Eminem said that, despite
these shocking traits, he would wait and "judge the Irish for himself."
— contributed by Bob Turner
"Wife: 'Every time I see and aging rock star, I think of that
old rock credo...'
"Husband: 'Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking
"Wife: 'That's the one. I think this guy has given up on the
"Husband: 'I know I have.'" —
John Allen, "Nest Heads", The Denver Post, May 2, 2005
"Loretta's high notes have been known to break Tupperware."
— Hoest A. Reiner, "The Lockhorns", Rocky Mountain News,
Mar. 19, 2005
Originally there were only two positions on the trombone: "in"
and "out." However, in order to extend the range, the positions
were subdivided into seven parts: (1) In; (2) Not quite in; (3) A
little way out; (4) A bit more than a little way out; (5) Not quite
pretty far out; (6) Pretty far out; (7) Out. There is, in addition,
one other position on the trombone, though it is rarely used intentionally.
Just beyond 7th position we find the following: (8) #1&xjz? out!
— contributed by Bob Turner
A jazz musician got to a gig early and the club owner said, "You're
early! What happened?"
The musician quickly replied, "I underslept!"
— contributed by Bob Turner
Did you hear the one about the banjo player who went into music
for the money?
A jazz musician walked into a bar and saw a sign: HAPPY HOUR —
ALL YOU CAN DRINK FOR FIVE DOLLARS. The musician told the bartender,
"Give me ten dollars' worth."
— contributed by Bob Turner
One night, a front man said to the drummer, "When the band
starts to swing, I want you to play more on the ride cymbal."
The drummer replied, "When the band starts to swing, will you
please raise your hand?"
— contributed by Bob Turner
"'Julius Caesar Dance Studio I Came, I Saw, I Conga'd'
'No wonder they stabbed him'" — Brant Parker and Johnny Hart,
"The Wizard of Id", The Denver Post, Feb. 1, 2005
On a criuse ship, Dec. 2004, comedian / ventriloquist Brad Cummings
asked the orchestra leader / pianist to demonstrate his virtuosity
on the piano by playing the following chords: C Cm Cm7 C7 Cmaj7 Caug
Cdim. Afterward, Cummings said, "Not only can he sail the seven
seas, he can play them, too... If you play too many C's, the audience
will get C-sick."
"Friend: 'Now — would you like to hear a nocturne?'
"Tiger: 'No...the violin is bad enough.'" —Bud Blake,
"Tiger", The Denver Post, December 15, 2004
"Teacher: 'Teena, are you humming a Christmas carol?!'
"Teena: 'No! It's called "Greensleeves." It's believed to have
been written by Henry VIII about a lady, possilbe Anne Boleyn.'
"Friend: 'Wow! Do you know an Alias for Joy to the World?'
"Teena: 'I think Elvis might have covered it.'" —Allison
Barrows, "Preteena", The Denver Post, December 15, 2004
"Child: 'Radio is amazing.'
"Frazz: 'To think sound can be silently, invisibly, yet to precisely
transported great distances through a chaotic atmosphere.'
"Child: 'To think there are a gazillion stations and they all play
the same ten songs.'
"Frazz: 'You think that's amazing, try listening to talk shows
on the A.M. side.'" — Mallett, in "Frazz", The
Rocky Mountain News, 12/11/04
"Agnes: 'Soon, the youth of America will rise up and follow
the path of true polka enlightenment!'
"Friend: 'You make it sound like a religion.'
"Agnes: 'Of course! All major world religions can trace their
roots to a good and spirited polka romping!'
"Agnes: 'Oh yes! Even Gregorian Chant was originally accordion
music.'" — Tony Cochran, "Agnes", The Denver
Said the leprechan fiddler, "OK. How about another folk song?"
"That's what really drove the snakes out of Ireland." —
Seen on a sign at Sweet Fanny Adams
"Wife: 'I want a divorce.'
"Lawyer: 'You have to have a reason to sue for divorce.'
"Wife: 'Like what?'
"Lawyer: 'Like adultery, or cruelty, or abandonment.'
"Wife: 'HE TOOK UP THE ACCORDION!'
"Lawyer: 'Say no more.' — Parker and Hart, "Wizard
of Id", the Denver Post, October 17, 2004
"King: 'I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you've
been sentenced as an oarsman to four years on a galley ship.'
"Prisoner: 'What's the good news?'
"King: 'The drummer loves ballads.'" — Parker, "The
Wizard of Id", Rocky Mountain News, May 22, 2004
"Some guys started a bluegrass band, and decided to hire two
banjo players. Wanted to be sure that, any time they got invited to
a party, they'd have a designated drunkard." — Bangs Tapscott,
Intermountain Acoustic Musician, April 2004
"I want to thank you all for coming to tonight's elementary flutophone
concert. Just a reminder that CDs can be ordered at the tables in the
hall...and for an extra ten dollars...you can have a CD case with no
CD inside." — Batuik, in "Funky Winkerbean", Feb.
21, 2004 Rocky Mountain News.
"Two guys are talking. Guitar player: 'Things are really rough
lately; my car needs a new transmission, my wife ran off with a truck
driver, my dog died, I found out that I have Herpes, and I got a boil
on my neck.' Bnjo player: 'Huh! You got nothin' to complain about.
YOU don't have to play the banjo!' — Bangs Tapscott, Intermountain
Acoustic Musician, September 2003
"Doc, 'I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home.'
"'That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome.'
"'Is it common?'
"'It's not unusual.'"
"A man was barbecuing a chicken on his hand-operated rotisserie
in his back yard. As he turned the crank, an elderly woman with thick
glasses slowly walked by. 'Excuse me, son,' she said. 'I don't mean
to bother you but your music has stopped and your monkey is on fire.'"
— Opal Brachtenbach in Colorado Life, July 2003
"A banjo player calls up the band leader, says, 'My wife reminded
me to tell you that I won't be able to make last night's gig.'"
— Bangs Tapscott in Intermountain Acoustic Musician, May 2003
"Heart: 'Holy shamoley, Mom! This karaoke machine is the best
present Santa Claus ever brought me!'
"Mom: 'Frankly, I'm beginning to question the old man's judgement.'"
— Mark Tatulli in "Heart of the City", in the Denver
Post, Jan. 12, 2003
"Crab: 'Hold it! Stop whatever bad song you're working on ! Ernest
remixed your first song with his computer and now it's a smash hit on
the polka top 40! We finally nailed that demographic we were after.'
"Sherman: 'Millions of baby boomers longing for the '60s?'
"Crab: '3 guys in Fargo.'" — J.P. Toomey in "Sherman's
Lagoon", in the Denver Post, Jan. 9, 2003
"Friend: 'Hah! Whales don't have horns.'
"Agnes: 'You wouldn't know it ...Most switch to cello when fiends
like you are lurking around.'" — Tony Cochran, in "Agnes",
from the Denver Post, Sunday Nov. 3, 2002
"'Thanks for the harmonica you gave me for Christmas,' little
Joshua said to his uncle the first time he saw him after the holidays.
'It's the best Christmas present I ever got.'
"'That's great,' said his uncle. 'Do you know how to play it?'
"'Oh, I don't play it,' the little fellow said. 'My mom gives me
a dollar a day not to play it during the day and my dad gives me five
dollars a week not to play it at night.'" — unknown, Southeast
Tidbits, Dec. 9, 2002
"Dear Mr. Springsteen, This song may seem a tad rough by your
high standards, but I am sure you will weave it into a hit with your
special magic. If your soul's work speaks profoundly to me,
then my soul's work must speak profoundly to you. ...of course,
I am expecting ample royalties from my soul's contribution."
— Tony Cochran in "Agnes", Denver Post. Sept 24, 2002
This little grandmother was surprised by her 7 year old grandson one
morning. He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of
coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there were three of
those little green army men in the cup. She said, "Honey, what
are these army men doing in my coffee?" Her grandson said, "Grandma,
it says on TV 'The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup!'"
Two young women were commiserating one evening over coffee at the
local diner: "The man I marry must be a shining star among men!"
one said. "He will be musical, tell funny stories and stay home
at night." The grandmother in the next booth leaned over and
confided, "Dear, if that's what you really want, get a T.V."
— Southeast Tidbits, May 5, 2002
"Dear Sage, I've suffered the lyrics of some rap music my son
listens to. I think this new music best indicates the level American
culture has degenerated to. It sure is not like the good old days! By
the way, who DID put the 'ram' in the 'Ram-a-ram-a-ding-dong'? Signed,
Not So Golden Oldie
Dear Oldie, The mystery has never been conclusively resolved. However,
my research indicates Annette Funicello may have first used the phrase
after a cast party during the filming of Beach Blanket Bingo. ..."
— The Sage, in High Plains Rider, March, 2002
"A brilliant Austrian concert violinist went into the hospital
for minor surgery on his scalp, but the surgeon misunderstood the
instructions and removed 2/3 of his brain instead. When the patient
awoke and was told of the error, he responded: (choose one)
- (a) Mama Mia!
- (b) Ay, Carramba!
- (c) Begorra!
- (d) Kin I still play the banjo?
— Intermountain Acoustic Musician, February 2002
"Said the man holding the banjo: 'There's a very special affinity
that develops between and artist and his instrument. Nothing can quite
compare with those magical moments...when the artist is one with his
instrument. OPAL! I WANT MY STRINGS BACK!!'
"Opal: 'Only if you'll be one with your instrument somewhere else!'"
— Crane 1990
Two dogs are looking at a banjo.
First dog: "That's the thing I call 'The Enforcer.'"
Second dog: "He hits you with it?"
First dog: "He plays it." — Dan Piraro in "Bizarro"
Two musicians were convicted of some treasonable offense and sentenced
to death. According to the usual custom, they were each offered one
last wish. The first man, who was a bluegrass player, said the he would
like just one more time to hear "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
When asked for his last request, the second man, a jazz musician, said
simply, "Yes, please put me to death before you grant him his last
One guy: "Hey, buddy. How late does the band play?"
Musician: "Oh, about half a beat behind the drummer."
Two guys are standing on the side of the road. One's a musician and
the other one doesn't have any money either.
"This next song is a real show stopper..."
"Is this where everybody claps?"
"No... this is where everybody leaves." — Jeff MacNelly
in "Shoe" 12/25/1998
"For my next song I'd like to sing 'Love is Like a Jellyfish'.
Hmmmmm yeah, your love, yeah, is like..."
(Singer is hit in the head by a small round object)
"Why did you throw this olive at me?"
"It's the only vegetable I had." — J.P. Toomey in "Sherman's
"If I ever like a boy, he will have to know every nuance of
the lugubrious yet hauntingly melodic moan at the end of Bruce Springsteen's
song 'Jungleland'....and we will howl it together A Cappella beneath
a full moon of icy blue."
"You might be alone for a long, long time, Agnes."
"I'll wait." — Tony Cochran in "Agnes",
Denver Post, Nov. 18, 2001
A group of missionaries were in Africa. As they went through a village,
they could hear the sound of drums heightening. One of the missionaries
remarked, "I don't like the sound of those drums." A cry came
up from the village: "IT'S NOT OUR REGULAR DRUMMER!"
So this kid talks his father into letting him take bass lessons.
The father wants to be certain the kid is actually going to the lessons,
so he decides to ask the kid what he learned in each lesson. After
the first week, the kid answered that he learned the first four notes
on the E string. After the second week, the kid answered that he learned
the first 4 notes on the A string. After the third week, the kid answered,
"I didn't have a lesson today. I had a gig!" — heard
at the 2001 RockyGrass Academy "Advanced" bass class
"Did you know that Acoustic Guitar did an article on Saddam Hussein?
Yeah, it turns out he's a guitar player. Does a lot of stuff in BAGDAD
tuning." — Mark Caldwell
"Ooooooooh that's a BAD GAG" — Dick Carlson
"Two bass players walk into a bar. The third one ducks."
— heard at the 2001 RockyGrass Academy "Advanced"
"Didja hear about the banjo player named 6 7/8 Swinerton? His
parents drew his name out of a hat." — Intermountain Acoustic
Musician July 2001
"Didja hear about the Dobro player who's so ugly, he shaves
with his back to the mirror?" — Intermountain Acoustic
Musician July 2001
"Bluegrass musician was in the city shopping at a department store
when the power went out. He was trapped on an escalator for three hours."
— July 2001 Intermountain Acoustic Musician
"This here folk singer bought herself an A.M. radio. Took her
two weeks to figure out she could play it at night." —
July 2001 Intermountain Acoustic Musician
"Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person
who drives a race car isn't called a racist?" — unknown
There is an accordion player driving home from a late night gig.
Feeling tired, he pulls into a local store for some coffee. While
waiting to pay, he remembers that he locked his car doors but left
the accordion in plain view on the back seat of his car! He rushes
out only to realize that he is too late. The back window of his car
was smashed and somebody had already thrown in two more accordions.
A.J.: "You have to suffer if you want to play the blues!"
Kid: "Hey, A.J. I want to be a bluesman too!"
A.J.: "Have you suffered?"
Kid: "I just listened to you play, didn't I?" — Bazooka
A mechanic who worked out of his home had a dog named Mace. Mace
had a bad habit of eating all the grass on the mechanic's lawn, so
the mechanic had to keep Mace inside. The grass eventually became
overgrown. One day the mechanic was working on a car in the backyard
and dropped his wrench, losing it in the tall grass. He couldn't find
it for the life of him, so he decided to call it a day. That night,
Mace escaped from the house and ate all the grass in the backyard.
The next morning the mechanic went outside and saw his wrench glinting
in the sunlight. Realizing what had happened he looked toward the
heavens and proclaimed, [Are you ready for this?] "A grazing
Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me!"
Audience: "I'd like to hear your best song right now!"
Band: "We always end the show with our best song!"
Audience: "Yeah, that's what I mean!" — Bazooka Joe
So, Forrest Gump was asked in a job interview, "Can you tell
me God's first name?'' Forrest replied, ''Andy.'' When asked how in
the world he came up with the name Andy, Forrest replied, ''You know,
that song we sing in church; 'Andy walks with me, Andy talks with
me'.'' And all this time, I thought God's first name was Howard, as
in "Howard be thy name..."
My sister brought her daughter a really nice Spinet piano for her birthday.
A few weeks later, I asked my sister how her daughter was doing. "Oh,"
she said, "I persuaded her to switch to a clarinet." "How
come?" I asked curiously. "Well," my sister answered,
"because with a clarinet, she can't sing while playing......"
These two Celtic musicians walk past a bar ... Well, it could happen!
Tuba Player: "Did you hear my last recital?"
Friend: "I hope so."
Female vocalist asks her keyboard player, "I'd like to do 'My
Funny Valentine' tonight... but can you think of a way to 'jazz' it
Keyboard player replies, "Sure, we can do the first chorus in
G minor, then modulate to G# minor for the second chorus in 5/4 time,
then modulate to A minor in 3/4 time for the bridge, then cut off
the last 3 bars!"
She exclaims, "That might be too complicated to do without a
Keyboard player responds, "Well, that's how you did it last night!"
Mahatma Ghandi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that his feet
became quite thick and hard. He also was quite a spiritual person. Even
when he was not on a hunger strike, he did not eat much and became quite
thin and frail. Furthermore, due to his diet, he wound up with very
bad breath. Therefore: he came to be known as a (are you ready for this?)
"Super calloused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis." [With
apologies to Mary Poppins!]
Heard backstage: "Will the musicians and the bass player please
come to the stage?"
"Some people march to a different drummer — and some people
polka." — Los Angeles Times Syndicate
"I wanted to be a musician, but found I wasn't noteworthy."
— Rocky Mountain News
"She doesn't slap the bass. She prefers to reason with it."
— Rick Riman
"DISCOURAGE INBREEDING - Ban Country Music." —
"Accordion: A bag pipe with pleats." — unknown
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."
"I wrote a song, but I can't read music. Every time I hear a new
song on the radio, I think 'Hey, maybe I wrote that'." —Steven
"I wrote this next song while spending my day off working a
booth at the PTA bake sale. It's called, 'I Wish I'd Been a Biker
Chick'." said the lead singer in the Malcontent Moms —
Dan Piraro in "Bizarro" 11/15/1996
"Here's a song that will bring back memories...
of kidney stones." — Jeff MacNelly in "Shoe" 12/25/1998
"The electronic tax returns on tour ...Oh, I was born, born
to be filed!!" — Tom Klare in "Glitch" 8/25/1997
"For my next number, I will use my limited musical ability to
express some trite ideas in a pretentious manner.—Hope you like
it." — Dan Piraro in "Bizarro" 7/13/1996
"You're a plugger if your travel companion is usually a string
bass." — Jeff MacNelly in "Pluggers" 6/5/1993
"Misery: knowing that your hard drive has more gigs than you do."
"If you spend more on a truck than you do on banjos, you don't
belong at a bluegrass festival ... you oughta go to the auto show!"
— Jake Vest in "That's Jake"
"An oxymoron: 'Silent Night' played on a banjo." —
"What a day. ...I lost my car keys, my office, the house key
and now the key of C." — Wayne Stayskal, in "Ralph",
as though you stubbed your toe on the leg of the coffee table!
as though you'd met someone at a conference and your spouse would
never find out!
as though you were walking drunk through a residential neighborhood
at 3 a.m.!
as if you were a CEO making 500 times what you pay your employees!"
— "Rhymes With Orange"