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Among this pack of cranks, where nuts are not only tolerated, but a welcome part of the social landscape, (78 collector) Bussard is the odd man out of the oddballs: an unschooled and profane "pure cracker" (in the words of a fellow collector) among a bunch of mostly urbane Northerners - Joe Bussard, story by Eddie Dean, washingtoncitypaper.com

Author Topic: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?  (Read 3458 times)

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Offline outfidel

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Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« on: August 01, 2006, 06:32:02 AM »
"The electric guitar is a fraud; the sound rings because of the electricity, not because of the player"

Where does this quote come from? I just finished Mance's I Say Me for a Parable autobiography -- to my surprise, the quote wasn't from that book. Did Mance say this in the Les Blank film?
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2006, 11:21:28 AM »
It's certainly something from way back in the mists of time and quite possibly said in Les Blank's "A Well Spent Life" (1970). I've not seen the film since it was released in 1971/2 but anybody with the video can put us out of our misery.  :)

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 06:16:30 PM »
I was the one who put it in the quotes database and am now wondering from where I got it. Probably liner notes, will investigate.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 07:20:04 PM »
After scanning liner notes I drew a blank. Google is my friend though. I'm almost ashamed to admit I probably got it from somebody's tag line on the Martin Guitar forum which I used to frequent. Here's the search:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22electric+guitar+is+a+fraud%22+%22mance+lipscomb%22&rlz=1C5ACMJ_enUS522US522&oq=%22&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j69i61.2451j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Anyone want to dig deeper on where they got from? It wasn't from here, I was just quoting.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 07:22:11 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2013, 08:18:55 PM »
Worth noting that Mance played a bit of (convincing) electric guitar on the recordings now found on the Arhoolie Vol 5 CD.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2013, 09:14:23 PM »
I'm not sure what to think. I can imagine him saying it, but without attribution, beyond 'someone used it as a tagline on the internet', it's pretty dubious at this point and probably should be sidelined.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2013, 09:57:03 AM »
Hi all,
A bit of thread creep, but I'm also very skeptical about the quote on the Quote Oracle from Jim Croce's widow's book in which John Hurt is quoted as talking about his "career" on a radio show in which Jim Croce interviewed him.  I absolutely do not believe that John Hurt said the quote which is attributed to him there.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 06:31:47 PM »
It doesn't ring true to me either, here it is:

Quote
Croce: "Do you believe the Festival marked a comeback in your own career?" Hurt: "I certainly don't think it hurt," he answered laughing. "Of course my career has seen more comebacks than a Friday night fish fry. I've been around a long time, you know. My first record was for Okeh in 1928" - December 1963, young Villanova student Jim Croce asks a question about the recent Newport Folk Festival in an interview of Mississippi John Hurt for radio station WWVU, from I Got A Name - the Jim Croce Story by Ingrid Croce and Jimmy Rock (Da Capo 2012)

Here's a link to Google books: http://books.google.com/books?id=FSeXOsYlRasC&pg=PA19&lpg=PA19&dq=my+career+has+seen+more+comebacks+than+a+Friday+night+fish+fry&source=bl&ots=q5RbNIzP74&sig=jEVe4lCdyHPjbf2rYhNQ-NRwfDQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HZfoUc30B5D-rAGz6oGgDg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=my%20career%20has%20seen%20more%20comebacks%20than%20a%20Friday%20night%20fish%20fry&f=false

Sideline candidate. Croce and Hurt were in the same room clearly. I don't believe John would have said that though, it sems way too cliched. I think I might have posted it originally.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 06:36:51 PM by Rivers »

Offline ScottN

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 07:37:30 PM »
Hi John and Rivers,

I'll take the "blame" for having posted the original...the book specifically uses quotation marks around the passages but it's possibly just artistic license on Ingrid's part on a story that was relayed to her by a colorful storyteller.  On the other hand, I saw an interview with Jim's son AJ, who was a baby when his dad died, relaying that he got to "know" his dad from the hundreds of hours of recordings Jim did...maybe the radio broadcast was / is on tape as well.

Thanks,
Scottn
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 10:39:59 PM by ScottN »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 07:44:15 PM »
Thanks Scott, my thoughts exactly, possibly a touch of artistic license. We'll probably never know for sure unless the tapes become available.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 07:20:44 AM »
Gary Davis Did say something very similar in response to my asking him if he ever considered playing an electric.
He said something to the effect that "if you ain't got no electricity then you ain't got no guitar!" It was not a neutral observation. His contempt for them was palpable. I have it on tape somewhere.
I'm sure many of their generation who witnessed their style being supplanted by younger players with louder guitars had similar feelings. We need only to think of Newport '65 for an extreme reaction in a highly compressed time frame.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 07:26:33 AM by Mr.OMuck »
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Offline sofingraw

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2013, 03:18:02 PM »
I may be a crazy man, but I do indeed believe that the Mance Lipscomb quote came directly from 'I Say Me for a Parable'. If I recall correctly, he was recalling attending a B.B. King show in Houston?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 06:02:13 PM by sofingraw »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2013, 05:10:39 PM »
sofingraw, my copy is in a box 1000 miles from here, and I've already skimmed through it twice trying to find it.

Offline sofingraw

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2013, 06:00:29 PM »
OK, I have my copy here. Going through it, I can't find the quote above. Though,  I see the following passage that I was thinking of, which makes me believe that it COULD be a direct quote:

(In the annoying -to me- directly phonetic style that the book was written in)

"Say, 'Let's go see B.B. King'
I say, 'He here tonight?'
'Yeah'
I say 'Well now, y'all been talkin bout B.B. King: he don't have the same gittah I got. Do you believe me?'
They say 'Aw, he got the same gittah as you got.'
I say 'No he ain't. Heres a trebolo here and one there. One over here and one here.All those thangs is got knobs on em, controls? An alls he had ta do, jest hit one knob an turn it on an leave the others off. And he hit one strang an go down ta the lake an come back, an it still rangin. An hold his hand up in the air: clear! Aint got a fanger on them strangs. Lectricity! An you thank you listen at him, you lookin at that lectricity. I don't have no amp here. Jest clear pickin.' " 

To me, while not the quote we are looking for, this makes clear that Mance did indeed consider the
lectric' guitar a fraud, and he preferred greatly acoustic music. Which I suppose makes sense, from his point of view.

Offline JohnLeePimp

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Re: Mance Lipscomb's "electric guitar is a fraud" quote - source?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2013, 01:18:35 PM »
(In the annoying -to me- directly phonetic style that the book was written in)

...how the hell did he not get halfway through the transcriptions before realising this clever technique of his was unnecessary, insulting and hard to read!?
...so blue I shade a part of this town.

 


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