Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gently Weeping For That Guitar

Nashville pickers: do you know where your guitar came from? Let’s hope it’s not from here:
VANCOUVER — When an old-growth maple tree falls in the majestic woods of British Columbia's Burnaby Mountain, does it make a sound?

Yes . . . but only once it's been transformed into a guitar.

Poachers have chopped down five trees and slashed at least 25 more within the mountain's conservation area in search of a specific grain used in high-end guitars.

“It just makes you sick,” said Henry deJong, a design technician for Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.

“It's frustrating to walk into a pristine area and you expect to enjoy the flora and fauna and you find these giants cut down. Some of them are not even reaching half their lifespan.”

Constable Kevin Hamilton with the RCMP's three-man Forest Crime Investigation Unit says those taking the wood are looking for a grain commonly known as curly maple.

“They're looking for compression marks within the wood, commonly used for manufacturing musical instruments,” he said.

“These trees with these compression marks, once they're sanded and finished they have a beautiful marble look that's very esthetically pleasing.”

Shameful. I kinda feel how I did when I found out that chocolate is produced with child slave labor, or that wacko cult leader and right-wing financier Rev. Moon supplies 80% of this country’s sushi.

I hope the Nashville music community looks into the source of the beautiful wood grains that make their instruments. Let’s make sure we aren’t destroying beautiful old-growth forests to make beautiful new music.