Travels with a Tele or why Australia is not America

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My Telecaster is my friend.

Over the years I’ve learned that the way airport security deal with musical equipment says a lot about the country. Will they let you take it in the cabin, store it in Business for you, charge you extra, roll out the red carpet or search you for drugs? It’s different every time.

Here in Melbourne Airport they x-rayed my hand baggage three times, finally asking to search it. Out came the “dangerous” item. I could tell the security lady wasn’t into rock’n’roll.

“What’s this?” she asked her colleague.

“That’s fine,” he replied.

It was a capo. What possible security risk could it pose- except to change key unexpectedly? And this in the land of the campfire singalong…

I’ve had a similar experiences in the USA. This time the offending article was a slide, but on opening the guitar case, the security guy was really serious in his questioning.

Dangerous contraband
Dangerous contraband
“Is this a 1960s issue Tele? What amp do you use? What sort of music do you play?”

Thereafter you have no problems in the airport. It’s an American rite of passage, a bit like the battered old acoustic in Oz.

But not with a capo.

1 comments on “Travels with a Tele or why Australia is not America”

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