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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

In the difficult times we live in guitar players can play their part

Carlos interviewed on Radio Nuevo Leon Monterrey, Mexico, 2009

Less frets means less taxes

This is a curious moment in the UK for every citizen is bound to make an individual declaration of earnings around this time in January to the Inland Revenue. This in spite of the rapid advancement of computer technology which sooner or later will automatically gather all information regarding our individual circumstances without the bother of consulting us individually. For the present, that day is still some way off.

In the matter of tax guitar players have an important role to play in setting an example to the rest of the national community. We could start by suggesting to the Revenue ways for it to increase its collection by specifically taxing wasteful modern guitar players. One of the earliest taxes, way back in medieval times, was a tax levied on the number of windows. Sheer genius! We could do the same with the guitar. Tax the number of fret spaces. Now I know some clever pluckers may follow the example of early house owners who boarded up windows to avoid the tax. How? By blocking off entire fret areas which they don’t need! Of course, I couldn't possibly give that my approval.

As far as our general economic woes I know I will not be very popular in my suggestions but hear me out before throwing the book at me. Here goes - whereas others are racking their brains to reduce their personal contribution, we could make a handsome gesture by helping the austerity drive which is supposedly going to lead sooner or later - some would say later rather than sooner – to the revival of the world’s economic fortunes. If indeed we all need to learn to live with less, and not to spend beyond our means why not look firstly to our instruments? For a start we could reduce the number of frets. I ask you, who needs 19 frets? Worst of all, and symbolic of the world’s extravagances which have turned so sour in recent times is the absurd addition of a 20th fret! We need it for just one or two pieces. So cut that out, or even carve it out.

Yes, I am warming to these noble thoughts which should shame the greedy among us desirous of the guitar in its full splendour: I say less frets and less strings. This would be frugal and set a good example. How about going one stage further. Why play a full size monster 20th century guitar when previous generations were perfectly happy with diminutive instruments, right up to the late 19th century? Those guitar players who insist on playing a 20-fret, 6-string modern guitar would be obliged to pay full taxes. Those who make do with less would pay less.

So, as you sit there poring over your tax return think carefully of how you could one day reduce your liability as I have suggested. When the day dawns of automated tax returns without recourse to our personal acknowledgement, guitarists (as other instrumentalists) may be let off if they can tick the box which asks whether you are playing a reduced guitar or a normal one.

You may smile at my whimsy. I hope you understand that at this time of year I need to lighten my burden by just such a flight of fancy. So far no one at the Inland Revenue has thought of taxing such a thing.

13th January, London

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=2147 .
© 2017.

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