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On July 30th, 2005, I was playing an outdoor wedding gig in Boulder, CO. It seemed like it would be a pretty good gig, actually...Solo guitar, standards during seating, My Romance during the processional, Don't Get Around Much Anymore for the Recessional, then some more standards for cocktail hour. The wedding party were obviously jazz fans, and great folks to boot.

All in all, a nice gig, until MY TAILPIECE EXPLODED!!!!!!!!!!

It was probably close to 90 degrees, although I was in the shade the entire time, probably an hour or so at this point. I was taking a quick break before the cocktail hour, and had set my guitar on my stand when I heard this loud popping sound. I looked back and just caught sight of my pick (which had been in the strings) go flying. I looked at my guitar, and it took me a moment to realize that the bridge was gone, I couldn't see any of the strings as they were wrapped around the back of the neck three around each side, and the tailpiece was a very thin shade of its former self.

It actually broke up into 5 seperate pieces (see pics below). The bulk of the tailpiece stayed on the guitar, with two pieces breaking off each side and then two more small blocks were still attached to the strings themselves where they threaded through.

Steve Holst, who made the original replacement, told me that every once in a while ebony will have a hairline fracture in it that is virtually impossible to detect. In a tailpiece, the stress on the wood is obviously considerable and over time will result in it coming apart at whatever defect is present in the wood. He thinks that's probably what happened to mine. He has since made me a second tailpiece, but this time it is solid, without the cut-out in it. Hopefully, this one will stay together for me.


The Initial Replacement

After the Explosion

The Replacement for the Replacement

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