[Dixielandjazz] Trombone Hoaqx

Robert S. Ringwald robert at ringwald.com
Fri Mar 25 16:09:33 PST 2005

Help stamp out SPAM, hoax messages, etc.  Don't be a party to circulating 
these things.

Before forwarding a message containing false information such as below, 
check it out on www.snopes.com

--Bob Ringwald
Placerville, CA USA

> Trombone of Contention
> Claim:   A band musician received a fatal head injury from a trombone 
> slide.
> Status:   False.
> Example:   [Weekly World News, 1996]
> Bocholt, Germany — A band musician died of a brain injury when the 
> trombonist behind him jerked the slide of his trombone forward and struck 
> the trumpeter in the back of the head!
> Police say the tragedy occurred as the Gratzfeld College band was 
> rehearsing the spirited American jazz classic, "When the Saints Go 
> Marching In."
> According to other band members, trombonist Peter Niemeyer, 19, "got 
> carried away" with the music. He started gyrating and thrashing around as 
> he played. At one point, he jerked forward and the rounded metal slide on 
> his instrument hit trumpet player Dolph Mohr, 20, dropping him instantly 
> to the floor.
> "Niemeyer was pumping the slide very hard," said medical examiner Dr. Max 
> Krause. "But it wasn't just the force of the blow that killed Mohr. The 
> slide struck him in the worst possible place — the vulnerable spot just 
> behind and below the left ear. Bone fragments pierced his brain, killing 
> him instantly."
> The incident has provoked a storm of controversy over whether or not 
> American jazz should be played in German colleges.
> "I believe the music is to blame," said Gratzfeld band director Heinrich 
> Sommer. "I was pressured to play that selection by school administrators. 
> But I've always said jazz is dangerous music. Our musicians can't control 
> themselves when they play it. They move and rock back and forth, creating 
> chaos. If I had my way, American Dixieland would be outlawed in Germany. 
> I've been directing bands for 30 years and I've never heard of anyone 
> dying while playing a German march."
> Origins:   If there were competition for the title of "America's wackiest 
> newspaper," the Weekly World News would probably win the award hands-down. 
> Unlike other supermarket tabloids, which primarily offer a Trombone 
> mixture of celebrity news and gossip, shocking scandals, and health and 
> diet tips, the WWN's stock in trade is the bizarre. Extraterrestrials, 
> ghosts, cannibals, vampires, and half-human animals populate the pages of 
> the WWN; articles about alien visitations, unusual deaths, Bigfoot, and 
> impending planetary doom can generally be found in every issue. Facts are 
> infrequent visitors to the WWN, rude party-crashers who occasionally 
> succeed at sneaking in through the back door and are quickly hustled off 
> the premises.
> Despite the mostly playful, tongue-in-cheek style of WWN articles, 
> occasionally a WWN story will "escape" into the wild and be circulated on 
> the Internet as a genuine news article (because it has been stripped of 
> its attribution, or because a forwarder wasn't familiar with the essence 
> of the Weekly World News); on rare occasions, a WWN piece will even 
> resurface in the "legitimate" news media, reported as a factual account of 
> a real-life event. In the last several years, all of the following topics 
> which originally appeared in the Weekly World News were widely circulated 
> as true:
>     * A scientist's plot to blow up the sun.
>     * A time-traveling trader who made a killing in the stock market.
>     * A tree that produces meat rather than fruit.
>     * The revelation that Saddam Hussein once starred in gay porn films.
>     * A medical study that found ogling women's breasts is good for a 
> man's health.
>     * A woman who sued a pharmacy after she became pregnant despite her 
> consumption of contraceptive jelly.
>     * A chess player whose head exploded during a match.
>     * A worker who died at his desk and went unnoticed by his co-workers 
> for five days.
> The story reproduced above, of a trumpeter who died when struck in the 
> head by the slide of an overenthusiastic trombonist, is another entry from 
> the Weekly World News fiction collection, this one originally published in 
> the tabloid on 23 January 1996. It was quickly posted to a variety of 
> USENET newsgroups, and even though its attribution has largely remained 
> intact as it has been republished on a variety of Internet sites over the 
> years, it regularly surfaces in our inbox as the subject of "Is this 
> true?" queries.
> Last updated:   10 November 2004

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