[Dixielandjazz] Trombone Hoaqx
Robert S. Ringwald
robert at ringwald.com
Fri Mar 25 16:09:33 PST 2005
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Placerville, CA USA
> Trombone of Contention
> Claim: A band musician received a fatal head injury from a trombone
> 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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