TSA Not So Bassist Friendly
Apparently when traveling, no one is safe from the TSA. Jazz bass superstar Christian McBride took to Facebook to express his outrage after his bow was taken from his case on the way to a gig in Canada.
“Now that it’s confirmed, I can tell you that good ol’ TSA confiscated (aka STOLE) my brand new bow right out of my hard case yesterday,” McBride wrote. “I arrived in Saskatoon only to find the bow missing inside the case to my Lemur Travel Bass. Maybe they thought it was a weapon (idiotic), or they were looking for ivory, of which there wasn’t any. I will get to the bottom of this.”
This comes only three weeks after fellow bassist John Patitucci had his Pollmann bass badly damaged by TSA on the way to a gig with the Wayne Shorter Quartet (photos below). The bass, which was converted to a neck-off by luthier David Gage, was apparently dropped during an inspection that Patitucci was denied access to. The bassist was forced to tape up the damaged section of the bass for the two-week tour.
It’s obvious that serious reforms are needed to the TSA’s process of inspecting and checking in musical instruments. If these catastrophes can happen to the world’s greatest players, then what precedent does that set for the rest of us?
Here are the pictures of Patitucci’s bass showing the damage and the tape job he had to resort to on the gig: