United Breaks Guitars, and we support Dave Carroll and the band

TakeLessons would like to share the YouTube video of "United Breaks Guitars," musician Dave Carroll's musical assertion that a United Airlines baggage handler damaged his Taylor Guitar tossing it around at Chicago O'Hare.

In his song, Carroll says another passenger saw Carroll's guitar being tossed by a United employee. When the airplane arrived in Nebraska, Carroll discovered that the guitar had been broken.

United declined to do anything for Carroll, but that was before his song became a YouTube hit, with nearly 600,000 hits by this afternoon after posting it this past Monday, July 6th.

Now, Julie Johnsson of the Chicago Tribune reports, United may be singing a different tune:

"This struck a chord with us," said Robin Urbanski, spokeswoman for Chicago-based United. "We are in conversation with one another to make what happened right."

We transcribed the lyrics to "United Breaks Guitars," by Dave Carroll and his fellow band members, Sons of Maxwell:

I flew United Airlines
On my way to Nebraska
The plane departed Halifax
Connecting in Chicago’s O’Hare.

While on the ground the passenger
Said from the seat behind me,
“My God, they’re throwing guitars out there!”

The Band and I exchanged a look
Best described as terror,
At the action on the tarmac
And knowing whose projectiles
These would be.

So before I left Chicago,
I alerted three employees,
Who showed complete indifference towards me.

United, United,
You broke my Taylor Guitar.
United, United,
Some big help you are.

You broke it, you should fix it.
You’re liable, just admit it.
I should have flown with someone else
Or gone by car,
Cuz United Breaks Guitars.

When we landed in Nebraska,
I confirmed what I’d suspected:
My Taylor’d been the victim
Of a vicious act of malice at O’Hare.

And so began a year-long saga
Of pass the buck, “Don’t ask me,”
And “I’m sorry sir, your claim can go nowhere.”

So to all the Airline’s people
From New York to New Delhi,
Including kind Miss Irlweg
Who says the final word from them is “No.”

I’ve heard all your excuses
And I’ve chased your wild gooses,
And this attitude of yours I say must go.

United, United,
You broke my Taylor Guitar.
United, United,
Some big help you are.

You broke it, you should fix it.
You’re liable, just admit it.
I should have flown with someone else
Or gone by car,
Cuz United Breaks Guitars.

Well I won’t say that I’ll never fly
With you again cuz maybe
To save the world I probably would
But that won’t likely happen.

And if it did, I wouldn’t bring my luggage,
Cuz you’d just got and break it
Into a thousand pieces
Just like you broke my heart.
When United breaks guitars.

United, United,
You broke my Taylor Guitar.
United, United,
Some big help you are.

You broke it, you should fix it.
You’re liable, just admit it.
I should have flown with someone else
Or gone by car,
Cuz United Breaks Guitars.

Yeah, United breaks guitars.
Yeah, United breaks guitars. – Sons of Maxwell

Here's the short version of the story from Carroll's Web site, davecarrollmusic.com:

In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to
Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being
thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered
later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn't deny the
experience occurred but for nine months the various people I
communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on
everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing
to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally
say "no" to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce
three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos
for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is
the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video
production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.

We at TakeLessons find this behavior by United unacceptable and wanted to respond to Dave's video in our own way. Here is our response as Steven takes a stand:

We support you, Dave!

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