Letter from Brother Ted

Recently, I volunteered to play an hour set at Fairmount Elementary. I pulled together some friends, came up with a band name, “Gus and Mission Creek Ramblers,” wrote down some songs and thought… no problem. But as all band leaders know, refined artists live complicated lives. Ted, the lead banjo player was in a tight spot. The day of the gig, I found this letter in my mail box.

Dear Gus and the Mission Creek Ramblers,

Thursday, 3am May 9th,

I know this is hard to believe but rules are rules. It was a dark and stormy night and we were making good time. We had made it over the mountain pass and were almost to the state line. We crossed the state line into Nevada on our way to Reno with no problems but it wasn’t till about 10 miles down the road when I saw the flashing red lights in my rear view mirror. I wasn’t going that fast but I pulled over. The first thing the officer asked me was if I had any illegal unregistered musical instruments in my possession. I said that I was unaware of any laws about registering instruments with authorities. He said “open the trunk sir” and at that moment I knew I was busted.

He saw my banjo case and asked for my banjo license. I told him I had none. So right away he handcuffed us, and booked us on transferring unregistered banjos across state lines. My trial is next week and bail is set for $10,000.

Laura the Mandolin player is with me too. She did not have a license as well. Things are not so bad though. They have us in a cell with this guy named Bernie Madoff and asked us to play as much as possible. The police said he liked the banjo music but Bernie seems like he is pretty irritated and I think he starting to go mad.

Anyway, don’t worry about us. We are getting 3 square meals a day. Wish us luck. Send bail if you can but I am going to fight this thing.


Ted and Laura

Well we ended up doing the gig with just two people. Guitar and harmonica and a bunch of old tunes. Turned out fine. Ted and Laura did make it out of jail eventually.