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flea_bitten
02-06-2010, 02:56 PM
At the music shop yesterday (to pick up a set of strings ... we won't talk about the Dolphin) I got chatting to the guy behind the counter. He said about banjoleles "there's one under every second bed in Australia cos the soldiers brought them back after WW2". Huh? I've been scouring the for sale columns looking for one and hadn't seen any.

Is he right? OK so he exaggerated a bit. But that could still mean that, around the world, there are millions of ukes in the backs of cupboards, under beds and up in the attics etc. Is this true? (How do we lure them out! LOL.)

Skitzic
02-06-2010, 03:06 PM
I don't doubt it. Maybe not every second bed, but there's probably a lot of forgotten ukes out there. People find really old guitars cleaning out houses all the time.

ukecantdothat
02-06-2010, 03:07 PM
One day at work someone spotted me with my uke and said, "I have a uke somewhere buried in drawer somewhere. I was my father's. I remember he used to pull it out at parties when I was a kid... blah blah blah..."

So I said, jokingly, "Bring it in, it might be a Martin!"

"Is that good?" she asked. So she brings it in the next day, and sure enough, it was a pristeen '30's Martin soprano, a mahogany S0, and since it had no case I went right out and bought her one for it in exchange for letting me play it for a few weeks. If I were the devious type, I would have kept my mouth shut about the "Martin" bit and waited for her to bring it in, then offered her 20 bucks to "take it off her hands." But no. I don't roll like that, so instead I played the living crap out of it and was in pure heaven for those weeks.

Skitzic
02-06-2010, 03:15 PM
One day at work someone spotted me with my uke and said, "I have a uke somewhere buried in drawer somewhere. I was my father's. I remember he used to pull it out at parties when I was a kid... blah blah blah..."

So I said, jokingly, "Bring it in, it might be a Martin!"

"Is that good?" she asked. So she brings it in the next day, and sure enough, it was a pristeen '30's Martin soprano, a mahogany S0, and since it had no case I went right out and bought her one for it in exchange for letting me play it for a few weeks. If I were the devious type, I would have kept my mouth shut about the "Martin" bit and waited for her to bring it in, then offered her 20 bucks to "take it off her hands." But no. I roll like that, so instead I played the living crap out of it and was in pure heaven for those weeks.

You're a saint.

itsme
02-06-2010, 03:29 PM
I bought a 1917 Gibson mandolin that had literally been in someone's grandmther's closet for decades til she died and they had to clear things out. It was in near-mint condition. :)

Mim
02-06-2010, 03:34 PM
I have a weird vague memory of my dad owning a miniture banjo looking thing... now I wonder what it was... he probably still had it. I need to ask, but it is too late to call. I keep hoping I will run into a random Uke at the thrift store or in the back of a family member's closet.

Teek
02-06-2010, 10:50 PM
Best deal I got was 2 attic finds that an old guitar playing dentist put up for sale with great disdain, they looked like crap but were sound. I got them for $20 each, one w a busted neck but reset ok if ugly. It's currently under reconstruction and could end up pretty nice, it plays sweet as old 'hog does, with a curved back; the other looked like it wouldn't be good for firewood under the filth and beading of the shellac from heat, but it is koa and light as a feather, also has a curved back circa 1918-20. Sweet. I keep looking for those. One day it will be a Martin. I did actually find a Martin in my own mother's closet, a bari, but she took it back, she was peeved that I bought a decent hard case and a humidifier for it. :confused: My dad was stationed in Hawaii in the 50s, but too tone deaf to think to pick up a uke.

micromue
02-07-2010, 12:53 AM
Were do all the old ukes go?


My dad told me that there is a beautiful farm in nebraska, where all them old ukes live happy together spending the whole day chasing squirrels. Our trusty family mahogany uke "Spot" even wrote me a letter when he arrived there last may. :confused:

nohandles
02-07-2010, 12:55 AM
I've always collected things since I was a little boy- you know like now but little! Walking to school I trash picked- much to mothers dismay every can between home and school. I would walk different ways ways just see other trash.
Walking all the way through to the 12th grade in fact. Over time I've drug home 7 Ukes and 2 banjoleles one being a Gibson I found the Aurthur Godfrey uke still in the original box box as pristine as the new driven snow.
Plus tons of other instruments, motorcycles, a tuba and an Oboe- with a crack. People over the years have given me lots of stuff but now with ebay and the everything is worth millions craze things have dried up. But is was fun while
it lasted

Skitzic
02-07-2010, 05:45 AM
I've always collected things since I was a little boy- you know like now but little! Walking to school I trash picked- much to mothers dismay every can between home and school. I would walk different ways ways just see other trash.
Walking all the way through to the 12th grade in fact. Over time I've drug home 7 Ukes and 2 banjoleles one being a Gibson I found the Aurthur Godfrey uke still in the original box box as pristine as the new driven snow.
Plus tons of other instruments, motorcycles, a tuba and an Oboe- with a crack. People over the years have given me lots of stuff but now with ebay and the everything is worth millions craze things have dried up. But is was fun while
it lasted

I found my 12 string trash picking. Besides a chip in the headstock the thing is in good condition. Had to get the neck adjusted a few times but it still sounds awesome.

rpeters
02-07-2010, 07:16 AM
One day at work someone spotted me with my uke and said, "I have a uke somewhere buried in drawer somewhere. I was my father's. I remember he used to pull it out at parties when I was a kid... blah blah blah..."

So I said, jokingly, "Bring it in, it might be a Martin!"

"Is that good?" she asked. So she brings it in the next day, and sure enough, it was a pristeen '30's Martin soprano, a mahogany S0, and since it had no case I went right out and bought her one for it in exchange for letting me play it for a few weeks. If I were the devious type, I would have kept my mouth shut about the "Martin" bit and waited for her to bring it in, then offered her 20 bucks to "take it off her hands." But no. I don't roll like that, so instead I played the living crap out of it and was in pure heaven for those weeks.

Wow, I really don't think I could do that. I think I would have been the guy that tricked her. Well I'm glad she brought it to you and not me..

Moondoggie
02-07-2010, 07:19 AM
You're a saint.

I agree. I'd like to think I could do the same thing, but oooooh man :)

We went to an AWESOME guitar shop yesterday (more on that later) and I saw what I thought was a banjolele, though I couldn't figure out why it had five strings. Turns out it was a miniature (and pricey) vintage banjo. Anyway, the salesguy made the same sort of comment - "This runs around $1000 or so, but actual banjoleles can be had pretty cheaply in a lot of places." Maybe its all a big Dealer Myth. "Well, I haven't seen the place, but a friend of a friend says he has a friend who went into this attic and there were THOUSANDS of banjoleles!!"

On the other hand, as popular as ukes were in the depression era, I've gotta think there are indeed tons out there in hiding.Especially if even half of 'em were made as well as, say, the Martins, they've gotta be lurking. It's just gonna take an open mind and sharp eyes to hunt 'em down. For instance, my wife found Amos at a furniture consignment shop. She now wishes she had never told me, as we now have to stop at every consignment store, thrift store, Goodwill, Salvation Army, antique store, yard sale, roadside stand and Dunkin' Donuts we see. Well, the Dunkin' Donuts isn't for ukuleles - I just like donuts.