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Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 10:00 AM



July 9, 2009 |Chicago Tribune

Canadian musician Dave Carroll could have sung the blues after United Airlines workers at O'Hare International Airport smashed his guitar and the carrier refused to pick up the $1,200 cost to repair it.

Instead, he turned the experience into a witty ditty, "United Breaks Guitars," and scored an instant hit on YouTube, his first in a 16-year career. Posted on Monday, the video had been viewed nearly 150,000 times by Wednesday. You can see the video at

Revenge, it appears, was best served with a smile and a country twang.

"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."

Carroll said he and other members of Sons of Maxwell, his Halifax-based band, were changing planes at O'Hare on March 31, 2008, when another passenger exclaimed, "My God, they're throwing guitars out there."

They glanced out the window to see a ground worker toss a bass guitar, which survived intact. But Carroll discovered when he arrived later in Omaha that his $3,500 Taylor guitar had been damaged.

Over the next nine months, Carroll spent hours reasoning with United agents in Chicago, New York and India. But to no avail: He hadn't filed a claim within 24 hours, as United requires. When United rejected his final offer, Carroll decided to write three songs about his saga.

He's been pleasantly surprised to see the video for the first song take off. He even won praise from United, which asked Carroll if it can use the video to help change its culture. Still, Carroll is honing his next ode to United, a song about customer service. "It's all light-hearted, good fun," he said.

Lodi  (Level: 108.0 - Posts: 2143)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 10:11 AM

It is amazing that it takes going to the extreme and going public to get companies to fix what they broke. United probably spent more man-hours-dollars in denying his claim than if they had just fixed the damage they caused.


Salzypat  (Level: 162.6 - Posts: 5426)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 10:14 AM

The music is good, the words are hilarious and the video is very funny. Definitely worth watching.

Madamec8  (Level: 85.9 - Posts: 897)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 10:51 AM

and Dave Carroll is yummy

Kaufman  (Level: 270.2 - Posts: 3942)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 11:04 AM

Peter Townshend breaks them better.

Suzer22  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 1983)
Sat, 11th Jul '09 1:32 PM

One comment under the video says it all for me - it's really nice that this guy had the guts, the sense of humor and the wherewithal to make this video for the rest of us who can't.

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