I don’t want to get into the habit of posting items of weird-but-true instruments and other musical items – I’ll leave that to the experts at (the very entertaining) MusicThing and others. I have to make an exception for this, I’m afraid.
The Fluorescent Green Clarinet
I was trawling around the shark-infested treasure trove that is eBay, looking for a little bargain, when I came across this item. A bright green clarinet. Wow. Got to have one of those! Or not.
The black tube of the beautiful green
The seller, a Mr jianada0377, is from China and has a wonderful way with words. So, once he’s introduced his ‘black tube…’ he goes on to say “If you like Chinese culture and Chinese arts, please don’t miss this item. As you know, the Chinese has long history around the world.” Indeed. I’m sure thousands of years of Chinese culture have passed in order that the very pinnacle of artistic endeavour can be attained by crafting this fine instrument. He sums up by letting us know that “It will bring you and your family happy”. It certainly made me smile. He has a whole range of products, including “The electricity guitar of the elegant white” and “Chinese kissable bran-new superb guitar” amongst others. However, leaving aside the results of an auto-translator gone haywire, it got me thinking.
What self-respecting classical clarinet player is going to turn up for a concert with one of these? Not too many, I’d wager. Okay, what about a jazz clarinettist? Not much more likely, I suspect. Well, it would look eye-catching for a rock clarinettist, but when did you last see one of them? No, nor I. So who is buying these things? Somewhere in China there’s a factory churning the little critters out (just do a search on eBay for “green clarinet”), so there must be a market. And they can’t just be toys – not only do they look like they might actually work, but they cost about £100 or more to post from China to the UK. Yeah, right.
Amazingly nobody snapped this up, so it went unsold at £4.99 (plus £150 packaging, of course!). Looks like probably the same guy is (trying to) sell them under various names (just search for “black tube beautiful green” on eBay to see) starting at only 27p this time. “Pay attention to the color and the skill”. Yes, indeed. And where on eBay would you look for this latest little gem? Why, ‘Jewellery & Watches > Vintage & Antique Jewellery > Vintage Costume Jewellery > Pre-1837′ – of course! It just gets better…