Can you tell me about the three medical bluegrass maladies that Australian doctors cannot cure? (GAS, MAS and BAS)?
Ozzie: The ‘AS’ stands for Acquisition Syndrome, and the G is Guitar, the M is mandolin, and the B is, of course, the Banjo. It is described in the Physician’s Global Guide to Bluegrass Ailments as an obsession to seek the next-best instrument at any cost.
Fortunes have been spent trying to obtain something just a little bit better, brighter, louder, easier to play and shinier than the old axe under the bed. Often this is done by buying something online, only to discover that, once it’s been delivered, it’s not really much better than the older, more reliable, ever-trustful instrument you learned all your early songs on. But now you have it, and have showed all your friends to make them jealous, you have to play it, while you can work out a way to sell it again to someone else suffering from the same ailment. Never fear, there are millions out there. (In a later column I’ll write about a better way to manage this ailment.)