Saturday Scenes

Wed 10 November 2010

The Sousaphone is Burning

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:46

On the 6th of November 1854, John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, DC. When he was 13, his Portuguese father enlisted him into the U.S. Marine Corps in order to stop him from joining the circus. Presumably traumatised for life, Sousa went on to become famous as “the March King” when he organised his own marching band after leaving the US Marine Band. He is credited with having popularised the sousaphone, also known as a “marching brass bass”, which was created by J. W. Pepper using Sousa’s suggestions and then recreated by C. G. Conn with further modifications requested by Sousa.

David Silverman, director of The Simpsons, considered that the sousaphone could use further improvement and decided that what the world really needed was one with flames coming out of the top.

Tubatron: HOWTO make and play a flaming tuba (video) – Boing Boing

Yes, there were a few missteps. We had the pipe soldered on at the top – and found the heat melted the solder. (It only got me on the arm and the top of my head.) So, that was replaced by mechanically attaching the pipe. The solder around the lower part got weakened by my use of the trigger — so additional hose clamps were added. The tank gets FREEZING cold. (Liquid converts into a gas, creates a sudden drop in pressure – lowering the temperature.) So, wearing a Utilikilt helps insulate from that. Also, another friend on mine, Lou Genise, is a very talented leathersmith, and we are going to devise a harness to carry the tank more comfortably.

You can see a video of the fire-breathing sousaphone player on YouTube – ooops I did it again It’s quite amazing to watch:

And once you’ve recovered, you should take a look at these great photographs taken on the 6th of November 2010:

The amazing people who took these photographs are all on Twitter and happy to chat. Follow them and make new friends!

You should join us next weekend! It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

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