Aren’t we still a couple months away? I was surprised to find in my PO Box today an advance copy of the Summer, 2014 issue of the new Ukulele magazine (from the folks who publish Acoustic Guitar).
The reason I received it was because the closing page “Great Ukes” article for this fifth issue features a Knutsen harp ukulele! Mine, actually.
Senior Editor Greg Olwell contacted me (sorry, “reached out to…” is not in my vocabulary) just a couple weeks ago about doing a piece about the Knut. I said sure, to which he responded by asking if I could possibly have it for their deadline two days away. To that, I said impossible, but he twisted my arm and gave me through the weekend. Plus he said the magic word (“Knutsen”).
Problem was, those 1-pagers are strictly limited to 400 words, and, as you all know, I am not a 400 words kinda guy. I also gave him my now-boilerplate spiel about wanting editorial approval and proofing (as explained in several blog rants, this is because nearly everyone who edits me or writes about harp guitars invariably screws it up to some extent. I’ll screw up on my own, thank you very much). I rather expected this to kill the deal (a professional magazine no-no), but Greg graciously played ball, due perhaps more to the time crunch than my self-inflated reputation.
Next was to consolidate the info from my old 4000-word Ukulele Occasional article, add to it the many discoveries made since then, and boil it down to 400 words. Several ruthless text-tightening versions later, I got it down to almost 600 (a new “low” for me), and sent it off. Greg then did a great “tough love” job whittling it down to a presentable 400-ish version, which retained most of the key points. I sent back a final copy with a few additional suggestions/options after which he promptly tidied things up and hit “send.”
I also took the opportunity to take the instrument to a pro studio to get new digital photos of every conceivable angle.
I’d like to thank Mr. Olwell for a very pleasurable (and successful) whirlwind collaboration. Always nice to give these instruments a broader audience. For the record, one unfortunate error did inadvertently creep in during that final Monday morning wrap up… (I had a statement about harp-ukes not having sub-bass strings; somehow, harp-mandolins also ended up in the sentence. Problem is, some of Chris Knutsen’s harp mandolins do have extra subs…but you already knew that…).
Hope your ukulele summer comes soon, and remember to keep an eye on the newsstand!