Wednesday, August 19, 2009

2nd 'United Breaks Guitars' video released

Folk musician Dave Carroll has launched his latest online volley at United Airlines, posting a second humorous music video about the airline destroying his guitar.

"When all this started, I wasn't really hoping for anything. I was just sharing my frustrations … and trying to find a creative way, as a songwriter, to write three songs about the same topic and have them all be lighthearted and funny and unique," Carroll, the primary songwriter of Halifax band Sons of Maxwell, told CBC News on Tuesday.

In July, Carroll released the video for his song United Breaks Guitars. It became a viral sensation that eventually garnered about five million hits on YouTube.

However, besides the online fame, Carroll says he has most enjoyed the discussion, including receiving thousands of emails from people who are awaiting subsequent videos after having had similar experiences.

"It's the passion behind the conversations, the watercooler discussions I'm hearing about and the amount of people who are thanking me for having a song that voices their concerns about their customer service nightmares in the past."

Carroll has yet to travel on the airline since the 2008 incident, in which he and his bandmates watched — in horror — as United baggage handlers in Chicago carelessly tossed their equipment from the plane.

He spent nine months trying to negotiate compensation for his smashed, $3,500 custom Taylor acoustic guitar before releasing the first video.

"But I would [fly United] and I may again one day. My goal with this whole thing is not to drive United into the ground. It's hopefully to compel them maybe to do some customer service improvements," he said.

With one more song to go in his proposed trilogy, Carroll has issued a challenge to the airline.

"If United would go online and on record saying that they were going to make substantive changes to customer service and make the experience better for people, I'd be inclined to write about that," he said.

"[The third song] is still not written and it'll be released in the fall, though. If United wants to take part, they just have to come to the table and share what they're going to do to make it better for everybody."

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