Friday, September 29, 2006

Guns Into Guitars

Promoting peace, Colombian crafts guns into guitars
Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:07pm ET
By Patrick Markey

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Polished rosewood and an artist's deft touch are all Colombian craftsman Luis Alberto Paredes needs to turn tools of death into symbols of hope.

One of Colombia's top musical instrument makers, Paredes has branched out from traditional methods to fashion electric guitars from shotguns and AK47 rifles once used by fighters caught up in the country's lingering guerilla conflict.

"This used to hit a target at 800 meters (yards)," Paredes said holding up one of the guitars which still has a Kalashnikov rifle's distinctive, banana-shaped magazine. "Now the target will just depend on the concert stage."

In a workshop above his modest family home in Bogota, Paredes has created the "escopetarras" -- shotgun guitars in Spanish -- since he was approached by local musician Cesar Lopez with the idea about three years ago.

After stripping the soldering and gutting the trigger mechanism, he crafts a polished wooden handle over the barrel and his son installs microphones in the stock. The process takes a week to ten days.

(for full story, see )


scott long said...

interesting -- but i have a little fear they could make it into the wrong hands and give a different message than what the maker intended -- i.e. it looks like something "the Nuge" might like to use in a concert!

GeorgePrice said...

I can't argue there - Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello (now Audioslave) already plays a guitar that bears the message "Arm The Homeless"... Kerry King of Slayer could drive a point with this axe too. Weapons of Mass Distortion!