At 3 am on Friday (11 August), Tamworth musician Lawrie Minson experienced every musician’s nightmare: landing and finding a guitar case totally ruined.
Posting photos of his guitar case that looked tattered and torn, Minson wrote on Facebook, “It's 3am and I've just arrived in Darwin. I'm working with the incredible Yirrmal over the weekend. Qantas baggage handlers have gone above and beyond on this trip.”
He added, “They've hit a new personal low for my forty plus years of touring around this great country. I was told to go online and complain so that's what I'm doing!”
To his relief, upon opening the case, Minson found that his custom-built Maton electric guitar was perfectly intact. “Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern over the welfare of my Maton guitar,” he wrote in a post accompanying a video on social media.
“Cases can be replaced but this guitar was custom built for me for playing slide. It was a big relief to find it intact when I opened what was left of its roadcase,” he continued.
In the video, Minson called the incident “absolutely ridiculous” and “That was a good road case - the idea of road cases are they can handle anything these idiots throw at it”.
This morning (14 August), Minson issued a good news update: he had received an apology from Qantas. “In Sydney airport waiting for my connection to Tamworth,” he wrote.
“I received VIP treatment from Qantas in Darwin last night with a complimentary pass to the Qantas Lounge and they helped me dispose of the various pieces of my roadcase from the incident last Thursday.
“I finally received an apology from customer care yesterday afternoon. The issue of lack of care by the baggage handlers is still to be addressed.” Yesterday, Minson’s friend Giles Smith drove him to the local Bunnings and sorted out a new handle for Minson’s second-hand guitar case. Minson continued, “Hoping my gear (including) the replacement case makes it to Tamworth intact!”
As a session musician, Minson has worked with a who’s who of Australian music, including Jimmy Barnes, Slim Dusty, Ross Wilson and Lee Kernaghan. With the latter, Minson co-wrote his hit single Scars (featuring Dierks Bentley) alongside Kernaghan and Matt Scullion.
In 2012, Minson released his Ultimate Collection, Milestones, which featured duets with Wilson and Bobby Cash.