“You’ve an awful nerve to do that.”

A second episode of archive-diving in aid of not doing the work Miss Mussel is supposed to be doing has proved to very illuminating re: the repeated persecution of horn players in the courts of New York State.

Interested readers, small in number though you may be, will remember a feud between a horn player and an obviously unbalanced concert master described at length in the court reporter column of 29th November 1894.

On 25th January, 1919 the Times had this to say:

Row In The Police Band

Trial At Headquarters Reveals Discord Among Musicians

There is discord in the Police Department Band, it became known yesterday, when Patrolman Albin Johnson, French horn player, was put on trial before Deputy Commissioner John W. Goff, Jr., charged with having been disrespectful to Edward F. Golman, conductor of the band.

The alleged offense occurred at a rehearsal in teh Seventh Regiment Armonry on Oct. 28 last and was incidental to a protest by one faction of the band against the conductor. It was said that twenty-five of the bandsmen sided with the conductor and seventy-five were against him.

Conductor Goldman testified that Johnson had threatened to throw him out of the hall and had grabbed up the conductor’s music stand. When this occurred, he said, the unfriendly faction had surrounded him and some one had pulled the baton from his hand.

Johnson in his defense said that as Chairman of the musical committee, it was his duty to distribute the music. The rehearsal was to have started at 10 o’clock but Goldman insisted in starting ten minutes earlier and had distributed the music.

His protest consisted, he said, in saying: “You’ve an awful nerve to do that.”

Then he took the stand away.

On witness testified to hearing someone shout: “Don’t lay your hands on Goldman as it constitutes an assault.”

The rehearsal ended in a great commotion.

Decision was reserved.


If this is what court reporting is really like, Miss Mussel may just give up criticism. The material is is a comedy goldmine. Plus, even after all performing arts have imploded leaving us with only the Ice Capades and Cirque du Soleil, people will still take each other to court for ridiculous things.

Judge Judy: The Opera?

Watch this space.

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