United Breaks Guitars Three: The Finale

United Breaks Guitars Three: The Finale

It’s been just under 8 months since the release of United Breaks Guitars and with the release of UBG 3 I’ve kept my promise to write, record and make 3 videos about my customer experience with United Airlines. My goal in committing to this project was to place the videos on YouTube and attain 1 million hits in one year with the 3 videos combined. This stopped being about compensation when the airline flatly refused to consider the matter and once the first video was released the rest I committed to telling the rest of the story which is why I refused United’s attempt at compensation when it came 7 months after my “threat” to do the videos. I always knew the three songs would be written and recorded, and one way or another three videos would be uploaded, but I could never have imagined what would happen next.

On the production side I’ve been blessed with great musician and film industry friends who, on all three songs, volunteered their time and talent to make each one a memorable and engaging piece of art. A special shout out goes to Scott Ferguson of Ferguson Music Productions who co-produced the music with me and Curve Productions (Lara Cassidy, Steve Richard, and Chris Pauley) who shot, edited and produced some very high quality videos. When I say all three videos were produced for under $2500.00 it’s misleading since commercial rates to achieve the same quality would have cost over $100,000 so the real story with UBG is how people have banded together to make a statement about something to which we can all relate.

United Breaks Guitars Song 3 brings closure to my personal experience with United. Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end and UBG 3 does its part to round things out nicely. Song 1 gave a narrative of the facts and UBG 2 examined my relationship with a certain Customer Service Rep and how the United policies were keeping us from being “Best Buddies”. Song 3 wraps things up by acknowledging that this experience has been a career booster for me, that I wish United well in the changes they say are coming but that I continue to receive emails and hear stories that would suggest there’s more work to be done.

Musically, I wanted UBG 3 to be a high energy fun song that made the statement that I wasn’t alone in the success of the series and that the UBG was really “everyone’s victory” for the small guy against huge impersonal corporations. I’ve been called “the Everyman” many times since July and so I chose a Bluegrass feel for the song and wrote a chorus that only works if others sing along with me. Bluegrass is the perfect “roots” music that accomplishes my intention.

To pull-off a convincing Bluegrass track I needed world class Bluegrass players and they certainly showed themselves on this song. Jamie Gatti and Scott Ferguson round out the solid rhythm section and there are some magical performances on fiddle and mandolin by Canadian Bluegrass legend Ray Legere (on stage in the video playing himself). I also wanted to hear dobro on this track and the world’s best and only name that comes to mind on that instrument is Jerry Douglas from Nashville (in addition to an outstanding solo career Jerry plays in Alison Krauss’ band (Union Station). I took a chance and emailed Jerry’s manager about the idea and was thrilled when he replied saying Jerry would be happy to take part and, not only that, but Jerry would be in the video if we could figure a way to shoot his part in Nashville. I love all the UBG songs but I have to say UBG 3 is my favourite in terms of the musical performances. To have some of the worlds highest profile musicians contribute to a song of mine was another career highlight. This one is rockin’!

We shot the final installment in one day this early January at the Waverley Legion. The idea was to reintroduce the ensemble cast from the other two videos in a rollicking live setting with plenty of funny bits thrown in. This being the trilogy’s finale we wanted to leave the viewer with a few chuckles, feeling like they were seeing something new while at the same time saying goodbye to old friends. I think this video does that.

We went with Hillbillies this time, as opposed lederhosened Germans or Amigos. Chris Iannetti was back along with Jimmie Inch and Tim Feswick made his film debut when Mike Hiltz was unable to make the shoot date. Julian Marentette did double duty as a live performance hillbilly and disgruntled customer.

The baggage handlers are back again. Charlie Palmer and Phil Salterio, whom I volunteer with at the Waverley Fire Department, did another “bang-up” job as did Christine Buiteman when she gives us a tap-dance-flurry as the final word from United’s customer service department.

We had another wonderful day making this video and when you step back and look at what was accomplished in the last 8 months with the first two videos it’s been truly incredible. I had hoped that creating these videos might make a big corporation rethink how they think of each and every customer but could never have imagined the potential hidden inside a music video and a few social media tools. Corporations of all kinds around the world now feel compelled, in part because of United Breaks Guitars, to build in a better model for customer care into their businesses. I’m proud to have been a part of it but the real credit goes to the millions of people around the world who took the time to laugh and tell a friend. The power behind the United Breaks Guitars Trilogy lies in the numbers of people from countries far and wide who are laughing with me. Enjoy this video and if you like it, tell everyone you know.

Cheers, Dave

CREDITS

Audio:

Banjo rolls “Ozarks” establishing shot – Jason Comeau
Vocals – Dave Carroll
Background vocals – Jimmie Inch & Tim Feswick
Acoustic guitar – Jamie Robinson
Drums – Scott Ferguson
Bass – Jamie Gatti
Mandolin/Fiddle – Ray Legere
Dobro – Jerry Douglas

Cast:

Dave Carroll – Dave Carroll
Ray Legere (Fiddler): Himself
Mountain Men – Chris Iannetti, Jimmy Inch, Tim Feswick
Mountain Man (live performance drummer)and Disgruntled Customer– Julian Marentette
Baggage handlers – Charlie Palmer & Phil Salterio
Customer service lady/tap dancer– Christine Buiteman
Flight Attendants – Paula Robbins , Karen Murdoch
Customer Service Guy – Todd Murchie
Dobro Player – Jerry Douglas
Extra’s: Too many to list but thanks for putting in the long day

Crew:

Director Lara Cassidy
Director of Photography – Steve Richard
1st Assistant Camera – Mike Snyder (Westsidefilms)
2nd Assistant Camera – Erin Veeneman
DIT – trainee – Luke Adamski
2nd Unit Director of Photography (Nashville) – Jim Spitler
Camera – Interview footage – Joshua Young
Camera – Behind the scenes video & Stills – Brent McCombs
Lighting director / Gaffer / Key grip – Todd Murchie
Assistant Grip – trainee – Brandon Ferguson
1st AD – Jesse Muson
AD trainees- Patrick King, Colin Tanner, Patrick Langille
Make-up – Annemarie Cassidy
Hair – Brian Hart
Art Director – Barb Richard
Set decorator – Shannon O’Halloran
Wardrobe – Barb Richard
Background Casting –Chris Pauley / Erin Hennessey
Background Casting Assistant – Karen Rostek
PlaybackOperator – Clark Porter
Craft Services – Sharon Carroll, Max Carroll, Andrea  Dann
Set Trainees – Alicia Jacques, David Fulde, Chance Chapadeau, Riley Turner, Bianca Marini, Vicki Donkin
Producer – Lara Cassidy
Shoot Supervisor – Chris Pauley
Off-line Editor – Lara Cassidy
On-line Editor – Steve Richard
Foley Mix – Chris Pauley

Special Thanks To:

My wife Jill and son Flynn for your understanding and support
My brother Don feedback and input
My parents, Max and Sharon, for the same
Brent Sansom for his advice and business savvy
Janice Garden
Jerry Douglas
Thor Henrickson and The Centre for Arts and Technolog
Jeremy Harty of Digiboyz – Technical Consultant
Johanna Harrison – Web Diva

25 replies
  1. Donna says:

    Love your music and what you have accomplished. I spent 3 1/2 hours on the tarmack with United. United blamed the deicing procedure. When The deicer machine hit the wing of the plane, the captain said that it looked OK and took off. Since I couldn’t get off the plane, I was busy writing all the info in my little book just incase we crashed. LOL I missed my connection in Denver and was told, “good luck” by a United employee who then walked away. The only other flight for New Mexico was Southwest, but Air Canada, who I bought the ticket from wouldn’t release my ticket to get on that flight. On my way back through Denver, I was told by United that I didn’t even have a reservation on the flight. I am not amazed that those 2 companies have joined up. Thank you for great music, great videos and being a great advocate for the consumer.

  2. Angie Platten says:

    Oh my gosh! I just saw a link posted on Facebook and followed it to listen to your story and all three songs. While I’m so sorry for all you went through over this issue, I must admit, I haven’t laughed out loud like this in a while. You all did an AMAZING job with these! Great music, great voice, and a lot of fun. What a productive way to work out anger and frustration! Great job!

  3. D. Shay says:

    Hi Dave,
    Just recently saw you in Orlando, Fl. while I was there for a convention, Feb 10 -13. I am so inspired by your approach to resolving your issues with people, (corporations). I sincerely hope that your message will reach to everyone. Have you thought of doing something so simple and awakeing to all the politicans of the world? They certainly need to hear a new message, “how best do we serve our people?, (not ourselves). Do you hear alittle sing song there? It’s coming fast and they better “get on board”.
    Love your talk to us in Orlando. Keep on inspiring and changing the world.

  4. Judy D says:

    Hi Dave,
    I just saw your videos for the first time via a facebook link yesterday (sometimes takes a while for things to catch on down under). My eldest daughter is having an ongoing battle with an Aussie company ATM, which has so far cost her over $600 (aus) and is likely to cost $400 more. I showed her your video, and she is inspired now after being resigned to the poor customer service she is receiving. Your music is great and I love the stories. Looking forward to what’s next from Dave Carroll!

  5. Patrick Forbes says:

    I too, was hard done by from a United flight, coincidentally, to Chicago. As our plane sat on some back 40 runway waiting for a gate to become available, I fell asleep.
    I awoke just as the last two/three passengers were exiting the plane at the terminal. I suddenly realized that my Palm Pilot, which was in my hand just as I nodded off, was missing. I searched all around and was brusquely ushered out by United personnel wanting to refill the plane for departure.
    They were so unconcerned about this theft that they tried to have me arrested by the lone CPD cop in the building because I was creating a “Disturbance”. Becoming so infuriated by United’s uncaring attitude, I ensured that the ENTIRE departure lounge heard and understood every word I said.
    The Cop actually was of more a help than anyone. He helped me through the theft report filing and helped me find my way out of the terminal and in the correct direction. Nothing further was ever received regarding it.
    At my destination hotel, I purchased a replacement on eBay and it was on my desk when I returned to Toronto.
    A few days later, I receive a call from someone at a little airport in Michigan. My palm was found under a seat during a ‘real’ cleanup near the front of the plane where the thief discovered it was an old black & white screen and dropped it on his way out of the plane. The caller said he’d have it sent to me. I extended my heart felt appreciation that someone would actually go through that trouble. But a bit too soon. The package arrived. $75 US Collect Air Express shipping by FedEx. But id did arrive intact with nothing missing. The newer Palm I bought was $100 CDN.

    Thanks United and thank you Dave for your productions. They’re the best!

  6. dave says:

    Hi Lauren:

    I do check my guitar now for sure and probably should have but it wouldn’t have made a difference at that time. First of all there were no United representatives present at the luggage belt (one of the issues I had). Second, even though the guitar was in my possession for a day following my flight I know I didn’t cause the damage because I would remember throwing my guitar case on the ground or against a wall and that didn’t happen. It was seen being thrown by a baggage handler form the plane in Chicago however, and I did report that incident to 3 employees in Chicago who didn’t care. As a third point, upon returning to Omaha airport to go home I reported the damage and was told that they didn’t need to look at it because the report needed to be filed in my home airport of Halifax so how would reporting it upon landing in Omaha have changed anything? I know the answer to that one. It wouldn’t have. The point of all this remains the same. If you’re careless or uncaring and break someone’s property, own up to it and pay for the damage.

  7. lauren says:

    Im sure if dave had cracked his case open soon as he got his guitar, had a look and complained then none of this would have happened “i opened it later” – damage could have happened on the way to the hotel or anywhere in fact. Don’t leave the airport til you KNOW

  8. Vanessa says:

    Hey Dave
    I came back from my summer vacation a couple of days ago and sure enough the airline company broke my guitar’s neck in two !!! Let’s hope they pay for the damage.
    And hopefully those companies will someday learn to handle instruments with care.

  9. Jack says:

    A big thank you and Jerry Douglas pulls off some incredible tunes here! Got to love that dobro playing of his, he is what “makes” this song for me. Now I’m off to browse more of his music!

  10. johanna says:

    Kevin,

    There are no problems with Dave’s page & video 3. If you look on the front page of the website, the YouTube video for Song 3 is embedded on the page. You probably have a no-script blocker on your web browser and that is what the problem is that you are experiencing in viewing the video. The direct YouTube link to Song 3 is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P45E0uGVyeg

    Good Luck and you will enjoy the end of the trilogy.

  11. Kevin says:

    I can’t find song 3 anywhere. It has a big slash over play button on your page? Do you have a lawsuit pending? A cease and desist? Please help me finish the trilogy. Also, bought the record, good luck.

  12. Anauã Vilhena says:

    Dave,

    I’m a Brazilian English teacher and I told my students about your United trilogy. They are curious about it and I’m preparing a song class with it.
    But I just can’t find the third song’s lyrics…
    Where can I find it.
    I think I’m not able to write it down just listening…
    I’d love if you send it to me or publish in any lyrics sites!
    Thanks a lot and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  13. johanna says:

    Rebekka I know that you can order from Dave’s store and he’ll have a physical CD (or CD’s) shipped to you in Germany. You can also find the CD’s from his work with Sons of Maxwell on the site. The Dave Carroll web store link is: http://www.davecarrollstore.com/

    Also, his solo album Perfect Blue as well as all 3 songs in the UBG trilogy are available on Itunes.

    Good luck!

  14. Rebekka says:

    A big thank you from Germany, Dave Carroll! I had closely followed the coverage of the first UBG song in the German press and it introduced me to your music. Ever since I’ve come back here and truly enjoy the new releases. Sadly, I have not yet found one of your CDs on a shelf in a music store in my town 🙁

    Best
    Rebekka

  15. Emily says:

    Hi,

    How would the rest of us that have problems with huge companies deal with issues when we’re robbed, abused, and/or just left in the ‘go away’ mode?

    Thanks.
    Kaz

  16. Jeff says:

    None of the URLs I’ve tried get me to song 3. Thoroughly enjoyed first two songs. Please help me find a working link to UBG3. Thanks.

  17. Kaz says:

    Hi,

    How would the rest of us that have problems with huge companies deal with issues when we’re robbed, abused, and/or just left in the ‘go away’ mode?

    Thanks.
    Kaz

  18. Phil Rhyne says:

    Hi, Dave.

    It’s great to see after around 20+ years of work, perseverance, and undefinable but essential thing every winning musician must have…”it”…you have achieved “instant” success…LOL.

    We’ve some life experiences in common. I’m a trained fireman (structural & crash-rescue). Was also a Paramedic and an ER Nurse. Tried juggling those while finishing my undergraduate degree and being a husband, son, brother, and a leader to my long range patrol team.

    Finally, I needed a break from the madness, so I attended medical school and ultimately worked in the second poorest county in the State of Georgia. It was a blast. Perhaps, I can share the stories with you

    Couldn’t carry with me often, but my 1977 Ovation acoustic kept me sane during those years. Though I love my Taylor and hope do do some serious work with it, I return to the Ovation when I’m hitting emotional lows.

    If you’re ever in the Denver-Colorado Springs area and have some time or need to replace luggage items, let me know. Also, I’ve done medical-legal consulting and risk management consulting for businesses and government agencies (part of the latter job involved getting people with seemingly dissimilar interests to recognize the benefits of partnering). If that might help you with your efforts, my rates are really cheap…they’re free, since things have to be semi-scheduled around my health. Before you dismiss the offer, I never met a windmill I was afraid to joust for the sake of honour.

    Best Wishes to You and to Those You Hold Close — Phillip K. (Phil) Rhyne, M.D., SFC (U.S. Army-former)

  19. Dave says:

    Corporate America needs to learn… The customer is always right! ( even if it is obvious).

    Thanks for being here for them, and all of us, but I fear hey will not learn from this experience. dck.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Dave’s humble rise to social media/social responsibility stardom, please take time to read his wonderfully-written blog post accompanying Song 3’s […]

  2. […] Dave says… I had hoped that creating these videos might make a big corporation rethink how they think […]

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