Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

08 October 2009

The Dukes of Hackney

WORD REACHES LONDON Sound Survey that someone in east London has fitted a multitone horn to their car and is treating Stratford and Clapton residents to blasts of ‘Old Dixie’. That’s the twelve-note tune emitted by ‘General Lee’ in The Dukes of Hazzard, although its London counterpart probably isn’t as impressive-looking.

Multitone car horns that could play tunes were outlawed in Britain in 1973. Two very common tunes up till then were the first eight notes of ‘Colonel Bogey’ and the first ten of ‘La Cucuracha’.  But they can still be bought online in this country and, like cannabis seeds, they seem to occupy the curious legal position of being okay to sell, but not okay to do anything with.

This commercial website has twenty different set-ups for sale, with recordings of each one to listen to. They all sound pretty irritating, and there’s no ‘Colonel Bogey’. If you fancy yourself as a bad boy, you can get a set of horns which plays the theme from ‘The Godfather’.