The Environmental Protection Agency has just given an increasingly-rare form of American musician known as the steel guitar player the ominous distinction of being an endangered species. The EPA defines an endangered species as “one facing a very high risk of extinction.” The ruling comes as the number of steel guitar players continues to decline to alarmingly low levels.
“Steel guitar players are facing a real challenge to their native environment,” says EPA spokesperson Melinda Frankenfurter. “From the deep South and the greater Southeast region, to Texas, to parts of California, steel guitar players are seeing an intrusion of invasive species encroaching on their native territory, stealing their food sources.”
Mrs. Frankenfurter says that the primary threat to steel guitar players for years has been an invasive species known as the pop artist, pushing steel guitar players out of their native environment. But now a new invasive species has dramatically accelerating the steel guitar player’s decline in numbers. “They’re called country rap performers,” Frankenfurter explains. “And their threat to steel guitar players is even greater than that of the pop artists.”
Mrs. Frankenfurter says the EPA is asking for the public’s help in stemming the decline of the endangered species. “If you see a steel guitar player that looks injured, scared, or hungry, don’t approach it. Call the nearest honky tonk and ask them for their help.”
But the news isn’t all bad. Apparently steel guitar players have found an unlikely friend in their fight for survival: the North American hipster. “North American hipsters have been adopting steel guitar players in places like Echo Park in LA, in east Nashville, and east Austin,” explains Melinda Frankenfurter. “Though the ultimate survival of steel guitar players depends on them thriving in their native environment, the amount of them living in captivity could help curb their decline in numbers.”
(This article was inspired by a Tweet by Reginald Spears.)