Sunday, September 03, 2017

10 Witty Facts About The Marx Brothers

10 Witty Facts About The Marx Brothers 

4 comments:

Don Coffin said...

There's story in Harpo's autobiography (Harpo Speaks!). As Harpo tells it, he decided he needed to learn more about actually playing the harp, as he was totally self-taught. So he got in touch with the harpist for the New York Philharmonic, and arranged for a series of lessons (I do not remember how much he paid for them). At the first lesson, the harpist asked Harpo to play something, which he did. The guy watched intently, asked Harpo to do it again. The second lesson was much like the first. As was the third.

Light dawned. Harpo concluded that the professional harpist was learning from him, rather than the other way around, and Harpo was paying for it.

He never went--or looked--back.

Bill Crider said...

Great story.

Bud said...

My favorite comedy crew! Re: Harpo, even recently, I've talked with professional harpists who have watched him in films and are amazed at the sounds he could get with his rather odd fingering methods.

Todd Mason said...

One reason the harp instructor was watching Harpo rather than instructing him, I've gathered, was that he also had tuned his instrument eccentrically, so that he was essentially playing a variant instrumentation from what concert harpists play. I suspect the instructor was loathe to attempt to break his stride.

They took several of their early film shows on the road before filming, iinm. They had been a traveling large production vaudeville act, after all. At least COCOANUTS and ANIMAL CRACKERS...though I should double-check, as I haven't read any of the biographical material of any substance since the '70s.

Interesting double-bind, hoping to wow us with Mel Torme, and still feeling the need to tag him with "The Christmas Song"...