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Halloween and guita...
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Halloween and guitar...not something you see everyday

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Nick Torres
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1221

Happy All Hallow's Eve.
Old Herm knew his way around a guitar. No idea if it's the correct chords he's playing, but they're legit ones.


Rocket Dog
Reputable Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 296

Brilliant, I used to love watching The Munsters.

Prominent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 848

He's defenlty got some skills. More then just simple chords, and hes not eaven looking at it wile he's changing them.

Paul B

Blue Jay
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1630

Thanks, the clip is super! I too, watched the Munsters, collected their cards and built a model car. It was a very good time.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480

That was cool. Thanks for posting the link. 8) 8)

As I sometimes am apt to do, I wiki'd Fred Gwynne after watching this. Talk about an all around arts professional. Broadway, TV, Movies, Paintings, Singing, Author (Children's Books), Cartoonist, Radio and Illustrator.

And hey, who doesn't like a baritone speaking voice? :wink:

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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No idea if it's the correct chords he's playing, but they're legit ones.

I think they're correct. The relationship between his hand shapes and the soundtrack is right (can't be 100% sure, because we don't know if he's tuned to E, but he's playing standard tuning major barre chords, 7ths, a 9th, and it looks/sounds like a diminished 7th)

But it's not his playing on the soundtrack, because a couple of details don't match: a short bass note run at 0:43, and he damps the chord before it stops sounding at 0:57.

My guess is it's a session guitarist - given the time and place, probably Jack Marshall (who wrote and performed the Munsters' theme) or Tommy Tedesco - playing live off-camera, with Fred Gwynne doubling it without being mic'd.

That's a scary episode. The guitar is a Martin OM-18. Given the finish wear at the top of the body, and the fact that this show aired in 1965, it's probably a mid-to-late 1930s build. Today it would be worth upwards of 50 grand to a collector. That makes this clip from the same show especially horrifying:

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

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Thanks for the link!

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Joined: 16 years ago
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That was always one of my favorite episodes. It made me really want to learn guitar. I recorded the audio from it on my casette player and we would rock out to it when we were kids. It is definitely studio recorded or dubbed or something but he certainly looks like he is playing the thing. I wonder if it can be researched? :?

A brief internet search yielded this:
Fred Gwynne, the hulking actor who played Herman, was known to be a decent guitarist and liked to play during idle moments on the set. He even bought the show's makeup artist a guitar like his. But according to a synopsis of the "Dry Bones" episode, it wasn't Gwynne but guitarist-composer Jack Marshall who was actually playing (Marshall also wrote and performed "The Munsters" unforgettable theme song), even though Gwynne appeared to know his way around a fretboard.
This "Munsters" episode is the sort of thing that hard-core guitar geeks love and it triggered a couple of discussions on the Acoustic Guitar Forum. The guitar was determined to be a pre-war Martin but there was some question as to whether it was an OM-18 or 28. These people are so detail-oriented that one poster knew it was a Martin because of the bracing (the network of wooden struts inside the guitar that support the top) he briefly saw when Herman smashed the guitar late in the episode

As far as the smashing goes, yes a shame but at the time it was a 30 year old guitar and probably not thought of as anything special. After all it happened 47 years ago. :shock:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --