Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18, 2013
Well it's finally Friday and I think it's time for some acoustic guitar humor. I remember back in the 60's seeing a couple of crazy guys on TV called the Times Square Two.  I don't remember what show they were on, possibly Rowan & Martin's "Laugh In" or "That Was The Week That Was."  Anyway, what I do remember is that the two guys played one guitar at the same time and did a lot of stupid schtick. Hey, I was in my early teens and I loved them. Anything more than that was a blur not remembering how they looked, dressed or what they played.

For some reason these two guys popped into my head the other day so I decided to see if I remembered them correctly and if there was anything on them on the internet. Here is what Wikipedia writes about them;

In early 1964, Michel Choquette, a singer-guitarist-performer from Canada, found himself stranded in Vancouver, when the owner of the coffeehouse he was to play there went bust. Among the other performers in town was Peter Elbling, a 20-year-old British folk singer who Choquette had met in Calgary several months previously. Their mutual interest in 1920s music and vaudeville and music-hall led to the creation of comic musical act called The Times Square Two. Elbling became "Mycroft Partner" and Choquette "Andrew i." (This allowed them, if asked their names, to reply, "My Partner and i." "Partner" sported a goatee, claimed to have been born of a Malayan princess on a rubber plantation and radiated a dominant, pompous Oliver Hardy persona. "I," who affected slicked-flat hair, large rimless glasses and a high-pitched voice (in which he asserted he had once hoped to play football for Notre Dame), became his flightier, subservient Stan Laurel. (They told interviewers they had met while sitting out an avalanche in an Alpine hut with a goatherd and some lusty peasant girls.) They created an imaginary world of entertainment that hovered between 1880 and 1930. They came to inhabit this world in dress, conversation and manner so completely whether on stage or off, that they acquired a liveried chauffeur, who drove them about in a 1930 Model A.
Their act opened with both men dressed in 1920's blue pin striped suits sitting on straight-back chairs, staring fixedly ahead while holding guitars parallel to the ground. They would begin a song like "Just a Gigolo" or "I wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate," rise like syncopated toys and kick like demented Rockettes. They would juggle fruit, read minds, perform acrobatics, hypnosis, a botched escape bit and achieve climax by dancing together while playing "Ain't She Sweet" on opposite ends of the same guitar, never losing the beat or missing a note.
After perfecting their act in Vancouver, they journeyed to L.A. and San Francisco, where they performed at The Committee Theater and then shared the bill at the hungry i with Woody Allen, Noel Harrison and Dick Cavett. In 1966, a Newsweek reporter caught the show at Chicago's Mother Blues. His story ran the same week they made their debut on national television on The Merv Griffin Show. A surge in bookings followed. For the next three years they performed in coffee houses, nightclubs, and concert halls appearing with such luminaries as Sarah Vaughn, Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, Stan Getz, The Chamber Brothers, Morgana King, Jose Feliciano and others. They appeared on numerous TV shows including Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, David Frost, Dean Martin, the Kraft Music Hall and the Smothers Brothers. They had a three-week run off-Broadway and toured the U. K. with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.

So, my memory served me correct and YouTube even provided a clip of their appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the silliness of the sixties as I remember them and, as always,

Keep it acoustic...


  1. An electric guitar (with apologies to Hendrix)is an instrument on steroids. An acoustic guitar can become an artist's vessel to either rejoice or lament a conflict or partnership with nature's human condition.

  2. The electric guitar can also Fred. There are many great electric players who use their instruments to do more than thrash around. There is something however to the feel of an acoustic guitar vibrating against your body or the sound of the instrument when you press your ear to the side when you play.

  3. How did I miss this? Must have been stoned.