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Arthur "Harpo" Marx

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[06 Jul 2006|05:17pm]
Dates vague:

Uncle Al wrote us a new script for our vaudeville act.
Well, correction, he wrote a new script for Julie, Leo and Milton. I got one line and then the rest is silence! So, I gonna ad lib my way through this act and the rest of them can work around me. I deserve more that one line!
1 string|An unstrung harp

[03 Apr 2006|09:50am]

So, we bought a farm.

Evidentally farmers don't get drafted so Ma figured she'd make farmers out of us Marx Brothers.

Five kids, who were raised in the city.

To be farmers.

Anyone else seeing how badly this couldn't work? The rats are eating the chicken eggs and so we had to end up buying eggs to meet our egg quota. The guy was stunned to see chickens lay white eggs. Who knew the chickens we had layed red eggs?

This could blow up terribly
1 string|An unstrung harp

[23 Mar 2006|05:57pm]
((Dates are vague))
Before 1912:

So Julie, Leo, Milton and I were playing cards with one of our fellow vaudevillians Art Fisher during a show and he decided we all needed nicknames. As he passed out cards he gave us our respective names for that evening. Leonard - since he is always chasing women - became Chicko. I am Harpo, if you can't figure that one out you're denser than I am. Julie is Groucho and Milton has become Gummo. For the rest of the night, Art called us by these names.
Maybe we'll try to keep them, though I'm not sure it'll last.
An unstrung harp

[17 Mar 2006|01:24pm]
((Dates are vague))
Before 1912:

*holds head*

We were in Ohio and the mayor insisted that we all go to a birthday party with him. We really didn't want to, because we had to be in Indianapolis the next day, but he pressured us into it. I had two drinks and now I can barely remember what the hell happened the night before.
When I finally woke up the entire troupe had already gotten on the train for Indianapolis and left me behind. So I ended up buying a secondhand Model-T, threw my harp in the back and drove. Unfortunately, this car didn't want to drive and kept breaking down. After getting there I had to sell it for junk, but my harp took such a beating I should have just bought a new harp.

Ah well, I made it.
Now I got to get over this headache.
1 string|An unstrung harp

[04 Mar 2006|11:27am]
((Dates are vague))
Before 1912:

My self-taught harp lessons are going pretty well. I've finally managed to get a solo, which is "Annie Laurie".
However, one day, I was walking past this store window and I saw a figure of an angel playing a harp. When I looked closer, I noticed she had the harp leaning against her right shoulder and not her left, as I have had it.

But I got it now!
2 strings|An unstrung harp

[19 Feb 2006|02:44pm]
((Dates are vague))
Before 1912:

*jumps up and down*

Ma went to Chicago to try to find us some gigs and the rest of us stayed in Illinois until she returned. Suddenly I got this telegram from here that said:

I was terribly confused; what could she possibly be sending me? When the box arrived, it was this huge strangely shaped box, but inside was a harp! My Grandma had a harp that was always missing strings and it sat in a corner in my Grandpa's room. I've always wanted to hear one played, and I swore that I'd save up the money to buy strings, but when I finally got my money, it got spent on other things.

*dance around*

Now I gotta learn to play...
1 string|An unstrung harp

[11 Feb 2006|01:11pm]
((Dates are vague))
before 1912:

Bad news: Our tenor singer left our act.
Good news: Who cares?

We were paying him $25 a week, but he found an act that payed $27.50 and left us without any warning. While we could easily work around his absense in School Days, Ma felt we needed him in the second half, cause we had to leave the audience with a song. Since he had the only tuxedo in the show, Ma felt that our class was departing with him. Julie said it was no problem, he could sing "La Donna E Mobile" and Leo told her to fire the piano player, use that money to buy a suit and he would play the piano.
She agreed and left us to go shopping for a new tenor.
Left us when we had a show to perform.
Well Julie started the aria, but after a couple of bars he stopped. "I don't like your key, Giuseppe," he said to Leo.
"How about this key, boss?" Chico said and switched to - I think - C-minor. If you've ever heard C-minor, it's terrible.
"Worse," Julie replied.
I bolted from the wings, shoved Leo off the piano stool and began thumping out "The Holy City". Julie bumped me off and then Leo bumped Julie off.
We finally ended up played "Waltz Me Around Again, Willie". Leo sat at the stool, I sat on Leo's shoulders and Julie reached around Leo, all of us singing away.
We got to take seven bows that night and the manager asked us to play the entire week!
Ma was a little saddened, but we are not so much music as comedy now.
An unstrung harp

[01 Feb 2006|09:45am]
((Dates are vague))
before 1912:

Well, we were going to spend the summer back at home, what with most of the theatre's being closed because of the heat, but we quickly got to the bottom of our meager savings and had to go back on the road. We've been on the road for a while and we finally came upon some town in Illinois, where we intended to do our Fun in Hi Skul bit.
As I made my entrance onto the stage, I saw Julie looking kind of dazed and staring off into the pit. Following his gaze to the piano, I saw the the guy was calmly hitting some keys.
It was Leo!!
With a shout, I pulled some of the fruit out of my hat and threw it at him. Leo threw it at Julie who threw it at Milton who threw it somewhere else. As you can tell, the act quickly collapsed into a fruit fight, until we managed to get Leo to surrender and climb up on stage with us. He ad libbed this great part as an Italian kid and the crowd loved us.
Turns out so did the orchestra, 'cause one fiddle player, Benny Kubelsky - try to say that name three times fast - couldn't stop laughing at anything we did. In fact, we found him after the program and he began laughing at just the sight of us.

It sure is good to have Leo back.
1 string|An unstrung harp

[25 Jan 2006|10:37am]
((Dates are vague))
before 1912:

Nagadoches, Texas is now the survivor of an explosion of comedic Marx Brothers.

In the middle of our production of School Days some guy ran into our theatre and shouted that there was a runaway mule outside and the audience nearly killed each other trying to get out to see this ass.
Julie, Milton and I had been wanting to let loose and improve our way through School Days for a while and with the audience gone Ma couldn't stop us. The other actors had to flee to the wings as the three of us began roughing it up onstage, swinging, tripping, tumbling around while ripping our costumes and knocking the scenery about. After a while, the audience showed up again, and instead of continuing with the normal scene, we were so annoyed with them that we began heckling them.
Julie turned to the audience and called out, "Nagadoches is full of roaches!" and "Well one jackass always attracts more jackasses!!" Instead of booing us of stage like we expected, the audience laughed. They kept laughing right through the show.

Unfortunately, we had to pay for the broken sets and fixtures. In the end we made a net profit of minus seven dollars.
So Ma's calling Uncle Al to get the money so we can get out of this place.

Hey folks, vaudeville can get out of control.
1 string|An unstrung harp

[19 Jan 2006|07:51pm]
[ mood | amusing ]

((Dates are vague))
before 1912:

Well bless Julie's fabulous memory.
We're currently playing in Texas and it seems the audience loved us a lot.

So much so that the manager asked us to play another night. However, he said we couldn't repeat the same show, because if we did something new the same audience would come back. Ma agreed, but didn't stop to remember that we had no other show besides being The Three Nightengales.
As we sat around discussing our current problem, Julie spoke up and said, "Why not put on School Days? I had to follow the act clear across Montana and I know it by heart!" Since our "theatre" was - in reality - a school assembly room, it seemed to be possible.
We divided up the parts an Julie was to be the teacher; Milton is the Hebrew boy; the teacher's despair was me. The bass player got the Mama's Boy, Aunt Hannah was the Bright Little Girl and Ma the No-So-Bright Little Girl.

One of my great bits was when Julie - as the teach - would tell me to say the alphabet and I'd get him to help me out.
Me: Gimmie a start, teacher.
Julie: All right, dum-kopf, I'll give you a start. "Ah-ah-ah-"
Me: Ah!
Julie: Not "Ah!" -"A"!
Me: That's the alphabet - "A"!
Julie: That's not the alphabet. Come back here.
Me: There's more?!

We have a lot more fun as comedians than as singers. We've decided to keep it in the act, along with the singing.

An unstrung harp

[13 Jan 2006|10:57pm]

So, we're in Boston doing our song as the Four Nightingales singing "Mandy Lane". One of the guys in the audience placed a bet with his friend that he could spit and hit the second kid from the end - which was me.
He made it.
Now I've got a big tobacco spit stain down the front of my costume.
"Watch this! I'll get him again!" he declared. So, without missing a beat, I back up two paces, marched around Julius and stood at his over side.
The audience was beside themselves with laughter.

Now I've got my first laugh, however the price of my mother cleaning that stain out of my costume hardly seems worth it.
1 string|An unstrung harp

[08 Jan 2006|07:09pm]

Ma bought a house in Chicago, so it seems we're heading out that way.
Vaudeville is going well for us...well for Julie and Milton. I just mouth the words, though lately I've been singing myself.
Leo's wandered off, he's probably in Pittsburgh betting on boxing. We never could control him.
Either way, we're sure to get better bookings in Chicago than we were in New York.
3 strings|An unstrung harp

[15 Dec 2005|12:53pm]

Well, I got a good job at a nickelodeon playing the piano for the silent pictures. I mean, with only two songs in my collection, I did it pretty well. It isn't too hard, I mean for comedies I played "Waltz Me Around Again, Willie" two octaves higher and much faster. Dramatic scenes: "Love Me And the World is Mine" with a tremolo in the bass. Love scenes is a trill on the right hand and the chases is either song really, really, really fast.
So anyway, I was playing in the nickelodeon one afternoon, my mother came marching down the aisle and grabbed me. We got on a train and then she told me I had been kidnapped into my brothers' singing group, The Three Nightengales.
"I can't sing!" I exclaimed.
That didn't matter, she explained that I could just mouth the words.
So I've become the fourth Nightengale. Let's just say my entrance was the most wretched debut in the history of show business.
And I have to get my pants cleaned.

I don't see this acting thing working out for me.
5 strings|An unstrung harp

[10 Dec 2005|11:09pm]
[ mood | blank ]


27 Charges Against Woman and Three Men Who Robbed Long Island Homes.

MINEOLA, L.I., Aug. 1 - Fourrten indictments charing burlary and grand larceny were found by the Nassau County Grand Jury today against August Van Fehrig, alias Luckner, leader of the gang of burglars that robbed more than twenty houses in this neighborhood recently, cleaning up $50,000. Eleven indictments charging the same crimes were found against Charles Schang, 19 years old, a member of the gang, and two indictments for feceiving stolen goods were returned against his aged mother, Mrs. Alma Schang.
When the prisoners were brought into court before County Judge Jackson for pleading, Mrs. Schang, who had been supported by Sheriff Foster, suddenly screamed and fell fainting to the floor. She was carried to the jail unconcious

It seems I got fired just in time....

An unstrung harp

[06 Dec 2005|08:38pm]
[ mood | sick ]


Bad news:
I have the measles.

Worse news that is also probably good news:
I've been fired.

A few days ago, Madame in one of her angry sober moods, had me drive her to a roadhouse known as the Pot O' Gold. Before we left, she had me get a knife and she slit the interior of her handbag in order to slip a pistol between the folds.
I asked what we were going to do and she told me, "I'm going to kill Louie Neidorf."

Well wouldn't you be excited?!!
We got to the Pot O' Gold and waited in there for half an hour. Everytime some guy came in, I asked, "Isn't that him?" I wanted to see a gun fired!
Finally Madame dragged me out, cursing that someone must have tipped this Neidorf off from coming. As we tore back down the streets, Madame was deep in her cups and began cursing at me, claiming I had made her miss! After finishing off her gin bottle she took over the horse and whipped the poor thing so badly it was running in panic.

Once we got back to the stable, she left me - a pure New York street kid - to put away the horse. So I got off his harnesses, put him into his stable and promptly threw up, before falling asleep in a pile of straw.
The next morning I found out the horse was dead. Did you know you have to cool a horse down after a gallop and put him to sleep with a blanket on? Well, now I know....
Madame spend the whole day glaring at me. Around six, when the diggers showed up, I began to feel really dizzy; the whole room began spinning around me and I feel off the stool. One of the girls put me back on, but I just fell off again. Madame saw me and threw me onto the stool, but to no avail. Was it my fault the room kept spinning?
Two of the girls took me upstairs and called a doctor. Turns out I caught the measles. When Mrs. Schang found out, I could hear her screaming, "I don't want no sick Jews in my place! GET HIM OUT OF HERE!!"
So, my two lovely girls took me to the train station and sent me home.

2 strings|An unstrung harp

[01 Dec 2005|07:05pm]
[ mood | amused ]


My new job at The Happy Times Tavern is going well so far. The girls are great, they love to hear me play "Love Me and the World Is Mine" over and over again. Basically, I just sit around and entertain them until around 6.30 when the diggers show up. Then the girls have to do thier job, while I do mine.
One night some diggers started a fight so, following Mrs. Schang's (or Madame) orders, I jumped behind the piano. After throwing the fighers out, Mrs. Schang tossed me back on the piano stool and told me to play.
And play I did.

About two weeks later, Madame called me over to tend the bar, while she; the bartender Max and her son Christopher went to go do something. I did as I was told for about an hour and then they came back. This has been happening ever week or so. I've been asking Max, but he won't tell me anything.

As a matter of fact, where is Max?

An unstrung harp

[28 Nov 2005|10:26am]
[ mood | surprised ]


Well, that was interesting.
I just went for a job audition for a woman named Mrs. Schang. As soon as I entered, her first words were, "You little Jew son-of-a-bitch. Get out of here!"
Well, what would you do? I walked out, but she called me back and asked me my name.
"Marx," I replied
"Marx? What Marx?" she said drunkenly.
"Adolph Marx."
After taking another drink and looking me up and down she told me to play.
I played "Waltz Me Around Again, Willie" the first song in my two song collection. Halfway through she stopped me and told me I had the job; eight dollars a month plus room and board.

Woo-hoo! I passed my first audition without the help of Lenny!
Interesting introduction anyway....

2 strings|An unstrung harp

[23 Nov 2005|07:04am]

5 strings|An unstrung harp

[27 Oct 2005|03:11pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

*writes in the air*


2 strings|An unstrung harp

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