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An Old Man Plays a Mashup of Classic Western Themes and I. Just. Can't. Stop. Watching.

By Petr Knava | Videos | May 25, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | Videos | May 25, 2017 |

You know how sometimes you stumble across a video that just really does a number on your brain?

I’m not talking about the profound speeches that inspire you to make a change in your life, or ingenious life-hacks that tell you exactly how you can make a change. No, nothing like that.

I mean just one of those little nuggets of weird goodness that seem to slot into a space in your brain and then sit there, like some sort of benevolent parasite, prodding the ‘Watch me again’ switch.

To be honest there’s only so much preamble I can give to this, because—well, watch:


Who is this old man with a perfectly strumming right hand and funny little cap?

Who is filming him?

He’s not a busker. If he was then maybe I’d understand, but they’re not out on the street. There’s a fancy mirror behind him. Why is there someone doing someone’s hair in the background?!

And then there’s the noises.


Because, seriously, those noises:

He starts out whistling and that’s cool. That’s expected. That’s where I thought the video would take me—and no further.

But no. At 15 seconds he busts out a whip-crack ‘BUH-WHEH!’, and he does so by looking directly into the camera. Like, holy shit, I was paying attention but now I’m sat bolt upright. Then, while we’re still reeling from being addressed directly with a shotgun blast ‘BUH-WEH!’, he lets loose a string of perfect electric guitar twangs. Confused as to whether that was also coming out of this one man’s mouth we look closer, only for the bastard to go straight back into the ‘BUH-WEH!’ voice. He hits a note with it once. Then the second time. ‘Oh, okay, he’s settling into a groove now, I think I ge—…’ Nope! Trumpet! Genuinely evocative, mournful trumpet, coming out of an old man’s mouth, transporting me to the plains of lost hope and dusty shattered dreams. Then the chords rise, rise, rise, and he launches into the The Good, The Bad & The Ugly theme! But, like, so damn well! The most iconic part of the most iconic Western theme of all time spills out of Old Man Cap’s mouth as he alternates between the high and low notes of that eternal melody. And that, apparently, sets him off, because from then on it’s pandemonium as he makes every noise ever included in an Ennio Morricone Western score. Finally he drops his guitar to his lap, raises his hands to his mouth and cups them around it as he makes one last, mournful call. Hairdresser man in the back smiles. ‘Yes. This is a good life,’ he thinks. Old Man Cap laughs, as does the cameraman, and I watch the video again, for the twentieth time, trying to unlock all the secrets that it holds, never succeeding.


Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music

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Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.