Wednesday, 28 February 2018

now do classical gas

Our gratitude to Kottke for not only disabusing us of the notion that Eric Clapton was the originator of the instrumental composition “Classical Gas”—first released in February of 1968—but introducing us as well to its interesting origins with guitarist and comedy-writer Mason Douglas Williams. Conceived as representative as the fuel of a classically trained guitar repertoire, the title was shortened from “Classical Gasoline” by an amanuensis, Williams came up with the song while working as the head writer of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and performed it as intro- and outro-music on several occasions.

Having already garnered the attention of audiences and critics, Williams wanted to showcase the work in its entirety and recognised that it could be the perfect alternate accompaniment to the experimental, kinestasis montage work of UCLA student filmmaker Dan McLaughlin, a survey of art history in three minutes (with a bit of tweaking with the timing of the transitions as it was originally set to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The short cemented the reputation and cultural moments of both arrangements. Be sure to visit Kottke at the link above to learn more and to discover more fine hypertext products.