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Ask Vance _ A place for music & performance questions

Have a question for Vance? Email your question to: vance@vancebrescia.com

Click for larger image I saw you with Peter a few years back at Delco Park in Dayton, Ohio. It was a great show! I'm a semi-pro guitarist, myself and I appreciate your style.

Just one question: What was it that you used for a mute on your guitar for "Mrs. Brown"?

Glad you enjoyed the Hermits show. You won’t find the device I use in "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" at Guitar Center … would you believe Home Depot? When I joined the Hermits in 2001 I made it with a piece of foam from a paint edger.

Here’s a video clip with reference and a close up of my “special tool” and a few lines from the song during a 2004 TV interview: "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" clip.

A banjo was used on the original recording, but during live performances Keith Hopwood used a Gretsch Country Gentleman which could mute strings as needed to duplicate the banjo sound. At one point his guitar was stolen and he used a feather duster under the strings of the substitute guitar.

Apparently a feather duster wasn't always available. Check out :04 - :07 in this YouTube video of the Hermits on a TV show in 1965 ... Keith is using a towel of some kind under the strings. There's always YouTube, if you want the full original song, original Herman's Hermits performing it, or the current LIVE version.


Herman needs a little help from Vance.Came across your website. Seen videos of your performance, and have attended Herman’s Hermits concerts before. I wanted to ask you two questions:

What is it like on the road touring with the Hermits?

It's a multifaceted experience that one accepts by being a Hermit.


How did you come to audition for the Hermits and what would be your advice for musicians that get rejected?
The first part of your question is answered on a page in Meet Vance.

Not everyone liked Elvis, not everyone liked the Beatles, and not everyone will like any given musician or artist. Think of the rejections encountered as part of the preparation for future opportunity.

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