Welcome to the
"Northeastern Hightone Headknockers"
chapter of the
International Merrywang Society

Chapter Headquarters in lovely Chatham, New York

Our Motto:  "Better a merrywang than none at all."

Members of the Northeastern Hightone Headknockers Merrywang chapter seek to erase the "inbred hillbilly" image that Society has imposed upon those who choose to play their merrywangs.  We avoid wearing animal pelt loincloths or clown-like attire in public.  See the example at right of correct Merrywang attire and comportment.  Note also the look of intelligence and high morals in facial expression.
What a fine figure to emulate!

In stark contrast, observe this pathetic fellow.  An obvious imposter, exhibiting an extremely poor attempt at "elegant" dress, he comes off as not High Tone at all.  Upon closer examination, one can almost detect a state of inebriation in his expression, perhaps induced by cheap wine.  Disgraceful.  Most unforgivable of all is the fact that, if you look closely, you'll see that he is NOT EVEN PLAYING A MERRYWANG AT ALL, BUT RATHER A BARSTOOL!   Thus we come to our first question:

"What is a Merrywang?"


 This is a merrywang.

These are barstools.





Caught on film recently was this incident which occurred at a bucolic outdoor musical gathering in Pennsylvania. The fellow at center, a certain Norman P. (formerly of lovely Chatham, New York) attempted to surreptitiously join a group of respectable musicians who were seriously exploring the subtle nuances of "Huldy in the Sink Hole". Here, fiddler Jacques is first noticing the unwelcome presence of the usurper. Later, an unpleasant disturbance erupted, followed by the eventual ejection of the ego-bruised intruder. His so-called "instrument" was confiscated and sat upon by various fiddlers, causing much merriment amongst onlookers.

It is extremely important to understand the grave social consequences that unseemly behavior and improper grooming can have on the Merrywangster. Here we can see a lovely example of a lady of fine breeding and upstanding morals demonstrating obvious but discreet indications of interest in this well set up merrywang.

On the other hand, this young woman of questionable background shown "playing her banjo", is of the sort one might expect to find associating with barstool-playing merrywang "poseurs".

Be advised:  If you insist on playing a barstool instead of a true merrywang,
then the only fiddlers who'll want to play with you will likely be of this caliber:

Unfortunately, many people have wasted their efforts attempting to tap-tune calfskin heads that they've mistakenly tacked onto barstools, looking for that ever elusive "pre-wang" sound. A regretful waste of time and money!
Such barstools are usually then only suitable for use as minstrel banjos.


"Thank You For Showing Me The Bitter Truth"

Mr. Patrick Low of Canada writes us: If my testimonial can deliver even one barstool player out of his or her delusions, if I can turn one bucktoothed yokel into a dashing babe-magnet, then it would all have been worthwhile.....
Dear Ms Harmonia,
I was reading your page on the Hightone Headknockers with mild amusement when suddenly a note of self-doubt crept into my bones. I hurriedly picked up my banjo and stood in front of a full length mirror and, to my horror, I realised that not only have I been playing a flattened barstool for years but that my countenance was asinine to the extreme. No wonder my tone was so ghastly! And I haven't had a date in ages. Anyway, I bought a fedora and some pinstriped suits and got rid of all my polyester pants. I'm also ordering an openback banjo from Jean-Paul Gaultier in Paris. As to my slack-jawed hillbilly visage, a friend said that a few botox injections into the right face muscles will make me look like Russell Crowe's better-looking younger brother--if he had one. If the chicks start lining up to touch the hem of my garments, I'll only have you to thank.
Sincerely, P Low

Dear Mr. Low,
I'm so glad that my webpage information was the cause of your realizing your horrible error. Sounds like you should get plenty of chicks soon, what with that fedora and all. Not sure about those bottocks injections however..... I see lots of rock stars with that vacant "slackjawed look" and they seem to get lots of girls.
Strumelia Harmonia

"Banjo? or....FIRE HYDRANT???"
Rob Gilbert of New Jersey writes:
Dear Strumella: Just happened across your website, and it is one of the greatest things I have found since the Onion! My wife and I are looking for a really cool banjo stand to show off our bright red custom Deering 6-string, named "The Banjo Diane." It's really heavy, so we need something very sturdy. But we want something with lots of charm and unique appeal. Have already searched all over the Web and still haven't seen anything unique and really cool. Any ideas? Hope you're not offended by the fact that we have a 6-string banjo--please note I did not dare to call it a merrywang. I do also have a merrywang so I'm not a totally frivolous person.
Thanks for listening! Rob

Dear Rob,
I think you'd better make sure it's not actually a BARSTOOL that some shyster sold you as a "6 string banjo". Also, since it is bright red and "really heavy", are you absolutely sure it's not really a FIRE HYDRANT that they sold you??? If indeed it is a fire hydrant and not a real banjo, then you won't need to spend lots of money on a stand, because it won't likely tip over anyway. And also you'd want to keep it in a case rather than out on a stand if you have dogs. Good luck to you,
Strumelia Harmonia

"Low-life Fiddler Ousted in Hamburg, Respectability Restored"
Mr. Doehler of Germany writes:
I just stumbled across your barstool page. It is very valuable information you provided there. Like Mr. Patrick Low I got some new insights, the most important beeing that I have to get rid of my fiddle player who behaves much like the persons pictured on your page....
Best wishes from Hamburg, Germany
-Veit Doehler

Mr. Eric Schultz writes:
Good Morning,
I was just looking at your website. I have clients who are looking for barstools and related home decor. I have several inquiries, so I need to find a reputable vendor with good selection to work with. If you can find a time today, when you have a few minutes and are near your computer, give me a call to see if this is a good fit. Thanks in advance, Eric Schultz

Dear Mr. Schultz,
Thank for for thinking of me in relation to your business.
Unfortunately, I myself gave up collecting barstools long ago, and thus have none to offer you. However, I suspect that many of our readers will realize here that they have been playing and buying BARSTOOLS on EBAY for years, thinking they were valuable merrywangs. Perhaps they will be interested in selling you theirs. I'll pass along your contact info to them.
Good luck in your search!
Strumelia Harmonia

Send YOUR heartfelt testimonial or confession to Strumelia Harmonia at: harmonia (at) taconic.net

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