Grock, concertina clown

Grock

At an early age Charles Adrien Wettach (1880–1959) ran away to join a circus; there he became a highly accomplished clown.

In 1903 he teamed up with Marius Galante, who was already performing under the name Brick; they decided to call their act Brick and Grock, and Wettach’s stage name was born. Around 1906 Grock switched partners to work with the the already-renowned Umberto Guillaum, who performed as Antonet.

Grock’s signature was comic stunts with musical instruments; he was an expert performer on the violin, piano, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, and—most memorably—the concertina.

He performed in various duo and solo acts around the world with great success, and in 1951 Grock founded his own circus. After he retired in 1954 he continued to take great pleasure in showing visitors the gardens at his Italian estate, often fooling them by pretending to be the gardener.

This according to “Concertina clowns. II: Grock” by Göran Rahm (Concertina world 458 [June 2014] pp. 30–33). Below, some memorable concertina moments.

Want more? Of course you do! Here’s a 45-minute set.

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