"Playing The Thing" is a remarkable film documentary about harmonicas and harmonica players. It was shot in 1971/72 by Chris Morphet assisted by a small group of friends. It was a labour of love by a harmonica player for his favourite instrument. They filmed top performers and events in England, Holland, Germany and the USA. The resulting 30 min film was premiered at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill London in 1973.
In 2006 I managed to track down the director, Chris Morphet, to ask about how he had made the film. I realised that "Playing The Thing" included only a small portion of what he had filmed. Chris searched his house and gave me a dusty box full of small reels and clips of film, which had remained untouched since the editing of the film. Then he signed over the ownership of "Playing The Thing" to me so I could try to restore it and the interviews to their original glory.
It has been a long, slow process, but it is finally showing some great results. The videos are not perfect but they give a good sense of what Chris actually achieved in this ground breaking personal odyssey. You can see the restored videos below. The story of the project can be read here.
© Roger Trobridge
Cham'ber Huang CBH Workshop
Hohner Factory Visit
The Herold Trio and Hohnerklang
James Cotton Interview
Duster Bennett Interview
Bill Dicey Interview
Andy Paskas Interview
Sonny Terry Interview