Vasco the Mad Musician


Vasco ( 1871-1925) was a British music hall entertainer known for his flamboyant showmanship (he would often drive around town in a car adorned with signs advertising his act). Billed as the Mad Musician, he could (and did) play 28 different musical instruments during his act, with a sprinkling of comedy and acrobatics in between. He acquired his musical skills at the British Army Academy, and toured with circuses and appeared in opera as well as music hall. He appeared in American vaudeville numerous times, starting with his first appearance at the Alhambra Theatre in 1897.

To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.


One comment

  1. Great to see an image of Vasco. Does anyone know his real name? I am trying to locate details of his son who was an umpire with the Victoian Football league in the 1920s. Accoding to a local paper “Umpire Knowles, who had charge of the game at Hastings on Saturday last, has played many parts in his time. At one time, he was one of Adelaide’s prominent pugilists; since he has played many parts on the vaudeville stage. His gifted father was a musical marvel of remarkable ability, who, under the stage’ name,: “Vasco, . the Mad Musician,” was featured by the late Harry Rickards on the Tivoli some years ago.” Can anyone help?


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