What is it with Rolf Harris and wacky instruments? If he's not assaulting our lugholes with his wobble board, he's blowing into his jumbo didgeridoo. And let's not even talk about those daft 'ahoo-aha-ha' breathing noises. Let us instead talk about Rolf's finest musical moment: his association with the legendary Stylophone. Why? Because the brilliantly bonkers Stylophone is back and it's just as entertaining as you remember.
Classic Stylophone box!
This "electronic organ in your pocket" was all the rage back in the 70s (3 million were sold apparently), and thanks to Rolf's (over) enthusiastic ad campaign, most of us assumed the beardy paint-chucker had actually invented it. He didn't, but he should have because the Stylophone was as inexplicably enthralling as Rolf himself!
Original vibrato feature
So what exactly is a Stylophone? Well, basically, this bizarre little battery-operated instrument is a box packed with transistors, resistors, diodes and other old-school electronic bits and bobs. The idea is to press the integral stylus against the various metal keys in order to close the circuit and emit a peculiar but unique squeal. Weeeeeeiii!
Control the volume
Change the sound
Plug in your mp3 player or headphones
Tweak your wacky sounds even more!
This re-issued version is just the same as the original except you can now control the volume (phew!) and play along to your MP3 tracks (bizarre). There are even a couple of all-new Stylophone sounds and a vibrato knob. Bonza! And if you think the Stylophone is unfit for proper musos, think again. Luminaries as diverse as Bowie, Pulp, Kraftwerk and Marilyn Manson have all used the Stylophone to add a touch of whiny ethereal lunacy to their recordings.
Whether you owned one as a kid and can't remember where your mum hid it, or you're a first time fiddler in need of an ironic retro fix, the Stylophone Original is guaranteed to bemuse, amuse, irritate and fascinate. Skweeeall!!!
I've been 'buzzing' too, ever since it arrived. But, I bought it for Xmas, for: somebody else -- and I've almost blunted the Stylus meself! 'Yes, sorry Dear...had to test it...' (Shh) It's SO good -- I think I will get one for myself, too. Alan Hope, Newcastle Upon Tyne - 22nd December 2011
I had an original rolf harris stylophone with the 45rpm record given to me in 1978 for a christmas present, it must of been very expensive in those days. It's still in perfect working order and it was and still is brilliant, the tunes u can play on it sound so clear and true, u can play anything from nursery rhymes to classical, i'd definately recommend it. Well worth every penny! Rosemary Syvret, United Kingdom - 8th December 2011
I love these instruments and play them in my rock covers band.
Check out a video of one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g52b6qpOKf4. Daniel, London, England - 23rd January 2011
Firebox says: Impressive, Daniel!
I had this for less than an hour and I'm now really skilled on this and I can now play anything without tabs after a few hits on the keys :D
It is sooo easy and sooooo awesome! :D. Rebecca, United Kingdom - 28th December 2010
Great item. My father had one 32 years ago. Thanks a lot, fast shipping too. Lee Larrard, Malta - 6th February 2010
Forget Mr Moog and his synthesizer thingamebob. Be the next Kraftwerk and amaze your friends by creating a sound that emulates a demented bee. An icon in the history of electronic music. "Two little boys had two little toys. Each had a stylophone. ". Steve Wilkins, Hastings, UK - 26th May 2009