Cutout Bin: The New Relations' Great Vibes with Mufftars

The New Relations

Great Vibes with Mufftars (1978)

Meet Don and Doug, the Gabriel brothers; better known as the New Relations. Their road to fame and fortune began one slow day at Don Sr.'s muffler shop in Iowa, when the old man decided he would make his sons their own guitars out of mufflers. One came from a '69 Thunderbird, the other a '72 Buick.

Soon, the boys and their "Mufftars" were touring the nation, appearing on the Jerry Lewis telethon, and getting national press in the pages of People and Parts Locator.

What did the guitar sound like? Who cares? It was made out of a muffler.

Nowadays, Doug is not resting on his laurels. He has his own musical variety show in, appropriately enough, Branson, Missouri. It's called, appropriately enough, "The Doug Gabriel Show." And he still plays the his Mufftar!

And check this out - if you can load the page without crashing your browser, you can play your own game of "Mufftar hero" at Doug's Web site! And you can check out Doug on Youtube! Hear him play the (now rusty, dented, and duct-taped) mufftar and sing along with a transvestite-looking Dolly Parton impersonator here, and hear him joke about how "exhausting" it is to play the mufftar here.

I know where I'm going on my next road trip! Who's in? - Nick DiFonzo

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Nick DiFonzo