…Take Matt “Guitar” Murphy For Example

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Red chalk....

Not me. I thnk I'm taller than da Vinci (Image via Wikipedia)

How tall would you say I am? That’s a hard question for most of you to answer. You’re a little restricted by the fact that we have not met.

Let’s suppose I posted a photo or a video of myself, then asked about my height. My theory is that you’d make a guess at that point. I’m not picking on you if that’s something you’d do, I’m convinced I know how tall many of you are from the little pictures that pop up in the comment section. Our minds make up ideas about people based on information we have at hand.

I Met Matt “Guitar” Murphy

I am of the generation of men for whom the three finest films ever made will always be Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Caddyshack.

Recently I was with a group of my generational peers. We had gathered to get some work done, but happened past a television that was on a channel showing The Blues Brothers. The scene where Jake and Elwood were in the diner run by Aretha Franklin and Matt “Guitar” Murphy was on, so we were sort of compelled to watch at least until a commercial came on to break the spell.

Mr. Guitar Murphy (image via flickr)

Someone in the group said “I met Matt “Guitar” Murphy once”. This revelation was received with great reverence.. The man who said it, already well regarded, was elevated to new levels of esteem by all present. Then, he said it. We should have known it was coming…

…you think he’s big. He isn’t. He’s way shorter than you’d expect him to be. Good guy. Not tall.

A shock went through the group. Murphy had to be big. He was in the movie. THE movie. Deep down, though, we knew it was likely true. It wasn’t the first time any of us had heard the not as tall as you’d think line. It was nearly inevitable.

…Matt “Guitar” Murphy Was A Friend Of Mine…

Stories I hear of people’s encounters with those who’ve found fame often end with some variation of “not as tall as you’d think”.

Actors, musicians, politicians…all the subjects of stories from friends, none of them as tall as I’d expect.

Race car drivers, a common celebrity encounter in my part of the country, are all smaller than I’d think, according to reports received.

That guy that does the weather on the news, the woman on the TV commercial, the fan favorite on American Idol – all tiny.

…Sir, You’re No Matt “Guitar” Murphy

I wonder what would happen if I had the chance to meet the people who keep reading what I write. What would our first impressions be?

My bet is that when I left someone would say “he was a lot shorter than I imagined.”

I’m no Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

Blue Lou Marini on the saxophone ladies and gentlemen…


52 Comments on “…Take Matt “Guitar” Murphy For Example”

  1. Abe's Blog says:

    I’m not as tall as I think I am either. This must be where the term “tall tales” originated – once the folks back home had a chance to meet Davy, Da-a-a-vy Crocket (King of the Wild Frontier, semi-professional b’ar wrestler) and found out that he wasn’t 8 feet tall.

  2. Hippie Cahier says:

    If I were the least bit interested in math, I would ask how long that kayak is in that picture up there and then I’d figure the square of the hypotenuse, carry the 3, divide by pi and guess that you’re about 7’10”.

    Am I close?

  3. I have a feeling that if I met Tom Cruise, I’d easily be able to say “he’s EXACTLY as tall as you think”.

  4. I’m 5’8″. But you probably already knew that.

  5. We found him Captain!! says:

    There I was…..lying in bed, the next thing I know is Aretha Franklin is wailing at me about What I do to her and FREEEEDOMMMMM! Geeez! What a wakeup call that was……….. Good job! UTZ…

  6. Todd Pack says:

    I saw Steve Cropper at a county fair outside Nashville a couple years ago. He wasn’t playing. He was standing in line buying ride tickets. He was taller than you’d think.

    • omawarisan says:

      See, I was right about him and I think Duck Dunn too. Way off on Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

      I am trying to set a record for saying Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

  7. Zahara says:

    You look pretty tall when you’re sitting under the locomotive’s umbrella.

  8. madtante says:

    I’m more surprised by people who are “taller” (being 5’2″, I tend to think I’m tall because I’m WAY taller than my mother’s family).

    I was just talking about running a race (nothing impressive but I wore a chip and all that) years ago where the local NFL team were also running. I don’t follow sports, so the only way I knew they were “them” is their jerseys with names on the back (not that I recognized names). I was SHOCKED at how large those mofos are. I mean they are like frigging freight trains steaming along! My story was about how proud I was that I passed them all–til the final 1/4 mile, when my power was used up and they slowly chugged by “choo-choo.” Aw, well. Guess their pros for a reason.

  9. savanvleck says:

    I try not to think about height. I’m getting shorter every year.

  10. linlah says:

    Since almost everyone is taller than me I’m gonna guess that’s how tall your are. Taller than me.

  11. My ex-husband worked in radio…whenever he’d meet a listener, they’d always say that he didn’t look the way they’d pictured him…


  12. Queen says:

    i’m not as tall as i wanna be. my YOUNGER sister is 6’1, 6’2. my older brother is 6’2. i am neither. i am not happy about this.

  13. planetross says:

    I never thought John Cusack was tall, but he’s as tall as me at 6′ 3″.

    My best friend is 5’7″, but I always think we are the same height until we walk in front of mirrors/windows or are in photos: then he looks pretty small.

    I usually only notice people who are taller than me … and think … that person is huge (in the tall sense that is).
    Fat people are just fat; no matter how tall they are. hee hee!

  14. So funny. I saw Ah-nold exiting an elevator once and I was shocked that he didn’t look huge and tall (like 7′) like he comes across in films. He looked like a regular guy who hits the gym a lot. I am 5’7″ although I measure in at 5’1″. Strange.

  15. spencercourt says:

    Why would anyone want to be tall? They can’t hide as easy; need to eat more, are clumsier, etc. I like being….not very tall.

  16. tsanda says:

    i met chewbacca once. he is as hairy as I thought. it was a relief.

  17. Remember the way they made us think all those tall guys were short in Lord of the Rings?

  18. Greg says:

    I am exactly as tall as I look in my little picture.

  19. thejaggedman says:

    I love the post! Those three movies are some the greatest movies of my era! Everyone uses the “Not as tall” line is always used in one’s life. I have.The Bride and I were walking into deSha’s Restaurant and Bar in Lexington, Ky in the mid-nineties. As I was holding the door open someone tried to push past my Bride and I stepped between the “offender” and the door and blocked the way so my Bride could get through. After she went through I gave the “eye” at said offender and it was Rick Pitino! I got the old hairy eye ball back from him and his associates and the only thought I had was “He is not as tall as I thought he would be”. Thanks for taking me back!

  20. Funny how the height thing comes up. Very true.

    I had a moment like that last year after seeing those racers you mentioned at a race in Dallas. We had passes to go down on pit row, and the first thing I told my wife when I called her that night was, “Jesus, those guys are really short. They’re like jockeys in firesuits.”

    Jesus probably already knew that.

  21. shoutabyss says:

    I saw the headline and even before I clicked in, I was like, “Blues Brothers!”

    I loved the movie and I have the soundtrack, too. It’s a fun listen although you have to have some suspension of disbelief regarding John Belushi’s singing.

    For some strange reason, like you, I rank Animal House and Caddyshack right up there as greats, too.

    Our society has a fixation with size. Big. Tall. Whatever. If you think about it, you don’t go to McDonalds to order the Good Mac. Nay, it is the Big Mac that you crave. Quantity dominates quality. I’m not aware of any studies ever demonstrating a link between height and other admirable qualities, but we look up to those people (pun intended) just the same. Don’t ask me why.

  22. Pie says:

    There’s the perception that if you are taller, you must be more intelligent/good looking/successful/lucky. As TV shows and films, coupled with the cult of celebrity, continues to reinforce that perception, it’s little wonder that we imagine people in the public eye to be taller and therefore are surprised and a little disappointed that they are not – perhaps with the exception of Tom Cruise, who we already know is short.

    By the way, I love the Blues Brothers and I like Caddyshack. I’ve never (hold your breath now) seen Animal House. I’m sure it’s as good as everyone says it is. I just never got round to seeing it.

  23. Rob G says:

    Blue Lou, Lou Marini… Lou Marini!

    I was walking in NYC one early evening quite a while ago and three guys were walking towards me. I happened to recognize the guy furthest to my left as Rob Reiner. The guy furthest to my right I recognized as Tom Hanks and immediately the “he’s not as tall as I expected” bell went off. It distracted me so much, I never got a clear look at the guy in the middle, but I figure it must have been someone good, right?

  24. Very interesting idea. I have so many people I communicate with online and I have these little clues to make a picture of what they look like, but I know I’m probably wrong. All these online friends read my posts and comments every day, but would be shocked to learn how incredibly handsome I am.

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