Rag dolls are people too: A Million Shetland Ponies, one Georgetown freshman’s “two man” band
I was quickly corrected when I referred to A Million Shetland Ponies, in which Georgetown freshman David Benedetto (SFS ’13) is a musician, as a one man band.
“So, there are two members of A Million Shetland Ponies. It’s me and my best friend, Maxwell Q. Maxwell,” Benedetto explained. “The band’s been together for three years now, and Maxwell actually writes the music. Although I’ve tried my hand at that.”
It’s a little confusing, because Maxwell is a life-sized doll that dances with Benedetto’s help.
“Actually, I’d like to point out that he’s a person.”
Again, my bad. This Georgetown musical duo is little-known around Georgetown’s campus (“We have almost 90 fans on Facebook!” Benedetto said sarcastically), but it is very talented. Armed with about 17 songs in their repertoire that they’ll play in public, A Million Shetland Ponies has run the gamut of on-campus open mic nights. They took second in the D.C. Funniest College Comic competition, and in January, they came away from America’s Next Great Star, a traveling talented show which made a stop in Gaston, with $500.
Most recently, the group has put out a quirky, cute music video of the song they played at Next Great Star, called “The Argyle in My Socks.” Filmed on one of the upper levels of Healy Hall, the lovesong-video, above, features Benedetto dancing with and serenading Maxwell, (sometimes from inside a recycling bin), who’s dressed as “a lustful woman.”
Benedetto said A Million Shetland Ponies wrote the song to get a woman’s attention—not a Georgetown woman, as the title might suggest. And what person wouldn’t be tickled to hear, “I am Emeril, Master Chef, and you’re a beautiful cheese soufflé,” or “You’re a beautiful Alaskan Bridge that leads nowhere except my heart”? But he wasn’t sure the song did the trick.
Still, he’s not discouraged. A Million Shetland Ponies is planning to film a third video called “The Girl I Love Most.” They put out another video before “Argyle,” called “The Ballad of David Lee,” but Benedetto said they don’t publicize it because it only works if you know David Lee (NHS ’10), who commissioned the song to be sung about him. (Being acquainted with David Lee, I can vouch for the song’s delighfulness and veracity.)
And Benedetto will be sticking with Maxwell Q. Maxwell.
“A lot of people get down on him because he’s imobile, but he’s the music, he’s the heart of the band,” Benedetto said. “The deal was always, he would write the music and be the sex appeal. I would do all the functions of the band that are related to moving.”
Thanks to Kristen Janiszewski for the tip!