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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2582020
10/27/16 07:00 AM
10/27/16 07:00 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 828
Germany
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Piano Girl RMG Offline OP
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I had several subjects cluttering the top of my piano last week. Two, in fact. The subjects were men—one of them in his senior years and hitting on me and another, younger man in black leather who kept insisting I should let him play. I think he wanted my gig.

The older guy, let's call him Friedl, leaned on the piano and stared at me for an hour. Not pleasant, but okay, it happens. The brass buttons on his cuffs drove me nuts. Every time he shifted his weight they rattled against the wood.

The leather man, let's call him Sergei, was from Georgia, NOT the American Georgia, but the other one—it sounded like Korkia when he said it. He seemed very insulted that I wouldn't let him play. He might have worn me down, but the hotel really does have a policy about this. The piano is in a public space and management does not want to risk any Tom, Dick, or Sergei coming along and playing a 7/4 slavic hoedown or whatever they play in Korkia.

While the two lurkers were there the doormen—my favorite guys in the hotel (among them they speak about 140 languages, probably even Korkian) began circling the piano, watching for a sign from me that they should spring into action and bodily remove Friedl and Sergei from the flanks of the Steinway.

No harm done, eventually they wandered off without fisticuffs—Friedl to polish his brass buttons and catch a train, and Sergei to go pester some other working pianist. The scene reminded me of my NYC Piano Girl days. Weird, funny, and slightly sad.

Other than that? Easy, wonderful weekend of music!


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2582048
10/27/16 10:16 AM
10/27/16 10:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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I love your doormen. Just the thing for savage beasts for whom music's charms soothe too slowly, but a tranquilizer dart is just about right.

You, and they, are more tolerant than I. Any guest who rattled his brass buttons on my piano or drooled down my cleavage would find out pretty quick what the outside of my front door looked like.

But, at last, I have realized the inspiration for that aria in "Oklahoma:" "People Will Say We're in Love." The lyric must have been re-set in German, and I can't think exactly how it would go; I have a feeling it might be a bit lumpy. But any way you say it, "Don't throw bouquets at me; Don't say my name too much," obviously came to Hammerstein while pitching a game of hardball. Pitchers do have time to think. And then, "Your eyes mustn't glow like mine," puts it across the plate at 95 mph, followed by the umpire calling out the words you've been wanting to say to Sergei all night: "Get out!"

No, I mean, "You're out!"

True, but too late; the truth has already tunneled under the fence and escaped. And here come the doormen...


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2582233
10/28/16 01:02 AM
10/28/16 01:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,373
Oakland
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It sort of sets the stage for Oklahoma, which is, for me, one of the creepiest musicals ever written. That, of course, says a lot. It is a musical that one either loves for its folksy feeling, or one admires for the masterfully unsettling manner it deals with intolerance, a common theme in Hammerstein's musicals. I always come away from it with a feeling of unease, perhaps similar to what Robin was feeling about these two guys.


Semipro Tech
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB] #2583058
10/31/16 10:19 AM
10/31/16 10:19 AM
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Virginia, USA
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Originally Posted by BDB
It sort of sets the stage for Oklahoma, which is, for me, one of the creepiest musicals ever written.


It does indeed have layers that I never appreciated in high school; now that I've seen it a number of times as an adult (usually middle school or high school productions) I realize there is more to it.

I have yet to play in the pit for it, but maybe someday. The musicals I have played (Guys and Dolls, Our Town, Bye Bye Birdy, Beauty and the Beast) remain peak experiences.


gotta go practice
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2583076
10/31/16 12:10 PM
10/31/16 12:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Take Back the Mink... and so many other things you would never hear a real woman say. But that's what elevates art. Forgive the lack of proper quotation marks. I spilled coffee into my keyboard, and now... it says what IT wants to, not what I want to.

I blame the creepiness of Oklahoma on Tennessee Williams. I should say, at R&H's looking sideways at what else was so popular on the stage in those years. Years of critics and audiences alike have determinedly looked past Oklahoma's quirks, observing to themselves that, after all, Tennessee Williams had no more business to try to write a musical than R&H had, to...


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2583360
11/01/16 11:19 AM
11/01/16 11:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,878
Northern VA, U.S.
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A fair bit of what's made it into the musical theater canon has its creepy moments. Ever think about the basic plot line of "H.M.S. Pinafore"? And we don't even need to get to Sondheim.

I've seen quite a few productions of "Oklahoma!", but my favorite was one done at the Arena Stage in Washington DC a few years ago. The director embraced the creepy bits and yet still retained the elements of the play that are traditional (at least, "traditional" after R&H started) elements of Broadway shows.

It worked. The choreography was pretty darned spectacular, too. Especially "Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City" and the dream sequence.

Last edited by ClsscLib; 11/01/16 11:20 AM.

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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2587733
11/16/16 01:01 PM
11/16/16 01:01 PM
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Posts: 828
Germany
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This week's winner, in the "compliments that sound like insults" category:

Man (foppish, happy, one of my favorite guests): I am coming to your concert on the 11th of Decemebr.

Me: Great—it should be a nice evening, I think you'll enjoy it.

Man: I am over the moon excited because I am bringing Brad. He will love, love, love you.

Me: Nice.

Man: You are the perfect choice for Brad.

Me: Really? Why?

Man: He is blind.

*****

How does one respond to that? Am I losing my Ginger edge? Should I provide blindfolds for our other guests, so that they too might have a perfect evening? Geez. I'm looking forward to meeting "Brad."





Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2587735
11/16/16 01:06 PM
11/16/16 01:06 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 6,251
Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
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Originally Posted by Piano Girl RMG
This week's winner, in the "compliments that sound like insults" category:

Man (foppish, happy, one of my favorite guests): I am coming to your concert on the 11th of Decemebr.

Me: Great—it should be a nice evening, I think you'll enjoy it.

Man: I am over the moon excited because I am bringing Brad. He will love, love, love you.

Me: Nice.

Man: You are the perfect choice for Brad.

Me: Really? Why?

Man: He is blind.

*****

How does one respond to that? Am I losing my Ginger edge? Should I provide blindfolds for our other guests, so that they too might have a perfect evening? Geez. I'm looking forward to meeting "Brad."





He meant that your playing is so beautiful it paints a picture in the mind, even for a blind man.
And no, you haven't lost your Ginger edge at all :-)


Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2587741
11/16/16 01:32 PM
11/16/16 01:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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And you already have the first paragraph for your next book.

My mom used to tell a story about figuring out what to say to the preacher, as you're on your way out of the church after divine service:

"Oh, Reverend Felcher, I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed your sermon! Each one is better than the next."

She was a newspaper reporter, and yes, she did know better. I believe she intended it to strike somewhere between a funny story and a cautionary tale. Or maybe as a fallback, when you don't know what else to say. "Opportunity favors the prepared mind."

"Oh, Reverend F, I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed your sermon, and thank you for talking a little longer than usual. I saw that more than person in the congregation broke out in a sweat. Won't you come over and have lunch with us today? The roast may be tough as an old stump, but I believe I may be able to scrape most of the carbon off if I hurry home right now."

No, she would never have said that--- until the preacher was out of earshot.


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef] #2587772
11/16/16 03:05 PM
11/16/16 03:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,267
Reseda, California
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
No, she would never have said that--- until the preacher was out of earshot.


Perhaps we should introduce them to Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhIqnJHP0DQ




-- J.S.

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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2588447
11/19/16 06:34 AM
11/19/16 06:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 828
Germany
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In the back-handed compliment/insult category: An elderly woman (Judy) in my hometown of Pittsburgh called my father (Bob the drummer) several years ago to tell him how much she enjoyed reading my book, "Piano Girl." Conversation went like this:

Judy: Loved "Piano Girl," Bob. Robin is so talented.

Bob: Thanks. Judy!

Judy: You used to have talent, too, Bob. But you gave it up for your family.

(Poor Bob is still scratching his head over that one.)





Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2588690
11/20/16 04:59 AM
11/20/16 04:59 AM
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Posts: 828
Germany
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Piano Girl RMG Offline OP
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And here's another one:

"I love your music. Your music is perfect because I can hardly hear it."


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2588999
11/21/16 03:34 PM
11/21/16 03:34 PM
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Posts: 4,082
Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by Piano Girl RMG
And here's another one:

"I love your music. Your music is perfect because I can hardly hear it."


That triggered a recollection. I wish this were funny but instead it's true.

I recently attended a clarinet recital by a local professor who was retiring. He had exceptional command of his instrument, and brought his pianissimo down to at or below the level of my tinnitus. That was kind of weird. When I told him that he gave me a really funny look, like it was one of those back handed compliments.


gotta go practice
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590139
11/26/16 07:24 AM
11/26/16 07:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 828
Germany
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Piano Girl RMG Offline OP
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Germany
Happy Birthday to me! Yes, I turn 59 today.

November has been a bad month. Trump won; Leonard Cohen died; I fell and smashed my iPhone and lost contact with the world. With a veil of doom hanging over me, I've struggled to regain balance, or, at the very least, a sense of calm.

As some of you know, I performed for a group of inspirational American women two days after the election. My new essay, "A Broken Hallelujah," looks at what happens when you surround yourself with change-makers and everyday heroes. You stop moping and start taking action. I intend to do this with a piano and a pen, by speaking up for what's right and trying to protect my values from the orange crush of bigotry and hatred. Please join me by using whatever skills you have to promote love. Maybe that means playing for weddings or playing for your own mental health. Just do it. We need you now, more than ever.

Here is a link to my December essay. I would post it on this thread (as I usually do) but I don't want to put our dear Frank Baxter in the crossfire. It's a "strong" piece.

A Broken Hallelujah: Piano Girl vs. Trump, Round Two







Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590235
11/26/16 02:13 PM
11/26/16 02:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,878
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Northern VA, U.S.
Happy birthday, dear Robin, and thank you for all that you do!


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590240
11/26/16 02:34 PM
11/26/16 02:34 PM
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Posts: 1,236
London UK
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London UK
Yes, a dirty campaign between two unlikable candidates. One of whom won on a platform of pure, unfiltered bluster. But, as your current president said - the sun will still rise tomorrow. And it won't help if we all treat those who voted the wrong way as n***ers. Along with treating everyone who subscribes to a religion as a deluded fool there won't be anyone left to talk to.

Happy birthday!

Last edited by Exalted Wombat; 11/26/16 02:34 PM.
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590243
11/26/16 02:43 PM
11/26/16 02:43 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,336
Florida
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Happy birthday, Robin! Your escapades as 'Piano Girl' give me such joy to read.

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590812
11/28/16 08:51 PM
11/28/16 08:51 PM
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Posts: 176
Canada
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Canada
Happy birthday, Robin!

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2590877
11/29/16 06:21 AM
11/29/16 06:21 AM
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Posts: 828
Germany
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Thank you for the birthday greetings. It should be noted that our esteemed leader, Mr. Baxter, shares a birthday with me. Happy Birthday, Frank! I think I may be older than Frank, but I've reached the age where I am older than just about everyone. How did that happen? My work colleagues are, like, 14 (not really, but they look awfully young to me). I am older than their mothers.

I played for a bride over the weekend, although it was just a part of my steady afternoon tea gig, not an actual wedding job. The bride was glorious! She and her husband came directly from the church to relax and enjoy champagne together before heading to the big dinner. Someone smart booked them for the Afternoon Tea all by themselves so they could get away for a few hours. The photographer followed them into the salon, but the bride booted her out after a few minutes.

On my break I stopped by the bride's table and told her she looked beautiful. She sighed and said, "I FEEL beautiful!" I love that.

My annual Concert in Candlelight is coming up on December 11th. It's that time of year when I am frantically attempting to relearn all my "December" music and figure out how to end "Carol of the Bells."


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2593020
12/08/16 07:15 AM
12/08/16 07:15 AM
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Posts: 828
Germany
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I love my gig. Last weekend I had the Jazz Police in one corner (forcing me to play more # 11 chords than usual), the Ladies Who Lunch in another corner, Puppeteers from LA in the third corner, and completing the set, my favorite wine expert in the 4th. In the private dining room just off of "my" room, I had 50 kids visiting a Candy Buffet and waiting for Santa. Santa did indeed arrive but he had so much facial hair that I couldn't even see his eyes—he was more of a Senior Sasquatch than a Santa. Not quite sure how he could breathe.

Deck the halls!


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2594774
12/14/16 01:23 PM
12/14/16 01:23 PM
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Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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"...relearn all my "December" music and figure out how to end "Carol of the Bells...."

Well, to start out, it takes what bystanders will call 'some nerve,' and not only that, but a steady hand on the food processor, NOT a blender. You end up with "Silent Night," and that is not so bad in German, but you get there by a process which has something in common with a rowdy crowd operating the Bumper Cars at an amusement park.

Just throw caution to the winds, and depend on that little dash of brandy in the egg nog. The folks in the lounge will be a little dizzy anyway, and they will surely acknowledge your genius--- how could they not?--- for it is not at all hard to start up a perpetual motion machine; the trick is to make it stop. And the other trick is to make it stop so the folks can join in, discerning that you intend another Christmas song and not "Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City, She Went About as Fur as She Could Go."

If they do... well, it's jolly, and that's what's important.

I actually prefer some pieces which are not played to death in every elevator in the Western Hemisphere. "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," take your pick of Praetorius or Brahms settings, it's from the deep past of medieval Europe, either way; "The Shepherds' Farewell to the Holy Family," by Berlioz, from his cantata, "L'enfance du Criste," a very pretty choral piece and likely to keep all but the most discerning guessing when the words go away; and "The Holly and the Ivy," pagan and poignant when sung; mysterious and curious when not. Pull a switch on your audience, having planted ringers around the lounge, who come in for a capella verses, back and forth with the piano, finishing with both together, just in time for brandies all around--- hold the nog.


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2597350
12/23/16 05:11 AM
12/23/16 05:11 AM
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Germany
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Good music selections, Clef! Marian McPartland played "The Holly and the Ivy" on the NPR Jazz Holiday Album Volume 3—that's the one that I am on. It's a nice album, but I don't think it's available any longer. No doubt some sort of celebrity licensing issues going on there. I think I was the only participant without a lawyer.

My December 11th concert went well, or at least I think it did. We sold out the room and everyone showed up in their holiday finest. The piano was in good shape and stayed in tune and I did not have any train wrecks in the middle of "Silent Night" (one of my biggest fears—you hit a clam during Silent Night and, well, you may never recover).

I am off on Christmas Eve and intend to celebrate with my family. The 25th and 26th I'll be playing, as usual, at the hotel. We are all sad about the attack in Berlin—the Christmas markets here are such peaceful, happy places. Friends gather and drink mulled wine and eat waffles. The market next to the hotel and cathedral is always beautiful.

Wishing all of you a peaceful and safe end to 2016, a year that has been full of sharp edges. May we glide into 2017 with hope in our baskets and a song in our hearts.





Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2597370
12/23/16 07:44 AM
12/23/16 07:44 AM
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Posts: 3,755
England/Switzerland
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We must come and see you in action. My wifes family live near Koln and we have an apartment there.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2597689
12/24/16 05:12 AM
12/24/16 05:12 AM
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Germany
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By all means, do stop by AJB!!!

Here is my holiday schedule at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst (next to the Dom):

Friday, Dec 23, 15:00 - 18:00
Saturday, Dec 24, OFF
Sunday, Dec 25th, 15:00 - 18:00
Monday, Dec 26th, 15:00 - 18:00
Friday, Dec 30th, 15:00 - 18:00
Saturday, Dec 31, (Silvester) OFF
Sunday, January 1st, 15:00 - 18:00

After the holidays I am there every Fri, Sat, and Sun from 15 - 18:00. (with the exception of Jan 6th)

Looking forward to meeting another PW member!


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2599116
12/29/16 06:48 PM
12/29/16 06:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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San Jose, CA
It was, and is, exciting to have broken the five million ceiling. But, just after a guest left [who gave my piano a good pounding], I happened to be idly noodling around the PW fora, intending to send him a note. And I will, but since PW is what the browser window opened to, I was glancing around some of the sections I don't often frequent.

You will have guessed by now. It is in the Adult Beginners Forum, and the title of the thread is: "Alfred's Basic and All In One Adult Piano Course, Book Number Two." And it has had over twelve million hits.

Kiss catching up goodbye. I'll bet Alfred Publishing Company, Incorporated is really glad they published these items. I could well imagine them putting out some other works along the same line, maybe a bit further along than, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands," not that I have anything against it.

Others may be more confident than I, that they know everything there is to know about music... but I do wonder sometimes if there could be something important I missed along the way. For example, there could be a whole work devoted to reading and notating time signatures and rhythm patterns--- and if that isn't enough for a whole book, they could throw in appoggiaturas and all their cousins. Not every reader is up to speed enough to make the best advantage of "Essay on the True Art;" in fact, I say with some confidence that at least 95% of them have never heard of it.

Twelve million hits says I am confident enough to invest in Alfred Publishing, if they should begin to offer something in a distance learning product. It is unknown, without some testing of the waters, if its best form should resemble the traditional weekly piano lesson, strictly during business hours, or alternatively, something else. Maybe a pickup basketball or softball game, or a conference call could provide a model. My guess is that most of these folk are learning on some fashion of DP, and that they use some flavor of cellphone which supports video. Add Bluetooth, beat for five minutes, and serve.

Twelve million hits suggests that there is a crying need. And knowing that musicians are the target audience, many of them young, suggests that operating into the late hours, or the early hours, might work for everybody. Distance learning suggests, for one thing, that we are disconnecting the clock and are working across time zones to the point that it just doesn't matter what the clock says.

It is at this point that I might usually say, "But I digress," but I think the train [of thought] has jumped the track from the first sentence of the first paragraph. Anyway, I am proud of those five million hits, and there are people whom I have come to love from this little shower of electrons. They could step on my feet in a crowded elevator and I wouldn't have any clue.

Or maybe I would....

Happy New Year, everybody! The best of the year to you! And hold the nog!


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2599321
12/30/16 12:38 PM
12/30/16 12:38 PM
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Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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"...and I wouldn't have any clue..." who they were.


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2600190
01/02/17 08:08 AM
01/02/17 08:08 AM
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Piano Girl RMG Offline OP
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Happy New Year, friends of LTW! I am happily sitting (okay, reclining) on my sofa, enjoying the snowfall and the knowledge that I am gig-free for the next few days.

Okay, so we only have 5 million (plus) hits on LTW. I like to think it's because we are a niche group. Special. Slightly nuts.

A hot tip for any of you looking to play weddings in the near future. Check out Jennifer Blaske's book: Giggin' for a Living: How to Make Money as a Musician Playing for Weddings and Special Events.

Piano Girl fans have been on my back for years to write a manual, but I don't have it in me—I get too sidetracked by the funny and emotional stuff and shy away from anything that could actually HELP players! Jennifer has filled that gap. It's only available on Kindle. Grab a copy if wedding gigs are in your future.the book is generous, well-written, and full of great tips. Congrats, Jennifer! I hope you'll join in here more often. Link is below.

Giggin' for a Living


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef] #2600686
01/03/17 03:36 PM
01/03/17 03:36 PM
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Virginia, USA
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TimR Offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
It is unknown, without some testing of the waters, if its best form should resemble the traditional weekly piano lesson, strictly during business hours, or alternatively, something else. Maybe a pickup basketball or softball game, or a conference call could provide a model.


Judging from the actual behavior of my younger relatives and their friends, the model has been tested and refined to an optimal state.

It is the online gaming community. It is interactive and contains sufficiently sophisticated reinforcement scheduling to maintain an extremely high level of output.


gotta go practice
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2601004
01/04/17 12:44 PM
01/04/17 12:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,796
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Jeff Clef  Offline
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San Jose, CA
Tim, I think you have nailed it. Besides what you have said, it breaks through the isolation that a dedication to the piano can demand.

Cubase points out to persons who are installing their product, that keyboard musicians and the online gaming community share some requirements. Fast transfers, low latency, plenty of RAM, storage that is ample and very fast, and absolutely current drivers. And a great monitor--- better yet, a bank of monitors. Cubase shows a photo of guys in a studio with a bank of six monitors, and I felt myself start to salivate. I limp along with three, but my next computer will be able to do lots more.

They offer a product that can allow people in different cities to play together, as if in real time.

It should not be greatly taxing for some genius to dream up a way to deliver content [like structured piano lessons], integrated with realtime peer-to-peer [1] with a teacher, and [2] with peers. Add the element of competing for something. Actually, composing for gamer soundtracks is a real business. That, and tracks for TV, film, clubs with dancing, etc. There is exciting stuff to be done in today's music environment.

So now, we need only to figure out how to make the end users pay for it, and we're off to the races. We may not know just where to work right now, but I expect there are those who are working on this right now. Probably, trying to figure out how to squeeze money out of it.


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2602841
01/10/17 01:21 PM
01/10/17 01:21 PM
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A new essay for all my working-musician friends. A road trip with an 82-year-old musician, who happens to be my father.

The Notes that Got Away

“See that Burger King? I played there once, before it was a Burger King.”

I’m in the car with my musician father and he’s pointing out places where he used to perform. “The Burger King used to be a Moose Club. Before it was a Moose Club it was a Masonic Lodge. I played there, too. And down the highway, over by the Southland Shopping Mall? That used to be the Ankara. Big night club. Six nights a week, live music, different acts all the time. I was in the house band in the sixties. Mr. Cenemie was the manager. Called him Mr. Centipede. He hated me. I’m telling you, beautiful dancers from the Philippines in that place. Made no sense since it was called the Ankara, but whatever. And up on the hill? That nursing home? I played there for about two years, when it was still a hotel. They had great shrimp cocktail.”

“Was that the place with the singer of small stature and the Desi Arnaz look-alike?” I ask.

“What? The singing dwarf? No, that place was across from the nursing home. And the dwarf worked with the stripper, not with Desi. The Desi impersonator usually worked with the ice skater, but sometimes with a ventriloquist.”

“Wait, the nightclub had an ice skating rink?”

“Back in the day they spared no expense.”

“Jesus.”

“I worked for him, too. That Catholic Church over by Wendy’s? Al Dilernia was extremely popular at that church. I used to play with his band for church events. The priest liked jazz. Al used to listen to Pirate games on his transistor radio during prayers. He once yelled ‘Goddamnit, you a**holes during the blessing when the Cleveland Indians hit a homerun. He usually had spaghetti stains on his shirt.”

“I remember Al,” I say. “And the spaghetti sauce. He tried to kiss me on the lips once when I was, like, sixteen.”

“Which Dilernia was that? Albert or Alfred? There were two brothers, both named Al. Both great players. Both liked spaghetti. Either one would have tried to kiss you.”

“The guitar player.”

“That would be Al. I always said they should start a band with Edmond and Edward Manganelli. Al and Al and Ed and Ed.”

Driving anywhere in the greater Pittsburgh area with my dad, eighty-two year old drummer Bob Rawsthorne, means listening to dozens of stories pulled from over six decades of gigs in vanished venues. We can hardly cross a strip-malled intersection without him pointing at a corner and blurting out a tale that involves skullduggery, musical madness, or management idiocy.

“Ah, there’s the VFW, Post 5111,” Dad says as we drive on Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington. “I hated playing there. Rotten piano. Rotten manager—that guy actually snapped off the TV during the moon landing. We had taken a break to watch it. The damn moon landing! ‘I ain’t payin’ you guys to watch television,’ he said. I’ll never forget the bartender’s reaction. He went outside and looked up at the stars, hoping to see Neil Armstrong live. Sad. So sad.”

In just one trip to the Giant Eagle grocery store I hear about a drunken host with a mynah bird that spewed racial insults, a greedy nightclub owner with a drawer full of stolen watches, and a girl singer with balloon boobs who would always blank out when trying to remember the words to “Accentuate the Positive.” Dad’s stream-of-consciousness tales of smoky nightclubs, Burlesque palaces, concert halls, and after-hours dives would make one think the live music culture of the sixties and seventies offered a non-stop, sophisticated—and often silly—soundtrack to our unencumbered, simple lives. Maybe it did.

“I used to work there! And there, too. I think I played across the street too, but it looks different now with the Tiki-Tiki torch on the outside. Sometimes I get inside a joint I think I’ve never been in before and I see something that triggers my memory—and, bam!—I remember a gig I thought I had forgotten. Nice.”

***

My father was, and is, an accomplished musician, a big fish in Pittsburgh’s smallish pond of high-quality players. He stayed in Pittsburgh because the city’s many nightlife outlets once rewarded good musicians with plenty of work. For most of his career he stayed busy. Crazy busy.

We’ve often talked about the roller coaster lives of working musicians—the way a five-star gig on Tuesday turns into a dumpster-dive engagement on Wednesday. Here’s an actual conversation from 1986:

“Hey, Robin, guess where I’m playing this week? The White House.”

“Great, Dad. Is that the new restaurant in Bloomfield?”

“No, man.” (Jazz musicians often call their wives and daughters “man,” which manages to be slightly insulting and endearing all at once). “No, no, man. The White House. Like where President Reagan lives. I’m going with the Johnny Costa Trio from the Mister Rogers show to play for Nancy Reagan. Dig that.”
He went. The trio played “Nancy with the Laughing Face,” but the First Lady didn’t recognize it. A little jazz goes a long way—I guess Costa didn’t hammer out the melody enough. The next night Dad was back in town, playing for a drunken sing-a-long at the Swissvale Moose Club.

The day after that, he returned to the television studio. Dad held on to that Mister Rogers gig for over thirty years.

My father also had a thirteen-year steady engagement in a popular pizza and beer joint called Bimbo’s, a warehouse-sized restaurant that catered to gaggles of fun-loving folks celebrating life with oily pepperoni slices and mugs of watery swill. “Don’t eat there on an empty stomach,” he used to tell us. Dangerous food, fun music—an unbeatable combination. Dad also subbed occasionally in the percussion sections of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Opera, and Ballet orchestras, often racing from the beer hall to the concert stage and back in one evening.

Bob Rawsthorne has played a lot of notes in his life. “You know how many times I have to hit those drums to pay for a semester of college?” he used to ask me.

Now that I have my own college-age kids, I can guess it was quite a few.

Dad recounts an endless number of stories in locations that ranged from seedy to suave. Remember the time the chimpanzee in the Burlesque show slapped Red French (the pit drummer) on the forehead and left a palm-shaped welt that took days to fade? I listen and try to catalog and edit his words for my selfish, writerly purposes. But the dime store philosopher in me—the halfway serious woman who occasionally questions the meaning of a life in the arts—starts to wonder about the music itself.

Where did all the notes go? Where does the magic of any live performance go? Perhaps that’s the attraction of real, live music—that it fleets and falls exactly where it’s welcomed or needed—in a dancer’s happy feet, in the heavy heart of a jilted woman, in the romantic soul of an aging poet, in the noisy mind of a student hoping to restore order to a chaotic life.

Or maybe the notes land on the beer hall floor, and that’s that.

Talking around the music feels easier than talking about the music itself. To do that a player must talk about musical technique. Or beauty. Or love. And that gets personal. So instead, musicians like my father reminisce about nasty nightclub owners or foolish F&B managers or knackered brides who insisted on singing “Summertime” in a key that was way too high. Or a drummer with a chimp paw print on his forehead. Or the White House, man.

After four decades in the music business, I have my own stories, my own list of vanishing venues and lost gigs, my own kind-of-funny, slightly sad narratives that prove I am part of an era that seems to be slipping away. Where have all the notes gone? I played here, I played there. Does live music fill the world with light and optimism? I don’t know for sure. But I don’t think anyone would argue that we’re better off without it.
Today we’re in Cranberry Township, near Pittsburgh. As my father’s drummer-friendly SUV reaches the top of a rise and descends into the valley, we pass an Olive Garden, a Starbuck’s, a Wal-Mart, and a KFC. At the bottom of the hill is a scrappy field, the last vacant lot on a congested strip of potholed concrete. Grass grows. Wild flowers stretch their faded heads toward the blazing sky.

“There!” my father says, pointing to the empty lot. “I played there once. On that very corner.”

“Nothing there now,” I say.

“No. But there used to be,” he says. “I’m telling you, man, there used to be.”


Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist
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