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Re: Let's Talk Weddings
Jeff Clef #1250258 08/16/09 11:45 AM
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Jeff! Elssa!Rusty!

You three are really funny.

Just one thing Elssa—you described my own wedding. I married a jazz bassist who comes from a Southern Baptist family, and they do NOT believe in drinking or dancing, I believe because these things lead to fornication (which, if you ask me, is the whole point of getting married, right?) Anyway, my in-laws have odd beliefs, but they were gracious enough to accept the fact that MY family danced and would probably drink, too, sinners that we are.

There were 200 people at the wedding, and about 16 of them were from my side. The rest of the guests were from the church (Louisville, Kentucky). John hired famed jazz guitarist Jimmy Raney to play for our reception, and my in-laws, meaning well, cleared an area the size of a football field for my relatives to dance. The rest of the guests sat in a ring around the dance floor, with a full view of the action. It was like Dancing with the Stars, except with Heathens. Some of you may know who Jimmy Raney was. That trio sounded fantastic. My Aunt Jean played the role of Cyd at this party. Aunt Jean is a swinger. Still. And she's 87.

Castle update: Last night's wedding featured a dozen (!) Asian bridesmaids dressed in strapless pink chiffon. I played for the cocktail hour, so I don't know if they got down and dirty on the dance floor later in the evening. One can only hope.




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
Piano Girl RMG #1250359 08/16/09 03:34 PM
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Hi Robin,

Wow, I'm really surprised your husband became such a great jazz musician with a family that strict! LOL! I didn't know that the "no-dance rule" was so common, though. Geez, you'd think they could at least allow people to dance the "Bunny Hop" and "Alley Cat" at weddings - the little kids especially, who look so adorable. But even the adults should be allowed to do these because (most of the time) you're dancing separately, paws up and dainty steps/hops with these "kiddie dances". smile

Re: Let's Talk Weddings
Elssa #1250726 08/17/09 11:08 AM
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Ha! John is the black sheep of the family.

If he didn't look just like the other members of the family, I'd swear they found him in a basket on the church steps.

Bunny Hop. Now we're talkin,'


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
Jeff Clef #1251084 08/17/09 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef

I can picture some very colorful future family scenes, and I wonder which branch of the family the grandkids will take after. I hope the young marrieds both have Living Wills... and pre-nups.


Too funny, Jeff. I've lost touch with the couple, but last I heard they were both still practicing surgeons with two lovely children in grade school. So far, so good... I can only imagine what Thanksgiving is like though.


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Re: Let's Talk Weddings
rustyfingers #1252515 08/20/09 10:48 AM
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Is it just me, or at the high society weddings, do the bridesmaids always seem to get a little crazy towards the end of the reception?


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Re: Let's Talk Weddings
aEquals440 #1253146 08/21/09 05:08 AM
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aE440: I think you might be correct with your bridesmaid theory. Alcohol is the great equalizer, though. People who drink too much, regardless of their social or economic status, are all capable of doing the alligator dance on the bar by the end of the night.

My dad (musician) likes to look at a room of sober guests at the beginning of the gig and make bets with the band which member of the party will be most likely to strip before the evening is over. Trust me, it's not limited to bridesmaids.

Here is my favorite gay wedding story: I was hired by friend to play the cocktail hour for their reception. Gorgeous party—250 guests, black tie, beautiful flowers, wonderful location. I played my gig and then (because I was a friend) was invited to the dinner. My husband was playing a concert that night at the Philharmonie hall here in Cologne, so he was unable to be my date for the dinner, but said he would come by after the concert and meet me there. He called on his way to the wedding reception and asked how it was going. I told him the truth, that it was a classy event, one of the nicest weddings I had been to in a long time, great food, grandparents, a couple of kids--in other words, a completely normal high society wedding, just with two grooms.

"Okay," he said, "I'll be there in ten minutes."

Well. In the that ten minutes all heck broke lose. A friend of one of the grooms had hired the ROSA FUNKEN, a gay dance group consisting of two dozen men dressed in pink ballerina tutus. John, wearing concert attire, managed to arrive at the reception just as they were marching into the ballroom to perform their über-choreographed version of Gloria Gaynor's "I Am What I Am." It almost looked like he was part of the show. Too bad he didn't have his bass with him.




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
Piano Girl RMG #1253515 08/21/09 04:14 PM
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I went to a no-dancing wedding in Chicago suburbs once. It was quite the culture clash. The bride's family, friends and neighbors were all, well, light; Blond or light brown hair, light skin, pastel-hued clothes in conservative styles. They had driven in from rural Illinois.

The groom's family and most of his friends were New York Italians who flew in for the affair. Jet-black hair, dark suits, black dresses (or other bold colors) with some decidedly less conservative lines, sunglasses. They arrived in two 15-passenger vans from the hotel we all stayed in.

The church attendants soon realized that there was no need to ask "Bride or Groom?" of the guests. They just pointed the way to the correct side. There were furtive glances across the aisle, each side studying the curious creatures on the other.

I don't think it was until we arrived at the reception that the guests on the groom's side found out that the entertainment was a string trio. (people get too wild with a quartet).

We in the bridal party waited outside the catering room. They announced each "couple" as we entered. Each announcement sounded something like this: "...and next we have Bobbi-Jean Swensen and... uh...ah... John Gee-uh-nan-a-noo-nee", "Betty-Sue Cornbread and ... Greg um...Gar-da-nee-no", "Mary-Jo Easy-to-pronounce-Midwestern and Domenic Oh-my-Gawd-what-the-heck-is-with-these-vowels-o".

You'd think that a mere 45 minutes out of Chicago they might have had some familiarity with Italian names. But they didn't. They mispronounced each syllable and added a couple onto each name for good measure.

That was pretty much it for the excitement. Compared with the weddings I had been to before (did I mention that my Mom's family is Greek? 'Nuff said), this one was more like 150 people eating a meal in the same room.

Many of the New Yorkers, especially the younger ones (a category that used to include me - sigh) got together in the hotel lounge that night to fill in the omissions of the afternoon affair: Loud music, disco lighting, dancing and of course, a little alcohol.



Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
gdguarino #1253533 08/21/09 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gdguarino
"...and next we have Bobbi-Jean Swensen and... uh...ah... John Gee-uh-nan-a-noo-nee", "Betty-Sue Cornbread and ... Greg um...Gar-da-nee-no", "Mary-Jo Easy-to-pronounce-Midwestern and Domenic Oh-my-Gawd-what-the-heck-is-with-these-vowels-o".


This must be the funniest post I've read online anywhere in quite some time. You win the Internet.


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Re: Let's Talk Weddings
J Cortese #1253827 08/22/09 01:25 AM
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Very funny, Greg! I love the string trio line.

There's an old vaudeville joke that might apply to your Chicago wedding: "Is this a party or an oil painting?"

No wedding at the castle tonight. The happy couple was not so happy and cancelled at the last minute.


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
J Cortese #1254019 08/22/09 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by J Cortese
Originally Posted by gdguarino
"...and next we have Bobbi-Jean Swensen and... uh...ah... John Gee-uh-nan-a-noo-nee", "Betty-Sue Cornbread and ... Greg um...Gar-da-nee-no", "Mary-Jo Easy-to-pronounce-Midwestern and Domenic Oh-my-Gawd-what-the-heck-is-with-these-vowels-o".


This must be the funniest post I've read online anywhere in quite some time. You win the Internet.

Thanks. I'll send you an invoice.

Here's another tidbit from the same wedding. The ushers were all from NY City: the groom's two brothers and three friends, including me. We had to rent tuxedos long-distance. This involved phoning in our various measurements to the tailor. "Honey, help me measure from my waist to my crotch...Yes really." Between our lack of skill and the hilarity of the process (at least in my house), the measurements may have been less than completely precise.

Do I even need to tell the rest of the story?

On the day of the wedding all five guys went into one of our hotel rooms to get changed into the tuxes. It was like a swap meet. "My pants are too big/too short/too long/too...wrong". The exchanging began. I ended up trading pants with a guy 6 inches taller than I am and swapping the jacket with someone else. The results were pretty much as you might expect.

At least we didn't have to dance.


Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
gdguarino #1254750 08/23/09 07:13 PM
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Robin you have a pm waiting.

Re: Let's Talk Weddings
Sir Lurksalot #1255476 08/24/09 09:23 PM
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Well here's my 2nd wedding piano story from Sat, unfortunately things went pretty smoothly :P

It was for a good friend, so I was also in the wedding party. This time I made it to the rehearsal, thank god, I actually had some idea of what's going on this time.

The church had a nice grand piano, a treat for me since I usually am on a digital. Not to mention the acoustics in the church! Playing the background music while people arrive was a low pressure situation, most were talking so I felt like I was just playing for myself and anyone who ran out of things to say.

Since I was nervous I decided to start with the easiest pieces to get warmed up on. Turns out it doesn't take long for everyone to arrive and the ceremony to start though, I didn't get through half of what I'd memorized before I saw the deacon at the back waving for me to begin.

For the ceremony they'd convinced me to practice up the guitar again, Bach's Air for a G string for the wedding party and Pachelbels Canon for the bride. Nobody knew how to work the sound system (or even where to find it) so I just played into a microphone, it sounded like ass from where I was sitting, very boomy... But I was told it sounded fine where everyone else was. More piano for the wedding certificate and while everyone walked off. There were memory slips and dropped notes all over the place, but overall went pretty good and everyone seemed happy with it. laugh

Then we ran into a bunch of people from the wedding at the liquor store, and it was such a hot day out to take pictures in a tux... we were all a bit tipsy by the reception. The brides side, who usually seem a bit stuck up to us partiers from the grooms side, even loosened up and had some fun. Thanks alcohol! All the groomsmen were gifted with pocket knives and we were like kids with new toys. It's amazing nobody got hurt, though I woke up with a lot of little nicks on my hands and somehow sliced my thumb today, oops.

Lots of laughs and good times. I get to play for another friends wedding in Nov. Someone suggested I learn the theme from Pirates of The Carribean, which I think would be pretty funny and somehow appropriate.

Re: Let's Talk Weddings
1RC #1255617 08/25/09 04:20 AM
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Yes! 1RC, sounds like a smash success! You have obviously discovered the pleasures of playing when no one is listening. I've made a career out of it, and although it's not something I'd recommend for musicians with fragile egos, it can be (in weird way) an artistically pure way of performing. Play for yourself.

I actually played that Pirates theme at a wedding dinner a couple of years ago. I didn't mean to play it, but I have it in my fingers, which means—like most pieces of music I know— it has a life of its own and can slip out of my hands whenever the atmosphere nudges me in a particular direction. (that last sentence sounds ridiculous, but those of you who play background gigs know what I mean) At this particular wedding the bride looked like a wench (boobs pushed up to her chin) and the groom was wearing an eye patch, which just screams PIRATE and well, I just started playing it, which almost caused the banquet manager to drop a tray of wine glasses.



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
Piano Girl RMG #1255618 08/25/09 04:22 AM
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And another thing, 1RC. Pocket knives and alcohol are probably not good companions, especially for a pianist! At least you waited until after the gig.



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
Piano Girl RMG #1255696 08/25/09 09:11 AM
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your story was delightful piano girl.

I particularly loved this line.. "I have played for the great unwashed plenty of times "

what a nice of humor you have.

(I'm thinking about the party i played for years ago where the host's sister was a lifetime drunk but an incredible pianist.. she kept sitting down to accompany me, adding descants, bass rhythmic enhancements, countermelodies. If it weren't for her breath and the fact that she kept listing (leaning) into me, it would have been a delightful experience.)


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
apple* #1255727 08/25/09 10:00 AM
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Piano Girl - you really ought to post this in the Piano Forum or Pianist Corner.. it deserves a greater readership.



edit- I see you've met Marian McPartland (you're so lucky) - is the show to broadcast this week? It airs in KCMO on Wednesdays (rehearsal nite and I'll have to miss that one).

I hope to hear it.

Last edited by apple*; 08/25/09 12:48 PM.

accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
apple* #1255749 08/25/09 10:54 AM
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Robin Meloy Goldsby - who wrote the book Piano Girl smile

Cathy

P.S. I see the question of "what does RMG stand for?" has been taken out, so my answer looks a little silly laugh But it's still the answer smile

Last edited by jotur; 08/25/09 01:30 PM. Reason: added the P.S.

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Re: Let's Talk Weddings
jotur #1255837 08/25/09 01:25 PM
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Here's a topic we haven't addressed yet. What about people who talk to you while you play? I don't mean brief bits like "You guys are really good!" or "Can you play 'Witchcraft'?". Here's a conversation that I'm sure I can type out nearly verbatim, even though it was 15 years ago:

Couple:
"Our son plays keyboard"

Me:
[smile, nod]

Couple:
"He's eight"

Me:
[smile a little more artificially, nod again]

Couple:
"We just bought him a new keyboard..."

Me
"Uh huh."

Couple
"but it doesn't sound like yours..."

Me
"Oh"

Couple
"Why do you think that is?"

Me (stifling the urge to say six or seven of the obvious things one might say in such a situation)
"Because it's different, and he's eight"

Them:
"How can we make it sound like yours"

Me:
"Buy one like this"

The Idiots: (miffed that I might have thought that they, members of a rather upscale country club, might have bought less than the finest for Little Biff Tenthumbs III) :
"Well, it's a very good one.

Me:
"OK" (with a slight "If you say so" tone)

They left after that.



Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
Elssa #1255846 08/25/09 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Elssa
Geez, you'd think they could at least allow people to dance the "Bunny Hop"

Oh please! The Bunny Hop surely came from the pen of Ol' Scratch himself. Also "Havin' My Baby", by the way.

And I note you didn't include the Hokey Pokey. Depending on who's "calling" it, the song can get pretty risque. "What did he say to 'put in'??"


Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings
gdguarino #1255876 08/25/09 02:22 PM
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Okay, what first? Let's start with Greg and Little Biff. At the risk of sounding immodest, I have to say that I am really good at talking and playing at the same time. I don't know if this ability to split my concentration comes from early training at my first job at the Nantucket Club Car in 1976 (where I had to converse with drunken sailors, turn the pages of my fakebook, and pull up my tube top while pounding my way through my Bicentennial patriotic medley) or if I was just born with a Rainman like ability to yap and play at the same time. What I cannot do, is speak German while I play. English, fine; German or French, train wreck.

Anyway, the talkers don't bug me much as long as they speak English.

I really hate the hand-shakers. What's with that????

Thanks, Cathy, for clearing up my name, even though the question disappeared. It was kind of like Piano Jeopardy. I'll take Cocktail Piano for 500, Alex.

Apple, I'm afraid of those other forums—they're kind of serious over there, rightly so. But feel free to send them over this way.

The show I did with Marian McPartland has been broadcast twice, the last time in January of this year. I'm supposed to do another taping with her sometime soon. Here's the link if you want to listen online (it's in the archives). It's a really fun show, and I can't say enough about her. She is WONDERFUL. I just hope that when I'm 92 I'm still playing the piano and having as much fun as she is.

Robin with Marian McPartland on NPR


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