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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2156710
09/24/13 07:57 AM
09/24/13 07:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,157
Virginia, USA
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TimR Online content
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Virginia, USA
For my own wedding (which happened to be 30 years ago today, except it was on a Saturday) the band offered a discount. I would not have dreamed of asking.

The band leader gave up his fee plus the leader fee as a wedding gift, and the rest of the band made their usual rate, so everybody was happy.


gotta go practice
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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2156880
09/24/13 01:44 PM
09/24/13 01:44 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted by Piano Girl RMG
Credit where credit is due— I think there must be a certain amount of skill involved in getting a live band to sound exactly like really bad electronic music.


Hilarious! laugh

Last weekend I spent three hours in a car driving four teenagers back from an academic team tournament, 2.9 hours of which was spent in an earnest dissertation by one of the teenagers (accompanied nonstop by musical examples) on the extremely important, if subtle, distinctions among "electronica," "electronic dance music," "techno," "dubstep," and--hard though it may be to believe--"whale dubstep."

Oh well. It was better than listening to rap. wink


Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2157147
09/24/13 10:13 PM
09/24/13 10:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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Thank the Lord, rap's star has set.

What a lovely atunement you have, Monica, to those adorable teens. As for my own teenage years, I have realized that my first, adored (really; not that other, snide way) piano teacher assigned me a Bach Invention, as a purported recital piece, but actually with an ulterior motive. The noon of the high baroque; gorgeous. Even Bach's little teaching pieces were masterworks. I loved my piece, and tried so hard to take it in. Even over later years. No results.

In truth, I think she realized, as I have since, that there was no way I was going to be able to learn that piece... not before acquiring the support of many hundreds of hours of keyboard technique. Now that I'm getting there (and not wasting my attention on whatever trash the radio stations are pushing these days), I realize that my beloved teacher wanted me gone. I was thankfully blind at the time.

It was effective. Another hint was, that she informed me that if I didn't learn to play by the age of sixteen, I never would learn. Of course, she had no way of knowing in 1966 that a new demographic would emerge: mature and serious learners, with enough bucks for good pianos, and time for lessons and practice. There was no such thing as a computer back then; not even calculators and digital watches.

Because, since I have bored my neighbors to screams with scales, arps, exercises and technical studies, and phrases parsed out, counted out, and repeated over and over and over, RH-LH-BH... well, it's just beginning to dawn on me that Bach had an end game in play. And, maybe my teacher was using reverse psychology.

But, we never did scales. No Hanon, no method books, no concerts, no listening to recordings, no composition, no nothing. No graded repertory. I had never heard of them until I started study as an adult. Do you suppose reading at sight was all she knew about? It couldn't be. Then again. My school was considered good, but I now realize that many of the teachers were not particularly well-educated themselves. The general Bible Belt atmosphere encouraged authoritarianism and football (which was worshiped; a flagrant violation of "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."), and being intellectually adventurous was frowned down.

I suppose that even music publishing has experienced a revolution; pedagogy certainly has; audio recording technology has. And if you remember the 60's, you'll remember how appalling American piano manufacturing was (with a few wonderful exceptions). It is as if the tired old nag we were riding, those last few miles before the glue factory, has grown under our very stirrups into a spirited and powerful stallion, as if touched by some magic wand.

Can you parse the riddle? I've had this problem persistently over the years. Teachers, I suppose, look at me and think I must be richer and more advanced in technique than I really am, and they consistently assign me studies which are well beyond my capabilities. They're bored, I'm frustrated; maybe it has done me some good... but I have not turned into a stallion worthy of the other tools. Spiteful genie! I just try to gather up some treasures as I may, on the downgrade.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 09/24/13 10:19 PM.

Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2157820
09/26/13 04:33 AM
09/26/13 04:33 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 828
Germany
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Sorry for the delay. I was interrupted by a last minute gig playing cocktail piano for a group of inventors, hosted by a team of venture capitalists. One by one the inventors would go into the parlor and pitch their inventions to the cats with the money. I stayed outside in the main hall and tried to play music to inspire them, but who knows if I was successful. I play for these guys (there are never any women involved) twice a year and I am always tempted to get in line to try and pitch something. But, what? "Hey, guys, here's a song I wrote in F major. You're gonna love it—especially the turn around at the end of the first A section. Can I please have 100,000 $ to orchestrate and record it? Thanks."

Anyway, here is the final installment of the Russian wedding story, not for the faint of heart. If you missed parts 1 & 2, you can scroll back to the previous page to read them.

PART 3: Na Zdorovie!

"Well, what a fine establishment this is," shouted an elderly woman to her young companion as she passed the piano. "There's live music everywhere! Here is this nice lady playing the piano and upstairs there's international music. People are dancing in a line and yelling things in one of those Eastern European languages. I think it was Polish."

"It's Russian," I said from the piano.

"WHAT?" she shouted.

"Russian," I said. "It's Russian."

"Really?" she said. "You don't look Russian."

I smiled, bailed while I was ahead, and noodled around in D minor, because that sounds vaguely Russian to me. I remember as a little girl I had once played a piece called "Dark Eyes." My teacher told me it was a Russian theme. I have always been a sucker for a good D minor dirge. Get out the wodka, dim the lights, sit in a corner and shiver. Pure romance.

I meandered through the rest of the set, bid farewell to my colleagues, and headed to the ladies' room to take care of business before driving home. There are thick double doors that lead into the ladies' room (my daughter calls this place The Queen's Potty). I opened one, then the other and stepped into the main part of the room, where three marble sinks were situated—an oasis of granite, fine soap, and cloth towels.

Good grief. Standing there, in a green velvet tuxedo, was one of the Russian wedding guests—a man!—using the third marble sink on the right as a urinal.

"Excuse you me!" he shouted in English. "I make beeeeg mistake."

"Oh," I said. For once in my life, words failed me. "Oh."

"I make beeeg mistake. I so ashamed."

The man, let's call him Vlad, was weaving back and forth as he attempted to tuck things back into place.

"I so so ashamed."

I kind of felt sorry for Vlad. I mean, he was in a foreign country—where, let's face it—public restrooms can sometimes present different challenges than they do at home. Anyone who has made a trip into rural Japan can testify to this. Also, Vlad didn't speak German; he was skunk-faced drunk on wodka; and if that wasn't enough, he was wearing the world's most awful green velvet tuxedo. I mean on the pathetic scale, he was pretty high up there.

I decided to be nice. "It's okay," I said. "I work here. No one will know about this."

"Oh thank you, Mrs. Madame."

"You're welcome. Now let's get you where you need to go before one of our other guests comes in here."

"I so ashamed. I make beeg mistake." He kept mumbling this as we shuffled across the hall, where I held open the men's room door for him. I kind of shoved him inside.

"Good-bye-bye, Mrs. Madame," I heard him shout as the door closed behind him.

Thank goodness this happened to me and not one of our regular guests. The über hoity-toity Frau Schwarzkopf-Höffinghof was dining upstairs in the gourmet restaurant, for instance. She would have had a big fit if she had witnessed Vlad peeing in the marble sink. Actually, I think many of our regular guests would have been miffed by the sight of a drunken man using a sink (with gilded fixtures) as a toilet. And if that didn't get to them, the green tuxedo certainly would have.

But Vlad was ashamed, rightfully so, confused, and drunk. He was out of his element, out of his country, and (with all that wodka) a little out of control. For whatever reason, I felt connected to him.

I returned to the ladies' room, did what I needed to do, and carefully avoided the third sink on the right.

Upstairs, the Russians were in full swing. I hoped to see a Kosack dance or something, but it looked like they were doing an odd-meter version of the Electric Slide. Svetlana techno-wailed away; Phil perched on a barstool and waited for his chance to sing "Route 66;" the bride—a drop dead gorgeous column of white satin—hugged her girlfriend and cried; the father, in his white John Travolta suit, leaned back—all rapped-out—and stared at the ceiling; another man in a velvet tuxedo (was this a uniform?) sat crumpled at the table with his head on his dessert plate.

The dance ended, the guests pounded their feet and demanded more wodka, the room buzzed with hope and despair, and I sashayed out of there, thinking that, really, all weddings are alike.

Na Zdorovie! To Russia, with love.









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] #2159015
09/28/13 09:47 AM
09/28/13 09:47 AM
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Posts: 334
New York City
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I have always held that musicians have the best stories. I guess that this is at least partially due to sampling error; I hear more musician’s stories than say, plumber’s stories. And I imagine that plumbers have a knee-pad-slappin' good time too when they get together in their Plumbers' Bars; discussing what Eddie pulled out of the sewer pipe at the Finkels' house, or the time Manny fell through the bedroom ceiling just as the client's wife was getting changed.

What I find especially interesting is the common threads I find in the yarns I read here, even when the "spinner's" musical experience is much different from mine, and even when the story content is not particularly "musical". Robin’s Russians reminded me of this one.

In my tender years - around the age my daughter is now, which really gives me pause - I played in a band that did a lot of Disco. That was never my cup of tea, but we had fun and occasionally made what resembled real money to a teenager.

We somehow booked a gig on a Tuesday night in a Manhattan nightclub. Start time? Midnight. The pay wasn't bad and we were slated to do only one set. I'd have been in college at the time, but I figured to get to bed by 3:00 or so.

The club was called Othello, if memory serves, and the clientele was heavily African-American, long before that term was in common use.

I arrived a little after 10 pm with just my suit bag. The van full of gear would be along pretty soon. There was nary a patron in the house; just a solitary bartender, who took me for a delivery boy of some sort. Not a promising start. I had visions of no one showing up and not getting paid. I asked where I could put my clothes. He showed me to a long, narrow storage room in the back.

We used to take a long time to set up back then. Our gear was big and heavy and took up every cubic millimeter of the van. Getting it out was like disassembling a Japanese wooden puzzle, and only one guy knew how to pack it so it would fit. I once put a microphone case (actually an old steel army ammunition box about the size of a toaster) in without consulting him. We had to unload and repack the whole truck to rectify the error.

It was now approaching midnight with no evidence that the show was starting anytime soon. We noticed a large number of people coming in, but hardly any of them were customers. On closer inspection, we deduced that we weren't the only act on the bill. There were something like twenty Karate students there to break things as acrobatically as possible, and another troupe carrying clothes, racks, makeup and accessories for a fashion show.

Can you guess who was to go on last?

The fashion show was first, finally getting under way at about 1 am. I don't remember the specifics too clearly, just a shiny, tight-fitting, multi-hued, wide brimmed, asymmetric, platform-heeled blur. The place was now crowded with well-dressed, well-heeled customers, who had seemed to simply materialize when the show began.

As the fashion show came to a close, I went to retrieve my suit; a salmon-hued three-piece affair with a Qiana (you youngsters can look it up) shirt and a Paisley tie and handkerchief that a couple of the more style-conscious guys in the band had selected. I used to say that we looked like five giant bottles of Pepto-Bismol on stage (plus a female singer).

The storage room was now occupied, my way blocked by the twenty Karate boys. They all crouched stock still, heads bowed, waiting for a command from the demi-god sensei in the middle of the room. In a sea of white robes, he shimmered in red, black and gold.

I asked one of the underlings if I could get by. He crept nervously over to his master, who dismissed him with a flick of the finger. I waited a while and finally got to my clothes, which were now surrounded by karate props. The props consisted of a couple of swords and spears, a watermelon, and dozens and dozens of 1 foot square by 1/2" thick pieces of very flimsy pine. But the wood was evidently not quite flimsy enough for the intended purpose; each piece had an inconspicuous notch sawn into a pair of opposing edges. I imagine they had to be carried very gingerly, to avoid breaking them by accident.

I got changed and went off to find a bathroom. The place was packed at this point - to get from any one place to another required a strategy – but I managed to find my way there. It was empty when I walked in. As I was – as Robin might put it – attending to “business” at one of the urinals, I heard the faucet running in the sink to my left. It’s not customary to peer around at the other men’s room clientele while “business” is in progress, but something seemed odd; perhaps the color, or the contour of the outline in the corner of my peripheral vision.

I glanced to my left. Sure enough, the person at the sink was a good bit more colorfully dressed - not to mention shapelier - than the dark-suited male guests. Unlike Robin’s Russian inebriate, she didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed. She turned briefly to meet my glance, unhurriedly finished washing and drying her hands and left.

The karate exhibition was in progress on the dance floor when I pushed and slithered my way to the stage to have a look. There were somersaults and flips and stage punches …and shards of wood everywhere, splintered by impacts with hands, feet, elbows and heads. This could just be “memory embellishment”, but I recall one piece splitting in two when someone dropped it on the floor.

The watermelon was for the climax of the show. Three of the underlings crouched on the floor to make a “platform” while a fourth lay across them on his back. With great ceremony the watermelon was placed on his bare abdomen. Another young man came out with the sword, making a large number of slashes and swoops in the air before standing over the Watermelon Man.

With an air of great concentration, and a hand-gesture for silence, he made several trial slashes; each coming a little closer to the melon. Suspense was thick in the air, or it may have been for the patrons. But at this point it was close to 3 a.m. and all I cared about was that their show would end so ours could begin. He could have sliced straight through the watermelon, the guy underneath it, the guy crouched below him and a few inches into the flooring, but we’d finally get to go on and go home. Besides, given the state of the wood they brought, I had a feeling these props may have been “special” in some way as well.

In the end it was a good set for us. The dance floor was impenetrably packed at this point; the people pretty much had to bounce in unison. Playing only one set (three was typical, and four not unheard-of), we brought out all of the “A” material. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic.

Our female singer at the time, also African American, was something special. I remind you it was nearly 4 am, on a Tuesday night (now Wednesday morning). People had had a few drinks by then and the party was jumping. I started playing a quiet solo piano intro to Stevie Wonder’s “You and I”, but you could barely hear it over the reveling. This was not unusual, and I wasn’t concerned. I knew what would happen next; what always happened.

She began to sing. By the end of the first line people started turning their heads toward the band. By the end of the second you could hear a pin drop in the place. It was still just Fender Rhodes and vocal, but in a room filled with shouting, stomping and clinking a few moments before, you could hear every note. No one danced, no one moved.

I must have been killin’ it, man. smile

The rest of the band came in for the second verse. For those who are not familiar with the song, it reaches a vocal climax in the bridge. There was a roar as she sang those lines, again, as always. And as many times as we had played it, a shiver went down my spine as she hit the top note. I’d like to think that maybe 1% of the roar was for me, but that is probably an overestimation.

I got home sometime after my Dad had already woken up, which did not go unremarked.

I still keep in touch with most of those bandmates from time to time. We became good friends, and of course have a trove of stories to relive when we see each other. Through selective (and creative) memory, some of them have grown funnier over the years.



Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2159352
09/28/13 07:45 PM
09/28/13 07:45 PM
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gdguarino Offline
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Originally Posted by Piano Girl RMG
I decided to be nice. "It's okay," I said. "I work here. No one will know about this."

[sotto voce] ... except people who read Piano World, in a thread with over a million views ...



Greg Guarino
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino] #2159377
09/28/13 08:38 PM
09/28/13 08:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,313
Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted by gdguarino
He could have sliced straight through the watermelon, the guy underneath it, the guy crouched below him and a few inches into the flooring, but we’d finally get to go on and go home.


Ha!!

Great story, Greg. And though I'm sure you were exhausted by the end of the gig, I'm guessing it's infinitely better to play late to a packed and appreciative audience than to play early to an empty house...

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2159626
09/29/13 11:23 AM
09/29/13 11:23 AM
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Posts: 828
Germany
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Piano Girl RMG Offline OP
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There is nothing (and I mean NOTHING) funnier than a team of Karate boys and a watermelon. Great story, Greg. I'm glad my Russians jogged your memory. And I'm glad you survived that night.

Clef, I loved your piece about your early lessons and struggles at the piano. Well done.

Oh, how I adore this thread!


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] #2161671
10/04/13 08:58 AM
10/04/13 08:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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[Linked Image]

from Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_Wore_Red

"...The Bride Wore Red is a 1937 motion picture, directed by Dorothy Arzner, and starring Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Robert Young and Billie Burke. It was based on the unproduced play The Bride from Trieste by Ferenc Molnár.[1] In this "rags to riches" tale, Crawford plays a cabaret singer who poses as an aristocrat. This film was the last of seven Crawford and co-star Franchot Tone (her then husband) would make together...

"Howard Barnes of the New York Herald Tribune wrote, "Joan Crawford... plays at being a slattern, a fine lady, and a peasant with all of the well-known Crawford sorcery. It is not entirely her fault that she always remains herself. [The film] has no dramatic conviction and little of the comic flavor that might have made it amusing though slight. Your enjoyment of it will depend on how much of Miss Crawford you can take at one stretch.... The direction of Dorothy Arzner... has not been able to give a vapid Cinderella pipe dream more than a handsome pictorial front..."


Oh, well; I suppose every bride (or almost every bride) has to wear something, at least for the ceremony.

As I was looking up the link to this forgettable screen gem, I found that there were several other similarly-titled not-quite-smash hits:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_Wore_Black
"...a revenge film in which a widowed woman hunts down the five men who killed her husband on her wedding day. She methodically kills each of the men using various methods and dressing only in white, black or both... Inside a prison, a meal cart is making its rounds. We see that Julie is a prisoner in the women's wing, and Delvaux is on the men's side. When Julie works in the kitchen, she hides a knife. When the cart makes its rounds, it turns a corner out of our sight. After a brief pause, a man's scream is heard."

Not laugh-out-loud funny, but maybe roll-your-eyes funny.

We also have http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bride_Wore_Boots:
"...Sally Warren runs a horse farm, but husband Jeff has a dislike and fear of horses... As a Christmas gift, Jeff tries to please his wife by buying her a horse called Albert, but her horse trainer Lance Gale, an old beau, insults Jeff about the kind of horse he picked. Sally in turn buys Jeff a desk that belonged to Jefferson Davis, but the Dames claim it's a fake and one of them, Mary Lou Medford, makes a pass at Jeff... The next time Sally catches the same woman kissing Jeff, she sues him for divorce. Jeff ends up hiring Mary Lou as his secretary. To spite his wife, Jeff also enters Albert in the big Virginia Cup steeplechase race that Sally's always longed to win..."

Barbara Stanwyck gave up on trying to find the right comedy vehicle after this, complaining, "They just don't write them like they used to." We can almost hear Mr. Goldwyn growling to the screenwriter, "I don't give a ****** what you write, just get something down on the ***-****** page."

The backstory must have been something very like this.

And, believe it or not, we also have another one, titled, "The Bride Wore Blood" (wiki did not bother with this one), starring no one you ever heard of. "A bounty killer is hired to protect a bride-to-be in this contemporary Western. When secrets reveal the past, blood is shed and a deadly mystery unfolds."

And a star is born... on the wrong side of the tracks.

Red, Black, Boots, and Blood sounds more than a little like the big wedding dress sale at Filene's Basement. But the Grand Prize winner in the category will be found by searching http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki for 'nude weddings.' When it asked me to Click Here for the Next Twenty, I quickly closed the window.


Clef

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2162517
10/06/13 11:32 AM
10/06/13 11:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 415
LA CA
Rob Mullins Offline
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LA CA
I agree with RMG...this thread is awesome!


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2165532
10/13/13 04:05 AM
10/13/13 04:05 AM
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The planning process for last weekend's wedding got off to a good start. The banquet coordinator at the castle called to ask for recommendations for a string quartet. I gave her several names—I am the official Artistic Director at the castle and serve as a sort of clearing house for any kind of music happening there. I don't take any money from the musicians for doing this—it's enough reward knowing that deserving artists are getting the gigs, plus, you know, I don't want to be known as an agent. My life is complicated enough as it is. Anyway, the string quartets were all too expensive for this particular couple, who had only invited 14 people and wanted a low budget alternative. So I booked myself, because even though I'm a little pricey, I'm still cheaper than four people with bows.

The groom called me and said that I should play the ceremony—processional, solo piece, recessional—and that I should select appropriate material. He said he trusted me to choose the "perfect music." I loved this guy. No weird requests, no temper tantrums. The guy was super cool and easy to deal with.

Well. I should have known. The bride sent me an email one day (one day!) before the wedding and asked me to play (I kid you not) THE NUTCRACKER SUITE.

Keep in mind this was to be a 20 minute civil ceremony for 14 people. In October.

I wrote back and said I would be glad to work in a few nutcrackery themes, but playing the entire Nutcracker piano score would be ill-advised (I didn't mention that it would take me nine months to learn it). I came up with a little tinka-tinka ethereal arrangement of the Dance of Sugar Plum Fairies as an intro to something I could actually play and she was thrilled.

Take away lesson from this story—a classical fake book can be a wedding pianist's best friend in situations like this.


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] #2166161
10/14/13 02:31 PM
10/14/13 02:31 PM
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I recently added this tune to my party gigs and they are really working well (using the "rodeo" left hand):

"L-O-V-E" (in F) Nat King Cole, Hello Dolly, (and Mack The Knife)

Any songs come to mind that are very similar in energy?

Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2166186
10/14/13 03:14 PM
10/14/13 03:14 PM
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Similar to energy to "Mack the Knife," a song about a womanizing murderer? How about "September Song," a song of a dirty old tyrant trying to convince the only independently-thinking young woman around that she would be better off with him than someone her age? Kurt Weill is fun! Beautiful melodies, horrifying subjects!


Semipro Tech
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB] #2166633
10/15/13 10:36 AM
10/15/13 10:36 AM
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TimR Online content
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Originally Posted by BDB
Similar to energy to "Mack the Knife," a song about a womanizing murderer? How about "September Song," a song of a dirty old tyrant trying to convince the only independently-thinking young woman around that she would be better off with him than someone her age? Kurt Weill is fun! Beautiful melodies, horrifying subjects!


Barnacle Bill is another song with a rousing melody, and lyrics about an abusive dominating boyfriend and an enabling girl. Even the cleaned up version is pretty bad.



gotta go practice
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2166656
10/15/13 11:45 AM
10/15/13 11:45 AM
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I shall suggest "Barnacle Bill" to my next bride to be, especially if she requests The Nutcracker Suite first. It would be a nice alternative.


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] #2166904
10/15/13 10:03 PM
10/15/13 10:03 PM
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I say, play "Barnacle Bill," and tell the bride that it IS "The Nutcracker..." though I assure you, the bride will dare say nothing; you will only be given away if the guests get carried away and begin to sing it, right in church. And after all, it is a classic in its own way, and it might really go over at the wedding rehearsal dinner. Who else but Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, and even the debonaire Louis Jordan (remember him from "Gigi?" ---speaking of courtship and weddings, with a Colette spin), anyway, who else but these greats have recorded it. Bix was said to have been astounded when the recording company actually pressed the disk and released it, and I'm sure he was not the only one. But all was overlooked because of his smoking cornet solo, and so it shall be in your case.

If you're pressed on the matter, remind the person--- probably the matron of honor--- that many hit songs have been "borrowed" from the classics, with the serial numbers filed off. Mention the Shirelles, and add that the Czar of Russia, himself, walked bareheaded in the rain, following Tchaikovksy's funeral cortege. You don't see that every day. Refer this person to the autograph manuscript, order a round of White Russians for everyone in a loud voice, and you will hear no more about it.

I've been invited to a party celebrating my real estate agent's son's wedding. She is unwitting, of course, knowing nothing of my insurgency regarding weddings and marriage. I've been giving some trifling thought to a new number titled, "The Gravy Boat Regatta," or maybe, "Regatta of the Gravy Boats." All this talk of Barnacle Bill has put me in a maritime mood... or, at least, in the mood for a sailor.


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Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef] #2167237
10/16/13 01:57 PM
10/16/13 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Mention the Shirelles, and add that the Czar of Russia, himself, walked bareheaded in the rain, following Tchaikovksy's funeral cortege. You don't see that every day. Refer this person to the autograph manuscript, order a round of White Russians for everyone in a loud voice, and you will hear no more about it.


Can't help it, that reminds me of the old movie Heartbreakers, where Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play con women seducing and swindling rich guys. Sigourney is impersonating a Russion rich lady at a family gathering, but is in trouble when they want her to sing a traditional Russian folk song and she doesn't know any.

She saves the day by singing the Beatles hit "Back in the USSR" to the accompaniment of a dozen mandolins. Priceless!


gotta go practice
Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2167885
10/17/13 08:54 PM
10/17/13 08:54 PM
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Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline

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Just came across a review of a book that seems tailor-made for this thread: Weddings/365, a book devoted to celebrity wedding facts.

It includes lots of gossip entertaining trivia, e.g., that Nancy Reagan was three months pregnant when she walked down the aisle, and Heather Mills' engagement ring went flying out a hotel window prior to her marriage to Paul McCartney; they claimed they were playing "ring toss," but the turbulent and fairly short marriage that followed suggests otherwise.


Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG] #2167934
10/17/13 11:42 PM
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I'll have to check out that book, Monica! Celebrity Ring Toss and Pregnant Reagans are both topics that could be put to great use here. And you know there are some music stories in there.

Clef, I just love the idea of the Barnacle Bill/Tchaikovsky switch and bait.

Tim, I think I have to see that movie—faking your way through a Russian folk song by singing "Back in the USSR" as a wedding song? Wish I had written that screenplay!


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] #2168246
10/18/13 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano Girl RMG


Well. I should have known. The bride sent me an email one day (one day!) before the wedding and asked me to play (I kid you not) THE NUTCRACKER SUITE.



There's so many good stories about people requesting the oddest or most difficult songs. I think for people who are non-musicians they don't realize how hard it is to actually learn music. They expect you to be some kind of musical jukebox who knows everything.

Any other strange requests during gigs or for weddings?

I usually have a set list when I play or know the standards (I play jazz and pop) so I don't have people asking me for really hard stuff.

What bugs me is people coming up and talking to me while I am in the middle of the song and expect me to keep playing while carrying a conversation.

I read a good quote somewhere "I take requests, but only written on a hundred dollar bill!" works for me...

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