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Friday, 09 December 2011

From Sweet to Sour Notes

By Terry Hamburg of Baby Boomer Daily

Jay was maybe 5' 5" in his elevator shoes sporting the personality of a mop and majoring in zoology, but he got the girls. His secret: he could play piano like a virtuoso. They would always snuggle up to him on the bench swaying their bodies to the melodies.

When he picked up his date at the sorority house or dorm, there was usually a piano and he'd tickle the ivories before they left drawing an admiring crowd. As Henry Kissinger loved to say, “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

Possessing no musical talent or patience, I spotted a comic book ad one day: “Play Like a Virtuoso in 4 Weeks or Your Money Back!" I bit.

It was a simple rote memorization method: you hit the right keys. No knowledge of notes. No understanding of music. No ability to play anything besides what you learned by heart. But I was, as promised, a "master" of sorts in four weeks.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Moon River For my repertoire, I choose six ditties from among the play "schematics" provided: Moon River, Hello Dolly, Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On, Mack the Knife and The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane.

As my confidence grew, so did my flamboyance: dramatically jerking up my arms, crossing my hands, spinning around on the stool. When I did Moon River, I gazed expressively at the girl.

I loved playing for parents. They were so eager to be impressed. One evening, I picked up my dream date, a statuesque blonde Kappa Kappa Gamma. There was the piano sitting in the living room of their Beverly Hills mansion, begging to be tickled.

"Mind if I play?" I asked, with barely hidden glee.

The family was thrilled. It was my greatest performance. I did the whole repertoire without a mistake. I threw in every special flourish. I made Liberace look like a stiff. I got a standing ovation.

The doorbell rang just as I finished. The mother announced: "That's my son. It's his birthday. Would you mind playing Happy Birthday as he comes in?"

The obvious had never occurred to me. Up to that moment, I had dodged the bullet of destiny. My short virtuoso piano career ended that evening.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

What a funny story told by a great virtuoso.

good memories of days long past,. marilyn webb

I think it's called "eating humble pie". Great story and I loved the way you wrote it.
Thanks.

If you play piano as well as you write and can tell a story, scene setting and all, you got it all..now play Misty for us..couldn't resist..

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