Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shoot the Piano Player

I have very few beliefs or ideals, but I do posses a great love of democracy. I am a true lover of the people. The elites can suck it.

This goes double for the arts. I think poor and middle-class people should have art and music supplies airlifted in regularly. Give it to them as a tax break. Besides, it will keep them occupied so they won't have the time or inclination to break into my pleasure compound.

Some of my favorite art and music has come from the untrained, the unschooled, people who just have a burning desire to express themselves and create something out of nothing.

Lately, however, this love for the common people and their artwork has taken a turn.

As part of some sort of city-wide program, two pianos have been moved into the library lobby. The idea is for people walking by to play them and express the beauty which lurks within their weather-beaten and cigarette-reeking fingers.

For the most part, people are actually playing or attempting to play songs, which is a nice surprise. I was envisioning lots of angry Hulk-inspired bashing, if not teams of our regulars pushing the wheeled pianos out the front door in a mad rush to the closest pawn shop.

So while the idea has been somewhat successful, it is telling that the people who birthed this idea are safely walled away far, far away from the actual pianos. Me, I work on the two floors where I'm constantly hearing pianos echo throughout the day.

Last weekend, someone plinked out the piano part to Elton John's Benny and the Jets for about an hour. I'm not a big Elton John fan in the best of times, other than that Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting song, when he actually put some rock music in that rock music of his, but hearing the same six notes over and over again in the course of an hour would make the most hard-core Elton John fan run for the exits. Since that day, I have had just about every Elton John song I know running on a constant loop in my head, taking up precious space that could be used for making coherent blog posts.

Not only am I starting to feel like I work in the perfume counter at a particularly low-rent mall, I'm starting to hate the piano in general. If Beethoven himself got on one of the pianos, backed up by Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Schroeder from Peanuts, I'd still want to set the thing on fire and dump it in the river.

Nobody seems to know when the pianos will be removed, but my love for music and artwork coming from regular people? That was removed several weeks ago.


Keith said...

They put a bunch of those pianos all around town here, too, but at least they were outside.

We have a jazz quartet that sets up shop every day all summer right below my window. They only know about three songs, since they're playing for passerbys, but I have to sit there all day and listen to their 15 minute jazz jam session version of the Flintstones theme over and over.

Patrick Hughes said...

I'm going to show up unannounced and start playing, like, Hawkwind and Mummies songs and crap like that, and see how long it takes you to run out of your office in a state of confusion and panic.

scott said...

Pat, I've been picturing you all dressed up like one of those '20s piano players with the sleeve garters and bowler hats putting all sorts of fills into your ragtime version of "Stronger than Dirt." It's a pretty awesome image.

Keith, it sounds like you live above Skeeters.