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#1229475 - 07/10/09 12:03 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
I always hear them play "Daddy's little Girl"..when the father dances with the bride.. or when the older couples who been married for 50 yrs get up to dance.."When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New" smile

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1229891 - 07/11/09 02:42 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Bob Newbie]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Sentimental choices, but at least they make sense!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1229984 - 07/11/09 09:43 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG


Do we know each other? I was in NYC from 1979 to 1994—but I was on the Manhattan hotel circuit, not the wedding circuit.


I don't think so. Back before there were so many mobile DJs there were quite a lot of musicians playing in wedding bands.

In the old days, long before I was playing weddings, people would usually book the band through the hall they were renting. They'd tell you you pretty much had to book the "house band" or else there would be insurance issues, union issues and generally much more hassle than you'd want to take on. If your party was at the Sapphire Room, you'd get Frankie Diamond and his Sapphire Orchestra, or some such name.

They would even tell you how many pieces you had to hire, based on how many guests you were expecting. "No, Mrs. Edelstein, three pieces really won't do for 140 people, you'll need at least five." The logic behind this, except from the salesman's point of view, is hard to decipher. Certainly the instrumentation needed to play the desired music was not the deciding factor. If your party was large enough, you could end up with 7 or 8 musicians, including even a trombone, but still no bass player. The scourge of "left-hand bass" was one of the things that kept me from considering wedding band work earlier.

Your five Sapphires would not generally be an intact, rehearsed band either. They'd be five guys selected from a the Sapphire Pool, depending on how many Orchestras were needed that day.

As engaged couples got younger, they began to want music that a ragtag bunch of generic "Gemstones" could not deliver. They'd still want some Cha-Chas and Standards for the older relatives, but they wanted "their music" too. Worse, they wanted to actually see the band ahead of time. The Wedding Band Showcase was born. Agents were loath to surrender to this sort of anarchy so easily, though. They'd send out eight or nine of the more skilled Gems to the showcase to impress you, but whatever promises might be made, the actual composition of "your" band would still be variable.

Six months down the road after the showcase, the wedding couple would probably forget exactly what the band looked like. If a few of the people were the same, they might not notice the substitutions. And if they did, well, "Jimmy broke his wrist", or "Angela's 5 months pregnant" would be offered by way of explanation.

But sometimes the "variability" was stretched to the extreme. These were called "screamers". The agent would send out a completely different band than the one that was hired, figuring that the clients could hardly just send them home. It would be up to the hapless bandleader to mollify the clients, and collect the rest of the money.

In what is probably my favorite story, my friend Willie, an excellent singer, was hired as a "sub" to fill in at a wedding. The band played as the guests were ushered into the hall and then played a few songs from the "light" repertoire that is typical for the beginning of a party. At this point there is usually a break in the music; the waiters need the guests seated so they can take dinner orders.

A man approached my friend. "You're not the band we hired". Willie, a little sheepishly ,started to say something like, "Well, the band's singer was sick, so they called me to ...", but was interrupted.

"I don't mean just you. The band we hired was Black".

Willie, taking a mental inventory of the pale-skinned sextet behind him, referred the man to the bandleader.

By the time I started doing weddings, the arms race between clients and agents had ratcheted up a notch. Many if not most of the bands were actually rehearsed units. This had become a practical necessity as people had begun to demand really tight bands who could convincingly reproduce a very wide range of styles. But the horror stories were by then well known. People came out to three and four showcases with video cameras to make sure the same group members showed up each time.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1230001 - 07/11/09 10:41 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1236
That's a fascinating history Greg!

I'm a little curious about your comment "As engaged couples got younger, they began to want music that a ragtag bunch of generic "Gemstones" could not deliver." For some reason I thought that the average age of engagement has been increasing for most of the last century. Is it possible that the rise of rock and roll created a generation gap in which the couples weren't necessarily getting younger, but - for the first time - their musical taste was completely different from their parents'?

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#1230064 - 07/11/09 02:10 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Sir Lurksalot]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Greg, you're killing me. This is hysterical stuff.

Agents often just send anyone at all to an event, and hope that the musicians can make it right. Vamp till ready. I know about the screamers. What a funny term that is.

An agent in Pittsburgh—from an agency called ENTERTAINMENT UNLIMITED (a name that sets you up for failure if you ask me) once booked me on a gig where the client was promised a snake dancer, whatever the heck that is. Instead they got me, in my college-girl version of a cocktail dress, performing selections from Chorus Line. I have done a lot of crazy things in my life, but singing and playing with a Burmese python draped around my neck is one line I refuse to cross.

Soupy Sales once said: "I don't have an agent, I have an Egyptian curse."

You are living and working in the land of slick weddings. With the talent pool in the NYC area, there are some damn good players working these gigs.

Oh, I just remembered another story! My husband played in a quartet for his good friend's wedding. The friend in question—Mark P— was an excellent drummer, but since he was the groom, he didn't play the gig. Anyway, halfway through the night—probably bored with the bouquet toss and scrummage—he decided to sit in with the band. As he was playing, the banquet director came over and yelled at him for being too loud.

"But he's the groom," said one of the musicians.

"Yeah, well I don't care. The mother of the bride is complaining."

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

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#1230068 - 07/11/09 02:24 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
1RC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 495
Loc: Alberta
I like the stories, thanks!

I've only played one wedding, a friend requested that I play for the ceremony... I'm a rookie, and only had a month to prepare so all I did was the bridal chorus and wedding march. The rest of the time I popped in a CD, haa

Wasn't there for the rehearsal so I had no idea how the ceremony was supposed to go, instead I'm watching carefully what's going on, which was hard to do while also trying to concentrate on the music... But it was going well until I mistook the maid of honour for the bride coming down the hall and launched into the "here. comes. the bride!" theme. My hands turned to ice and I was all in a panic trying to figure out how to fix it. My solution was to fall apart and stop for a few akward moments. Fortunately I managed to get it together before the bride came in and she was completely unaware (but EVERYBODY else caught an earful of disaster).

Next was to play the wedding march. It took a lot longer for everyone to leave than I expected. I don't know how many times I repeated that short piece but I really wished I had something else to play.

It was a learning experience...


This year two more friends want me to play for their weddings, and I've got more time to prepare so I'm thinking it will go better this time. Perhaps the ball will roll and I can start doing this on a regular basis

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#1230082 - 07/11/09 03:03 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: 1RC]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Hi there 1RC—

Very brave of you to make a debut in front of a church (or synagogue) full of people. YIKES! How I relate to that ice-cold hand thing.

Yeah, they walk down the aisle quickly, but it takes FOREVER for everyone to leave the church. For the "leaving the church" music, just pick some pieces that you have fun playing, and go with that. As long as it's spirited and played with conviction, no one will question your choices.

You'll be a pro before you know it, and hey, you must have sounded great, or the other friends wouldn't have asked you to play. Good for you!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1230266 - 07/12/09 01:41 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Sir Lurksalot]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Sir Lurksalot
That's a fascinating history Greg!

I'm a little curious about your comment "As engaged couples got younger, they began to want music that a ragtag bunch of generic "Gemstones" could not deliver." For some reason I thought that the average age of engagement has been increasing for most of the last century. Is it possible that the rise of rock and roll created a generation gap in which the couples weren't necessarily getting younger, but - for the first time - their musical taste was completely different from their parents'?

That is more like what I meant. It's a bit of a "point of view" slip on my part. The wedding couples have started looking younger, to me, as I have advanced in years.

When people ask what kinds of jobs we do, I sometimes mention that we do second marriages; our particular repertoire now favors people of a certain age.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1230395 - 07/12/09 11:50 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
I have played almost exclusively with rehearsed bands, with one conspicuous exception.

I was in my twenties. I was arranging demos for songwriters using the then-new MIDI technology, but I had not played live regularly for a couple of years. A drummer, a friend-of-a-friend that I had met once or twice, called me in a panic to play at a Bar Mitzvah. For those without any Jewish friends, a Bar Mitzvah is a sort of "coming of age" ceremony for a 13 year-old boy. In some circles this may be accompanied by a quite elaborate party.

The drummer, "Rick" if I remember correctly, was a fairly intense fellow. He told me that his keyboard player had suddenly moved to Florida and he was in a tight spot. He had a gig coming up on a party boat that went around Manhattan. (NY City)

While my chops are just average, I have always been unusually good at playing songs without preparation. That has always been my most notable musical skill. Having said that, this was maybe 25 years ago, before I'd had much experience playing a wide range of styles. I was a little apprehensive.

I told Rick that I had no experience with this sort of gig, but that if the rest of his band was a tight unit, I could probably follow whatever they played. He assured me that yes, this was his regular band, minus the recent defector to Florida.

I met Rick at the pier on the West Side of Manhattan. We were the first musicians to arrive. We carried our gear up a steep ramp to the boat's upper deck, and then down a narrow flight of stairs to the party room, which was roughly at the same level we started at on the pier, par for the course for working musicians. We got set up.

The other players began to arrive. The bass player was first. He introduced himself to me and Rick. The guitarist was next. He said Hi to Rick and introduced himself to me and the bass player. I suppose I was a little dense, but I had not yet picked up on what was going on.

A male and a female singer then arrived together, introducing themselves to me, the bass player and the guitarist. Next came sax and trumpet; introductions all around. Perhaps because I was completely unfamiliar with this kind of gig, I still had not grasped the obvious.

After everyone got situated, I became vaguely aware that there was a sort of football huddle forming to my right. I looked over, and could hear little fragments of sentences, "Do you know Devil With a Blue...", "What key do you sing...", "Have you got the lyrics for...", "I think I have the sheet for...".

The realization finally set in. While most of the musicians knew Rick, with the conspicuous exception of the bass player, who he'd met a week before, hardly any of them had ever laid eyes on each other.

The female singer had a stack of sheet music. I brought her over to the piano. She didn't know what key she sang any of the songs in; it could be any one of the eleven that weren't on the sheet. I asked her to sing the opening verse of maybe four songs and then wrote the key at the top of the sheet. I told her to give those to the bass player, and hoped he could either transpose or play them by ear.

And then we started. We opened with one of the songs I had "rehearsed" with the female singer. It soon became apparent that the bass player was simply not a guy who could "wing it" successfully. I started to shout the chords over to him, which was pretty difficult as he had set up on the other side of the drummer.

The boat rocked from side to side, the Bar Mitzvah boy made his entrance down the grand staircase, and we survived the first song. Seeing that I was apparently now the leader, the male singer came up to me, sang a line or two of his song, and off we went into the second song.

Most amazingly, we started to do four and five songs together as medleys. When we got near the end of a song, whichever singer was "off" at the moment would come over an yell, "Let's do 'Respect', you know, 'What you wa-ant, ba-by I got it...", while we were still playing. I'd scream, "Respect, in Aaaaayyyyyy!" and we'd lurch into the next number.

This went on for the better part of an hour. I was hoarse from yelling "Aaayyyy, now Deeeeeee, B minor, NO, I said BEEEEEEEEEE minor" past the drum kit. We finally took a break. Either the boat or my head was spinning.

A couple walked up to me. Uh Oh.

The woman said, "You guys are the tightest band we've ever heard, how long have you been together?". I looked at my watch, "About an hour", I said. They laughed and said that was very funny. I thanked them for their kind words and went up on deck to get some air.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1236273 - 07/23/09 11:20 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
1RC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 495
Loc: Alberta
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Hi there 1RC—

Very brave of you to make a debut in front of a church (or synagogue) full of people. YIKES! How I relate to that ice-cold hand thing.

Yeah, they walk down the aisle quickly, but it takes FOREVER for everyone to leave the church. For the "leaving the church" music, just pick some pieces that you have fun playing, and go with that. As long as it's spirited and played with conviction, no one will question your choices.

You'll be a pro before you know it, and hey, you must have sounded great, or the other friends wouldn't have asked you to play. Good for you!


Thanks for the kind words Piano Girl! I think everybody's stories are pretty damn brave! (playing a surprise Beethoven Romanze with a stranger, showing up and finding nobody in the band knows anyone else sick)

Yeah I'm stoked just to have a practical application of this music I love. A month from today I should have another wedding story to offer.

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#1236330 - 07/24/09 03:10 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: 1RC]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Hi Greg— I have an unofficial rule about NEVER taking a boat gig. Unless you jump overboard and swim, you can't escape. What a night that must have been. No wonder the other keyboard player bailed (pun intended) on the job and moved out of state.

1RC—I'll look forward to your next wedding adventure. Good luck!

I've been out of town for awhile—in the city of Lyon, France—where my husband was picking up a new bass, crafted for him by luthier Jean Auray. Greg, on the trip down there we discussed many of your stories! John (husband) is no stranger to the SCREAMER.

Hope everyone is having a good summer. I'm back on the wedding scene this weekend. At this point in the year, all brides begin to look alike.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1238053 - 07/27/09 10:02 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3228
Loc: not in Japan anymore
These are all great stories!! Only one question, why are they called "screamers"? Because it's screaming obvious they're not the band that was hired, or because when someone figures it out, they start screaming?
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1238287 - 07/27/09 03:46 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: ShiroKuro]
Dave Gruber Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Whittier, California (suburb o...
Hey. Fun to read! And notice how many scenarios sound familiar. I hadn't been called upon to play a wedding for some time. (I was busy playing for all my friends when they were getting married - now it looks like it might be time for me to start playing for their kid's weddings!) But a percussionist/drummer friend of mine asked me to play for his daughter's wedding.

The older brother of the bride would be singing a special song during the ceremony. It was to be "So Close", by Alan Menken, from the dance ball scene in the movie, "Enchanted". Beautiful song! I should have started practicing a couple of weeks in advance of playing it. I usually fake it well since I read/interpret chord symbols pretty well, but as I began practicing a week before the wedding, I saw that this 7 page piece really called for it being played pretty much note for note - especially the instrumental interlude which is sweeping and grandiose, with wonderful key changes. I worked my butt off to get that part right (like Piano Girl said?: the hourly rate was going down, down, down). I did rehearse with the brother of the bride the night before the wedding. I was still struggling with that interlude (AHHH!). I'm not a great reader, nor great with the big octave block chords moving all over the chromatic place.

Anyhow, I got there about an hour before, to a church that I had grown up in, and knew that in recent years they had changed the interior a lot. So when I got there. I discovered just how dark the sanctuary was. They'd painted almost everything black to promote a sort of theatre atmosphere for dramas and skits(?) (lovely atmosphere for a wedding, huh?) The old 7' Kawai that I'd played as a teen, was there and in decent tune. But it was back in a corner of the "stage" where hardly any light could find it. I set up my 7 pages of "So Close" and other incidental music. "So Close" was all taped together and strung out across the piano's music stand, since I fear the clam that might happen if I can't turn a page fast enough.

Now I notice that I'm not going to be able to see the music back in this dark corner! So I go looking for a music light and do find one. It's the type that you use on a Manhasset music stand, so it won't open up large enough to clamp onto the back of the music stand, which is about 3/8" thich wood (glossy black, of course). I'm desparate, so I find a way to modify the light's clamp (read: "bend"). Once this is mounted, I still can only read music that's right in front of me, so I call my 17 year old son, who is home, THANKFULLY, and ask him to bring my gig case down to me with several lights in it for when I lead a jazz band. Fortunately, we only live about 15 minutes away from this church. Whew! But time is running out! He gets there with about 15 -20 minutes until starting time, and I get it all set up: Three lights and a fair amount of scotch tape.

Oh, I forgot to say that the song was to be a surprise to the bride on the spot. She didn't know what her brother had picked out. I was blessed with a wedding coordinator who DID NOT have a clip board, thankfully. She was pretty easy going.
The special song went off quite well, with only a small weakness during that interlude. The bride was surprised and loved the song. My surprise (besides the darkness) was that it had to have been the shortest wedding I'd ever played at just about 25 minutes total. Never got to congratulate the bride, but the groom said he liked the piano playing, and my friend, the father of the bride, liked it and (having gigged enough himself) knew to have the money ready for me in cash.

Dave Gruber, Southern California (no gators! Have Suburban will travel. But not to audition!) www.giocoso.org

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#1238662 - 07/28/09 04:08 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Dave Gruber]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Dave!

Great story! Thanks so much for posting this. We all have similar stories but the black hole church isn't one I've heard before. Well done.

Never ever audition for the gig. That's one of my rules.

Castle wedding update: I had to deal with the Chinese soprano from hell over the weekend. She was wearing one of those crazy-lady straw hats, with flowers pinned to it, the kind of hat that always spells trouble. Wedding was on Saturday, and the singer wanted to start warming up on Friday night DURING my steady gig, with me playing for her warm-up session. Madame had hired another accompanist to play for her during the ceremony the next day—she just wanted me to be her rehearsal pianist the night before, never mind that I had a castle full of regular guests who were not interested in hearing scales, arpeggios, and an impossibly high version of "Summertime."

Sometimes I swear these singers see a pianist and immediately think SERVANT.

Anyway, she threw her music on the piano and said something rude to me like, "YOU PLAY WARM UP." I smiled and said, "I don't read music," which is a lie, but it got me out of the situation and saved the sanity of my co-workers and guests who were not into hearing a glass shattering version of "Ave Maria" during the Friday night cocktail hour.

The banquet manager sent her down to a rehearsal piano in the bowels of the castle, where she played for herself and nearly caused the members of the housekeeping staff to lose their minds.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1238856 - 07/28/09 12:13 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Dave!

Sometimes I swear these singers see a pianist and immediately think SERVANT.

I think that that attitude toward musicians, while perhaps less widespread than it once was, is hardly limited to singers. We are often categorized with "the help"; in places where the help are treated with some respect, we will likely be also. On the other hand...

There's a certain place we've played quite a few times over the years. It's a nice place; even a little quirky, not "cookie cutter" at all. I think they've loosened up a tad, maybe they got new owners or management along the way, but in the beginning it was like working in a prison.

They had a printed set of regulations for musicians, florists, DJs and anyone else that came into the building. The bandleader has to sign it. It was two pages long. One of the most annoying rules was the requirement that we be dressed in our "uniforms" (tuxes), even while carrying our gear.

As bad as that sounds, it's worse. One of the more popular rooms there is a glass-ceilinged atrium. It's on ground level, and there's a door at one end that leads right to the outside; perfect for loading in. Naturally, we were not allowed to use that door.

We were told instead to use the service entrance around back. As the place is built into a hillside, "around back" is actually at least one level up from the atrium room, and at the polar opposite point in the building.

Is that all? Of course not.

Here's the route. (I haven't been there in a couple of years, but it's burned into my memory)
In the back door, down the long slippery tile hallway
Down 4 steps to the upper level kitchen
Turn left.
Down a flight of stairs maybe 3 feet wide to the ground level kitchen.
Down another flight of stairs (a little wider) to the lower level dining room.
[The attentive reader may have noticed that we, having started on the upper level, have now descended to a point lower than the atrium.]
Walk through lower level catering room, turn right, go up a flight of stairs into the lobby.
Fight way through crowd in lobby, turn left into atrium.

On practically every surface in the service corridors there were signs, rules, warnings and video cameras, there to prevent theft, inefficiency and most normal forms of human behavior. Those were mostly for the kitchen help and wait-staff, but the tone was clear.

Even in places where the management is more accommodating, there is rarely much thought given to getting the musicians in and out of the place. I think that the building codes must actually have clauses that specify exemptions for any spaces that musicians might travel through. Stairways can be narrower, ceilings lower, steps steeper, floors slipperier, lights dimmer and directional signs are not required. In addition, corridors whose secondary function as emergency exits would normally prohibit them from being obstructed, can be used to store carts of glassware, hot coffee urns, wedding cakes, and any other bulky, delicate or dangerous items that may be handy.

We just played in a place that was something out of Spinal Tap. The actual party room was beautiful; recently and tastefully renovated. But the route to the room from the subterranean parking garage was through a rabbit-warren of corridors, storerooms and kitchen prep areas. I've got a pretty good sense of direction but made wrong turns on each trip to and from my car, even after I had found the room once.

Our bass player came in with white powder all over the top of his bass bag and on the shoulders of his black shirt. He carries his bass (electric) like a backpack. He's maybe 6' tall and the top of the bass is a few inches above that, but certainly low enough to get through standard doors. There was apparently a low pipe in a dark corridor that was covered with white spray-on insulation.

The most shocking thing about the place was that there were six sets of outlets along the wall behind where we were to play; Six sets of modern-looking, working outlets, placed almost as if someone had thought about the possibility of musicians occupying that area.

Nah. Probably just the contractor padding the job. smirk
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1239180 - 07/28/09 08:25 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Dave Gruber Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 12
Loc: Whittier, California (suburb o...
Yeah. Fairly common stuff. Though your stories, Greg, show how extreme it can get. And then, occasionally, you get hired by someone to do a party, or some casual, and there's this wealthy individual there who tells you he used to play drums in such-and-such a band, and he's made sure you can park close, have a clear pathway to get your gear in and out. And most important of all, knows that you will play better, and with bigger smiles if he makes sure that you and your bandmates have a nice 30-40 minute break with the same wonderful food that the guests are enjoying. Complete with compliments about how good you are sounding (provided you are). No really. I have had this happen, on occasion. No REALLY.

Dave Gruber

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#1239763 - 07/29/09 03:48 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Dave Gruber]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Yes, Dave, I believe you, I do, I do! It's important to remember that nice gigs exist. In fact, if I didn't have a fair number of good gigs, the goofy ones wouldn't seem so, well, goofy.

I have a lot of luck with gay weddings. For whatever reason, these events seem to be pleasant and classy and I'm treated well. Tuned piano, great food, no hysterical woman in a puffy white dress, and no clipboard lady. Easy.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1240201 - 07/30/09 07:12 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Dave Gruber]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
It's hard to know how you'll come off in print, but the stories I've told here were selected for their entertainment potential, not to present a balanced picture. The absurdities are funnier than the run-of-the-mill stuff.

We usually get along OK with the staff and clients, usually get fed and are sometimes even surprised by how nice people can be. But who wants to read that? (kidding)

Here's something that hasn't come up yet: The dreaded list. Sometimes people having a party will write a list of the music they want you to play. Our former wedding band once got a list that was several pages long, nearly 100 songs. Notwithstanding Robin's German Wedding Marathons, here in the U.S. the marriage might not last through 100 songs.

Even when the list is of a more realistic length, it's seldom a roadmap for a successful party. People pick all their favorite songs, even if 75% of them are at dirge tempo, or are otherwise unsuitable for a party. Tell us you love Motown. Tell us Uncle Phil used to know "Frank". Tell us the overseas relatives want a Polka. But after that, leave it to us. We're (almost) professionals. Don't try this at home.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1240412 - 07/30/09 03:07 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3228
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Not to complain about sopranos... but...

I am currently back in grad school (not in music) and am allowed to use the practice rooms here on my college campus. The facilities are not too bad, all things considered. But the rooms are not sound proof, and you can often here people around you practicing. Usually, I don't mind that, especially since once you start to play, you can't really hear anything else besides yourself. With the exception of... sopranos! Something about the range they sing it, you pretty much can not tune it out no matter what you do.

Listening to anyone practice is generally not fun, but listening to a soprano practice wierd scales that sound like a dying cat is easily one of the most unpleasant things I can think of. Have you ever heard a soprano warm up by bending all the way over at the waist and slowing rolling up as she sqeezes out air from the top of her head? If you can say no, count yourself lucky!

The only saving grace is that, it seems the singers don't tend to be up early in the morning, so I generally am in and out of the practice rooms before lunch time and can usually avoid them.

Sorry for that thread-drift! Back to the wedding stories!! smile
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#1244042 - 08/05/09 01:17 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: ShiroKuro]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
There's a film called THE WEDDING PLANNER. maybe there should be one called THE WEDDING PIANIST. Imagine the possibilities.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1245682 - 08/08/09 09:11 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Okay, my friends . . . here is a piece I've been working on for my next book. It will be a year by the time it's published, and by then you will have forgotten it, plus I will have rewritten it 14,000 times. But I've been inspired by all of your posts. This is a fleshed out version of a gig I wrote about back in June. Hope you enjoy it!

xoxo
Robin


The Tattooed Bride
Cologne, Germany
©2009 Robin Meloy Goldsby


The rain stops. I jump out of my car and my feet skid in the mud. The hem of my raspberry-colored silk chiffon gown catches in the heels of my gold sandals and I almost take a tumble. I bought these shoes at Bergdorf Goodman twenty years ago. They've held up quite nicely through dozens of Manhattan chase-the-taxi dashes and decades of marble hotel floors, but they weren't designed to handle last minute scurries through swamps in the German countryside. I regain my balance by grabbing the door handle of a snappy silver Mercedes sedan—not mine—wipe the goop off of my shoes with a couple of dead leaves, and do the little-old-lady-don't-wanna-fall walk through the parking marsh lot.

I've been to this castle before, but I've never played here. It's not my regular castle, but a lesser castle, situated in a small forest ten minutes from where I live. It's five minutes before six, and I'm scheduled to play for a wedding dinner at six sharp. I've never figured out why it's so difficult to be punctual for a gig that's this close to home, but that's the way it goes.

It starts to sprinkle again just as I'm onto the cobblestone sidewalk, which is even more hazardous than the muck. Affecting an elegant gait while traversing a cobblestone path in stiletto heels can be, well, troublesome. A yellow brick road, it's not. At last I see the castle, looming in the mist, in exactly the way a castle is supposed to loom. I've been in Germany for fourteen years, and I still thrill to the sight of these old chateaus.

But something is amiss. This castle is kind of funky. For one thing, it's pink. I have a moment of Brothers Grimm-induced panic, but recover when my heel sticks between a couple of stones and I'm darn near catapulted into a patch of stinging nettles. I recover, smooth my rain-ruined hair, and proceed. Clusters of casually dressed people lounge in the front garden. They're wearing t-shirts, shorts, and synthetic-fiber sundresses in peculiar shades of green and orange, and they're draped over benches and tables and each other, almost as if they're sleeping. Really, it looks a little like a Jim Jones purple kool-aid kind of scene, but I hear one or two of them snort, so I know they are not dead.

Must be another party, I think. A lot of these castle places are like American banquet halls, capable of hosting several celebrations at once. But these folks, slumped and silent, don't look like they're celebrating anything. I hobble past them—why don't they go inside to get out of the rain?—and hear someone snicker. I glance over my shoulder and see a couple of scary looking guys with shaved heads staring at me. Maybe skinheads, maybe not. I don't care, I just want to find the piano.

I'm greeted by an elegant man in a tuxedo. He's handsome, James Bondish in a Sean Connery way, minus the height and the martini glass.

"Good evening Frau Goldsby," he says.

"You must be Mr. Dinkledein," I say.

"Yes! So nice of you to be with us tonight. Our guests are outside enjoying the fresh air. The bride has been kidnapped in the woods—it's some sort of Bavarian game the bride's family insisted on playing. Her kidnappers should return her soon."

"What fun!" I say. And I thought American catholic weddings were weird.

"I'm so hoping you'll play the Pachelbel Canon in D for us, before we start dinner. I heard it on one of your CDs and I adore that piece."

"What a lovely choice," I say. "I'll be glad to play it." I am up to my eyeballs in Pachelbel this season. Every bridal party wants it, and every bridal party thinks they are the first to request it.

"I will gather everyone for dinner, and once they are seated, I will introduce you. After the Pachelbel, the buffet will open, and I'd like you to switch to background music at that point."

"That's a great idea." I glance at the piano. This handsome man in the expensive suit has rented a beautiful Bösendorfer concert grand for the evening. It's worth 75,000 euros, and for tonight, it's all mine. My goodness.

"The technician was here this afternoon. The instrument is in good shape."

"Wonderful," I say. "I can't remember the last time—"

A shriek from the garden cuts off the rest of my sentence.

"There's my wife!" says Mr. Dinkldein.

I look out the front door and there she is, indeed. The blushing bride, Frau Dinkledein—all 300 pounds of her—is galloping down the cobblestone path towards the yellow castle, chased by a gaggle of tuxedo-clad men with shaved heads. Really, she is moving at an amazing speed for someone her size. Obviously she is not wearing stilettos. But she is wearing a whiter than white taffeta strapless full-length dress, which she has hiked up around her, uh, substantial thighs.

"Wow," I say.

"Isn't she something?" says Herr Dinkledein. He is beaming. We stand shoulder to shoulder, nodding at Frau Dinkledein, who truly resembles a charging bull in a Vera Wang plus-sized dress.

"I guess the kidnappers didn't nab her," I say.

"Oh," he says. "She's way too much woman for those guys to catch."

I'll say.

The lounging people in the park, the ones dressed in orange and green, begin to cheer. Oh no, it can't be. But yes, they are the guests. The corpulent bride and the shrunken James Bond groom have invited a bunch of German rednecks to their wedding. And I've got to play the gig.

"I'll call everyone to dinner," says Herr Dinkledein.

"I'll check the piano," I say. The piano is perfect. Exquisite, in fact. I retreat to the foyer and wait to be introduced.

***

I call it the Pachelbel moment. It doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's magic. People love this piece of music, and I admit, I love playing it. For a musician this is like confessing to a Twinkie addiction, but what can I say? In spite of my rolled eyes and tortured not that piece again proclamations, I dig playing it. It's neither difficult nor boring, categories into which most pieces of music fall. I can tart it up or dress it down, play it long or short, big or small (I like small), and still everyone recognizes it. When they hear the Canon in D they do that little smiling-nodding thing that makes me feel validated.

The guests plop into their chairs.

"We are honored to have Frau Goldsby with us tonight," say Herr Dinkledein. He continues with his speech and I take in the small crowd gathered for the nuptial dinner. There are about six large round tables, each one holding eight guests. The skinheads and their dates are to my right. The dates have big hair, big boobs, and piercings in places that make me squirm. The men have no hair and tattoos.

So. Pachelbel it is. As I play the opening cadence I look to the table on my left. They are very close to the piano and I notice that several of them, no, all of them, have a wart problem. What's with that?

Skinheads on the right. The warted people on the left. I close my eyes and play. This piano is a dream come true, so I enter Pianoland and focus on the music.

As I start the familiar sixteenth note section of the melody I open my eyes hoping for the smile-nod thing from the audience. But no one smiles and no one nods. One of the skinheads cracks his knuckles. And then, the mother of the groom gets up to dance. With her dog. Der Hund. I keep playing.

The dog is not one of those little rat dogs. He is a mid-sized dog with floppy ears, and he probably weighs a good 50 pounds. The groom's mother, who is wearing a green sequined frock, sways back in forth with Fido. Everyone ignores her. But to me, this is something special. I once had a singing dog (at the better castle) who howled whenever I played selections from Phantom of the Opera, but a dancing dog? This is a first.

The zombie guests stare into space as I begin improvising.

The bride's back is to me, and because of the strapless dress and the chair, she looks like she's naked. Why oh why would anyone with biceps that size wear a strapless dress? Maybe she couldn't find sleeves to fit. A large dragonfly tattoo colors her right shoulder.

This piano sings! What an instrument. The notes are like jewels, or stars, or any fine thing that glitters.

The paint on the walls is cracked and peeling, and I notice the crystal chandelier is missing a few pieces. More than a few. This place is run down—charming, but seedy. Except for this piano, which is as they say in German, der Hammer. I play the last chord of the Canon and let it ring. Gorgeous!

Considering the comatose state of everyone except the woman dancing with the dog, I'm not expecting much applause, but one of the skinheads stands up and yells, YEOW!!!!! and makes a hooting sound while pumping his fist. All of the skinheads pound on the table with their silverware. The groom stands to make another speech.

"I am moved to tears by this music," he says. "That was beautiful. And now, dinner is served." All fifty guests, led by the warted people, rush to the buffet. The bride makes a beeline for the piano. I've never seen someone so large move so quickly, except maybe in a Pittsburgh Steelers game. Franco Harris comes to mind.

"FABELHAFT!!!" she yells at me. She has buck teeth, with wide spaces between them. I remember one of my dad's jokes about a girl eating an apple through a picket fence. She slaps me on the back and says, "Sie sind echt cooooool!" Another back slap.

Really, it's like the German version of Hee-Haw in this place.

One of the skinheads, the knuckle cracker, approaches the piano. "Can you play something by the Backstreet Boys?" he asks. I'm reminded of Jimmy Ciongoli, a pianist friend of my mine, who—when asked to play a Black Sabbath piece on the piano—looked the customer right in the eye and said, "What the fuck's wrong with you?"

I want to say this, but I am poofy and polite and wearing 200-dollar shoes and a nice dress. So I smile and say: "I'm terribly sorry, but I don't know any Backstreet Boys music."

Crack, crack, crack. The skinhead glares at me, and tugs at his orange t-shirt.

"Those are wonderful tattoos," I say.

Crack.

"Fresh ink," he says. "Got them for the wedding."

"Very, very nice," I say. "Lovely! Look at that. I've never seen a tattoo of a wild boar!"

Crack, crack.

There are two types of people in this world, those who run away from needles, and those who crave them. He smiles sadly, like he feels sorry for me, and walks away. I can hear his knuckles from all the way across the room.

I put on my don't bother me I'm an artist face and try to get back to Pianoland, that place where nothing counts but the music, but I'm interrupted by a warted person who wants to sing. I'm interrupted by the bride's mother, who wants to know if her dog can sleep under the piano. I'm interrupted by the groom, who tells me again and again how he can't stop crying when he hears my music.

But I play and play, until the guests have eaten themselves into an even deeper state of unconsciousness. The room grows quiet, except for the occasional shriek of laughter coming from the bride's table, the cracking knuckles, and the gentle snoring of the dog at my feet. I play a Debussy Arabesque, fully aware that I'm playing well, and equally aware that no one cares. There are no wrong notes on this piano, no shadows or sharp corners, only sparkling light and the rounded edges of the instrument's warm tones.

I glance through the French doors leading into the overgrown rose garden and see the muted colors of the early summer evening—soft pinks and lavenders, a garden's version of a sunset. I see the once glorious history of the castle in the rough stone walls surrounding the castle property; the majestic red maple trees towering over the crumbling gatehouse. And then I see the bride's brother barfing in the bushes.

So much for the Debussy. I keep playing, but I've lost my groove. I don't want to look at the barfing man, but I can't stop myself from staring. No one in the dining room can see him, but the piano is angled so that I have a bird's eye view of the action.

I’m not a snob, really I'm not. I have played for the great unwashed plenty of times and have truly enjoyed myself. But the barfing man pushes me a step too far. I am confused by this event. Classy groom, Hee-Haw bride; kidnappings and green and orange outfits; skinheads and people with warts; mother of the bride with a dancing dog; and a man doing his version of the Technicolor yawn right there in the garden.

I feel a tap on my shoulder. "Guten Abend, Frau Goldsby. As soon as you finish, I'll start my part of the program."

"Oh," I say. "Fine. What do you do?"

"I'm a magician," he says. The dog starts to growl from under the piano.

"So," I say, playing one last chord. "Have a great evening. It's all yours."

I say a silent goodbye to the magnificient Bösendorfer, collect the envelope of cash left for me in the caterer's office, and step into the June twilight, avoiding the rose garden and following the cobblestone path. The rain has stopped and the air smells green and silvery.

Other than making a living, I wonder what I'm doing with my life. Making music? Oh. That.

From the parking lot, I hear the sounds of a Backstreet Boys recording. The mud has dried, so I dance back to my car, wondering how many centuries of magic this castle has witnessed, and how much of it cast a spell worth remembering.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1246047 - 08/09/09 03:45 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
I have played for the great unwashed plenty of times and have truly enjoyed myself. But the barfing man pushes me a step too far.


I can't remember what sort of function it was; I doubt it was a wedding, but it was certainly a formal affair. The place was, and is still, called Terrace on the Park, a remnant of the 1964 New York World's Fair. It looks a bit like a giant table, a restaurant perched on four 100 foot tall supports. Back in 1964 the restaurant floor rotated and there was a heliport on the roof. The old World's Fair site is now called Flushing Meadows Park.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wandy-1d/2063677175/

The restaurant is now stationary and there are no more helicopters, but the place still has a terrific view, at least most of the time.

The band had set up and we were waiting for the guests to arrive. A couple of us were looking out the window toward Manhattan. People were starting to park their cars in the lot below us. One car drove up and parked maybe 400 feet from the hall, next to an area of bushes, reeds and small trees. Out came two couples - young - late teens or early twenties. They were dressed for the occasion; the girls in colorful frilly gowns, the guys in suits.

About halfway to the hall the guys broke off and headed into the bushes, leaving their dates at the edge of the lot. We wondered about this, quickly settling on the idea that the guys probably brought some of nature's bounty with them and had stopped to smoke it.

Nope.

Dressed in suits and a half a city block from a building that probably housed no fewer than 30 bathrooms, these guys felt the need to relieve themselves al fresco.

Fiction is no match for reality.

Greg Guarino
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1246213 - 08/09/09 01:14 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
DeepElem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
Fantastic writing Robin !
Thank you for posting this here.
Can't wait for the book.
_________________________
-Buck
------
If you knew what you were doing, you'd probably be bored.
- Fresco's Law

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#1246253 - 08/09/09 02:29 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: DeepElem]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Thanks, DeepElem/Buck! Glad you enjoyed the story. As Greg pointed out, you can't make up this stuff. This piece will be more refined by the time it's published, but I'm glad to hear you're digging the first draft.

Greg, I know Terrace on the Park. My husband played a bunch of gigs there when we were still in NYC. There was often SQUAB on the menu, and John used to joke about the waiters being forced to round up pigeons in Flushing Meadow Park when the restaurant was running low on food.

"86 on the chicken, Guido. Time to start serving the SQUAB. Harry, get a couple of nets to the busboys."
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1246369 - 08/09/09 06:25 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1484
Loc: NY
Hi Robin,

Thanks so much for posting this - also can't wait for the whole book to come out! I'm still smiling/laughing at all the shenanigans you describe! My goodness, what you have to put up with! smile eek

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#1247246 - 08/11/09 12:08 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Elssa]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
""FABELHAFT!!!" she yells at me. She has buck teeth, with wide spaces between them. I remember one of my dad's jokes about a girl eating an apple through a picket fence. She slaps me on the back and says..."

Thanks for the preview, Robin! Just when I thought I'd heard it all. I'll be looking forward to your new book--- let's hope these wedding people never find out about it.

Some of your phrases just stick with me; there was that other wedding misadventure that had "a major problem with wasps." You may not know it, but as a hiker I have learned that wasps do not care for cologne. It was dramatized by the morning that wasps were disturbed and took off after the one hiker out of thirty who had drenched himself in Eau de Cologne. Half-a-mile, a whole mile, down the home stretch to the parking lot, they avenged themselves. It was lucky he proved not to be allergic. It was lucky a bridesmaid's dress and pumps were not involved.

It looks like your first book has stuck to someone I lent it to, so I guess I'll have to replace it while I get your current one and look forward to the upcoming.

The music for the prison wedding ceremony is another hard-to-forget moment, but we'll let it go for now.

I had to withdraw my own wedding story; it was too dark for this lighthearted collection.

Thanks again for the preview.
_________________________
Clef


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#1248315 - 08/13/09 08:37 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Hi Jeff! I'd say we could use a couple of dark stories on this thread, so please post whatever you've got. And thanks for the wasp tip. No more Chanel No. 5 for me. Maybe I should try a can of RAID.

I LOVE that prison wedding chapter in Piano Girl (for those of you who don't know it, I once was talked into playing for a wedding on Rikers Island), so I'm glad you remember it! It's my favorite part of the book. That story is 100% true, by the way, but I had to change the names and some identifying details to protect, well, ME.

Here's the moral of THAT story: Never ever play for the wedding of a man who is serving 25 years to life (NY Post headline over his picture: COKE KING KONKED) even if his fiancée is a good friend.

Hi Elssa! Thanks for the encouragement. I'm in the beginning stages of this project and it's nice to a have you on my side of the piano bench.

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

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#1249808 - 08/15/09 01:33 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 1484
Loc: NY
Hi Robin,

Well, here's sort of a "dark story".. My friend used to play in a professional wedding/dance band. One time the band was hired to play for the wedding reception of two members of a very conservative church. As they were playing at the reception, they saw that nobody was getting up and dancing, just sitting there stone faced, listening to the music. When the band leader finally asked the people why they were not dancing, they replied that the church did not allow dancing because it was evil! The band was so insulted, they walked out. Don't know if the church members hired a dance band by mistake or they were just trying to make a point, but I don't blame the band for calling it quits on that event. shocked

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#1250139 - 08/16/09 02:26 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
OK, Robin I really did laugh out loud at this:
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG

I glance through the French doors leading into the overgrown rose garden and see the muted colors of the early summer evening—soft pinks and lavenders, a garden's version of a sunset. I see the once glorious history of the castle in the rough stone walls surrounding the castle property; the majestic red maple trees towering over the crumbling gatehouse. And then I see the bride's brother barfing in the bushes.


Not where I thought you were going with this paragraph at all. What a hoot!

Elssa, I was at a wedding with this same religious group, I think. The bride was a college friend of mine (we sang together). She and her fiance were doctors, and had been living together for some time, and I was a little shocked to realize her parents didn't know that. I had no idea before the wedding that her father (who looked a lot like Fred Flinstone) was incredibly strict. They belonged to a church that did not allow dancing. He and her mom spent the evening with scowls on their faces. Why?

In large part because the groom's mother, a beautiful redhead with legs borrowed from Cyd Charisse, was cutting quite a rug in her floating flaired chiffon skirt. She was a former chorus girl.

Yes, the families found out quite a bit about each other that night...
_________________________
If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#1250251 - 08/16/09 11:24 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: rustyfingers]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Well now, Fred Flintstone was not such a bad-looking fellow... and Wilma was no woodchuck. But I sense a dark, seething ocean of ulterior motives in this scene you described. Fred likes Cyd but doesn't want Wilma to catch on; Wilma does, though and intends to keep Cyd as far from Fred as she can (she has a leash and collar in her purse and she's not afraid to use it). And the kids express both sets of parents' unconscious, know it or not. Besides, who knows what storms of forbidden passion may be churning the waters behind Wilma's scowling demeanor--- that frown could very well be a "beard." It's presence is suspicious in more than one sense.

Meanwhile, Cyd knows all about Fred, and Cyd's husband is tolerantly amused and somewhat gratified that everyone's eye is on his beautiful wife; he's used to it, and when they dance the tango he understands how to show her off to her best advantage. It's part of the fun of their marriage, and anyone watching can get as fired-up as they like; he knows she's coming home with daddy. He's looking forward to the rhumba contest at the reception; the band has been primed--- and well-tipped.

And the Wedding March plays on.

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.
_________________________
Clef


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