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#1365512 - 02/04/10 11:14 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
This is marvelously evil, Jeff. Would that CD technology would allow such mischief. I can see the title of the video...

"Die Braut mit die Flote", or perhaps
"The Flatulent Fraulein"
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1366290 - 02/05/10 10:53 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
Dear Frau Goldsby,

"Pfennig Wise and Euro Foolish," was the least-unprintable thing my mother-in-law had to say about the shambles of a wedding. I have never seen a living human face that shade of purple, and can only thank God she wasn't wearing a blood pressure cuff, for it might have struck someone dead when it blew.

She accused the hapless DJ, using asperities I blushed to hear in the presence of a man of the cloth--- for of course, she was seated in the front row, very close both to the speakers and the preacher. Luck favored us somewhat, for had she gotten her hands around his neck, the occasion would have been marked with mutilation and murder, and the press coverage was lurid enough as it was.

Wedding Processional and Trumpet Voluntary--- So it was labeled in plain German, right on the face of the CD, and so the headline read--- but she claims she will never live down the humiliation she suffered in front of my other in-laws, who hee-hawed themselves as purple as she was.

At least some of the guests enjoyed it; they laughed like hyenas, pointing knowingly at the peeling paint in the chapel and the chandeliers with half the crystals blown off. But, once the plaster started coming down, they took off at a run. They looked like so many sacks of flour, running for their life from the baker's oven.

The vows were hastily-completed in the vestry. "Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" "I do." "Are you SURE?" One could barely hear, even at a shout, for it was impossible to shut off the CD. Indeed, it blared on until a fuse blew.

I have honored your request for a video, as best I am able... though it didn't really come out, and what there is records a mere fraction of the ceremony. Only one camera remained working long enough to record the arrival of the fire department and the bomb squad. At least, there's no need to imagine how that went down with the in-laws--- there's some distortion on the sound track, but the video rendering is clear enough.


Sincerely,

Frau Freuhauf-Weasel
_________________________
Clef


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#1366523 - 02/05/10 03:51 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Liebe Frau Freuhauf-Weasel,

Thank you very much for sending me the video of your wedding. What wonderful visuals to accompany the CD I gave you! I particularly enjoyed the four fleeing bridesmaids, the ring bearer who wet his pants, and the older woman (I believe someone called her Aunt Louella) writhing on the floor with her hands clamped firmly over her ears. I thought the fire department made an excellent entrance into the church—what helmets, what boots!——one had the feeling they had been choreographed. The bomb squad paled in comparison, perhaps someone might suggest a little bling for their costumes, which are, dare I say it, bordering on dull. If you're going to work a wedding, you might as well dress for the occasion.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the 90 minute loop of Tie a Yellow Ribbon. It was difficult to find an elementary school steel-drum band capable of playing it in the key of B major. It was equally challenging to find a young piccolo player to play the piece simultaneously in Bb. But I think you'll agree that Frederika von Klingball has a real future in the concert bands of tomorrow, even though she does play a bit sharp. And those steel drum players? Forget Calypso! Had you not fallen into a dead faint and been carried from the church on a stretcher, you might have truly enjoyed their version of Für Elise, accompanied by Frau Dick's Bell Choir , three oboes, and the Flensburg Bagpipe Consort.

I'm sorry to hear that the DJ was arrested, but, you know, it serves him right. Whoops, I guess that was petty.

Please feel free to contact me for any of your future celebrations. I will be happy to play for the christening of your first child, your wedding anniversary, or your mother-in-law's funeral.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

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

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#1367998 - 02/07/10 03:42 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
"There was a rather nice 9 foot Steinway in a large lounge. ... a particularly rough Atlantic crossing ...ripped the screws out of the floor...a half-ton projectile ...a long stretch of unobstructed dance floor to build up speed before it destroyed the bar."

Not that I can be gleeful about that Steinway tearing loose in rough seas and clearing a path through the ballroom--- no doubt it was very unfortunate. I can just picture Greg, using his most innocent and easy-going manner to get that cruise line steward to open up and become confidential. No doubt, he primed the guy up with a few good stories of his own and, no doubt, these stewards could tell plenty, if they wanted to.

An animated feature. High seas with hurricane-driven whitecaps are visible through the portholes. Dancers in evening dress are doing the best they can, with the deck tilting up 65 degrees this way and then 65 degrees the other way. It is no easy task, and not all succeed: some are skating along on their butts like bumper cars. There is an ominous creaking on the sound track, and we see a close-up of the massive piano, it's carved legs straining against in its flimsy brackets, until, with a loud CRACK!!! it charges off on the glassy dance floor.

The ballroom patrons are jumping for their lives; most escaping, barely though it might be. The pianist, playing 'air piano;' the chanteuse clinging desperately to the music rack (I picture a Ginger look-alike in a sequined sheath too snug to allow for a life-saving leap); the bitter end of the mike cable doing a snappy 'crack-the-whip,' to the dismay of sluggish ballroom dancers. The deck tilts: the piano charges north; it tilts back, the piano charges south. A lesser tilt; the dancers wipe their brows with silk handkerchiefs, starting to look relieved. Too soon! With the mightiest tilt of all, the piano turns, pauses, paws the floor like an angry brahma bull, then charges fast and furious toward the service bar!

Drinkers, wetting their whistles, are not so easy to dislodge from the bar, however. Their comfortably-upholstered leather barstools are more securely affixed to the deck than the piano, and one (they suppose) can always cling to the plank. Thus the barreling behemoth takes them at a disadvantage. It crashes, it smashes, it plunges. We see a martini glass, poised unsupported in the air in mid-tipple. The hole, smashed through the bulkhead, just the shape of the piano and the martini drinker (and Ginger), a hand reaching through at the last second to grab a bottle of Beefeater from the top shelf, before the bottles realize the shelf has gone south; there is a second, smaller crash as they hit the deck.

Cut to the bottom of the Atlantic, as the piano settles to rest, disturbing a cloud of sediment. The martini drinker shrugs gamely, and pours a round for fifteen men on a dead man's chest, the piano bar customers at Davey Jones' Locker. One turns to Ginger and says, "Aarrgh--- do you know "Love Shack?" But the salt water has taken the starch out of Ginger's hairspray, and she is in no mood to grant requests. "'Misty,' in 'D,'" she barks--- but, it seems, no one plays. She grabs the bottle and knocks back a good belt. "Glub, glub," she says as the sediment cloud enfolds the scene.

"The End"

...and in tiny print: "No actual bar drinkers were harmed in the filming of this scene."
_________________________
Clef


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#1368704 - 02/08/10 02:23 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Liebe Frau Freuhauf-Weasel,


I'm so glad you enjoyed the 90 minute loop of Tie a Yellow Ribbon.


Love it!

And so appropriate to include that offensive song, the story of a recidivist criminal and his enabling codependent spouse, which assaults the ears of radio listeners apparently worldwide.

(though I gotta admit Barnacle Bill is even more offensive, but a really catchy tune)
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1369845 - 02/09/10 11:12 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: ProdigalPianist]
Bachrocks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 94
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: ProdigalPianist
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
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?"


Best. Response. From. Pianist. Ever.

For my own wedding, my little brother (age 11 and already a complete smartass) suggested that, instead of the Wedding March, it would be much more appropriate for me to come down the aisle to the strains of the Imperial March from Star Wars (Darth Vader's theme). My darling groom thought this was a spectacular idea. I can't believe the man has survived for the past 27 years. I was no bride-zilla, but this I did veto.



My college friends' suggestion for a processional: "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you!"

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#1370662 - 02/11/10 12:30 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Bachrocks]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
Probably better than "Was I Drunk, Was He Handsome, and Did My Ma Give Me Hell!"

A friend of mine has an organ version of the "Vatican Rag" for funerals.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1370877 - 02/11/10 11:16 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
We've come a long way from ruffles and organza, that's all I can say. I keep hearing Steely Dan.

So Robin, how about telling us about the big Valentine's Day 'do' at the castle?
_________________________
Clef


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#1370901 - 02/11/10 11:45 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
The pianist at my wedding played "Prisoner of Love." The church was full of well-meaning Southern-Baptist women wearing variations on the pink-lace theme, and I doubt that many of them caught the musical reference—they were too busy falling into a collective dead faint at the sight of my mini-dress—but my husband and I certainly appreciated it.

Alas, bookings are down this year at the annual Valentine's Day castle gala. VD falls right in the middle of Karneval weekend, which means most Germans in this area are out guzzling copious amounts of alcohol and parading around town in clown costumes. The castle, a bastion of good taste, has an anti-Karneval policy, so I doubt there will be any VD guests wearing red noses and fright wigs, but you never know. One can only hope, at least for the sake of this forum.

Report forthcoming, complete with menu and wardrobe descriptions. I am also playing a VD lunch on the 14th, so it should be a busy day. For lovers and clowns, 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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#1370916 - 02/11/10 11:59 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
"VD" is an unfortunate abbreviation!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1370980 - 02/11/10 01:36 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
'Tis.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1371022 - 02/11/10 02:44 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jake Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 568
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Robin--What piano are you playing on the "Songs from the Castle" cd?

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#1371120 - 02/11/10 05:01 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
Carnaval: Conflict or Camouflage? It so happens that the year I lived in New Orleans, Mardi Gras Day fell on Valentine's Day. Two excuses for unbridled excess; I don't think I need to paint a picture for anyone. Throw in the SuperBowl and publish some recipes for hangover cures in a box on the front page, above the fold.

I was going to hold back this little sidelight on weasels in the wedding chapel, but it would seem that enough is never enough around here.



Wilma Weasel. "She's the kind of girl who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong," as Mae West said--- and who would know better? Can you picture dictionary publishers in a bidding war--- her case would be perfect for tough-to-define terms like 'False Economy' (see: 'Cheap and Horrible'); 'Mockery;' 'Shambles;' ‘Piracy;’ 'Intellectual Property' (see: 'Theft'); 'Mother-In-Law Trouble;' ‘Swearing’ (see: ‘Stevedore,’ ‘Blue Streak,’ ‘Front Lawn Cuss-Fight’); and 'Apoplexy' (see: 'Gibbering Fit').

Her special day, now a cautionary tale set to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas:

'Four bridesmaids fleeing,
‘And the bomb squad in a pear tree!'

What honeymoon hideaway on this wide earth, could be left? No place with gambling, please: bookies are laying odds that The Twelve Days of Wilma has a chance of edging out Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, some even say coming up on The Ballad of Gilligan's Island. Misdeeds set to music: somehow, none of us can say, “No.”

Some think Pop Goes the Weasel has a chance on TV. The Jack-in-the-Box pops up: it bears an almost-familiar face (with an extra-long weasely snout), wearing the CD as a glittering, rainbow ruff. The face is as purple as Barney-the-Dinosaur; she is trying vainly to pry the pirated performance from around her neck, as if its filmy plastic were a millstone dragging her to the bottom of the duckpond.

‘Seven swans a-swimming,
‘Six geese a-laying…’

A large toy cartel (name redacted) is said to be interested if wary--- it’s different than ordinary Jacks, they could avoid a hefty royalty for using the real Barney, and “Pop” has been in the public domain for three hundred years now. Kids wouldn’t care, parents might enjoy a chuckle, and that snout! Then again, mothers-in-law might be nervous. The mass-marketing wizards can’t quite tell which way the wind is blowing.

As for the wayward Weasels, where could they flee but to a land of daily costume balls and masked parades? Mardi Gras in Rio--- where else. Carnaval just goes on and on, and there’s great latitude for lapses. But even in permissive Brazil, papers and programs are sure to feature the wacky Weasel wedding--- there’s no safe haven this side of drastic cosmetic surgery and a new identity. We might forgive and forget--- then.

But let’s not accuse ourselves when the facts clearly point to the genes. This misadventure’s most glaring feature, a face that goes purple with either rage or mirth--- a double-recessive, back-bred into the line for many generations. It was only a matter of time before Wilma Weasel got crossways with her mother-in-law. It was no doing of ours.
_________________________
Clef


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#1371345 - 02/11/10 11:28 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
'Tis.

That's the whole last chapter of another much-celebrated memoir, written by my Tenth Grade English teacher. He had the sharpest wit and sharpest tongue of any teacher I can remember, but only took up writing late in life. Maybe there's a lesson in that.

The last Piano World newsletter mentioned Let's Talk Weddings, "Great stories...". As I write this the view count is one shy of 26,000, but I've found a much more shocking statistic: 63 of the 342 posts in this thread are mine. I would never have guessed that many. Moreover, the part of me that still dimly remembers my High School years is absolutely flabbergasted at the sheer weight of verbiage that I've managed to produce, without even the threat of a poor grade (and subsequent parental wrath) to spur me on. I'll bet it would amount to fifty typed pages, at least. If any professor of mine had given me such a task, even over the course of a whole school year, I'd surely have felt like I was drowning.

I never liked writing in school, but thirty years removed from my last classes I can be found spending some of my less than abundant spare time trying to wring a bit of semi-pro comedy out of my semi-pro musical life.

For fun.

Maybe the lesson is not to be too certain of what you can and can't do. Sometimes, with a little change in perspective, you may find you can learn something new.

A life playing and learning music provides repeated examples of that. Our band is in a drought this Winter. While that used to be a regular part of the yearly cycle, it hasn't happened for quite a while.

A combination of that "drought", plus a couple of gigs I "subbed" out to another player and some bad weather has led to the longest break between gigs that I can remember: over a month. My peripheral gig skills definitely deteriorated a bit. My gear felt a lot heavier, and it took me longer to assemble my Magic Bag of Tricks into a working keyboard rig than usual.

But my playing? I will need to summon all the immodesty I can muster here; I played great. And different. It was effortless, like I was watching someone else; someone a little more fluid and tasteful too. I didn't suddenly find better chops, mind you, but they didn't deteriorate either. That's interesting, considering that the layoff, even at home, had been near-total.

So what explains this phenomenon? Is it like "sleeping on" a problem? Was my unconscious toiling away while I wasn't looking, working on new permutations to try when the opportunity arose? Or is it more like pressing the "reboot" button; forgetting just enough to skip out of overworn grooves that had deepened into ruts.

I've got a couple of gigs this weekend. Who knows, maybe the effect will disappear as mysteriously as it appeared. But it has reminded me that there are some musical avenues that I've let lay fallow as the band (and my life) has gotten busier. Maybe I'll finally set up the home recording nook I intended when we bought the house - eleven years ago.

Maybe I'll even try my hand at writing something longer than a Forum post someday. I seem to have mostly forgotten a distaste for writing that I used to think was innate and permanent. What other failings could be "unlearned", I wonder?

Owing to my lack of a miserable childhood and modest writing skills, there'll be no Angela's Ashes coming to life on my hard drive. But in 46 years of playing music I have only intermittently felt stung by the idea that I'll never be a good as, well, lots of people.

Maybe if Mr. McCourt (Frank to the literary world) were still around he'd ... well, honestly, most likely scowl through most of what I might produce. "The petty annoyances of a too-easy life", he might think. But perhaps, just perhaps, here and there he'd have to suppress a chuckle.

I'd like that.


Edited by gdguarino (02/11/10 11:36 PM)
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1371422 - 02/12/10 12:49 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jake Jackson]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Hi Jake,

The piano on Songs from the Castle is a 1964 Steinway B, recorded by Reinhart Kobialka at Topaz Audio Studios in Cologne Germany. It's a great piano, but much of the credit for the sound goes to Reinhard, his artistic miking, and his willingness to hang in there with me until we got the sound I wanted.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1371458 - 02/12/10 01:39 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
Mr. McCourt has been a hero of mine for a long tome. How lucky you were to have him as a teacher, Greg! And yes, I swiped that "'Tis" from him. I still think that was the most brilliant ending to a book I've ever encountered. I wept for days.

A musician's life is never easy, and I'll bet even Mr. McCourt would agree with that. I was 47 when I wrote my first book. It took me that long to figure out I had something worth saying. I still struggle with impostor syndrome, both as a musician and a writer, but you know, I think most truly creative people relate to this. The learning never ends. The folks who claim to know everything are missing the joys of an artistic life.

I had to laugh when you mentioned the "return to the gig" syndrome. For me, this is one of the rewards of vacation—returning to the piano and listening to myself with virgin ears. You described it just right: the effortlessness, the sense of being outside of one's self. Cool, isn't it? For me, that feeling does fade away, sometimes even after the first set. But what a wonderful way to go back to work. It always reminds me why I started playing in the first place. And look at you! One brief hiatus from the piano and now you're fired up and ready to dig in again. How great is that?

As far as writing goes, I am no expert, but I can assure you that if you put your behind in the chair every single day and slug it out with the computer your efforts will be met, eventually, with a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

And speaking of writing, Clef obviously has a future working for the merchandising department of whichever film studio chooses to release the TWELVE DAYS OF WILMA. (Any takers out there?) I'm hoping Tim Burton might be willing to direct. It would be a perfect Xmas release, just in time to sell those darling Wilma dolls.

Thanks, Frank, for plugging our wedding thread. And thanks for giving us the space to express ourselves this way. Music is serious business. A sense of humor helps.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1372137 - 02/12/10 09:24 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: gdguarino
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
'Tis.

That's the whole last chapter of another much-celebrated memoir, written by my Tenth Grade English teacher. He had the sharpest wit and sharpest tongue of any teacher I can remember, but only took up writing late in life. Maybe there's a lesson in that.


That is SO COOL that you had McCourt as your English teacher. I made sure my daughter read both his books, so that whenever she complains about her life she knows what REAL hardship is.

Greg, I think that if there is a heaven, McCourt is looking down on PW and reading your 63 posts on this thread and nodding his head with satisfaction of a job well done. thumb
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1372274 - 02/12/10 11:27 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Monica K.]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
just played a wedding..

the groom was crying and the bride was tipsy.. and gave a great oh yeah! when they were pronounced man and wife. she had a slug of vodka before walking down the aisle, a slug before cutting the cake, and and a slug before the first dance. she was awesome.

she insisted on paying me twice and the groom agreed. It was difficult preamble.. i had to guess that Beethoven's Happy Husband was the Ode to Joy.

oh yeah.

I enjoy your words Greg Guarino!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1372606 - 02/13/10 12:13 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
When grooms cry, they usually have a pretty good reason. Getting paid twice has its upside, though; I guess the Great Wedding Roulette Wheel is bound to turn up your winning number sometime or other. If it lands on double-zero too often for circumspection, the authorities would have to intervene. I wonder if they're as strict in Monte Carlo as they are in Las Vegas? Even with all the vigilance in the world, too often the withering breath of scandal is smelt... yet, the wheel still turns; the gaming floors are still crowded; the casinos are still built without clocks or any intrusion of natural light.

Atlantic City, well, that's another story.

I am very glad to see Greg, Apple, Tim, Robin, and Jake, Bachrocks, Monica and BDB back on the page. "...thanks for giving us the space to express ourselves this way..." says it pretty well. Since I personally don't have much of a gift for narrative, I have to get by with caricature, misadventure, gross distortion, and the odd throwaway phrase; so, seeing the talents the other writers share is a special pleasure. I don't know how she does it, but I can see that without Robin, it wouldn't happen--- anyway, it doesn't happen.

My partner has enough precious stones. I plan to observe Valentine's Day with an ice cream cake. Let others complain that it eats away the teeth, pads the waistline, melts, and causes fights to break out among the dogs. San Jose is a bedroom community, and the suburbs offer so little in the way of excitement that these little adventures will have to serve.
_________________________
Clef


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#1373284 - 02/14/10 04:33 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
Ice cream cake sounds pretty good to me, Clef. Just don't get in the middle of any dog fights.

I checked out the salon for the VD dinner last night and it looks beautiful. Twelve tables for two placed strategically around the grand piano. Enough candles to re-enact the Joan of Arc circle of flames scene from Piano Girl. Roses, roses everywhere. It looks like this could be a perfect evening, which means that something will most likely go wrong.

I'll be in Berlin for a few days, but I'll check back in on Wednesday with a report.

Hey, I just booked a wedding gig in Dresden. Haven't been there yet, so I'm excited.

Wishing all of you a romantic day with your partners!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1373503 - 02/14/10 12:07 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
a bit of an update on my recent bride. I went to the reception for a while (being a friend of the family) but left fairly early. Apparently the bride went bazoonkers and yelled at everyone later on in the evening.. going so far as to take off her wedding dress.. egads... this was at 3 AM.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1374605 - 02/15/10 11:59 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
So few receptions feature mud-wrestling anymore.

Just to be clear, this is the same wedding with the weeping groom...? The organist who won the Daily Double?

This sounds like one wedding that won't blur into all the others. I hope you'll favor us with a few more details, Apple. Don't worry about the family--- what are the chances they would ever read this thread? Anyway, how could it be any worse than being there.

And here I was, about to remark that candlelight is the most flattering illumination. Wrinkles, double chins, even lipstick on the teeth--- but mud-wrestling is beyond even the magic powers of candlelight and roses. And if the bride starts whupping someone with one of those bouquets...
_________________________
Clef


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#1374613 - 02/15/10 12:15 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
ok..

Joe called me up and said.. Mary... I have a problem. I promised my dad on his death bed that I would use some of the family money to see that Sharon got married.

Sharon is a wild one.. she has 2 kids and a now adoring husband. The whole family is like one big bar. I haven't seen people drink like that since the early 80s. There were bottles of vodka on every table and the ladies would pour themselves a glass and the men would take slugs (as well as Sharon).

When I called Sharon on the phone she said she liked Beethoven and just wanted to get married. She didn't give a dam what the music sounded like. Joe, on the phone pleaded for some tradition and beauty.

I came up with the old standards and got my sister to sing. (A great singer but another 'difficult' one.) I was playing the second intro music and she's telling me louder LOUDER LLOOUUDDEERR!!! finally i told her shut up.

I had arranged that at 5 minutes till, I'd play the Canon in D.. I played for 5 minutes and no one came out of the door. The candle lighters, bridesmaids, flowergirl and ring bearer were to process in with this music.

So I stood up, went to the organ and started playing Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. They came out after a while. Finally, the priest got impatient went out and loudly said EVERYBODY STAND and I started the Bridal March.

Things went ok except for the crying groom and mis-said vows.

(the priest said "Are you willing to have children? and Sharon said "Hell NO.. I got my tubes tied.. I'm done".)

sigh..

I am glad I left the reception early. I heard all about it Saturday evening while visiting with Joe and his wife who arranged the wedding. Apparently Sharon told them to take the money and shove it..

that's what alchohol does ...

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

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1374785 - 02/15/10 03:20 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4394
Loc: San Jose, CA
Well... grandkids (check), deathbed promise kept (check), happy couple (check) now married (double-check), musician well-paid (also double-check). I see a lot on the plus side of the wedding register; hell of a party, too. What they saved on the ceremony, they probably paid out on damages to the parish hall, but remember, it is Carnaval so, "Oh, well."

The bride has clearly done her duty as far as the priest is concerned, so I would allow an up-check in that column as well.

Since the dust-up happened after midnight, it can't properly be blamed on the wedding; they happened on different days.
_________________________
Clef


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#1374802 - 02/15/10 03:35 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
good point Jeff!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1377317 - 02/18/10 11:53 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Good heavens, I leave town for a few days and all hell breaks loose. Apple, you get the award for best wedding gig of the year. I know, it's only February, but I don't think we're going to top this. And you were paid twice? A MIRACLE.

Valentine's Day Dinner was dreamy. 24 people, 12 tables of two surrounding the grand, candles and roses and nice people listening and being romantic, and, well, it gave me faith in the traditions of love. Musically, it was intense. My gigs almost always fall into one of two categories. Either they are background music gigs, or concerts. This job was right smack in the middle. I played four hours, standard length for a background gig, but the vibe was a lot more like a concert. I played two sets of covers and two sets of originals, all of it borderline lovey-dovey to match the occasion.

If anyone wants to know the set list, let me know. I never plan what I'm going to play, but after each set on the 14th I wrote down what I had played, in case anyone here is curious. The VD repertoire is pretty much like the wedding repertoire.

So, that was the dinner. Bit of pressure, but I was happy and buzzed when it was over. The Taittenger Rosé may have helped.

Now I shall backtrack to the VD lunch, which I played at the castle earlier on the same day. Not as upscale as the dinner, but still pretty high-fallutin': Two hour gig, accompanying a champagne three-course lunch in the French Brasserie.

Lots of middle-aged couples—women with puffy hair, red sweaters, and high expectations of getting a piece of jewelry, accompanied by men with thinning hair, red ties, and a craving for beer instead of champagne. Several senior couples topped off the crowd, including Frau and Herr Severins, who are in their nineties and still manage to show up at the castle once a month. For them, each day really is Valentine's Day.

We were cruising along at a nice champagne lunch tempo when the manager informed me that one of our regulars, a world famous porn queen named Buttercup Blondeau, would be joining us at any moment.
Now, Buttercup is one of those porn people who is on the radar of most German citizens—she has broken out of the porn box and appears regularly on talk shows as a celebrity guest.

"On Valentine's Day?" I said. I knew something was intrinsically wrong with this, but I couldn't figure out what it was.

"She's coming with a date," said the manager. "She's in love. Look! He has a rose waiting for her on the table." I glanced over at the one empty table in the restaurant.

"Here she is now," said the manager.

Well. Buttercup Blondeau the porn queen, giving Ginger a run for her money, posed in the restaurant's entrance like she was waiting for a team of waiters to carry her to he table. Had she stood there a second longer, I'm sure they would have complied. Ms. Blondeau, who has the most fabulous body imaginable—a waist the circumference of a coffee cup— was poured into a black cashmere mini dress cut down to here and up to there. Legs to the sky, aided by a pair of six inch heels. She had porn queen bed-head platinum hair, but you know, you can't get every detail right.

I held my breath as she entered the room, realizing that I was playing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" not necessarily the most appropriate choice for a porn queen.

Aside from the piano music, the room shifted into silent mode. Really, I couldn't even hear a fork clink on a plate. The men were staring at Buttercup. The women were glaring at the men. Buttercup's date scurried behind her and, right before she slid into her seat, he kissed her—I mean REALLY kissed her—while grabbing her behind. It was at this point, playing in the key of D, I hit an F natural instead of an F#.

The room began to breathe again, but I could sense people looking sideways at Buttercup and her date. Heck, I was even doing it myself. You can't NOT look. Later, the happy couple got up to visit the dessert buffet just as Herr and Frau Severins were leaving.

"Auf Wiedersehen Frau Goldsby!" said Frau Severins to me as she passed the piano. "Interesting crowd you have here today."

I turned to answer her but she was bustling to catch up with her husband, who was stopped dead in his tracks, staring at Buttercup and the Date, who were making out like teenagers right in front of the creme brulée section of the dessert table. The Date was groping Buttercup's bottom (I mean, really, who could blame him) and she was leaning over, dangerously close to spilling unnamed body parts into the chocolate mousse. Not that I've ever watched a porn film—who, me?— but I could well imagine that the scene I was witnessing looked a lot like something straight out of Buttercup Takes Berlin.

Poor Herr Severins had to be dragged out of the Brasserie by his wife. Buttercup and the Date calmed down and went back to their table. I played "Fly Me to the Moon" and called it a day.

*********

Note: Buttercup is not her real name. But trust me, her real name is just as creative.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1377576 - 02/18/10 06:50 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
That was absolutely brilliant Robin (we all know what F stands for.)

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

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1377742 - 02/18/10 11:44 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: apple*
Apparently the bride went bazoonkers and yelled at everyone later on in the evening.. going so far as to take off her wedding dress...

Another illusion bites the dust.

Although we are all musicians, we play in different circumstances. I will confess to having had a certain smugness regarding experience with the less-constrained forms of human behavior. Surely we who play for people to dance mix with more "interesting" clientele; the sharp corners of their inhibitions rounded smooth by the music, the occasion and the open bar.

Apparently not, at least not always. Some live by the adage that the early bird eats the worm; starting into the tequila at the Church to be safe. Took the dress off while cursing out the relatives? I agree there has to be some sort of prize for that. I think you get a reality show.

As for Fraulein Blondeau and the F natural (or shall we call it a "minor" flub? har har), that reminds me of a story. Is anyone surprised?

We were playing in a bar. This place was to have a short life, just a couple of summer months. The air conditioning, or lack thereof, was not the only problem, but I can remember people going outside between sets for the relief of the 90 degree air in the parking lot. We played there two or three times, each time after being reassured that the kinks were being worked out.

Our drummer has had more playing experience than any of the rest of us and is pretty unflappable as a result. He arrived at one gig in a police car (with his drums) after his car caught fire on the highway, and unloaded his car while it was being hooked up to a tow-truck at another. He reacted to both of those situations with considerably more aplomb than I would have.

But...

The subtleties of minor and Major thirds are lost on most drummers. F? F#? H? Sure. "Got 'em all on this drum right here". But there are worse things than an errant note. Rhythm has a visceral connection to our inner selves. The very planet wobbles in its orbit when the beat goes awry.

The bar was one storefront wide, but quite long. The door was at one end, we played at the other. Behind us was the corridor to the rest rooms.

She walked in the front door and headed directly back to the ladies' room. Several of us noticed within her first couple of steps. I don't remember what she was wearing, something suitable to the torrid weather, I'm sure. I find myself remembering it in slow motion, with a breeze in her hair. The breeze, at least, is surely embellishment, the A/C was set to "wheeze".

Most of us had time to gradually absorb the effect of this impressively-constructed woman as she approached. Our drummer, owing to playing seated, caught sight of her all at once, as she emerged past the bar crowd.

There were about two and a third extra beats in that measure. This was followed by a number of the sensitive and tactful comments that musicians are known for, in the drummers direction.

The drummer snapped out of his trance just as she disappeared behind us, but not without some hyperextension of his neck and eyelid muscles.

She left as quickly as she had entered, having only come in for the pit stop. It's just as well. We'd have had to play Greek rhythms for the rest of the night otherwise.


Edited by gdguarino (02/18/10 11:47 PM)
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1377783 - 02/19/10 01:11 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
For Valentine's Day, I took my wife to Bimbo's 365 Club for the SEVA Foundation Valentine's Day Party. Bimbo's (it means "little boy," short for bambino, incidentally) is perhaps the most elegant night club in San Francisco, and one of my regular clients. I have tuned there for almost 30 years now. Mr. Bimbo and his wife were alive when I first went there, and now their grandsons are running it. Since it was a benefit, I paid for our tickets. We got really good seats, purely by luck this time, although sometimes they save good seats for us.

Couples were the theme: Wavy Gravy was the emcee, and his wife was on stage with him. Tuck and Patty led the show off. I was just in awe of his guitar playing, and she is a fine singer. Then came David Grisman and his wife. Steve Earle performed solo, because his wife is quite pregnant, but was eventually joined by Joan Baez as a substitute. Joan Baez brought her mother who is 97 years old!

Coming over, the BART train had been packed with people going to the giant pillow fight at Justin Herman Plaza. We managed to get a streetcar back to the Embarcadero BART station just before it closed, and walked past piles of pillow guts. So, all in all, it was nothing quite so exotic as these weddings, just a normal San Francisco evening.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1378579 - 02/20/10 12:39 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 690
Loc: Germany
Turn the beat around! Greg, I wonder if the drummer in question knew what he had done. Probably not. He most likely blamed the other musicians. He's probably telling the same story (from his point of view) over on some drummer's forum.

My steady Friday-Saturday gig allows me the opportunity to people-watch like crazy. It's my favorite part of the gig, like being in the front row of some high-rent European fashion show/circus. Usually I stay cool and play smoothly through bizarre customer wardrobe choices, celebrity sightings, or medical emergencies, but every so often (like in the case of Buttercup Blondeau) my fingers disconnect from my brain and go on their own happy way. It happens.

Hey BDB, sounds like you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. The concert must have been marvelous, but really, I'd like to see that giant pillow fight. I do hope Joan Baez's mother stayed on the sidelines for that part of the evening. Question: BDB, the photo for my Piano Girl cover (hardcover version) was shot by Rich Leeds in San Francisco at a piano bar called Martuni's (or something like that). Are you the technician there?

Just booked a wedding in March. Word of advice to the brides of tomorrow: Book your wedding in the off season. Sure, you might have to deal with freezing rain and mud in the garden, but you can plan everything inside, and you'll get a lot more special attention, especially from musicians who will be ever so grateful for the work.

Happy Weekend, everyone!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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