Better Than Billy Joel?

Perhaps the most interesting “news” item I’ve read all month is the story of “Piano Man” who, since being in the custody of a British mental ward for the past six weeks, has not spoken a single word but has composed music on manuscript paper, played the piano for several hours without stop, and has made an extremely well-crafted pencil drawing of a grand piano.

Either this is all an extremely brilliant PR stunt, worthy of a George Antheil or John Cage or one of their latter-day accolades like Paris-based American pianist Guy Livingston, or it is further proof that music transcends language. I just hope someone in the ward has the smarts to record one of his performances, although anyone attempting such a venture might be scared off by possible patient’s rights lawsuits which are an even bigger legal Tower of Babel than today’s intellectual property battles.

2 thoughts on “Better Than Billy Joel?

  1. itsudemo

    A bunch of people insist this fellow is a fantastic pianist. But then, none of them could recognize a single piece he played, so how would they know good from bad? David “Shine” Helfgott wasn’t, at the end of the day, anywhere near as good a pianist as he was a human interest story. It’s probably not a marketing gimmick, but someone will turn it into one, we can be sure.

    Probably some out-of-work, homeless conservatory graduate who lost his mind when he realized his years of study were only good for entertaining his relatives at family functions, and perhaps for impressing women on first dates, but then it’s back to his boring 9-to-5 in Accounts Payable. It’s a wonder more musicians don’t wind up in the same place as this fellow. Well, he’ll get a movie of the week out of it, or, if he’s lucky, Russell Crowe will play him in next year’s Oscar-winning Ron Howard opus.

    Reply
  2. rama gottfried

    “The man has since written music, which has been verified as genuine.”[!]

    I love it!

    of course I would verify it as genine too I’m sure.

    Reply

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