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Sonata Pathetique (2nd Movement)

December 16, 1770 Happy Birthday Ludwig van Beethoven!

day 253

I played my own version of Pathetique (2nd movement) for LvB’s birthday….

So I’m sitting here with Ludwig and he says, “That’s not how I wrote it,” and I say, “Hey, but that’s how I hear it.”  

He says, “Well, you could have played all the notes I wrote,” and I say, “Hey, lighten up B. I just added a few you didn’t write.”

So he tells me I got a bad attitude and I say, “What’s with with the funky hair?”

He says, “Mind your own business, and I say, “Oh who’s got a bad attitude now?”

He thinks about it a minute and says “I did like the drums!”

I say, “Now, you’re talking. How about my string part?”

He tells me I should study more Bach.

He’s right!

Although I’ve studied classical music all my life I could never really play classical piano or perform it.  I just studied it to be a better musician.

I LOVE Beethoven. He plays the piano with- how can i say it – Big Balls!

Straighten Up and Fly Right

November 30, 1943 The Nat King Cole Trio is recording Straighten Up and Fly Right.

surprise, arizona

I love Nat King Cole because initially he was known as one of the greatest jazz pianists and then he started singing and now the masses only think of him of as a beautiful crooner!

I decided late in my professional career that I wanted to sing. I’ve always loved playing for great singers and one day I said “I want to sing,” so now I’m a singer/pianist as opposed to only a piano player!

Saw my mom today in Arizona. She is doing great and tomorrow we’re going to take her out to a fair near our hotel with Claudia’s  brother and his kids, and for some reason there are hot air balloons across the street right now, so Claudia and I are going to explore!

Straighten Up and Fly Right!

Makin’ Whoopee

November 21, 1940 Happy Birthday Dr. John!

thanksgiving eve

Dr. John is my favorite New Orleans style piano player. He and Rickie Lee Jones did a duet of Makin’ Whoopee! which is my favorite version of this song!  Louis Armstrong also did a great version.

There a lot more verses to this song but I got to run to the Red Lion to play with the Stingers.

Thanksgiving eve is a big bar and club night! Everybody comes out tonight and Bleecker street becomes like Bourbon Street!

Come join us!

Moondance

November 19, 1976 Van Morrison’s Moondance album is certified gold!

226/365

While I was a senior in high school I started freelancing and I was in some different rock bands that were playing colleges. College mixers were big gigs. In high school we partied a lot but these college parties were off the chain.

So I’m playing at this big mixer at the University of Bridgeport. There were multiple kegs of beer and 5 or 6 big bowls of punch and the whole placed reeked of reefer. I had some punch.  It tasted good so I had some more.  I started feeling a little strange but all was good.

We went onstage and the only thing I remember from that night was that we jammed on Moondance for a 1/2 hour.  You could get away with that in those days, and I remember taking a solo and I started very low on the keyboard and worked my way up to the middle of the keyboard then I went higher and higher.  The keyboard had only so many notes but my solo needed to go higher so my fingers went off to the right of the keyboard, and I was playing in the air but I heard the notes go higher right where they should have been. People looking at me were like WTF and I was like, Yeah you hear it too, you know you do!

What a trip!

Moondance!

 

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

August 13, 1994 Woodstock ’94 was held in Saugerties, New York. The festival featured Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, Aerosmith and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. (via thisdayinmusic.com)

 

watermelon

Dylan tried to teach me Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) on guitar but my fingerpicking stinks so I play it on piano where my fingers are comfortable. This is one of the only Green Day songs I sing but I really love lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. He can write, play guitar and sing great! That’s the winning ticket.

I didn’t go to Woodstock ’94 (though I do have a signed poster from it that I got at a preschool auction!) and I was too young to go to the original Woodstock, but my sister Alyson lived in Saugerties in ’94 and said it was crazy. Once in a while on a gig someone will come up to me and say “Hey man, I was at Woodstock,” and I look at them and think “You never left!”

I went to lots of concerts in my teens but I started getting too claustrophobic  in the middle of so many people standing all around me. I prefer being on stage, with a backstage bathroom and a green room with food and a car in the back for an easy escape.

I can never remember where I parked my car in those massive stadium parking lots.

To tell you the truth I have trouble remembering where I park my car every day.

Here’s my piano version of Good Riddance!