I’ve been missing my piano lately. It was a Yamaha concert grand that I got from Sam Taylor, video producer for ZZ Top. We worked with Sam when I worked for the entertainment attorney in Texas. (Did some independent projects for Billy Gibbons, too, but those were unrelated to Sam. I remember not liking Gibbons very much. Found him brash…but that had nothing to do with my piano.)
The piano was about 7′ long. Black shiny lacquer finish. A stunning piece of art. We had just renovated a house in the Houston Heights when I got it. The thing took up about a third of our small living room, but I didn’t mind. That piano was near and dear to my heart. I played it when I was happy….and I played it when I was sad. Friends would come over with their instruments and we would play together. I loved it. It was my pride and joy…and it was loud! I played classical….rock….a little (but not much) jazz…and I composed a lot of my own pieces.
When we left the Heights, we moved over to an incredibly beautiful house on Hawthorne Street. This was a big house, and the piano fit perfectly. It was on wheels, I would roll it from one end of the living room to the other when I felt like changing things around.
My daughter attended the High School for the Performing Arts, and sometimes her friends would come over and play it. I remember a Brazilian jazz pianist friend of my friend, Katy played one night. Whenever we had parties, we would hire professional pianists, and I always enjoyed hearing other people play it, but it was my baby. I played it every single day, and I loved it so.
When John was offered a position as Vice President and Academic Dean of a good school in New England, I decided to leave the piano behind. That was a decision that I soon regretted. However, the instrument was huge, and I feared that the trip across the US might damage it, so I decided to let it go. It was one of the most painful decisions I have ever made. I remember crying as the piano movers (wearing white gloves) loaded her into the back of the truck. However, I also noticed a sense of freedom. That piano was huge, and she did take up a lot of space. As much as I loved her, she was a bit of an albatross.
I doubt if I will ever own another piano of that caliber again, but that’s ok. I am happy that I had the experience when I did. I’m happy that the instrument was in the house when I children were growing up. However, at the end of the day, it was just another thing….another material possession, and possessions simply aren’t that important…at least to me, they’re not.
I moved on to other things…started playing the guitar more…writing new songs…concentrating on other things….but now and again, I’ll want to play the theme song from The Piano….or some Mozart….or a little House of the Risin’ Sun. I’ll not forget her.