Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, June 22, 2006

  "That piano is just for show"

So I take a break from the break and the panel format, and spy a beautiful yamaha piano in the dining room. I look both ways - there's no security present - and sit down and wheel out a few of my prettiest pieces. I get a few nods and smiles from the people around me for my opener, then I roll into a basic blues, then start "Estonia", this thing in Gminor that I've been fiddling with

Then security shows up to tell me that: "that piano is not for customers, that piano is just for show."

I say, "It's an awfully nice and well tuned piano to have just for show."

He says - "well, you're obviously qualified to be playing it, but it really is, just for show."

I ask: "Is it ok if I finish this song?"

And the security man looks both ways (for his supervisor?), and agrees, politely. And I, politely, finish my song, straighten up the piano, close the lid, and leave.

This same scenario has been repeated in 75% of the hotels I've been to - someone officious comes up and kicks me off the piano. I've thought about disguising myself as Elton John or Billy Joel, but no doubt, they'd get the same treatment. Is it a conspiracy? That pianos not be played? That they sit there, inert, without life or song emanating from them, out there, just for show?

The other 25% of hotels welcome someone playing the piano - and those are the kinds of places I like to stay at. It's way too expensive for me to pay 300 bucks for hotel room - but 300 bucks for a hotel room and a couple hours 7' 10" piano rental (and free drinks) is always totally worth it everywhere I've found one. There's a hotel in San Diego that asked me to come back....

Ah, well, this hotel is full, anyway. Maybe a youth hostel will take me in.

... I'd planned on closing with "It GPLs me".

That piano - the GPL - is not just for show.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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