piano man

Every Thursday night is the same. At 11pm I begin playing and singing the beautiful white grand in the corner of the bar, and a great cheer erupts. I am here! I am here to lend my fingers and voice to the masses! They appreciate me! They may even be in love with me and who could blame them? I have made their ears stop bleeding from the repetitive dross playing over the bar sound system through the managers iPod, and now they have a real life musician to entertain them! This is going to be amazing!

At 11.03pm everyone promptly ignores me and go back to their lives. While I have to play for 3 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, I know how fortunate I am to be in this position. There are others far more talented than I and not receiving this opportunity. So how dare I complain? Well here’s some good reasons why I moan about being a piano man.


5. No One Wants To Hear Anything Apart From The Same 6 Songs


Be honest. There are only a few songs you’d want to hear in a piano bar. And I’m guessing out of all the ones that came into your head, most were by Billy Joel, Elton John or Bon Jovi. This is inevitable, as they are famous singer-songwriters whose music is timeless. And in the case of the former two, written specifically for the piano. But having to play the same core of songs week in and week out is hard. I know it sounds silly but it is. Having to play Tiny Dancer week in, week out is practically soul destroying. I imagine a thousand crying piano men the world over, as their tears are the only relief to their cracked dry fingers, whoring themselves out over the keys to the unloving crowd. And when you want to play something different, like may your blues version of Sexy And I Know It, or your wonderful arrangement of Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal, no one gives a sh*t. They want Livin’ On A Prayer, and God help you if you don’t give it to them.

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This article was first posted on April 22, 2013