because you had to be a big shot
Monday, May 19, 2008
Last Friday night I was playing the piano at my cousin's 13 year old birthday party, but for the record, I wasn't playing it very well.
I'm quite rusty on the old ivory keys to say the least.
My sudden lack of skills made me think of a story of when I USED to rock at the piano.
I took piano lessons from 1st through 11th grade. Yeah, I was the girl who took lessons in everything, but piano was by far the trade I stuck with the most. In fact, I was pretty darn good at it.
To this day, these piano lessons are what makes me far superior in that game the kids are playing these days called Guitar Hero.
But I digress.
Thanks to my mother and father I was raised with quite an eclectic taste in music, and one of my all time favorites growing up was the great icon Billy Joel. I mean, duh, he's the piano man, and I kept taking pianos lessons to play just like him.
My first Billy Joel concert was at the old Richfield Coliseum in the tenth row (my mom is awesome), I sang every song and I still have my River of Dreams concert t-shirt from 1993. Old school baby.
So in 1996 or 1997 Billy (by this time we were on a first name basis), was doing a small venue concert series that was more of a teaching tour. It was a question and answer type show rather than a full blown concert. He would stop and answer some audience questions then play a song and so on and so forth.
My man billy made a stop with the aforementioned tour that year at University of Akron. I begged my mom for tickets and she obliged being my plus one.
All I wanted was for Billy to pick me out of the audience to play the piano with him.
But since that didn't happen I at least wanted him to pick my 16-year-old self out of the crowd to ask him a question.
Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!
Well he did...
I got the microphone and chatted with him about how my mother was such a fan of his and that on the night I was born she was supposed to be going to his concert and was trying to hold off labor to make sure she saw him and that the doctor wouldn't let her.
He smiled awkwardly like okay, this girl is crazy.
It got worse.
I then said, "Well my name is ALEXA! just like your daughter's (Alexa Ray Joel) but I wasn't named after her because I'm older."
"Mmhmmm", he said - now officially weirded out.
Oh, it got even worse.
I FINALLY rambled to my question and I said, " Well Mr. Joel I have been playing the piano for quite sometime now and I have gotten to the point that I can play your songs. What I don't understand though is how you can stretch your hands so far to reach over an octave length of notes. I mean my hands don't reach and I don't get how yours do, you're not exactly a tall man."
Finally Billy responds, "Wow, what are you going to say next, that I have small feet?"
The crowd erupts in laughter, I blush - kinda confused and sit down.
I later realized that I had called out Billy Joel not only on his height but his possible penis size in front of an auditorium full of thousands of people.
Quite the charmer I am.
Right after the incident he played "Downeaster Alexa" just for me - or his daughter, same thing.
The whole time stretching out his hands. His really big manly, not small at all hands.
My face still gets red thinking about the story. Sigh.
I love you Billy.