Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

 
HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

October 31, 2006

Pennsylvania

I had about as much fun as I could have tonight doing my truck/music thing. I was at Jim and Judy Best's house. It was a Halloween street party for everyone. They hired me to play, set up booths with games for the kids on the sidewalk, had a traditional harvest scene on their front lawn with bales of hay for photo's where teens had their picture taken with their Halloween dates and then made their own frames in the driveway to take home for souvenirs. Jim's brother and a few neighbors were helping. The old lady across the street served cotton candy freshly made from an old carnival machine. It was a spontaneous gathering, a celebration for people to discover. It was right up my alley and I was part of a big, "give". No formality it was as casual as could be neighbors milled around and chatted. I loved the sounds of children and adults interacting with each other. Everyone was involved with the night. I could play no wrong music. My improvisation fit in perfectly. I was amazed at that. I think it was because my energy was compatible with the spirit of everything that was present. Because I was physically sick today I was concerned where my energy was going to come from. I played straight through for three hours with no break and I am still pumped. Lots of people got up to play... kids, adults, a father and daughter team dueted it. The neighborhood was old and Victorian, a perfect setting for Halloween.


October 30, 2006

Pennsylvania

Today I drove deep into the back yard of Flo and Craig's home. Craig is an Ebayer who is to sell some stuff for me to raise money for the tour across country. Flo is Craig's mom and she cooked me a real "mom" dinner of meatloaf, cornbread, peas, mashed potatoes and gravy with home cooked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and coffee for dessert. I got a doggie bag to take home and it was for ME not my doggie Bo. Everyone came out to greet us in the field, the house dogs, neighbors from both sides... pictures were taken, they all listened a few minutes and then until dark... Bo and I were left to the moon. I was tempted to howl even though it was not full. I found it interesting that Flo is a witch and I asked her at dinner, "are you a good witch"? She said "yes", and I gave myself a silent sigh of relief. She is also a wonderful artist.

October 29, 2006

Pennsylvania

What happens to the word "unconventional" when that word becomes the norm? I gave my first talk for a musical group today and also improvised for them. We talked about me. What fun. Actually, my goal was to share my passion about the discovery of self and how I have been creatively expressing that specifically with musical improvisation. We were also phone conferenced with others all the way to Hawaii. I find this period in my life incredibly challenging as I step daily into a stronger sense of self while seeking to stay connected and interactive with others. My new friend Mary who improvised in the park on her harp with me the other day introduced me to a national group that she works with called, Bedside Harp. They happen to be based near my home. For the health care profession there is a resource for bedside musical harp therapy. Who knew? They provide assistance with healing through music, document research concerning the values of live harp music in the health fields, teach the harp and also provide support for professional harp players. Who knew? They were a great bunch a musicians and I am coming to terms with that fact that I cannot possible enjoy harp music unless I am present with it and not in a chaotic headspace... or at least willing to try and calm down to listen. I can see how if I was already down and sick this music would without question, bring me up. I performed through my fear and they liked it. That is as "cool" as it gets for me.

October 28, 2006

New Jersey

PART ONE. I am going to try and not rant. It will not be easy. In the old days of performing... twenty years ago ... Before people were filled with fear and terror because they might get wet with rain or the wind may blow their hair out of place events were held... regardless. Tents and tarps and hats and umbrellas were used. People actually enjoyed a rainy day or thought nothing much of it. When was the last time you saw people walking with umbrellas? It is now a rare sight to see. Bottom line, my mortgage payment was lost today due a festival cancellation because of rain. I should be performing right now. The sun is out. This is happening more and more from cultivated fear in our society. I need to get back completely to my contract of rain or shine, a rain date, or some other makeup clause because people no longer use coping skills with inclement weather. They either run, quit or put their head in the sand until all the yelling dies down. The RESPONSE-ABILITY quota is dropping by the wayside and people like me suffer. There is always a way to make it work out. I should know. If I can find a way to make it work in the rain when an event has tens of thousands of dollars and people invested, the event should happen whether most of the vendors bail out or not, whether the majority of people stay home or not. What about the people who care? The vendors and people who bail out should lose the money not the troopers who stick with it. So now, because I went against the grain and stood up for what is right, I vocalized what was not "their" opinion... I will probably be labeled as difficult... especially because money is involved. What was to be MY money. I will most likely lose a relationship that I enjoyed. I did not demand the money but the loss needed to be addressed. That was the right thing to do. My character and self-image necessitated it. If my professionalism is not respected through immaturity, guilt, fear, denial, greedyness whatever... so be it... I will adjust my future dealings as needed. Sad but necessary. I still have hope there will be some resolution but I have my doubts.

PART TWO. Tonight I did the Alloway/Salem County Halloween Parade for like the fifteenth year. I love this place. I used to be able to say it was in the "boonies" but it is getting more and more gentrified every year although the people stay the same... very down to earth, loving of dysfunctional fun just like me. Alloway is a really neat little South Jersey village. This is a tight group that runs the parade and they always pay up ahead of time which makes me really, really love em'. One of the volunteers, Jennifer drove for me as she did last year but this year she was not "looped" which made me feel safer but I'm not sure about Boner. He was off the piano within a half of a block into the parade. He would never had lasted in this parade anyway, the wind alone would have blown him off the piano, as there must have been gusts of forty miles an hour. It was as cold as any Christmas parade that I have done along the ocean. There was a steam locomotive horn blasting in front of us along with a hotrod car shooting off fireworks behind us. Boner was flat on the floor next to me while I pounded the truck bed with my feet. I did the entire parade route with thousands of people yelling, "where's the dog"? I am preparing myself to expect alot of this in the time to come because I am not going to make Bo sit on the piano if he does not want to. I kept telling myself, "thank God I never felt like I needed Bo for work. I was doing what I do for many years before he came along and Boner has always been there because he wanted to be. I never trained or planned for him to be hanging out on the piano it was a natural occurrence. The local newspaper had published an article on the parade yesterday and included a couple of paragraphs about me in it. I want people to know me more so I appreciated the write up. Many people who had read the article came up to me and introducing themselves while wishing me well and shaking my hand. I do not think I ever had that happen before in this way with so many people. People were glad to know me better. I was in the local convenience store before and after the parade and I got my first dose of like... everyone staring at me, "there's that guy". It was not my imagination and it felt really weird. I liked the handshakes much more.

October 27, 2006

Pennsylvania

Damm. I wrote over this file with October 28th's writing. I guess I am upset about the booking cancellation that created this scattered brain of mine. It is the first time I messed up and it is killing me because it takes so much time to write this stuff and publish it! Oh well, I was in the Croyden Pennsylvania part of Neshaminy state park and a guy named Bill took the photo for me. I remember feeling really energetic and wondering how I am going to get through the next few months doing this outside.

October 26, 2006

Pennsylvania

Ernie took today's picture from his truck for me. A guy named Don stopped by to say hi. I was at the Delaware River Access area near my home. During the first half hour, the parking lot started to look like a drive in movie and I was the movie screen. Instead of the cars and trucks facing the water, they all started facing me even changing from their present parked spots. A post office truck, landscaping, heating and air, misc cars... it was interesting because that had not happened before. I was practicing some of my repertoire. Then when I started to improvise, three of the vehicles started their engine, I thought they were going to leave. I started to feel insecure about my improv but they ended up maneuvering their cars so they could view the river while I played. What a compliment that was!

Bo is developing a new quirk. He wants me to nudge him out of the cab and then when it is time to jump into the truck he waits for me to think he does not have the energy so he cannot do the jump. Then I go to put the back truck flap down so it is easier for him to get in and at that point he seems to say, "no, I will do it my way" and he jumps up the side as usual. My putting down the back seems to give him incentive. He barley makes it but gets the job done.

October 25, 2006

Pennsylvania

When I began this outdoor improvisation performing everyday it was in the spring. Oh how loverly it was to be outside. It has not been so "loverly" lately. It has been friggin' cold! It still is fun but I can feel the inspiration needed changing from fun enjoyment of the outdoors to "challenge". This is especially when the wind blows. I went to the local high school parking lot at dusk. With the colder weather I can feel the incentive to get out earlier in the day because if I need to deal with the cold that will be better in the sunlight. I put Boner's coat on him tonight for the first time to see if that would help him as he is just sitting on the piano and not moving around in the cold. The sweater did its job.

October 24, 2006

Pennsylvania

Ha.hahaha.HaHa... Today... I cannot resist saying this... an angel appeared. Not only that... she did it with her lovely harp! Her name was Mary, I forget the harps name I know she has another at home named Isabella. I am so bad on remembering names. They came to play with me in the park. We were at Playwicki Farm I am not sure of the town but it is in Pennsylvania. We plopped ourselves deep into the park off a paved path. Can you imagine what it was like for the walkers rounding the bend to find a piano guy sitting on a truck playing music with a dog sitting on the piano and as they pass on the other side of the truck they a woman sitting on her chair playing the harp? Yep, and Mary looks angelic too... at least to me. It was not so easy for me to hear her because the harp is a soft instrument. It sounded like the grass blowing in the wind around us, like wind chimes. I have a lot to learn about musical relationship with others. I have practically no experience with that. It became evident as I self-consciously found myself more comfortable in having a parallel monologue with Mary musically speaking... rather than interacting with her. Such a child musically, I am! "It was what it was". I hope we do it again.

October 23, 2006

Pennsylvania

Since it was cool today as soon as Boner came out of the truck I said to him, "you might not want to get up on the piano and sit because it is a littler cold, so if you want to go back in and wait in the truck that would be ok. Without my waiting ten seconds or moving an inch, he jumped back into the cab. If he could run around on top of the piano to keep warm that would be one thing but such as it is, I am going to miss him up with me through the cooler weather. He is ok on jobs because there is a lot of energy and distraction going on. Of all the fisherman that hang out where I often play, the biggest fisherman of them all in his big fishing coat and big hat with big floppy ears climbed onto my truck to play Good King Wenceslas on my piano tonight. I am still kicking myself as I forgot to bring my camera! I told him I wanted to get a picture in the next few days to put on my website and he said, "I don't think so". Me and my big mouth. The days are getting shorter and colder. There were only two people at the Delaware River access area in Pennsylvania today. After the fishermen left, I was alone for the first time on the water playing in the dark as the park ranger had not arrived to shut the gates. I am becoming more aware of my need to play a keyboard that can provide nuance and I am told that might be possible with a piano sample module. I will need to look into that.

October 22, 2006

Pennsylvania

I love to laugh at myself; I do it as much as possible. Today's piano playing was for the Quakertown Halloween Parade and I got to wear my silly Halloween hat. This town has been like a supportive family to me. I have had a relationship with them for almost ten years now. Everyone was asking about my wildest dream. I arrived just in time to jump on the truck and start the parade route as Tom Klee the big man who puts this parade together for everyone yells, "Hurry Danny". I do a once around to pre-hype the parade route by myself before the actual parade starts. When I got back to the beginning Tom said, "that was fast". So I said, "well lets do another runaround". Tom says, "you sure"? Like an idiot who wants to please I said, "for you guys I'll do anything". I told my friend Cindy who was driving to whip it through once again and we drove the route for a second time at around thirty miles an hour. I must admit at that speed it was fun especially watching peoples faces as I whizzed on by but by the third time for the actual parade there was not much power left in me. The associated press saw me for the first time and took some serous footage of my playing but I could not give them a solid sound bite. I was sloppy with my playing while kicking myself for messing up a potentially good media opportunity. The parade was moving very slow and I kept losing my performing all throughout the third time around, my hands would give way, my head would stop thinking. I would mess up and all I could to was scream and laugh. Nobody cared, it was all about having stupid fun. Boner on top of the piano was all that anyone cared about anyway... I hope not. Bo keep farting through the entire parade route and guess which way the wind was blowing.

October 21, 2006

Pennsylvania

Some piano players... "play for their dinner". Today this piano guy "played for his pretzel". Boner didn't have to do anything except be Boner for his pretzel. He's "special". I made yet another bold move today and sat on US route 1 in Langhorne PA to play on the highway outside my nephews new pretzel store. Bold because it was "out there" on the open highway and bold because it was "for family". Family relationship has never come natural to me but I never cease to give in to the opportunity to contribute if it can be a healthy contribution. The constant moving traffic gave me energy and inspiration and I was able to get lost in the music. It was fun. Funny, I am only distracted when it comes to sounds of individuals or small crowds. I get lost in the music with all other forms of sound distraction even with large crowds. My music feeds off of environmental sounds.

October 20, 2006

Pennsylvania

In a matter of hours, the day turned from a dark heavy rain to skies of sunny blue. Through an act of spontaneity, I ended up in front of my niece's house in Fallsington, Pa. In a matter of minutes, the area was full of neighbors and the truck was full of kids. The energy was amazing. It was freezing as the temperature must have dropped twenty degrees, the wind was blowing about 40 miles an hour, the kids were screaming and jumping around while my niece cajoled me into playing The Bumble Boogie. I had to chase eveyone away for a moment to capture my favorite moment which was while playing the piano with my grandnephew sitting on my lap. He was bouncing on my knee to the rhythm of my foot tapping.

October 19, 2006

Pennsylvania

I brought my sheet music to the park today, the Delaware access area, and I practiced with the tick, tock, tick, tock metronome. I am an adult piano playing pro doing the tick, tock, tick, tock. What can I say, "it is what it is". I have a booking this week and I have not played the old routine in a while. I get sloppy and forget so I need to stay at it constantly. The park audience thought it was cute. Ernie came over to let me know it was a good thing I was playing Ragtime and Boogie Woogie because he was sick of hearing that other crap. He was going to tell me to get the hell out! He was there the other day and told me that he asked his buddy what all the racket was. The friend said, "look over in the back some guy is playing the piano on a truck". He vowed to throw me out the next time I created noise. Today, he liked my noise. I find it interesting how people in this park, young and old, male and female... when they come up to talk to me they have a need to tell me they do not drink. I do not know whether they are drinking when they say this or not and I do not have a need to know. It feels sort of like the normal guy thing of needing to slip in something about women during the first five minutes of conversation looking for mutual validation.

October 18, 2006

Pennsylvania

I am finding the need today to de-prioritize my energy in thinking about performing outdoors and when it comes to finding new and exciting venues. The focus today is more, "just do it", get outside and play even if for a short time. The "where" is not so important today. Consistency at the basic level is most important. I played on the Delaware river today in Croyden, Pennsylvania. I love the change of seasons as I experience them while playing on the water. Every day is new and different in some way. I was catching the wakes of passing boats on the river and following them in to the beach with music. I am into giving myself a break today. It is not so important to always have intent, purpose, structure, thought, discipline. Yuk with all of the today. The best part of creating my music was just to... "be"... with whatever it was. It is really important for me to be able to experience life as in just... "be". That is the best.

October 17, 2006

Pennsylvania

It is raining out side. "Flashback". I can remember my hottest performance date. I was booked for two days in Hatboro, Pennsylvania for the town's annual sidewalk sale on route 611, which happens to be on majorly trafficked thoroughfare. The heat from the hot asphalt under the truck and from long tractor-trailers roaring by was oppressive. Bo at the time a young pup and able to tolerate most environments but even this situation was too much. He waited for me inside different air-conditioned storefronts. It was difficult to breath from the traffic exhaust. I kept thinking, "challenge, money, extreme adventure, pay". I was moving from block to block along the street and finally found a shady tree. The vibrations from my performing must have hatched the millions of little nats that began to fall on me from the tree above. A guy came up to me after I finished the job saying, "hey I heard you're really a hot piano player". I wondered if he got that from the visualization from my sweat soaked clothes, the tie hanging off my shoulder and my unbutton shirt that was running from the colors of my dripping bandanna.

October 16, 2006

Pennsylvania

This is a picture perfect day. I drove to the Delaware Access area to play in the sun. The fisherman and I are like distant buddies now. We are glad to see each other and we wave to each other as I play in the back of the parking lot and they are down by the water. A couple was in front of me doing their "thing" by the side of their car. I thought at first, "oh nice a romantic couple to create music for." It did not take me long to get a sense of dirty and sneaky, sleazy vibes. I ignored them as much as possible. I wanted to create a playful, natural clean feeling music. I closed my eyes while I played. The music of the fall season sounds very different for the spring or summer seasons. I wondered if through time my music would change with the seasons. The fall sounds deeper and warmer to me. It has the same intensity as the other seasons. I realized that while I am away... I have decided I am heading cross country and back to create music for people to listen to... while I am away I will be able to create solace for myself in playing music if I start to feel lonely. I will never feel alone again after the last tour, but I do feel lonely from time to time. Now I "got the ticket" to assist me with that.

October 15, 2006

Pennsylvania

The birthday dog went to grandma's house to visit my friend Robin and to wish a beautiful baby girl named Autumn a happy third birthday. I was hoping Autumn would jump onto the truck to create some music but alas, she was not a happy pup having been awoken from her nap. By the time she was bobbing around it was too dark out to play. Maybe we can try again on another day. The house was along the Neshaminy Creek and it was feeling like a perfect autumn afternoon. It feels wonderful to not want to stop playing music. I have really been enjoying myself.

October 14, 2006

Pennsylvania

I wish I had all day to play. The crisp autumn air, a large shiny lake, flocks of birds, the sounds of the breeze through the leaves filled my senses as a sat and created music by the waters edge at Mill Creek park in the Levittown area of Pennsylvania. I had my friend with me and she meandered around the truck while getting creative with the camera. Bo could not wait to get down and explore all the smells on the ground.

October 13, 2006

Pennsylvania

The "Little Truck That Could" is up and running. The auto mechanic Ken was very considerate in rebuilding the carburetor overnight for me. As I was paying him, he said, now here is the deal. I replaced the air filter where the mice were living for no charge but I want to ask you to drive next door and play a song for my business neighbor. I said, "absolutely". I should have had my video camera to tape the neighbors, these heavyset guys at the auto shop next door dancing with each other as I played! A guy drove into the lot from my neighborhood and said, "come on over to my place and play a little". I said, "sure". I drove over to the Knights Collision Center on Byberry Road in Bensalem PA and parked the truck right on the lawn at the street. I got lost in my playing. There is something about the distraction of other sounds like road traffic that inspires creative thought for me as much as silence does. I played for about 30 minutes. I was across from the police station. Also, across the street, a hard core political Bensalemite came out of their house to take pictures of me. Another old neighbor came out in front of me and threw both hands into the air. It seemed like he was thinking, "Now... what is the world coming to". Whatever he was thinking his look made me chuckle.

I have been throwing around the idea to continue what I am doing cross-country. I know it will be a lot of wear and tear on Bo, the truck and me but the benefits will certainly out way any difficulties. Besides, I am living my wildest dream here. I want to continue to create music for people to discover. I want to present the Traveling Piano truck to those who need a lift in spirit and for those who would never have the opportunity to see and hear a piano player and also for piano players who have never had the opportunity to play on a piano outdoors for themselves. I have a desire to create no fee performance for people who have little means. I want the world to meet Boner before he retires. I would never dream of doing something like this by myself and I may never connect with a partner as good as Bo has been so I want to take advantage of his company and enjoy the most life experience that I can with him while he is still around. I want to see my truck that is coming on two hundred thousand miles make it all the way to Hollywood and back!

I was telling Troy Brennan, part owner of the KNIGHTS COLLISION CENTER about my cross-country idea. It is a costly proposition, as I will have ongoing bills and house payments as well as months of daily hotel, gas, food expenses etc... Going along with the premise of including as many people as possible in my wildest dream I am thinking about collecting small "Tip The Piano Player" sponsorships, strictly from small business owners and from my home area of Bucks County Pennsylvania. I could pursue the big companies and go for a lot more money with less work but at this time in my life, I am still enjoying the one on one intimacy of relationship with people, home neighborhood and business. I want to travel throughout the nation creating "Music For People To Discover" and be able to announce, " The Traveling Piano and music is a present for you from my home, my community of neighbors and small business in Bucks County Pennsylvania." Troy jumped right on the idea and handed me a hundred dollar bill saying, "here is your first contribution". Wow! That was very cool because now it is official. It has begun. My wildest dream mission has just stepped into a new realm. Troy says he supports people who go after their Wildest Dreams. He has experience at it himself in creating four successful businesses' in just five years. He is a man on a mission to contribute worth to the world just like me. I love a challenge. This will be without question my biggest life challenge yet! I am a home body by nature and this will be an adventure away from home for several months, just Bo and I. Hey all you internet readers... show me the money!!! Be part of the Wildest Dream!

October 12, 2006

Pennsylvania

Pray for my baby, the little truck that could. It is in intensive care and hopefully I will get it back tomorrow. Today will be a "flashback". I once played for the National Women's Gymnastic Championship on route 611 in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. It was to be a block party. Unfortunately, the block was a short one. Along with a musical ice cream truck, I had to contend with the sounds of a blaring DJ. No one in charge was around. I had a speaker fight. That is when we all point our speakers on each other and turn them up full blast. The loudest speaker wins. The DJ won. I had to get out of the ridiculously loud and chaotic noise. I was trying to make the performance worth the money spent so I searched other areas on the road to setup. Nothing was really happening the streets were practically dead except for a group of kids who came by from a local private school in Bryn Athens a nearby town. They were a little drunk and a little high but they were also quite creative. They did some unique and cool dancing with my music as well as scatting and howling so strong you could see veins popping from their necks. They were really good. They all had their own sense of style, blond, dark, smooth, hip. The shadow of the truck, Bo and me performing on the brick wall at sunset was totally cool. It even got better when one of the guys started doing run and jump full body somersaults off the side of the brick wall in rhythm with the music.

October 11, 2006

Pennsylvania

I could have played before it began to rain today but the truck's engine is in permanent race mode. Bad carburetor. It will go into intensive care mode tomorrow... I hope. That means into the shop again. So, I will use today as a "flashback". I can remember playing by the water on Swan Creek, Maryland. It was dark and I was on a tall grassy patch of ground. The booking was for a sailing club's party night and it was one big party on about fifty boats rocking from a humid breeze while tied to their docks. It was a bug nightmare, the worst I can remember. A million bugs flew everywhere. I was breathing bugs. I felt a specific mosquito land on my chin and could feel the bite. I was unable to smack it, as I was right in the middle of performing a difficult musical section. I had a bug fly into my nose and I was thinking, "I need a picture of this". Everyone loved the music and brought my cassette tapes. They gave me a tribute as I drove away. I could here the sounds of my music coming from the boats as everyone was playing my cassette tapes at the same time.

October 10, 2006

Pennsylvania

I do not know if I can get away with writing this in my mind because I am really "pushing the envelope". I will surely try. I did play outside today if only for a short time. I played outside a truck mechanics garage in Newportville, Pa while waiting for the mechanic who was talking on the phone. I thought, "no time to waste"! The Traveling Piano was in the shop over night and during most of the day. A new starter was installed so at least the truck will turn on now. After that, I took it to another garage to trouble shoot the carburetor. Can't drive the truck to play music without a carburetor. Apparently, carburetors are a dying breed. Everything now a day is fuel injected. The Raggin' Piano Boogie truck will soon be an antique! We opened the hood and took the top off the filter. Guess what... I have a mouse living in the Traveling Piano truck's air filter!!! The round cylinder type device was filled tightly with empty sunflower seeds, a nice little nest. Apparently, when I bring the truck home everyday, at night a mouse has been creating a nice warm bedroom for himself. When the garage door opens everyday, it is the mouse's signal to vamoose for a day into my back yard until I return. Cute eh?

October 9, 2006

Pennsylvania

I have been losing my chops as in my strength and ability to use my hands and fingers to slam the keys with clarity so it is back to the old grind. Believe it or not, once again I need to delve into the basics and make more time to practice. The way I handle the keyboard with ragtime and boogie woogie is completely different from my improvisation and one does not seem to benefit the other when it comes to technique. Hmmm... Anyway, for the first time there I was at the delaware river access area with my sheet music going over the same old notes that I have been playing for twenty years like I never saw them before. I want to be dramatic and say I am embarrassed and all that... but in reality... it is what it is and if I need to do it... I need to do it. I sat with the keyboard metronome going tick, tock, tick, tock, tick tock... to keep me slow as I went over the notes... over and over again. I think the people in the park liked hearing the repetitive musical phrases even though I would stay on one phrase and repeat it like twenty times. They were more at ease in coming over to say hi to me because it was so obvious I was practicing and not performing. They knew what was going on. God, my mind can get lazy. At least I am not in denial about it. Tonight I went and had dinner and to meet for the first time with a group of musicians like myself. I introduced myself and worked the room telling what I do and then I performed the Maple Leaf Rag for them. I was nervous and jittery. There is no way I would have had the balls to do this before I began pursuing my wildest dream last year, that is play for fellow musicians. I would have been too chicken. I am maturing and that feels good. My sense of self is growing. I am secure that my motives are not to impress but to express. I wanted to let them know me. I sure did that. I gave them a typical Danny. I ripped through the whole musical piece in what felt like fifteen seconds. It is supposed to last like three minutes. I think I broke the speed record for the Maple Leaf Rag. I had just drunk a twenty four-ounce cup of coffee, which was not a good idea when I am nervous to begin with. It was what it was. It was fun. I hope I gave them a stimulating feeling of friendship.

October 8, 2006

Pennsylvania

I decided to crash the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Out Festival today in center city Philadelphia. I thought it was a fun idea. It was definitely a different crowd for me to perform in and a type of venue that I have never played before. I like different and I like diversity so I went for it. It was unnerving at first. There was a lot of chaos and the volume from the club music on the street corners visibly shook the nearby buildings. I found a street that was not barricaded because it was one way. I drove down the wrong way right into the center of the festival and setup in the middle of the street. I was attacked within minutes, "you can't do this, you can't do this". I had no problem with that as it was already mission accomplished having played a few songs and someone had taken a few pictures for me. The problem came when the truck would not start. I was wondering if they could hear the dead click of the engine each time I tried to start the thing. I just kept clam in order to not panic. I started to visualize the crowd giving the truck a push into a nearby empty lot. The word embarrassment entered my mind. Then while using a lot of love and care I tried once again. It worked. As I was driving out, they stopped me and suggested I play in the spot where I had paused to answer someone's question. I stayed about an hour. I ran into an old friend I have not seen in many years. I lived in the city for ten years. Lots of people jammed on the piano. I have many good pictures from the event but I chose to feature for my collection a lovely lady before she lifted her top over the boobs to play some more piano. They were amazing boobs and I am sorry I am too chicken to post them on my site. Maybe I will do that once I get a satellite internet deal going with some big pay per view company. I knew there must have been a reason for my wanted to check out this fun event today.

October 7, 2006

Pennsylvania

Well, we did it! We had our community jam in the borough of Langhorne today for Artfest 2006! The teacher inside of me really came out because so many youngsters who never tried the piano did so today. I felt it my duty to help empower a musical sense of self in the spirit of fun with everyone. It was a mission accomplished. Over fifteen boys and girls played and even families played. I would leave the truck to come back and find a kid sitting there playing the piano. I hardly got a chance to play myself. When the event was over, I jumped on the truck to play some just to put in my daily time. My fingers would not move today. I wondered, "whats up with that?"




October 6, 2006

Pennsylvania

The rain had stopped, as it got dark out so I took Bo for needed walk. I had planned to practice indoors today and was justifying that with the rain but it had stopped. When I saw the full moon bright and surrounded by the billowing remnants of storm clouds I thought, " how can I not take advantage of spending time with this beautiful sight? I wanted to take a picture of the night but I could not figure out the directions for my camera. I made sure I had my cell phone with me because the "traveling Piano" truck has not started in the first three attempts for over a week and when it starts the bad carburetor keeps it stalling for the first few miles or the motor runs out of control after a steady ride of over forty-five minutes to the point that I need to just shut off the engine while I am riding and coast until I get it started again. I cannot leave the truck on my driveway because the driveway is on a slant and the gears are so worn the emergency brake will not hold the truck from rolling into the street. Nice eh? I am going to love this truck and enjoy it to the very end... with my cell phone nearby. I drove to the local cemetery and played to the moon. It was glorious. I felt healthy in spirit. It was a crisp night so Bo stayed in the cab. I missed him while I performed. I wondered if any spirits were around in the cemetery to listen along with me. I gave myself the perfect amount of self-indulgence and enjoyed creating piano music in peace. I like to get on a rift and just sit with it forever. I think that may be the most powerful thing I can express, my tenacity with musical energy once I get it going.


October 5, 2006

Pennsylvania

Four people took their turns on the truck today. I was by the river. The fishing guys moved their trucks for me so I could get into a good spot. A family stopped by from Levittown, Pennsylvania, mom, daughter and son all piano players; they all took their turns. I felt a little need to show them my stuff as in the Boogie and after I did that the girl asked for some more of my improv. I feel so grateful when people do that. They wanted to hear my stuff more than the Boogie. An older couple stopped by to tell me that they had to come over and find out where the "glorious" music was coming from. A musical duo from North Philly where on their way to a gig and stopped by. I did not get their names but the girl did some fun jammin' on the truck. I hope they contact me to go play in a park in their neighborhood. I became focused on being still and silent through music, I tossed off any feeling of need to impress with energy and technique thanks to the girl's request from earlier. It was becoming dusk and a new full moon was out as bright as the sun. I was thinking how I have been in New Zealand, Montana, Egypt, the Alps and the view I was experiencing was a beautiful as it gets. Here I am in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

October 4, 2006

Pennsylvania

It was such a beautiful day I wanted to present myself to the world. I drove to one of my favorite spots, Tyler Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I have been enjoying the orange and black monarch butterflies around my house and they were fluttering by me as I drove through the park. A mom with her son stopped by, they had seen me in another park a few months back. A truck pulled in with two guys and they listened for a while. When they left they simply said, "thanks". That felt good. An official looking white car pulled up and this guy got out wearing dark sunglasses and a dark blue shirt and grey pants. He was carrying a long case as he walked into the field. I could not figure out if he was going to post a pole for some reason or was pulling out a gun or bow and arrow for hunting. He had a large orange and black kite with about a six-foot span looking like a monarch butterfly. This guy was serious about his kite flying; he looked like an aviator now. I had already been there for about forty-five minutes already and was about to leave but I could not pass up the opportunity to improvise while being inspired watching the kite take off and the tricks the guy had to show. Also, he had just joined me to share in the music. I continued to play for about a half hour more. Boner was fine until I stopped playing. He got real nervous and could not wait to get off the piano. After he jumped into the truck and onto the floor, I realized the kite was making a buzzing sound. It flew like, looked like and sounded like a large black fly. Bo was bite by a large black fly when he was a youngster and has been traumatized from that incident ever since. If there is a fly in the house, Bo will be under the bed until I catch it and kill it. Then I tell him to follow me and he ducks his way with every step from the bed to the bathroom. He feels safe only after seeing the ceremonial flushing of the fly down the toilet. I recorded my music and am realizing I am much more inspired after meeting someone new and having a conversation with them.

October 3, 2006

Pennsylvania

I traveled to the Tower of Oaks area of Penn Valley Pennsylvania tonight to visit for a short while with a friend. I found the bottom of the parking lot, it was down a big hill like a gully and I was tucked away and nestled deep in tall trees on two sides of me. It sounded like a forest. I enjoyed listening to random sounds of the night they freed me to feel ok with randomly hitting notes on the keyboard. I was trying to compliment them with the music I was creating. My friend said he could hear the music by his building it sounded like someone playing the piano in one of the condos with the window open. A woman parked in the distance and I knew the dark silhouette of Bo and I in the distance was driving her crazy along with the music sounding non-intrusive and safe. She wanted so bad to investigate but she were over a city block away and did not have the nerve to walk down the parking lot. As I was leaving, I saw that she had gone inside and was on her way out with a phone to start the exploration. I thought, "when she gets back to the area I will be gone, it will drive her crazy." Was it a vision? Did she imagine it? Ha, love it!

October 2, 2006

Pennsylvania

My improvisational performance location today had a double purpose. It so happened that one of my favorite spots, the parking lot on the water in Bristol PA is also in front of the Bristol Pilot news publication and they will be doing a story for the upcoming Community Piano Jam in Langhorne PA this Saturday. I have been here at night but never during the day and I forgot my camera! Tim, the newspaper guy took some pictures for me, he had a great view from three stories above. A guy sat next to me while fishing. The scene in front of me looked like a picture in of itself, the river with a tree lined background setting, boats motoring by while I watched groups of birds migrating down south in the distance. It was twilight, the moon was directly in front of me and the water was just beginning to shimmer from it. The textured and mirroring effect of the water was mesmerizing. Some guy started telling me how he has seen me in Tyler state park a month ago. What a coincidence as the park is some distance away. I started a conversation with a carload of adults. Now I have often seen car loads of kids hanging out in parking lots by the river but this was my first car load of adults, three girls and two guys definitely an over fifty years of age bunch and dressed up to the nines. I found that very interesting. I wondered if they had hung out there together as kids. They must have been early for a nearby dinner reservation or something. One of the guys asked me when I was going to be in Ocean City NJ again as he has seen me there many times in the past. It seems that the people who have seen me before see me all the time but the majority of people have never even heard of me. I have never pursued large scale exposure but I am ripe to do that now.

October 1, 2006

Pennsylvania

There were to be eight of us tonight jamming' on the river but my friend Wes was the only one to show up. Good thing I had no expectations. I was in Bristol on the Delaware river's edge and worn out from yesterday's performance but glad to be sticking with today's commitment if only for myself. It was a beautiful night and I played to the moon while it was still daylight. I brought my chair and sat on the water's edge to relax while Wes improvised and I watched the water at twilight. I never knew my friend played so well until the last jam we had. I enjoyed his music. When anyone ever asks me what to look for in a piano teacher for their children I always tell them to ask the teacher what they do to inspire their students. I had emailed and talked to ten different piano teachers about the jam for themselves and their students and not one responded. When I taught (in another life time) I looked for opportunities where my students could share what they had learned. Maybe that is why I had fifty-four private students weekly and bi-weekly at the height of my teaching blitz and the parents were paying top dollar for the lessons. Onward to the next jam.