Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Brief Musical Interlude

It's not often someone picks up a drum and performs a brief yet impressive solo mitten drinnen (in the middle of everything), as Grandma Shorty used to say. But last night, Joanie, my favorite 80-something jazz hands flasher, suddenly grabbed the drum conveniently located in the corner of the dance studio, and got busy. Her musical stylings? Simply riveting. Doug Rivera, our fearless teacher, Carrie and the SJG applauded, wildly. If you can't go wild in dance class, where can you go wild?
"Who knew you were a drummer?"
"Oh, I drum all day long."
"Do you now?"
"I'm always tapping my fingers on the steering wheel or on the counter."
"Another hidden talent." I said. "What else can you play?"
"Are you sure?"
"I used to play ukulele."
Not Joanie on ukulele

"It was very big when I was teenager. My mother bought me a beautiful ukulele. I still have it."
"Do you still play it?"
"No. But I should."
"I played piano for years," Carrie said. "I was terrible. My brother played the trumpet. He was terrible. But my dad played piano for Al Capone."
"Back up. What?!"
"In Chicago."
"That's crazy."
"And he drove the priest to give last rites at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre."
"I'm learning so much."
"My dad played trumpet, too," she said. "But when he enlisted, the army replaced all his teeth with fake ones."
"That was very common back then," Joanie said.
"Without his real teeth," Carrie said, "he couldn't play trumpet. He lost his 'trumpet' lip."
"His trumpet lip!" I said, not really sure what that was.
"But he still played the piano."
"Are you musical?" Joanie asked.
"I played piano for five years as a kid. I did a lot of cute little recitals. I can't remember anything. Other than 'Heart and Soul.' But I can still play guitar, sort of."
And there you have it. A brief musical interlude. If anyone out there is looking for entertainment -- a lousy piano player, a spontaneous drummer and a not-very-good guitarist -- the So-So Trio is available for weddings, bar mitzvahs and classy backyard soirees. We'll play for a free cocktail or two.

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