Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Your idol and you

Joe Muscara

Recommended Posts

You're playing a gig, and you spot your musical idol walk in the door.


You're given the opportunity to play with/in a duo with your musical idol similar to the Emerson/Peterson video posted elsewhere.


(For the sake of argument, let's limit it to idols who play the same instrument that you're playing. I also chose the word idol but however you want to look at it, it's someone who's playing you admire, aspire to, whatever.)


What do you do? Would you choke or freeze up? Stare at your keys and avoid looking at him/her? What would be your state of mind?

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck


"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I know every once in a while when I'm playing a gig and people I know are out in the crowd (relatives, close friends), I concentrate too much on trying to play perfectly or I attempt to show off, and it results in making mistakes. I bet the same thing would happen if Benmont Tench or Wright (may he rest in peace) walked in the room.
Stuff and things.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I yam who I yam.


I have lots of idols, though the Bible tells me not to. ;)


If unlikely scenario comes to pass that I am seated across from Richard Tee, Keith Jarrett (Richard Tee is more likely), Chick or Herbie, I would have no choice but to be myself. Nothing I could play would remotely open their eyes or impress them. But maybe if what I DO play is swinging, and I have something to say, it'll be all good.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37


My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section


Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you do?

I've had the pleasure of playing with many of my classical idols (even in duos), and backing up my rock idols. IMO I was more than up for the occasion because I was so inspired by the idol and did a bang-up job. Keep in mind that if you're in the situation that your idol agrees to play with YOU, it's quite a confidence builder and a validation of your abilities, so it's a win-win. It's like having a hot chick show interest in you at a bar: next thing you know, you're talking with all the hot chicks because you think you're a stud now. :laugh:


I tend to do the opposite too: put me with a bad player for a while and I'll start sucking too. :laugh: I think it's just human nature that you'll try harder with the idol and give your all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I developed a quasi-Emerson left-hand pattern that I use when I play boogie-woogie piano. It's really just a small little grace-note maneuver, but it reminds me of something Keith would do and I would love to show it to him just to let him know that he was responsible for the inspiration. However, afterward I would claim not being able to know how to play anything else on piano!

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the good fortune to play with one of my idols, back in the late 1970's.


It was nearly an identical experience as Kanker with Billy Preston, only he was in the audience for just over one hour. The only difference was, at the break he came over and asked if he could sit in for a song or two. When the big 'fro approached me on the break, I just sort of stood there with my mouth open as he talked to me.


He played, I watched in amazement as he made my rig sound like it had never sounded before, and then asked me to join him for the last couple of tunes (Billy on the B3 and I on the Rhodes). I actually played really well and Billy was very complimentary, but I was kind of a wreck the entire time.


The drummer at the time had a habit of recording EVERYTHING we played (an old Teac cassette player was always picking something up) and he actually recorded the entire set with Billy Preston!


If I had the chance to play with Herbie, all I would do is do what I do best and hope he's having an off night (like that ever happens).


If you try and "out Herbie" Herbie (or Keith, Chick or any other keyboard god who walks the earth among us), you'll only end up looking sad and beaten!



Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once I had the chance to play with a very famous pianist in Turkey (Fazil Say). I just froze and watched the magic happening in front of me. No way I could have played a single note. I was younger back then (17). If it happens again, I'll try to have fun and play :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That happened to me in a minor way a couple of months ago. Not a famous guy, but very well respected locally for many years. A fellow well known in society band circles, played with about everybody from the late 40's and 50's has made two or three of our gigs with our drummer's wife (Drummer's father in law) My drummer from high school worked with him for 30 years. I asked him to play some and he did - I copped about two or three stride licks on the spot! I think he enjoyed himself. I enjoyed his frequenting the gigs - and his impressions will filter back to my old buddy. I agree with meisenhower that you just do what you do and play like you play - it can be fun and a great memory.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm lucky. I've met many of mine. I never played with any of these folks but I've mixed a few.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Dr. John came, I would let him sit in. At which point I would switch to guitar!


If Bruce Hornsby walked in.... I'd finish out the set, and watch my time very carefully while doing so (It's very easy to rush when an adrenaline rush hits.). I'd invite him up for the next set, put him on my piano, and switch over to playing Hammond, pads, whatever. I'd have to throw another stand up there, or use a table - something - to create an 'L' rig. Then I would definitely take notes, lots o' mental notes. Actually having a shot at the keyboard chair in BH's band would be blast :D

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


We need a barfing cat emoticon!








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, at one time I did have hair.......and some talent(1978).





1967 B-3 w/(2) 122's, Nord C1w/Leslie 2101 top, Nord PedalKeys 27, Nord Electro 4D, IK B3X, QSC K12.2, Yamaha reface YC+CS+CP


"It needs a Hammond"


Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was still doing Kurzweil Artist Relations, I was fortunate enough to meet one of my idols, David Paich a few years ago at a NAMM show. He invited me and a buddy up to his studio in Calabasas, which we took him up on the following year. He actually met us in his driveway that night with his dog, P.C. My buddy, who came close to worshipping the ground that Toto walked on just sat in the rental car and said 'Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming.' :sleep:


As Dave gave us a tour of his control room, I spied a small live room with a grand piano in it, and a few synths on slat wall arms. As it turns out, the piano was his Baldwin SD-10 that all of the Toto albums were recorded on. I asked him if I could have a run at the 'Toto Piano', to which he agreed. After playing it for what seemed like hours (it was probably 10 minutes), I said 'Dave, I LOVE this piano' to which he replied . . . 'CJ, that piano loves you.' Cool compliment from a guy who chiseled a great majority of my musical history.


For those of you who are wondering, when he played any of their hits on that piano, there was no question that we were in fact in the house that Rosanna built. :laugh:


Here's a link to Dave @ the Kurzweil NAMM booth in 2009. I'm the schmuck stealing licks :wave:





Main stuff: Yamaha CP88 | Korg Kronos 2 73 | Kurzweil Forte 7 | 1898 Steinway I

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...