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  • It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. It was supposed to be one of those run of the mill gigs where everything was normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. But now, looking back on it, I can see where I was wrong. Completely wrong.

    I was young. I was still in my 20s. Just out of college. Making a living playing gigs. Getting my feet wet as it were. I was playing a solo gig. I thought I was going to be in the background. Wallpaper really. I had a guitar player with me.

    It was the mid 80s. I had just bought a drum machine at the behest of the agent. “No really. It’s new. It’s modern. It’ll fill out the sound. The people will love it.”, he said.

    So I went there thinking that because that’s what the agent said, then that’s what the gig would be.

    I know now that is rarely the case. On every gig we do now there are 3 opinions on how the gig will go. The agent’s or the producer’s. The client or the club owner’s. The 3rd way is the truth. That is the audience’s.

    On this particular night in the 80s with my new drum machine and a decent guitar player. I learned the audience is the only opinion that matters. We started playing some background music. People made requests. I knew a few of their songs. But the agent’s opinion rang in my head. “Play background jazz standards.” So I plugged along. Some people got up and danced. Then came and made more requests. I knew them but I stayed the course because of what the club owner said. “Play nice quiet music.” So we forged ahead.

    After the 3rd request to play some pop dance music, I acquiesced. I turned up the volume. I sang louder. I engaged the people. We had a great time. Why? Because I listened to the audience. I came there to play piano and I would playing a show.

    That’s what we continue to do at All American Dueling Pianos. We don’t play pianos. We play shows. We play what you want to hear.

    Give us a call for your next event.

    We can sure play pianos really well. But, man, you should hear us play an audience.

    All American Dueling Pianos 773-527-7417

    Your ears call it ‘piano music’. Your soul calls it ‘Thirst Quencher’.