I went over to the Copper Rock Coffee Co. in downtown Appleton the other day, to visit my friends Chris and Lindsay who were hanging out there already. When I arrived, the place was packed, and there were two gentlemen making music together, one on the old “Vertical Grand” piano and one on an enormous double bass.
So we sat and talked, and eventually the musicians got up, collected their haul from the cover-charge bowl at the front, and left. (How the guy got his bass through the door I’m still not sure.) And after a minute, as usual, I got the hankering to play the piano, and said so. “Go do it,” said Chris.
So I did. For about half an hour, 45 minutes, I sat and played whatever came into my head, took a request from Lindsay (“Disney songs!”) that turned into another request from some women I didn’t know sitting in the little nook in the front window. Finally, my friends got up to leave, and so I got up to leave with them, and one of the women said, “Where are you going? Play one more. Pianist’s choice.”
I started out playing something original, but it soon morphed into “Heaven” – the Candlelight Mix. At the end, I let the last note linger, and the whole coffee shop started applauding. I spun around, bright red but smiling, said, “Thank you,” gathered up my coat, and left.