For a day, I was back in San Francisco, right back where I started from. I saw my old friend Alex for the first time in 25 years. This was very emotional, I hugged him perhaps too many timesthen I introduced him to my wife, Nina. Both were pleased, but I’m sure they met before when Nina and I moved to New York 25 years ago. Both don’t remember. “You used to produce Techno way back then”, noted Alex. I protested: “Well, I was doing a lot of things including commercials, but yes,…”, and I don’t remember what kind of self-important things I said instead of telling him how touched I was to be here. He showed me a picture of his wife on his phone. Upon Alex’s invitation we were at ‘Union Hall’ in San Francisco, home of the Musicians Union Local 6. As Alex himself wrote in ‘A BRIEF HISTORY OF LOCAL 6’, on ‘“September 3, 1885, a group of professional musicians met to organize “a society for mutual protection and for the furthering of musical interests”. Local 6 was born.’ I love the 80s. I was reminded of things in the past, in search of lost time. I felt like a multitude of spirits moved through me as I was pacing up and down in front of the grand piano. “So what are you going to play?” Alex asked. “I never know what I’m going to play”. Nina did a soundcheck for the microphone. She hit all the low bass notes as I watched the settings on the recorder. “So, do you play the piano, Nina?”, asked Alex. Nina told him that she took piano lessons until she broke her leg, which ended her career as a pianist. I hit the record button, sat down in front of the Yamaha C3 ‘Conservatory’ grand piano and started playing.
I was walking down Broadway in New York and couldn’t find Carnegie Hall. So I asked somebody: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer was in 3 cryptic words: “Practice! Practice! Practice!”. My dear pianist friend Vladimir knows that, and he knows New York. Is the secret in the handshake? “No,” he said, “the secret is a little known place located just around the corner from Carnegie Hall.” So, I went to this magical place that rents rooms with a grand piano in them. They can be rented by the hour or less than an hour; however long you need. They call them ‘practice rooms’ and so I went up there to the 10th floor and gave my secret handshake. That did nothing. The studio manager with the cute British accent asked me instead for my credit card and began to smile when the card checked out ok. I started to have a good feeling about this place. There were many studios and I could hear opera singers, classical piano music and Broadway show tunes, just by walking through the hallways. When I got to my hall, I closed the door and voila!, I could still hear everyone else in their own practice rooms. But it was an overhead light that emitted the disturbing buzz. So I turned it off. The grand piano was a Weber, which is a grand old American piano name, now manufactured by Young Chang in Korea. I was ready for my debut concert in close proximity to Carnegie Hall. With my eyes closed I waited for the audience. As none showed up, I started playing.
|Catalog No:||FLX106 (LN467)|
|Title:||Cute and Bad|
|Sound Artist:||Frank Rothkamm|
|Visual Artist:||Nina Schneider
|Instruments:||Weber W-157 grand piano
Yamaha C3 grand piano