“Alcohol was invented so the Irish would not rule the world.” – Irish Proverb
When I’m out playing piano music in public, many folks ask me questions that are quite similar. They range in similarities like, “What do you do during the day for work?” and “What does your wife think of what you do for a living?”; things like that. I would love to write an entire blog post about each of those questions.
But in honor of the great St. Patrick’s Day coming up this week, I would like dedicate this holiday blog post to the patron saint of Ireland with a post about alcohol.
“Alcohol is the great social lubricant.” – Also Irish Proverb
A couple of questions I get asked all the time would be:
- “Where are you playing that we can go see you?” I don’t play out in bars all that often. But when I do, I like Dos Equis …. oooppppss Sorry. I do play out public sometimes when the schedule opens up. But for the most part I like to concentrate on company events and corporate gigs. They’re not as easy to perform at as a bar gig. They require a little more finesse and a whole lot more restraint. Certainly neither of my two favorite things to do in the whole world; restraint and finesse that is.I like the raucousness of a bar gig or restaurant. People cutting loose, cracking jokes, laughing at things that are not normally funny in polite company. But isn’t that the point of going out drinking with your friends? No need to be polite.At company events and corporate functions where we are providing live music entertainment, people tend to hold back a bit because they have a level of decorum they need to uphold in the course of daily commerce. No sweat. People want to keep their jobs.
“For when the wine is in, the wit is out.” – Thomas Beacon
But that brings us to the next question I get a lot:
- Do you think that we need to serve alcohol at our event to be able to get people to sing louder?The answer is a resounding, “No!”“How so?” you ask.I answer thusly.Have you ever heard a room full of kids sing loudly?Of course you have.
Well they can certainly get pretty loud. And I don’t think ALL of them have been drinking. Do you?
You answered “No. Probably not ALL of them Dan.”
So I repeat myself. No. You do not need to serve alcohol at your company event to be able to get people to sing along loudly.
Does it help?
It also helps if you’ve got the winning lottery ticket in your pocket. But it’s not going to solve all your problems.
You will need to hire a professional entertainer (like me, for instance) who knows the tried and true formula for a successful evening of piano music entertainment. Someone who knows how to get people interacting knowing that they won’t be embarrassed come Monday morning around the water cooler, or feel like they’re the only on who knows how to have fun after hours. No.
If you are not going to serve alcohol at your event, then might I make my professional recommendation that before you start your party, make sure the sun has gone down and that you just gave them all raises.
But No, you do not need alcohol to be served in order to have a good time with live music entertainment for events at your company party.
Thanks for playing along and I’m certainly glad you’ve decided to read this far. Maybe you would indeed like to go a bit further. Give me a call at 1 773 527 7417 to see how affordable live piano music can be at your event.
Happy St Patty’s Day one and all!
“The whole world is about three drinks behind.” – Humphrey Bogart
Happy St Patty’s Day
So I’m working a gig in Chicago as a piano player and there were probably 6 or 7 women in the room tonight who were VERY opinionated about what I was playing and singing at the piano. It was kind of sad. This was one of my favorite Chicago bars. Last night was the same way. Women who would give the thumbs down to the song I was playing or give the universal signal to cut the song. I didn’t know why that was happening. It was rare that I had that many young ladies who were so eager to express their views so openly. Luckily, and as is most often the case, for every one dissatisfied patron, there are at least 3 or 4 VERY happy people to more than balance things out and maintain equilibrium.
So after the third time of the yucky face being made by this woman who didn’t look a day over 35, I finally had to tell this one girl, who was celebrating her “23rd birthday” (Yeah, Right!), that it was okay to make a request instead of just putting down and dismissing what was already requested by someone else. She seemed offended that I would make that recommendation to her. It was like she expected me to KNOW what she wanted to hear or something.
I handed her a pencil and a request pad and said let me know what you want to hear. She appeared perplexed. Positively mystified. Befuddled even. No. I take that back. She was kind of befuddled anyway. I mean, alcohol HAD been consumed in great quantities by this time of night. Even so, she was searching her meager conscious memory banks for a song to ask me to play.
As she started to pull out her phone “to look up songs” (or so she said), the women on either side of her came to her rescue.
They saddled up to her and started talking her through the various selections that may or may not be within a definite possibility of being performed by me; the Chicago piano player in the bar. (It does help that I put out a song list of over 1000 songs that I know.)
These were Not the Only Women Having FUN on the Gig Last Night
She eventually came up with a song request, scrawled it down on the pad and placed it on the piano.
I pretended not to notice.
She pushed it closer.
I continued playing ‘Desperado’.
Then she picked it up again and waved in front of me beckoning me to take the piece of paper from her pasty hand.
I looked right at her, smiled … then continued singing.
One of the ladies next to her whispered in her ear and pointed towards the tip jar.
Now I have to say here, that I usually don’t “play to the tip jar”. It’s crass and it doesn’t really make a difference. Some people tip and other people don’t. Besides, I really do want to play everything everyone asks for. It’s one of the reasons I’m a decent entertainer. I want everyone to have a good time. But I was having too much fun with our Birthday Girl to stop.
She placed a crumpled up 5 spot on the request and grimaced at me.
I immediately stopped and looked at her request. It was ‘Baby Got Back’. Not your typical piano bar request but a frequent one nevertheless.
I didn’t even announce the song. I just looked her in the eye and said roundly into the mic, “Oh My Gawd Becky! Look at Her Buu-utt!!!”
She exploded into a gleeful shriek along with 3 of her friends and started jumping up and down and hugging each other.
The women who had helped our Birthday Girl out just looked at me and we laughed.
Balance had been restored in the world of live music entertainment in Chicago.
I’m kind of excited for this trip today. For several reasons. One is bcuz my kids bought me an iPad for my birthday. So I’m traveling with it for the first time.
Next, since we are arriving in Minnesota one night ahead of time, so we’re going to a Twins game tonight. Oh yeah and we get to make some dueling pianos noise tomorrow night. I love road trips