Upon returning home from a spotting session with the producer and director of my latest scoring project, I ran into my neighbor in his driveway. After the usual exchange of hellos, he asked if I would take a look at an instrument. He then returned from the house with something that looked like an old square suitcase. The vintage looking case was dusty and had a scent of being in the back of a closet for many years. I popped the latches on each side of the case and opened it with care. I was amazed at what I saw. It was the coolest looking accordion I have ever seen. It was in amazing conditions. I pulled it out of the case and took a good look. Instantly I was inspired to play and record this instrument on my project. I pulled it out of the case and began to play a few notes. I had plenty of practicing to do to develop technique as well as stamina from the physical demands of the accordion. I have a new found respect for the professionals that play this instrument.
This accordion had an enormous sentimental value to my neighbor. It was in 1962 from a store in Venice, California. After serious convincing, he talked his parents into purchasing the instrument for $500. He said that was a significant amount of money at that time. He took a few lessons and eventually the instrument made it to the back of the closet. When asked if I could rent it and play it on my project he was hesitant to let it out of his sight. He then generously agreed to allow me to use it if it remained in my studio and I provided him with a CD of the recordings so his mother could listen to the instrument that has remained silent for so many years.
This experience reminded me of the purchase my first piano. My hands could not stretch to reach an octave and my feet definitely did not reach the floor while sitting on the bench. I am sure my parents had a fear that I would want to quit shortly after it was purchased. I still have that old upright piano and I don’t think if I could ever part with it. It truly symbolizes the sacrifices my parents made so that I could learn to play the piano. Every time I look at that piano, I am reminded of the extra hours at work, driving me to lessons after work, and all the things they may have gone without so that they could provide me with a good instrument and excellent instruction. Thank you, Mom and Dad!