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First encounter with the player piano

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First encounter with the player piano

Postby weber » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:09 pm

We want you to tell us where you first saw a Player Piano? was it the real thing, was it in a film.

My Own personal Introduction to the monster that has taken over my social life was in the Ealing Comedy "The lady Killers"
The scene where the bank robbers are forced to entertain the little old lady's friends, pedaling Silver Threads Among the Gold, with a chorus of little old ladies trilling along like high speed dentist drills!
It was love at first sight, and although it took me till I was 16 to actually find one to buy, I never forgot the image!
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Re: First encounter with the player piano

Postby djkprojects » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:27 pm

I can't remember when I saw Player Piano for the very first time but I guess it would be some horror movie with a piano playing itself. At that time I didn't know PPs exist so assumed it's probably someone sitting inside and pulling the hammers :lol:

The first time I saw the real thing was only a few years ago (I'm only young :? ) and the piano was by "Riley & Sons" ?? I still have a picture of it (below)
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Re: First encounter with the player piano

Postby aeolian » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:09 am

Mine was at the age of about 5 or 6. As my mother was busy with my baby sister, and heavily pregnant with what turned out to be my twin brothers, she farmed me out to her friend who was the housekeeper in a beautiful house down the lane. In order to keep me occupied, the lady sat me at the pianola having first set up the roll. I would pedal it through, re-roll it and pedal it through again.... and again! Whether the repetition of the roll annoyed the lady, I don't know. Nor can I remember the tune - perhaps she came and changed it after hearing it a dozen times in a row!
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Re: First encounter with the player piano

Postby Peter » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:42 pm

My first encounter was way back in 1960 when at the grand old age of fifteen I had my first Saturday job working for a local television firm as a gofer.. I was delivering a new television to a customer and on approaching the front door heard a Tchaikovsky piano piece being played.. On entering his living room I spied a very smart upright piano, and of course thought that he had been playing by hand. After much joking he admitted that it was in fact a Pianola.. A Pianola? what is this... I had never come across one before. I was even allowed to have a go... Great stuff.. I want one! Well to my suprise I could have this one free and gratis.. that is if I could get it out of the house without doing any damage. The customer informed me that it had come into his rather small living room via the window, and as he had new windows fitted, it would not be going out the same way! He was pretty sure that it would have to be smashed up and that his offer would be rejected.. It was not the largest of Pianolas,.. one of those pretty Aeolians with the fold down flap on the fall... you know the one.
Not to be beaten I returned the following day armed with screwdrivers and cardboard boxes and set about puzzling he best way forward.. Out came the player action, fortunately not breaking anything, followed by the piano action.. All the gubbins underneath was unscrewed and put into boxes.. It was at this stage that all could be lost as even on its end it would not go through the door. Could the keybed be removed, I pondered, so out with all the keys and into boxes with them, then tea and a further head-scratching.. Ah ha... five giant woodscrews each end of the keybed.. out they came and the keybed was just saved from dropping to the floor..
It all ended well as the Pianola, even after its ordeal, played splendidly, apart from dodgy tracking. After a couple of years I decided to bite the bullet and to do a full rebuild.. No, I'd never had any training in these matters but did have an enquiring mind that would not admit defeat... Well that's where it all started and fifty two years further on, after many other player rebuilds, the interest is still going strong.
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Re: First encounter with the player piano

Postby beally » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:32 am

I was working on a show at the Fairfield Halls Croydon and walked into the lobby where pianola's were being shown.
I am fairly sure it was a grand pianola and was playing 'blue room' by Rogers and Hart. (I've got it now played by Victor Arden . . .but no pianola :-( ). I think I was still at school at the time and am 50 now!!!
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Re: First encounter with the player piano

Postby Robertharris90 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:17 am

My was at a age of 12 year, and It was fabulous experience. I really inspired with him and now I am also a good piano player. All is because of him. I will never forgot him he is my ideal.
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