Friday, March 23, 2012

My Ex's Wurlitzer

I recall being told it was given to my ex when she was very young, maybe 3 years old, purchased used, but in good playing shape. The piano was the instrument of choice for many mid-century families of some means. Sometimes there were lessons, sometimes popular songs or hymns filling carpeted homes - or sometimes, for years silent neglect. Shortly after our marriage the Wurlitzer came to live in our home.

My ex's Wurlitzer survived 2 children, divorce, numerous re-locations, subsequent marriages, step-children, a second divorce and for reasons of space, inconvenience, and simplicity, it landed more often than not in my home where it was rarely silent for a whole day. At the end of all my working days this piano would rejuvenate me. At times it was the only presence I could trust to always be there, ready to let me play out my mood, without judgement, no matter what. I wrote hundreds of songs on this Wurlitzer. It's an instrument with personality - a finicky F# hammer that sometimes will not return to position - and a twang indicating the need of a staged tuning to pitch - perfectly aligned with my own flaws and abilities. I am grateful to have enjoyed this worthy companion.

Today I bought a very fine baby grand. Tomorrow the Wurlitzer will make its way back to my ex.

The native Americans say musical instruments have a soul that when played let the player communicate with the spirit world. I'd be inclined to agree.

The video shared with this note is a song written and performed on the Wurlitzer in memory of several artists I had the pleasure of working with.

Please enjoy.