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Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Things I Have Received in Exchange For Accordion Performances Over the Summer

In no particular order:

  • Lovin’ from Wendy

  • Smoothies for me and Scott from the Lettieri Cafe at Queen and Spadina
  • Beer from the bartender who looks like Heather Locklear’s younger sister at the 606 rooftop bar
  • Beer from the wandering magician at the 606 rooftop bar
  • “Best performer of the night” award from Kick Ass Karaoke
  • The gratitude of the CEO’s kids at the company picnic
  • A card with a picture of “Legolas” from the Lord of the Rings movies
  • Jagermeister shots from the 606 manager
  • Beer from a guy at the Drake Hotel who wanted Happy Birthday played for his girlfriend
  • Beer and chicken roti at the “Give Me Liberty” street festival
  • Kit Kat bar from the vendor at LaGuardia airport
  • Beer from the girl having a stagette at Smokeless Joe’s
  • Anarchist zine from a hippy chick at Kensington market
  • Beer from the table of girls at the Drake Hotel who didn’t think you could play pop songs on accordion
  • The opportunity to jump the line at a couple of clubs
  • Free cover for me and Wendy at FunHaus (the club formerly known as the Zen Lounge)
  • Beer from the guys at John’s Italian Deli on Baldwin Street
  • Beer from the waitress at Shoeless Joe’s
  • Pizza slices at Amato’s on Queen Street
  • Pop from the hot dog vendor at the Parkdale/Liberty market
  • The
    opportunity to demonstrate squats in front of my all-female BodyPump
    class. I got applause. “How do you know when an accordion’s ass is bad?
    When it looks like THIS!” I will never tire of that line.

  • Free cover at the El Mocambo for the White Cowbell Oklahoma show. Meryle
    asked the bouncer at the door if he’d seen an “Asian guy with a flaming
    cowboy hat and an accordion”, and he just laughed. I showed up 15
    minutes later and he started laughing so hard that he lost his balance.
    “I thought she was asking me some kind of trick question,” he said.
    “You go in free for giving me the biggest laugh of the night.”

  • A hearty handshake and slap on the back from an nice old man
    with an Eastern European accent who saw me on my bike with the
    accordion on my back. He pulled over his van, nearly cutting me off and motioned to me, asking
    me if I really played that and could I please play it for him.

  • A look of approval from actor/makeup artist Tom Savini, who played my favourite character in From Dusk Till Dawn: Sex Machine.
  • The
    biggest value: Plane tickets, hotel accommodations, admission,
    coveralls and booze by the organizers of the Dystopia party at the
    CONvergence SF conference in Minneapolis. Thanks, Dystopians! You made
    me feel like a rock star, and for that, you rock!

5 replies on “Things I Have Received in Exchange For Accordion Performances Over the Summer”

And, Good Sir Accordion Guy, when I show up drunk at your doorstop in Accordion City some morning, you’ll be playing to get me off of the afforementioned doorstop. 😉

So do you go around town carrying the accordion just in case there’s an opportunity to use it? I don’t think I’ve seen you, but for sure I’d buy you beer for a couple of songs.

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