By Lauriate Roly
“I’ll give you ten dollars”.
What do you mean, No?
If people really want to hear me play because they like it, I don’t need money to please them. It’s enough for me that they enjoy my playing. I love to play, and I love to hear myself play. Crazy I know, but that’s a fact. Money isn’t important.
The only thing I have to insist on though, is that when I play, they listen. If not, no dice.
I would never waste my good time playing for people who won’t listen to what I’m doing. Of course, I only mean this for those who seem to call for me to perform. If there are too many noisy drunks around, then I disappear and they can go ahead and do all the stupid antics and hollering they want. It amazes me the other sober customers stand for them.
The Saturday night crowd seemed to increase since folks who know the place, and have sometimes gone there for a week-end drink or two, had heard that there was some kid who played a piano pretty good, and they were curious enough about it that the Saturday night crowd suddenly increased. They wondered what they were missing. Maybe we might like this for a change instead of Corkie’s overworked violin scratchings.
Ernie asked, “are you coming back next weekend?”
Well, I’m not really sure, but why?
Well kid, if you come back Saturday, I’ll give you twenty bucks.
Oh. Well okay. I’ll be back.
It all began with a bout of bad weather…
That day, a small group of us quietly awakened to a very dreary, cranky morning. Soft, warm, enervating rains kept fuming towards earth, from the time we all awoke to a terribly soft, quiet and miserably grey day. When we ventured outside we felt moist. Nobody was too enthusiastic about doing anything. We all quietly ate a more than adequate breakfast prepared by a group of suddenly volunteer kitchen employees who realized the most interesting diversion for them that day was to help the poor overworked and generally unappreciated cook.
Probably boredom overtook all of us. The decision to go spend a few hours at the Round Lake Inn that night would pep us all up and save what certainly tended to be a week-end to discourage the most of us.
So conceded, to the Inn we went.
We ordered a lovely meal and drinks . . . but the grey day that followed us into the lovely room suddenly became furious. The skies darkened. Lightning flashed fiercely and thunder boomed all around us as we sat encouraging each other to just enjoy our redeeming feast after such a dripping wet day.
There was some kind of recorded music being heard in the background.
Then, a sudden indescribably loud crash of thunder. BOOM!!!
Everything went dark… completely black. Everything went silent. I myself wondered if I had suddenly been struck out of this world. The boom was overwhelming. The room was densely silent. and everything was midnight black. Then we heard noises: people laughing kind of frighteningly and saying what a crash that last one had been. And from sounds of knives and forks being put back to work again, the patrons were returning to the most delicious meals they had been served. But all in the dark.
When the lightning struck, the power went out but the clientele needed some kind of musical entertainment to accompany their hard-to-see meals.
So, they made a fuss about it.
Somebody said, “Hey, Lauriate’s here. He plays the piano. Let’s get him up here to entertain us.
Hey Laury, how about giving us a tune?”
No way would I have done this except that among the throng there was a young lady, who I was with that night actually, who said, “Why don’t you, Lauriate? You could easily make them all happy.”
Well of course, I could not resist such a beseeching and loving request. I conceded to that pleading and earnest request from such a lovely and loving lady.
So I played. All lovely piano club types of tunes. Romantic and blue.
They loved it.
Next day, The Boss Man said. “Here‘s ten bucks for last night kid, and I’ll double it if you come back next week!”
That’s big dough.
That was the beginning of my success story. The rest is history. It went from ten, to twenty and eventually to thirty. I was floating in gravy.
Born in Montreal, Lauriate is bilingual; his mother a Geordie from Newcastle on Tyne, his father a French Canadian Quebecer. Lauriate has traveled widely and has lived in Europe. His involvements are primarily of a creative nature focused on Music, Graphic and Literary Arts in the communications fields of Advertising and phases of the Entertainment business through television and film production.