14 July 2010


My Dad bought me an accordion.

You see, I had an accordion-riffic week a couple of weeks ago.  Count Smokula hosted the Monday Night Tease:

Then I performed three nights of Victory Variety Hour's The Wrong Show at Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Also on the ticket, Renee Albert:

I finished off that week with Fish Circus:

And the Fuxedos playing together in concert at Hollywood Fringe Festival:

[Take my word for it.  They have an accordion in some of their songs.]

The last night of The Wrong Show, I asked Renee how the left hand works.  All those buttons -- DAUNTING!  She explained it to me briefly, and then asked, "Do you want to try it?"

Ha ha ha ... do I want to try it.


She helped me saddle up, and I was off to the races ... er, I was tentatively pushing buttons and working the billows. 

So I expressed my deep desire to get my grubby hands on an accordion over on Facebook.  Something along the lines of, "If anyone has an old accordion in the back of their closet, I'd happily trade for the unicycle in the back of mine!"  Dad started checking prices on eBay and gave me a call.  After an excruciating week of being outbid and losing a number of fine instruments, Dad finally won this beaut:

An Ambassador 120-button squeezebox, built in Italy.  The case was manufactured in Los Angeles, and the vintage lesson books that came along for the ride are stamped with a music shop address in Chula Vista.  Oh, and it sounds sweeeeeeet ...

There is a learning curve.  I took piano lessons when I was six years-old, and I have rudimentary knowledge when it comes to reading music (a combination of Mom teaching me to sight-read for singing as well as cello and trumpet lessons as a teen) but putting it all together is a bit vexing.  Never fear -- I will be up and running soon.  I told Mr. Buddy that I'll be ready to bring the accordion onstage in a month or two.

You remember Mr. Buddy, one half of Mssrs. Snapper & Buddy:

Last night, my second time to really pull the thing out of its case and practice, I figured out the left hand and right hand parts to "La Valse d'Amelie" and John Mayer's "Neon."  Now the challenge is to get those hands working together.  Pretty tough!

I'm very fortunate to have a very understanding and patient spouse.  She is very supportive of my musical pursuits, even if they sound like a whole lotta noise at first.  She's a peach!

So there you have it.  One more weapon in the arsenal of mirth, soon to be unleashed upon unsuspecting burlesque audiences across the Southland.