Monday, March 14, 2022

His "Boyish Desire"

In a previous post someone referred to a mention of Valentino and his musical aptitude. I excerpt for the record here, George Ullman's memoir with his piano reference. This took place after the New York opening of The Eagle.

p.218

“At this particular time he talked to me of his ambitions. One thing in particular, I remember, was his plan, immediately upon his return to Hollywood, to go in seriously for piano lessons, for which instrument he had a natural aptitude. He said that he intended to let no one, not even his closest friends, know of his work until he was prepared to be able to play commendably, regardless of the amount of time this would take. In this I realized two things. One was his love of the dramatic, and the other his boyish desire to spring a surprise on his friends.”

George comments that Valentino had a “natural aptitude” for the piano which implies he already played to some degree. He died before he could master the instrument and that should inspire me. Long ago, some fifty years ago, I was a student at a music conservatory in New York. I majored in piano. I played all day and practiced until late at night. I achieved a measure of accomplishment, had students and it was a huge part, if not my life then. I have barely played since then.... as in not at all. Renato recently bought me a piano and there it looms, like a haunting memory of something I lost but wish I could recover.

But if Valentino did not live long enough to work up a piece to surprise his friends, maybe I can take that as inspiration and feel encouraged to rehabilitate my piano playing to some degree.

His “boyish desire” as George called it, should inspire I think. Life is so short so I will get on it. 

12 comments:

  1. As a professional pianist and private teacher for 45+ years I say “DO IT!” I’ve always had a personal motto that you take piano lessons to enjoy playing, no matter what age you begin or resume playing after a long hiatus. Enjoy making music again! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement and blessings! It is amazing how much you lose not playing. I will wade in. I guess the key word in your comment would be to "enjoy" it. I think in music school there was way too much emphasis/pressure on perfection. You are so right, time to just "enjoy"!

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  2. Enjoy life and family, life is too short.

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  3. Just for your own pleasure and satisfaction, please go straight to that piano now! You will be so surprised how easily it will all come back to you.

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    1. Oh I have been. I will work something up and share it when I am ready. :)

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    2. Looking forward to it!

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  4. Can we look forward to something else weird from Renato's vanity press like ASTRAL PIANO PLAYING VALENTINO?

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    1. I posted this comment above from the mountain of hate comments I receive. It is a perfect example of how bullies, by very definition, seize on any personal information they find out about their target...and use that to mock and wield it in a negative way. More cheap shots from the "Valentino Studies Community".

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    2. It seems that without us, there are some people who would not know what to do to make sense of their empty and boring lives. I imagine them as beggars outside churches, waiting for someone to drop a penny into their trembling hands on their way out.
      It does not matter what you say, I am proud of all the work I publish and proud of the authors I represent. Stay tuned, more books to come.

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    3. Please, Miz O'Martin, scurry back to your rat-infested den with the other Golden Girls. You are too obvious. And so is your jealousy. What can we look forward to from your vanity press? Another rehashed photo of Valentino and and gushing from your Geek chorus?

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    4. I would say between O'Martin, Gribbin, Santiago, Mounts, Mason and all of the other old dears, they might be able to cobble something together. Given their probable lack of expertise with 'new fangled things', perhaps a cheesy mimeographed and stapled together compendium of "The Best of Goodnight Rudy".

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