Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Price of A (Lousy) Piano

This is a short news article from the Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2006:


The piano used in the film "Casablanca" -- the one on which Dooley Wilson played "As Time Goes By" -- will be onstage tonight and Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl for the "Mediterranean Blue: From Fireworks to Fado" concerts with conductor John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl orchestra.

Valued at more than $2.5 million and owned by Beverly Hills dentist Gary Milan, the salmon-colored piano will be played in the Suite from "Casablanca" by composer Max Steiner. As an insurance requirement, a security guard will be with the piano at the Bowl from delivery this morning until 8 a.m. pickup time on Sunday. -
From a Times Staff Writer

Here's the press release for these concerts. In my opinion, the only real reasons to go to the Hollywood bowl are a) to have a picnic or b) to watch fireworks. You can listen to music on a stereo system anywhere.

Here's a Casablanca Page which includes a video of the scene in question here. (As Time Goes By - at the bottom)

This piano is not even full size. For 2,500,000 dollars I think you should at least get yourself a decent sounding instrument with 88 keys. An identical piano which hadn't been blessed by being in Casablanca wouldn't cost 4 figures, let alone 7.

Click here for a Steinway & Sons page detailing the highest prices ever paid for one of their products. They argue that they make both the most expensive and the least expensive piano you can buy. They mean the same piano. It's an accounting trick which will appeal to people who need furniture.

Obviously I'm not the one who gets to decide what is valuable and what isn't.

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