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The Rambler :: blog

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mystery of the 'piano man' 

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Incredibly, this story is true. I only add that qualifier because it's the most extraordinary story I think I've ever read in a newspaper; it's like something out of a film script.
The "piano man" was found on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, last month. He wore a black jacket, smart trousers and a tie, all dripping wet. Police officers tried to find out who he was and if he had fallen into the sea, been pushed or even swum ashore from a boat - but the man remained silent. They dried him off as best they could and took him to accident and emergency at the Medway Maritime hospital in Gillingham. ...

fter hours of trying to elicit any scrap of detail about his life, someone had the idea of leaving him with a drawing pad and pencils. When they returned an hour later they found he had produced an excellent and detailed sketch of a grand piano. Realising that music might be the key to unlock the mystery, he was taken to the hospital's chapel, which contains a piano. The man sat down at the instrument and began to play. The doctors were amazed at the transformation. For the first time since he had been found on Sheppey he appeared calm and relaxed. He was also a good player - some say exceptional. ...


If allowed to he would play the piano for three or four hours at a stretch and at times has had to be physically removed from it because he refused to stop. When he is away from the piano he almost always carried a plastic folder with sheet music inside. ...

Meanwhile social workers have issued a missing persons' bulletin on him. Until he is identified he will no doubt continue to play his sad but soothing music to the pleasure of those caring for him and his fellow patients.
According to the BBC, calls are flooding in helping to identify the man, and there is at least one possible lead. Go and read some of the stories - this is extraordinary.



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