Well I never. The media have been taken for a ride:
“[The Mirror] says that he has now returned to Germany, where he has two sisters and his father owns a farm.
“And, in a final revelation which will forever shatter the enigma of a man often compared to the pianist David Helfgott whose battles with mental illness were portrayed in the film Shine, the source told the paper that he was in fact ‘rubbish’ at the piano.
“When he was first discovered, the man refused to speak but when presented with a pen and paper, sketched a detailed picture of a grand piano. He was subsequently led to a piano in the hospital’s chapel where his four-hour performance was described by Michael Camp, his social worker, as ‘really amazing’.
“Now it is suggested that he merely tapped at one key repeatedly.”
“Oasis revealed to be not very good at pop music. Neanderthal brothers returned to limestone quarry near DÃ¼sseldorf where they were discovered writing and performing the same song repeatedly. Entire British music press unavailable for comment.”
I was always a little suspicious that these claims about his pianistic genius weren’t backed up by video evidence…
Don’t believe all that jealous carping. From what I’ve heard, his performance of John Cage’s “Four Minutes and Thirty-Three Seconds” was untouchably great.
Mr Camp the social worker. Tee hee.
I like the idea of his being assigned clients on a local authority Travellers’ site and having to introduce himself to them as “Mick Camp”.
Mind you, I once attended a concert featuring Pierre-Laurent Aimard – unquestionably one of the greatest piano virtuosi currently active – playing the first piece in GyÃ¶rgy Ligeti’s cycle Musica ricercata, which until the very final bars consists of nothing but the note C in various combinations (it’s the one Ligeti piano piece I can honestly claim to be able to play flawlessly).
Had you only walked in on that part of the concert and left before the next piece, you might well have been convinced that he wasn’t much better Piano Man, though you’d have to have got your timing right as pretty much everything else he played stretched the limits of the physically possible.