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  • Writer's pictureGreg

More than just Grateful - Music history could be hiding right under you!

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

If you continue to drop in and read about the things I have found - I promise - I will share tips that are guaranteed to lead you to some pretty amazing discoveries.

I could have gone to either of 2 sales this afternoon, but there was’t time for both. The sun was sinking and I had to choose. Would it be the sale that ended at 4pm, but was further away, or, choose the sale that was closer but ended at 3:30? I opted for the closer sale - the one that would have less traffic for a Friday afternoon. It was the right choice.

I didn’t leave myself much time to search through the home looking for a story. Rosanne, owner of “Recycle Again” the estate sale service managing this sale, knows me too well. No sooner had I walked in and she immediately offered me a framed picture of a company of soldiers from 1941. There was no backstory, but it was certainly appreciated.

I began to search. All the bookshelves revealed little I could use - no hidden papers or notes. The desk revealed nothing hiding out of sight or tucked behind a drawer. Feeling like I maybe should have gone to the other sale, it was then that I saw There an upright piano. These are a favorite of mine. Why? One part of the piano can be the source of some good history. How? Most of my fellow the searchers never look in the most obvious hiding place.

The piano bench.

Sure, we all know what's there- dog-eared Lilla Fletcher piano lesson books with gold stars at the top of each page, random sets of popular music compendiums “Songs of the Seventies” and such. Despite the obvious, it pays to look at each piece of paper.

The first pleasant surprise was sheet music for “Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison’s classic, and then there were a few pieces from movies “Charade” for example, bit then there was the first one I wanted to buy:

“WIpe Out” from the Ventures. I had to look - What an odd piece of sheet music that would be - A long shrill echoey giggle followed by an even longer drum solo and then the twangy guitar. Digging through this pile, my enthusiasm was growing with each discovery. Finally, it culminated in what I thought was an amazing find, then figured it wasn’t, and then It was! Let me sum up.

Here is the cover:

It looks like a program from aGrateful Dead Show in New Haven in 1971. Then I realize the it is only a POPs concert (as in Boston Pops) which was just an orchestration of GD songs - oh well. However, when I got it home I read it through and realized I had the real deal.

WOW! The Dead really did play the Yale Bowl in 1971 and the whole show is downloadable from this direct link: And, while not the best recording, adds a sense of reality to the program - it did happen.

So keep an eye out for those piano benches. While most sit at the keys and plink away at an item they’ll never buy, they don’t realize that they could be sitting on some real treasure.

Where is music history hiding? Check your seat.

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