Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Feb 17th 2010 1:15PM by Simona Rabinovitch
"In France, to have them believe me wholeheartedly when I say I'm a musical genius is very unnerving," proclaims Gonzales, without irony. "I thrive on being the underdog. You can surprise people better. When you're an overlord, like I am in Paris, your priorities change because you have something to protect. When you're an underdog, you have nothing to lose."
As such, the man who holds the Guinness world record for longest solo piano performance -- at 27 hours, 3 minutes and 44 seconds -- has brought his live Piano Talk Show to New York. Thursday nights at Joe's Pub through February 25, Gonzo and guests entertain with piano, talk, and lots of "mise-en-scène," which he describes as "presenting reality in an exaggerated way." (The Piano Talk Show then moves on to Austin, Texas, London, and Berlin.)
Certainly, there's something vaudevillian about the charismatic Gonzales singing for his supper accompanied by his famous friends -- and we're not just referring to the snappy white gloves he likes to wear. Guests are an illustrious bunch including Sia, A-Trak, Princess Superstar and Andrew WK, whom he vanquished in a piano battle six months ago. (Rematch, anyone?)
"My true musical identity has to do with the piano," he said, referencing the 'Solo Piano' album he released in 2004. "So I brought my performance back to piano-based shows. Just the piano and my big mouth are the only two weapons I need."
Gonzales will brandish both when he and Feist play Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre February 17. The gig is part of the official Olympic festivities and cultural performers had to sign a gag order preventing them from saying anything negative about the Olympics.
"What can I say," he sighs, when asked about the so-called "muzzle clause." "I hear it's a beautiful theatre. I'm a hardworking entertainer. My manager sends me proposals, if I like it, I get on the plane."