Play It Again #13416
I found this homeless piano outside at a small country truck stop, sitting in a remote and muddy dirt corner at the end of a line of parked trucks. It was very weathered and broken up from being outside through Arizona heat and Montana cold year after year, and stood as the centerpiece of a small junk pile of assorted debris and common trash. It was probably abandoned there on a midnight dump-and-run mission, and not left for live music at back lot trucker parties.
Every black key had split off at the foundation and was laying semi-scattered; the warping veneer went in waves. The almost jumbled white keys had flaked off most of their plastic covering and everything had a layer of grit caked onto it. Chunks and bits laid in apocalyptic ways as if the human race had left town 100 years ago. I was very careful not to disturb any of it, wanting every naturally occurring grungy character detail of this abandoned piano.
It was found accidentally one morning while paying for breakfast at the truck stop. Looking out the window behind the cashier, I could see the back of an upright piano way off in the distance, squinting to be sure. I went out the door and walked over. Sure enough, there was the coming-apart carcass of an upright piano. I gave it a kick to make sure there was nothing living in it like a musical raccoon or two.
Since this site lies fairly close to home, I returned to photograph it in detail several times in different ways, like progressing chapters in the Book of Deterioration. Being a true country junk pile, someone had thrown some broken plate glass mirrors onto it that were later incorporated into other compositions with this piano. On another visit, I found it pushed over backwards which would seem to be the last act for this musical Titanic, but even more images were made after that too. The remains are still there with weeds coming up through, but for sure the only tunes it plays nowadays are on the other side of the Pearly Gates.