NEW YORK—After doing some soul searching, a piano teacher resolves to be less of a dick. “There’s a fine line between being firm and being a total dick,” says Richard Foster, 32. “I’m trying harder not to be a dick now, but god is it hard to suppress my dickishness when my students sound like crap.”
Foster, an alum of the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, fails to understand why every student he has taught in the past 20 years has been untalented, thankless, indolent pieces of mediocrity who can at best create elevator music. “I remember this student once,” he said. “What was his face? Kenny G was his name. God, why on earth did he choose music? He can’t play to save his life. And then he started playing sax and sucks even more at that.”
The weary pedagogue sighed while rolling his eyes, then he confessed: “I don’t want to be a dick anymore. I’ll try to be nice to these little assholes. But, fuck, how hard is it to improvise on the octatonic scale, transcribe some Chick Corea, play a bit of Liszt, and then jam to Ligeti’s opera before playing for the local philharmonic?
“I’ll try to be nice. I’ll wait another five minutes for them to figure out their goddamn do-re-mi’s before I say something sarcastic. They’re just like Beethoven, I guess: Deaf.”
A student who wishes to remain anonymous stated, “Mr. Foster is not just a dick. He is a gaping asshole. He makes me feel like a pile of shit that’s been funneled out of his tight sphincter every week. And then he accuses me of not practicing and then flushes me out without cleaning up the mess that he made.”
Then the student added, “Well, to be fair, I never, um, practice.”
BALTIMORE—After smoking a large but indeterminate amount of marijuana, a jazz student mistook his teacher’s silence for a sign of musical approval.
“The dude just sort of looked at me, you know?” said Dustin Beaver, a freshman at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. “I did this sick fucking solo on Giant Steps and then quoted some Stevie Wonder and shit, and then when I was done, that cat looked at me silently, like he was thinking, oh, fuck yeah, that cat can fucking play!”
“Dustin probably can’t even play chopsticks, and he thinks he’s some kind of jive-ass motherfuckin’ Mozart,” said the teacher, who prefers to remain anonymous.
When asked whether he has considered the possibility that his teacher was bored or perhaps even dumbfounded by how hopelessly maladroit his performance was, the student shook his head. “Man, I used to transcribe shit and practice scales and shit, you dig? And then he’d always, like, say some highfalutin, motherfuckin’ shit about how I’m not playing in time, or the chords are wrong, or this and that, blah blah blah, but this time, he didn’t even say nothin’,” he said.
“That dumb shit thinks he can play well just because I sell him his reefers,” said the teacher. “Yeah, we jazz musicians like our reefers. But you still gotta practice your motherfuckin’ chords and shit, you dig?”
Los Angeles—Trapped in an airplane flying at 39,000 ft, Delta passengers failed to escape the unsolicited advances of Kenny Gorelick, more commonly known by his sobriquet Kenny G.
The frizzy-haired multimillionaire took advantage of a turbulent flight in which passengers were hopelessly strapped to their chairs. Having violated the passengers’ eardrums, Mr. Gorelick made overtures to the flight attendants, who ran into the cockpit and stayed there until the sax predator finally chilled out and returned to his seat.
“I had to wait until Kenny G was back at his designated spot,” cried stewardess Miles Coltrane. “Oh God, I can’t believe he did that to me!”
“Kenny G harassed me multiple times on that flight,” said renowned pianist Dick Hyman. “He said he’d blow if I’d donate money to charity. I told him I don’t like the sound of that, and then he asked if I like phone sax. What obscenity!”
Delta apologized for the incident this morning, and assured everyone that they will “re-accommodate” Mr. Gorelick next time he attempts to engage in nonconsensual sax.
NEW ORLEANS—Many tone-deaf, affluent audiences pretend to enjoy jazz, and their pearl necklaces and tailored suits aren’t fooling musicians.
Weary of their listeners’ tone-deafness, musicians decided to gather concrete evidence of their audiences’ musical illiteracy on Monday. During a live performance at the famous Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, performing musicians pop quizzed a few millionaires and their family members at the scene, asking them to name chords that were just played. A surgeon in the audience reportedly replied, “Given the intimate nature of the Mozart-esque piece you just played, I’d say it is the umbilical cord.”
To serious jazz performers, this state of affairs is no laughing matter. In fact, some jazz artists would consider it an affront to an art form that they have taken years, if not decades, to perfect.
“To many people, jazz is at best background music for posh restaurants and expensive dates,” said one jazz pianist. “But these people don’t understand just how incredibly sophisticated good jazz music can be compared to the schlock some self-professed improvisers peddle. Richard Clayderman? The Piano Guys? What the fuck kind of juvenile pablum is that? If I were to play some of that kind of bullshit at a steakhouse, those motherfuckers would still tap their feet.”