I took accordion lessons when I was young, and to this day, I wish I had stuck with it. Especially now, as I look back on it, as a lot of the music I love involve accordions in some way shape or form ((or would, if I had continued squeezing)). I learned the piano, of course…my mother taught piano lessons and it would not do at all if the children of the piano teacher didn’t learn to play and participate in the class recitals. I can play a bit, but I haven’t played in years, a no one ever would mistake me for Glenn Gould or Leon Russell. I also took band starting in 5th grade and played trumpet and french horn and once again, no one will mistake me for Al Hirt, Chet Baker, or the 2nd French Horn in your local symphony orchestra. All of these lessons left me with a music deeper affection for and appreciation of music, despite the fact that I assert at every golden opportunity provided me, that I hate music.
Those of you in the general vicinity of Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin USA have heard me say it: “I hate music. It’s got too many notes.” But if you really believe me when I say that, well….have I gotta deal for YOU ((…a 5 match parlay involving American Samoa winning the World Cup in Qatar)). So get all your mother-in-law’s money assembled NOW.
Anyway, this is meant to be about accordions. So here we go.
It came to my attention earlier this week that Arsenal defenseman, Laurent Koscielny, stepped up to the plate with a generous sum of money to rescue the accordion factory in his hometown of Tulle, France from certain closure and financial ruin. He tossed £495,000 into the pot to keep renowned ((in Europe at least)) Maugein Frères, the oldest accordion factory in France, in business.
Despite playing for Arsenal, I’ve always thought Koscielny was a top guy. This bumps him up a few notches in my book.
To be honest, I’d never really heard of Maugein Freres before. If you said to me, “Name a brand of accordion,” I would have probably replied, “Hohner,” or “Baldoni.” Hohner was founded in 1857 in Germany, and they make other musical instruments besides accordions…most notably, harmonicas. Baldoni was started in Milwaukee in the early 1960’s and is now headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Baldoni both builds and repairs accordions, and some top musicians like Sheryl Crowe and C.J. Chenier play Baldonis.
While this week was Koscielny’s week, today however, was not his day. The hero of accordionists worldwide lined up against dreaded rival Stoke City, and for the most part acquitted himself well. But at the 75th minute he was called for handball in the box. Referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot, and Stoke’s Jonathan Walters drilled home the winner.
Hèros à chèvre en quatre jours. C’est dommage.