Here’s an interesting news story that reminds me of another personal encounter I had with Keith.

As a good friend of mine and fellow manager said “This is getting old with Keith, but on the other hand, maybe he’s just trying to cop a stick for himself. I know if I went to a concert to hear him play, and instead heard him rant I’d get pretty pissed”

Wise words my friend.

But my story takes place in Japan at the New Otani Hotel,Tokyo in an elevator to the 54th floor some 15 years ago.

We were on our way back to our boxes after the most amazing performance at the Tokyo Music Joy Festival of the Mozart Double Piano Concerto.

In those days we stayed at the New Otani at $600 per night and the hotel rooms were amazing with incredible views.

We called them “our Boxes” as many the night after weeks on the road thats what they felt like and someone made the comment one night “come on guys its time to go to your boxes (Hotel Rooms) and it stuck.

Its road talk and you had to be there.

Anyway by some fluke I found myself in the elevator with Keith and his wife  going up into the 50’s floor  levels.

I was a little “star stuck” as I love Keith’s playing and I think he’s a genius so I started to try to compliment him on his performance and say what a fantastic show it was and it “was” amazing.

But nothing…. no one said anything … response to my comments in fact Keith wouldn’t even make eye contact with me it was amazing.

They got off the elevator before me and never even said goodnight.

I felt like a complete idiot and very embarrassed having made a complete blubbering fool of myself.

So I guess Keith’s “good manners” don’t extend to long elevator rides either but at least I wasn’t coughing and ruining his performance.

Boy was I glad to get into my box!!

  1. The more I hear about Keith Jarrett the less I like about him. As a person, that is. THere is no denying that he is one of the great pianists. You should not have felt foolish — it sounded like you were being respectful. It was Keith who should be embarrassed.

    Years ago I went to see Jackie McLean at the Village Vanguard. On the break I was taking a leak and who was using the urinal next to me but Jackie. I told him how much I enjoyed the set and he couldn’t have been nicer. I loved Jakcie’s playing and the fact that he was such a nice guy made me love him all the more.

    I have a post up now from a week ago where I talk about Keith Jarrett and make a similar point to yours. I would be interested to hear your take.

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