Krystian von Speidel
5:19 PM EST, February 18, 2011
occupation: piano player and singer
found at: Max Downtown (Hartford)
Best and worst thing about your career?
I have to preface the answer to this question with a little background. When I got married oh so long ago, I gave up touring with a band and the whole music thing and got a job as a computer software developer for Aetna, and then ING, and lived my life in a cubicle for the next 20 years. It wasn’t as exciting as music but I enjoyed the work and especially enjoyed the people I worked with. Fortunately, there came a time when I decided that at the end of 2006, this cubicle thing had to come to an end, at which point I began playing piano and singing. So I guess the best thing about my piano career is my piano career and meeting all the wonderful people that I meet. There really is no worst thing. The worst thing was left back in the cubicle in 2006, although I really do miss all the great people I worked with.
What is the biggest misconception people have about what you do?
The biggest misconception, especially from people that I used to work with in the corporate environment, is that my life is a piece of cake. They think that all I do is wake up when I feel like it, do nothing all day except for lounge around the house, and then go and play piano at night and have beautiful women come up to the piano and sing with me. I actually do stuff during the day. I practice my piano, write music, sing and occasionally nap.
What is the most requested song audiences ask you to perform?
The most requested song would have to be Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” A lot of piano players that I know despise having to play that song. It’s not my favorite, but I still have fun with it. People sing along, hoist their drinks in the air, and hopefully follow the directions at the end of the song and “put bread in my jar.”
If you didn’t live in Hartford, where would you be? Why?
I was born in Hartford and raised in the Elmwood section of West Hartford so I’ve always been a New England boy and loved the snow and change of seasons. Having said that, the snow thing this year is getting a little out of hand. I’m at the point in my life where I want a beautiful snowy, white Christmas and then no more snow and 80 degrees the day after. Since that’s never going to happen, south Florida will have to do.
Tell me about your first kiss.
My first kiss was in 6th grade at St. Brigid School. Someone had a party and the kids decided to play spin the bottle. Being the shiest person on the face of the earth, I was a bit shocked when it ended up that I had to kiss a girl on whom I had the biggest boyhood crush. It was the most awkward and embarrassing thing that had ever happened to me in my life. I’m pretty sure the girl thought I was a dolt, and I didn’t kiss another girl for a few years after. It was very traumatic for an event that should be so pleasant.