Thursday, 15 September 2016

Book Review: “Nice Work If You Can Get It” - by Don Franks

Ever wondered what the life of restaurant or hotel lobby piano player resembles? Or even better what such a person's life would look like who lives in little old New Zealand? well look no further and get your hands on Don Franks new vivacious book "Nice Work If You Can Get It". The well-known musician from Wellington who has played for years on the piano, banjo and even the Russian "Balalaika" (a 3 string acoustic guitar shaped like a triangle) offers the reader a rip snorting read and laugh from beginning to end in his latest comical offering. 

From his residency tickling the ivory keys at the bourgeois restaurant "El Casino" in Welly under the rule of a fiery Italian boss, to a series of traumatic paid gigs in NZ back country round a camp fire with a lone acoustic guitar, Don leaves no stone upturned or gag up his sleeve. The authors writing is elegant clear and packs one hell of punch like a n awesome blog post one usually never find amongst the cacophony on the internet. 

In truth Don’s book actually makes me wonder if he would've done better to have taken up the pen and avoided plucking strings and plonking keys for a pittance amusing drunks and overfed restaurateurs. But once  you even read one page from his new book it confirms how Don the musician is a born performer, who feeds off the love or hatred of a crowd no matter what size. 

Plus if Don had chosen the pen over the string his readers wouldn't be able to dive into his messy world of zany tales explaining how a man could live from one gig to another in our nations past. 

One of the highlights of the book is when Don retells how another musician certainly not Don himself! ;) played one song over and over again making a good pay day in an upmarket club, let’s just say "Blue Moon" and "Spanish Eyes" come up an awful lot in this book! Bravo Don. 

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