at Twin Palms Hotel Phuket, Thailand

at Twin Palms Hotel Phuket, Thailand

Pianobar Caterwaul
by Derrek Wayne
excerpt from Bikinis & Martinis Magazine


Here is a great English word: caterwaul. It means to howl into the night. To yowl, to wail. It’s what we do around the bar piano around midnight. It’s a magic act you’ve been training for your whole life without even knowing it. You have been learning to caterwaul all these years just by listening to your favorite songs and growing older.

Yes, each day you grow older, and so, each night, you have more and more reason to bark at the moon. You are a creature that wants to stay up late, to drink and sing. The young can stay home with their YouTube. Time is linear to the young. They have not an appreciation. Not so us. We want strong drink and songs that let us run the patterns. Time travel - we want to feel time folding back, not just see it on screen. We want to access something, so, we caterwaul.

Let me describe a pianobar to you, if you don’t have a good picture in your mind: In the center of the bar is the baby grand. The gloss finish on the instrument pulls at the warm yellow light with its curves, and tosses back gold reflections. The sounds are natural, wild - simply strings and hammers, bouncing to the touch of your host.

The women that turn up at a pianobar have rhythm. They want to dance. They are starters. They have beautiful souls. Their souls have loved intensely and deeply and this is evidenced by their knowledge of song. They know the words. They believe the words.

The gathering grows, and your host begins to whip them into love ballads and popular choruses. Another round. You can feel it now: the passing of ordinary time slipping away. Time stands still and races by faster than ever. Youth be damned, time be damned, we rage on into the night, into another pattern, ever more satisfying libation and litany.

What comes naturally in a pianobar, does so. Your chemistry is primed. You feel good about it. The songs are real. They breathe. This is live music. You are ready to run the patterns you love. No disco club could provide such catharsis.

And of course, there is, debauchery. 

Women do take their clothes off in a pianobar. It’s still kind of a mystery to me why they want to show off their bare chests and put their panties in my tip jar. Big groups of single women are fun, especially when they’re liberated and good and drunk. That’ll light up a pianobar: a bunch of young women in nightgear and pumps clamoring for more Lady Gaga or CeeLo or late night dirty songs. Trios of thirty or forty something ladies seem to like what I do, go figure.

Pianobar women have pulled all sorts of crazy tricks with me. Following me into the elevator or following me backstage to “tell me how much they appreciate what I do”. During the show, if they’re not too drunk, sometimes I let them get on the piano, but they have to put their panties back on first. 

They don’t always get permission though. I’ve had women climb on the piano and walk on all fours slowly while mouthbeathing. That can get a crowd going, as you might expect. After the show, if it was a good night, girls sometimes beg to help count my tips with me. Request slips with room numbers. Birthday girls can be fun if they’re not too blasted. All these pianobar women, sometimes I’ll encourage them, sometimes Mr. Derrek Wayne needs a rest. I’m not going to even get into the Facebook stalkers.

But, putting aside the debauchery that comes with all show business, it’s really all about the music. It’s my joy to spend my life making songs, breathing life in to old tunes, making up new ones, playing world famous hits. It is joy. Caterwaul on.

- Derrek Wayne is the pianoman in residence at the Twin Palms Phuket through September. His songs and blog can be found at derrekwayne.com

Singing and drinking around a piano in a hotel lounge is old school entertainment at its best. 

Fine piano bar entertainment gives warmth. A hotel lounge can be a fantastic meeting place, a relaxing watering hole, an intimate concert, a welcoming nightcap excuse - but a bar with a grand piano is just an ordinary room without a pianoman.

“I’m sort of like Sam in Casablanca,” says pianoman Derrek Wayne. “I really enjoy classic American style entertainment. My country has such a rich history of song - Jazz, Folk, Broadway - It’s wonderful to meet people from around the world and give them your gift.”

“Playing a room” from the baby grand, Mr. Wayne invites his audiences into intimate acoustic experiences of world class popular song. Paul Simon, Billie Joel, Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael - these are some of the enduring artists that Mr. Wayne celebrates.

A piano bar is a friendly place, a hospitable place, and a place for magic.

  at Twin Palms Hotel Phuket, Thailand

at Twin Palms Hotel Phuket, Thailand

Timeline

2016
Schooner Bar Pianist Vocalist
June - September, Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas
Vancouver BC - Alaska
2015
Schooner Bar Pianist Vocalist
October - December, Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas
New York City Metro
Schooner Bar Pianist Vocalist
June - October, Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas
Baltimore, MD
2014 
Pianoman
June 1 - September 13, Twin Palms Hotel
Phuket, Thailand
Pianoman
January 19 - March 2, Carnival Magic
Galveston, Texas - Caribbean
2013 
Pianoman
December 7 - 28, Carnival Liberty
Miami, Florida - Caribbean
Pianoman
October 2 - October 19, Carnival Miracle
Los Angeles, California - Mexican Riviera
Pianoman
September 9 - October 1, Carnival Victory
Miami, Florida - Caribbean
Pianoman
April 1 - May 12, Carnival Freedom
Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Caribbean
Pianoman
January 1 - Feb 11, Carnival Pride
Baltimore, Maryland - Caribbean

in Bikinis & Martinis magazine