Squeeze ploy

I’ve been thinking about Brian Brennan’s funny new piece about playing the accordion, about his (tongue-in-cheek) complaint that he gets no respect. I want to listen to him. I want to hear his pain. Really – I do. I’m just having a hard time finding sympathy for the guy.

First off, I’ve heard Brian play: he’s a formidable professional, an occasional studio musician on various instruments when not committing comedic writing or serious journalism. Me, I have a tin ear. I can’t even keep time clapping at a concert. You expect me to feel sorry for a guy with talent?

But more to the point: my people are intimately familiar with a lack respect: our instrument is the bagpipe, specifically the Scottish Highland Bagpipe. Accordions like Brian’s may elicit jokes – but bagpipes clear the room. Scots have cause to wail about no respect. Brian and his one-man squeeze band? Not so much.

(The column, in Commentary, can be accessed with a $1 day pass for the entire site, or by subscription.)