The Fairfax Street Choir
The Sleeping Lady Cafe

Tricky Ricky and the Street Choir Piano


Cheryl wanted to stop having Choir practice at her house so Lana Jones offered her place on Creek Rd... The only problem was that she didn't have a piano there. It so happened that my own piano was residing up on Meerna St. at Richard H. (Tricky Ricky's) house. I had leased the piano to him for free for a year because at the time of the transaction I had no where else to keep it. He loved it so dearly that at some point he began thinking that it belonged to him. When we explained that we really needed it back for Choir practice he threatened to call the police on us because only eight months had elapsed since he had gotten it and he wasn't going to let us have it back. Well we wanted it back intensely so on a cold moonless night we stormed his house. Richard lived up on a hillside with about 57 or 58 steps leading up to his front door plus a lot of shrubs and bushes sprouted from various parts of his yard. There was a two foot wide dirt path leading from his back door down the side of the hill which was quite steep, in fact, it was a cliff.
When Richard met us at the door that night he invited us in. He thought there were only three or four of us. As the room filled up with people Richard got a little nervous but everyone kept smiling and introducing themselves. There were about 15 of us and Richard began to realize that we had not just come to visit. Peter Montalbano was curbside on the street below waiting to take the piano away on his flatbed truck. Richard started freaking out when we started measuring the doorways and talking about what would be the best way to move the piano. He said that it had taken professional movers 3 hours to move it during the day time and the risk was to great for both us and the piano to try to move it down the back path at night. I later found out that the professional movers were some guys that lived in Fairfax who to this day are still after Richard to claim their pay. Anyway, I told Richard not to worry and that we would have it out and down the hill in about half an hour. He insisted we couldn't do it but I swear to God it was one of the easiest things we ever pulled off. There were about 8 or 9 of us carrying the piano out the back door while Richard was screaming "You'll all be crushed". We just sang and had a good old time. Lana Jones blew my mind that night. She was right there holding the left end. In each person's hands the 800 lb piano weighed only about 15 lbs. In each person's heart there was no weight at all. We had the piano back at Lana's house in about 45 minutes and then went to play a gig at the Sleeping Lady.