When Ben Folds was nine years old, growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, his carpenter father brought home a piano from work. It was payment from a customer otherwise unable to pay for his father’s services.
The young Folds launched himself at the piano immediately.
“I just played all the time,” says Folds. “I think I understood it, though I had no method for the longest time. I would just basically abstractly attack the piano and, by experimentation, hit and miss, trial and error, try to find things that made it work.”
He took a few lessons but, having grown up listening to old R&B records, he was bored by the stiltedness and rigidity of the classical pieces he was forced to practise. His mother took him out of lessons with one tutor when, waiting to pick him up, she overheard him teaching the tutor rock riffs. “I’m not paying for that,” she said.
To read the full story, please visit The Saturday Paper.
To read a previous interview with Ben Folds, please visit The Guardian.