Fats Domino’s white piano makes its post-Katrina return

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – No doubt, repairing Hurricane Katrina damage can have a domino effect.  That’s certainly the case for Fats Domino’s white grand piano.

“I look at this as a rebuilding and renewal of the city,” Domino’s daughter, Andrea Brimmer, told a crowd at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter Thursday afternoon.

Her statement followed the unveiling of her father’s white grand piano which was nearly destroyed by Katrina’s flooding.

“The morning of Hurricane Katrina, the first thing you saw when the water came in was the piano turned over.  It flipped over,” daughter Andonica Domino told WGNO News while standing in front of a photograph that showed the damaged piano.

Repairs costs $30,000 and the money came from several sources including retired music producer Allan Slaight and Sir Paul McCartney (yes, the former Beatle) as well as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Tipitina’s Foundation.

Much of the piano simply had to be replaced.  In fact, repairing the piano perfectly would have basically required replacing it — meaning — it wouldn’t truly be Domono’s.  So the restoration crew had to make a few compromises.

“It’s not playable at this point.  You can make sound with it, but it’s not tunable,” said Greg Lambousy with the Louisiana State Museum.

The piano will eventually become part of a larger display at the Mint that will also include a cornet that belonged to Louis Armstrong.

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