It all started as just another one of those weird quirks that Cleveland has been known to have from time to time. Like the Beer Riot and the Moondog Coronation Ball, aka the first rock and roll concert. The dueling piano bar. Cleveland's Howl at the Moon Saloon may not have been the first such bar, but it certainly popularized it. Soon it grew to a national chain of bars known for the quirky antics of their star pianists.

Quirky might be putting it lightly. Sure there is the fair share of Piano Man as well as all the other Elton and Billy faves. And you might not be surprised to hear Dueling Banjos pounded out on the keys. But as the beer and liquor flows things get decidedly strange. A piano rhumba to Smells Like Teen Spirit. Keeping counter time to Bohemian Rhapsody by slamming the piano lids.

But Kenny Rogers' You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille?

The gag goes something like this: Ask the audience who has never been to the bar before. Find a drunk, attractive member of the female set. Get her a seat center stage next to one of the players, and let the song begin.

Much like going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show the audience is co-conspirator here. The pianos work their way up to the refrain.

You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
With four hungry children, and crops in the field
I've had some bad times
Lived through some sad times
But this time the hurtin' won't heal
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille

And every time they sing the word Lucille the audience jumps to its feet, and shouts

You Bitch! You Slut! You Whore!

So all of you young, beautiful women out there, remember upon your first trip to the piano bar: You've been warned.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.