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::THE POLITICS OF THE THIRD BANANA :: By William Schimmel DMA. 1995  

ACCORDION CULTURE IS BASED UPON MIS-INFORMATION AND MIS-SPELLINGS. MANY GO TO JULLIARDS, BUT I NEVER MEET ANY THERE. MANY WANT TO PLAY IN AN ACCORDION SECTION OF SYMPATHY ORCHESTRA. I DON'T THINK SO! ACCORDIONISTS ARE TRAINED TO BE STARS_ TO DAZZLE IF YOU WILL. YET MOST OF THE ACCORDIONISTS ACTUALLY HEARD ARE ANONYMOUS AND THERE'S NO DAZZLE. WHY NOT TRAIN ACCORDIONISTS TO BE ANONYMOUS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING WITHOUT THE DAZZLE. NAMELESS, FACELESS ACCORDIONISTS PENETRATING THE AIRWAVES ON RADIO, C.D, FILMS, TV. WHATEVER. LET THE ACCORDION BE THE STAR! THIS IS THE POLITICS OF THE THIRD BANANA. THE ACCORDIONIST WHO'S WILLING TO GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS OF SELF-OBLITERATION HAS AN ADVANTAGE. HE/SHE WILL NEVER BE OBLITERATED BY ANY SITUATION OR CIRCUMSTANCE, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE OBLITERATION HAS TAKEN PLACE ALREADY. THERE' S NO DISAPPOINTMENT. THE ACCORDIONIST IN THE REALM OF THE POLITICS OF THE THIRD BANANA STRIVES TO BE ANONYMOUS, YET SOMETIMES HE/SHE WILL FAIL. HE/SHE WILL ENTER THE LIMELIGHT AS A STAR, ONLY TO RETURN TO THE OBLITERATED STATE SHORTLY AFTER. THE GOAL IS TO FAIL OFTEN. AN ACCORDIONISTS' PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE MAY CONSIST OF LINCOLN CENTER ONE DAY, A PEANUT STAND THE NEXT, CARNEGIE HALL ONE EVENING, THE OPENING OF A SHOE STORE THE NEXT. LET HE/SHE GET USED TO IT.
I LIKE TO TRAIN MY ADVANCED AND BEYOND STUDENTS IN THIS REALM. I TELL THEM ABOUT PHIL BAKER, THE SWEET ALL GIRL TRIO, JOHN GART, THE MANY ACCORDIONISTS IN THE THREE SUNS, JOE BIVIANO, ERNIE FELICE AND CHARLES MAGNANTE__ THE LATTER THREE FAILING GLORIOUSLY BY ENTERING THE LIMELIGHT, AND ALSO EVENTUALLY FADING GRACEFULLY.
I THEN TRANSLATE THIS SITUATION INTO THE PRESENT DAY. NO ONE ASKS WHO PLAYS ACCORDION WITH PAUL SIMON, OR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JOHN MELLENCAMP OR TOM WAITS. IT'S THE TOM WAITS SOUND OR THE PAUL SIMON SOUND OR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN OR JOHN MELLENCAMP__ OR THE THREE AMERICAN ACCORDIONISTS THAT PLAYED RECENTLY WITH THE KIROV ORCHESTRA AT LINCOLN CENTER. LET THE ACCORDION BE THE STAR!
MIS-INFORMATION ENTERS IN AT THIS POINT. A DOZEN OR SO ACCORDIONISTS WILL COME FORWARD TO CLAIM CREDIT OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THESE "ACTIONS", WHICH MAKES THE REAL PERSON OR PERSONS ALL THE MORE OBLITERATED. THIS IS PART OF THE PROCESS. ONE MUST GO THROUGH IT. THE IRONY IS THAT THE OBLITERATED ACCORDIONISTS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE ACTUALLY WORKING. SO, LET'S GET OBLITERATED AND PRACTICE THE POLITICS OF THE THIRD BANANA .
EVEN MYRON FLOREN PRACTICED THE POLITICS OF THE THIRD BANANA BY TAKING HIS PROPER PLACE AS A MEMBER OF THE ENSEMBLE, ALWAYS REFERRING TO LAWRENCE WELK AS "THE BOSS". HE THEN WOULD EMERGE AS A SOLOIST (WITH OR WITHOUT DAZZLE) AND RETURN TO HIS SEAT WITH THE GROUP. THESE "FAILURES" MADE HIS ONE OF THE FAMOUS ACCORDIONISTS THAT EVER LIVED.

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