The Piano Man

In the past few days the 'Piano Man' has been getting a lot of attention. He's a guy who was found "wandering on a windswept road on the Isle of Sheppey". He was dripping wet and very confused. The authorities took him to a hospital where the staff discovered that although the guy refuses to say a word, and they have no idea of his identity, he is an accomplished piano player. He's now been at the hospital for a couple of weeks, during which time he hasn't said a word, but he loves to play the piano. All of this seems very similar to the case of the pianist David Helfgott, who was depicted in the 1996 film Shine starring Geoffrey Rush. The cases seem so similar that some people are suspecting it's some kind of hoax or prank. I really doubt it's a hoax. It sounds like he's been at the hospital long enough that the staff would have seen through it by now if the guy were just putting on an act. (thanks to KJ for forwarding some links about this)
Update: My wife pointed this out to me. Could the Piano Man be a modern-day Princess Caraboo?
Update 2: A Polish mime claims that he knows the Piano Man and says that he's a French street musician named Steven Villa Masson. This has yet to be confirmed.

Identity/Imposters Psychology

Posted on Tue May 17, 2005


If they think his 'smart' clothes have something to do with the possibility that he was playing piano shortly before the incident that left him soaked and speechless...well, they're more than likely wrong. A piano player probably wouldn't wear a tie, just b/c it would be bothersome. Even if it was pinned to his shirt, the bottom of the tie could flap about and get in the way of his hands. Unklikely. He might have worn a bowtie, or not worn one at all. Suit jackets also tend to be bothersome. But Tuxedo jacket w/ tails (Tuxedo jackets for pianists can be tailored to be shorter, so they can more easily turn at the waist) seems plausible.

My personal theory? He was on his way to work, decided he didn't like being a retail clerk, hopped into the water, swam someplace where no one knew him (or he could have boated and then left the boat), and is now getting 3 squares a day, and playing the piano - his true joy.
Posted by Maegan  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  06:36 AM
I think this is a Time Traveller....
Posted by LaMa  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  11:32 AM
I heard on BBC news that all labels of his clothes were removed when they found him.
Posted by Beasjt  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  11:35 AM
By the way, the mentioning of removed clothing labels in the BBC piece, suggests a deliberate attempt to avoid identification. Intruiging...
Posted by LaMa  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  11:35 AM
It might also suggest foul play. Creepy.
Posted by John  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  12:29 PM
The REAL question is... how did the mime tell the police he knew this guy? Sounds like a really lousy mime to me.

Or maybe he is just like great at charades...

3 words... 1st word... sounds like... Steven!!
Posted by alteregogi  on  Wed May 18, 2005  at  03:26 PM
He hasn't spoken since he was found a few weeks ago. He's probably autistic or something like that, and has a flair for the piano. If he has a mental condition, then he may have removed the labels from his clothes himself. Somebody in a vulnerable position could easily find themselves lost, and wandering in the rain for a few days before being picked up.
Posted by Johnny no Stars  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  03:10 AM
I'm sure they've tried running his prints through a database of some sort...possible DNA samples.

Maybe they send samples to other countries, to have them run some things through a database. Couldn't they also just check out missing persons reports?? I would think that would be the easiest way to start. If he's really off in the head, SOMEONE will have reported him missing.
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  08:11 AM
Another update from europe:

According to the "Noordhollands Dagblad":
His name is Marcel of Mars Herder, 31 years of age, used to live in the town Krommenie. At the moment he is a resident of Amsterdam were he is listed as missing. Marcel is known as a poet, musician and sometimes he draws comics or other drawings. People know him as a talented young man.
Check these fotos of Marcel and the pianoman:
Posted by Beasjt  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  09:38 AM
oops, here is the link to the article (Dutch though):,4731,,00.html?
Posted by Beasjt  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  09:39 AM
That picture comparison of Marcel and the Pianoman look nothing alike. The position of the eyes are off and the chin lines are completely different.
Posted by Ally  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  03:16 PM
Rather than Shine, check out the parallels between PianoMan and the very recent British film Ladies In Lavender in which (I think) Judi Dench and Maggie Smith find an enigmatic young man washed up on their beach speaking no English, and who turns out to be a virtuoso violinist.

Posted by Nightbringer  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  12:17 AM
See for a summary of 'Ladies in Lavender'.

Frankly, I am more than irritated by news stories that confuse fact and fiction (or fantasy). I don't like stories that say "isn't a bit like such-and-such a film/book"; that sort of thing does nothing to enlighten the reader; worse than that it's an insult to the reader's intelligence.
Posted by Lord Lucan  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  07:02 AM
They are making a big deal about it because it would help them to know who he is, but it is not a very rare medical presntation.


Elective mutism: Complete lack of speech (mutism) that is believed to be volitional (willed) on the part of the patient.

True elective mutism may be a reaction to a traumatic event, the aftermath of an injury to the mouth or throat, particularly if it is painful, or a symptom of extreme shyness.

In some cases, the lack of speech is eventually found not to be volitional, but a sign of damage or deformity of the speech apparatus, or a feature of infantile autism.
Posted by wayne levy  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  05:10 PM
My cousin's cousin (second cousin? Cousin twice removed?) had a sort of elective mutism. Attention seeking reasons, apparently.
Posted by Boo  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  06:38 PM
Marcel of Mars Herder (see previous comment) who was missing came forward to the police to identify himself. So he isn
Posted by Beasjt  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  08:18 AM
I base my comments on what has been reported to have been said
Posted by Lord Lucan  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  04:23 AM
Boo in the land of Haggii, just to clear up the relationship bit. Start with parents, there are children, at least two. These siblings have children, at least one each. Those children are first cousins, normally just cousins. The first cousins have children. These are second cousins, two generations removed from the siblings. The number qualifier in front of the word cousins shows how many generations the people are from the original siblings. Any number qualifier after the word cousins designates how many generations one of the pair is from the other. If the second cousins had children, those would be third cousins but second cousins once removed from the second cousins. Your cousin's cousin is no relation to you merely on that score, unless that person has some other blood or marriage connection. I had to learn this in elementary school in the 50's.

Now, as far as piano man goes, the last comment I heard on the news about him (although Jay Leno had a good joke on the mime who knows him) was that this guy is always agitated unless he is playing the piano. The report said that the music was classical-sounding but was not any known composition, and that the music he wrote was classical and was quality work. The playing wasn't up to the standard of the writing. Maybe this guy was a private piano player for the Secret Masters and they decided to get rid of him because They decided he wasn't good enough.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sun May 22, 2005  at  09:18 PM
I'm glad to have found your site fielding the possibility that this is a hoax. I smelled a rat right from the start.

I've posted a few blogs on the subject, mostly tongue in cheek. But I still think he will be exposed in the end.

As far as I'm concerned the media have been way too accepting about this.
Posted by Matt Hayden  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  03:40 AM
BTW, blog URL is
Posted by Matt Hayden  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  03:42 AM
Well, I'm waiting for the movie that Hollywood is certain to do very soon from now...
Posted by corax  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  07:42 AM
Only the media painted him as a classical pianist, his carers merely said that he played beautifully. None of them know classical music but it's been later identified as Swan Lake and he plays some John Lennon.

He was found in a dinner suit which is perfectly normal attire for a "gig" as apposed to, just played the royal albert hall... They actually checked if he'd been attending a local funeral first.

The music he wrote was verified, I assume as in checked to be properly written musical score and not made up jibberish.

He has been likened to the canadian "mr nobody" who is now apparantly missing... which has not been officially commented on yet. Personally I think they look similar but aint the same guy. Who knows! It's a weird coincidence etc etc

I don't think it's a hoax anyway, no matter whether he is autistic, tried to commit suicide or cut his labels off and offered himself as a nut for some solitude. Even if he's an asylum seeker, it must be in some extremely difficult circumstances to stay mute for over 6 weeks voluntarily or not. Heck that would drive most people crazy itself.

Secure hospitals aren't exactly happy hotels and anyone who's been to one knows you don't just go hang out there for the fun of it. Then again it may be a damn site better than something he's been used to before. Let's not forget he won't be allowed to leave when he fancies, not until he's deemed not a risk etc

Personally I think the poor guys just had enough cr*p somewhere along the line. Internationally, not one person has come forward with who he is yet... (not that we know of anyway). Just in comparison, even reality TV stars get their old school pals selling their story for cash to the press. This guy has no family/friends/old school pals/college friends/teachers/local shop assistant?! I'm sure someone from my local shop would recognise me if I was plastered on everything. If he has had plastic surgery, where's the surgeon/hospital shouting "that's the guy we did!"

No matter the reason he's there, I really wish him well.
Posted by Lila  on  Mon May 23, 2005  at  09:11 PM
Show is go on:

"The amnesiac is not Steve, I saw my brother yesterday in Nice," Julie Villa Massone said on Wednesday, while the man's cousin Denis said he had spoken with the man earlier on Wednesday by telephone.

Witnesses said they saw Massone perform on Tuesday in front of Nice's main courthouse, as he does nearly every day, according to his family".
Posted by r_l  on  Fri May 27, 2005  at  09:25 AM
Posted by Didio  on  Tue May 31, 2005  at  06:32 PM
No Didio, it wasn't UFO's it was the Secret Masters.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Tue May 31, 2005  at  08:00 PM
By the way, who said Yeti can't play piano?
Posted by r_l  on  Wed Jun 01, 2005  at  04:18 AM
In my personal oppinion, he's obviously suffered a severe amount of trauma, which has resulted in what i would call a Shakespeare's Strain, an over torsion, or disconnection of one or the other solar plexus nerve's. Da Vinci's The Last Supper, give's us a clue about this nerve torsion by portraying each disciple representing one of the six muscle's of each eye, with Christ acting as Judge in between, Debir "between the eye's of the Lord". Looking at the knife being held in an overstretched position, is the representaion of 'Jepeardy'. The one holding the knife is Mute, and represent's the Strain needed for a perticular nerve tone to activate the 'BOSS' system in the right hemisphere for Heart Coherence.
This type of torsion technique was also used by the ancient Egyptian's to perform the process of Metempsychosis, resulting in a shift of perspective's in a traumatised state to a save game process of survival. Something Hitler, and the UK Establishment have been experimenting with for year's in the NIMH, and were cought out in 2002 stealing brain's from deseased people who had suffered severe level's of depression, or rather persecution within a system.
The only thing that meake's me sceptical that this is a natural Torc, is the fact that all identity lable's were removed from his clothing, this still leave's the question of why his finger print's, blood type, or dental record's havn't been investigated by Interpol, and why not!
As far as i'm concerned, the Piano Man is an Establishment experiment on the public, whose aim is to represent a Christ like figure in their attempt's to sustain a myth for a failing Church and bank ballence!
The Holy Gail's a very bitter cup to swallow, and according to the prophesy of the Second Coming, 2 Esdras 7:26, and Revelations 22; Uriel's dressed as a bride, representing the flesh with the spirit of a man, in other word's, a woman with more bollock's than any man!!!
Posted by Mute  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  07:55 AM
According to recent press, radio and tv stories it was a hoax. The perpetrator was from Bavaria and has very limited pianistic skills. He admitted the deception and has been shipped back home.

see: for more on this story.
Posted by Lord Lucan  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  01:14 PM
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