When Sarasota, Florida installed “public pianos” around town, a homeless man sat down and started playing amazing music.
“I was thinking I could just put my hat on the piano and make a couple dollars and get tips,” Donald “Boone” Gould told WWSB. Instead, he may wind up with a paying gig, because a local piano bar has offered Gould an audition.
Aroar Natasha was walking by as Gould played his cover of Styx’s “Come Sail Away.” She recorded it, posted it to her Facebook page and Youtube and made Gould an overnight sensation.
In the meantime, Gould’s friend, Jacqueline Bevan, is helping make his dreams come true. She has set up a fundraising page that has already collected over $28,000 in donations.
“All funds will go to Donald (Boone) Gould to secure a home, a car and to possibly return to school for his last 3 classes for his music theory degree,” she says on the GoFundMe page.
Gould had played clarinet as a U.S. Marine and took classes to become a music teacher, but when he ran out of money three semesters short, he started taking up other jobs as he started a family. When his wife suddenly died in 1998, he said he “lost it” and started following a destructive path including substance abuse and losing his 3-year-old son to social services.