Pianos and Motorbikes

"There's somebody lining up on the start of a Moto GP grid with a grand piano..." Rev those keys! Play that throttle!
Pianos and Motorbikes
Listen to Somehow Related on Apple Podcasts or any podcast app.

IF someone told you 88 keys, and two wheels with an internal combustion motor had something in common, would you believe them?

Not likely.

The piano's storied history is largely indoors too, unlike that of the motorbike...but somehow they're related!

Very few clues in the topics, however Sam's Rolodex throws up the name of a special guest, friend-of-the-show, and expert motorcyclist!

DAVE: "Ohhh, The Piano. Remember that movie?"

GLENN: "There's The Pianist, and then there's The Piano which was a New Zealand film... That's a good film.

"We used to have a pianola. You work the pedals which causes air to go through a number of holes, which a scroll goes over, which designates which key will be played, and you felt like you could play it!"

DAVE: "I wish I could play the piano."

GLENN: "If I could choose an instrument [to play], it would be piano, 'cause I used to love a bit of jazz piano, a bit of Oscar Peterson.

"It's got the widest tone of all the instruments. I think it can play the melody, along with the accompaniment.

"There's the grand piano, and then there's the upright. You could play a bit of honky-tonk on that."

DAVE: "These day's there's the electronic piano, a keyboard."

GLENN: "Who are the piano players? Beethoven... Rachmaninoff... Chopin...Mozart... Brahms... Liberace... Billy Joel!"

DAVE: "The bloke from [The Midday Show], Geoff Harvey."

GLENN: "If you ever give up the stand-up comedy, you could play the piano, and have a big wine glass for tips."

DAVE: "I'd love to be doing a gig and if it starts to die in the arse, I could just play the piano and sing a song.

"I'm more likely to play the piano than ride a motorbike. I've been telling my kids motorbikes are dangerous."

GLENN: "Let's pretend the motorbike had never been invented. I'm going to pitch it to you.

"So you get the car engine, right? I'm just going to put wheels on either end of the engine..."

DAVE: "Like a bicycle!"

GLENN: "Like a bicycle, but it's an engine and I'm going to put a seat right on top of the engine."

DAVE: "Oh, my god!"

GLENN: "And that's all you got! That's it."

DAVE: "Am I encased in a bubble, in case I fall off?"

GLENN: "Nooo! You'd just fall onto the road. It's gonna be huge, and you know what? It's gonna be cool."

DAVE: "When we grew up, they were cool. Young blokes in particular wanted to ride motorbikes."

Dave remembers seeing kids on PeeWee 50s and dirt bikes on a track by the Nunawading tip when he was a teenager. Jonathan Brown said it's still there!

Glenn's uncle, who owned a factory, made him his own minibike.

GLENN: "It was shit. It had a Victa engine on it. [His son] went onto be one of Melbourne's best orthopaedic surgeons. He learned all his skills with bones on my minibike!"

He also remembers his brother's Ducati motorbike. Glenn had a near miss on it at an old mine site one day!

GLENN: "I must have been about 15, and I saw these bumps over on the other side of the mine, and thought, 'I'm going to go over there. It's going to be like a rollercoaster!'

"I go over one, I go over two, I go over three, and I get to the fourth and there was nothing on the other side.

"The bike dropped away, and I kind of walked up in the air, and the stem nearly got me... It ripped my jeans, and just missed my testicle.

"They're pretty hard to miss."

DAVE: "These days! Not when you were younger."

GLENN: "What famous people ride motorbikes?"

DAVE: "Eric Bana?"

GLENN: "Yes! He rode right across the USA. He loves motorbikes."

DAVE: "Who else do I know that rides motorbikes?"

GLENN: "Ross Noble!"

DAVE: "We could ring Ross... Let's ask him."

SAM: "Calling Ross Noble now."

ROSS: "Hello!"

DAVE: "This is Dave O'Neil and Glenn Robbins, and you are on our podcast!

This post is for subscribers only