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Still Waters

Man becomes pianist after hit by lightning

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Still Waters

Born in upstate New York in 1952, Tony Cicoria says that as a kid he was much more interested in fishing than music. “My mother insisted I take piano lessons when I was seven years old,” he explained. “But I played for a year and I told her I’m not doing this thing anymore.”

Tony didn’t think about piano again until he was in his 40s. He went to medical school, became an orthopaedic surgeon, worked hard, and had kids. Then one day in 1994 he was at a family picnic at a place called Sleepy Hollow Lake, in Athens, New York. He was grilling meat over a BBQ when he realised he hadn’t spoken to his mum in a while, so he walked over to a pay phone and dialled her number.

At that moment, unbeknown to Tony, a big cloud had blown up over the lake—and just as he was about to hang up the receiver, a bolt of lightning forked from the cloud and slammed into the telephone line, surging through the phone and hitting him in the face. He was blown out of the box and a stranger found him on the ground.


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When Mom says play the piano... you best listen 


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In all fairness, the header is a bit misleading. 

It's not like the man couldn't play a note, got hit by lightning, then the next day had concert pianist mad skills.

No. Instead, he practiced his butt off for over 10 years, including thousands of hours of private lessons, and then was asked to do a concert from connections of his teacher. He'd also studied piano as a kid. He had a piano in his home. 

Oliver Sacks is a quack pop psychologist who snagged this fellow physician's very unimpressive story so he could use it in one of his "man who mistook his wife for a hat" books.

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