John Thomas Archer could have never imagined that his version of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” played at the antique shop would attract so much attention. The young architecture student became a viral sensation, and the shop owner decided to give Archer the piano for free.
Let’s go back to where it all began.
ReMARKable Cleanouts antique shop is located in Norwood, Massachusetts, and thanks to Archer, now everyone knows about it.
The 23-year-old self-taught piano player walked into a shop on July 2020 and saw the piano on display. Because the piano is against the shop’s main entrance desk, and the staff put up a sign that playing is forbidden.
However, John Thomas said that he could play and asked for permission to play one song. Employees didn’t have the heart to say no since he has asked so politely.
To everyone’s surprise, the shop visitor turned out to be an extremely gifted musician
In the blink of an eye, a whole crowd gathered around John to hear him play. The store’s manager recorded the entire thing and posted it on Facebook.
Suddenly, the young man who studies architecture at Northeastern University became a genuine celebrity at Winsmith Mill Market. John didn’t even notice when other customers approached him.
Later, during an interview, Archer explained: “When I play piano, I tune things out, and just focus on what I’m creating,” adding that it’s his way of releasing thoughts creatively.
Melissa Rediker, one of the gift shop workers, said that all customers loved John’s playing, and most of them were humming along.
“I wanted to talk to him after he was done playing,” said Melissa. Unfortunately, the store was so busy that she only had time to say “thank you” as he left.
On the other hand, she filmed his performance and uploaded it on a shop’s Facebook page. More than 155K Facebook users have seen the video. Rediker had to show it to the shop’s owner.
People in the comments section immediately offered to buy a piano for Archer, assuming that he didn’t have one.
Amazingly, the video became so popular, and no one expected that. Furthermore, no one at the store knew the young man’s name. They only knew that he caused quite a turmoil and that they had to find him.
Mark Waters, the owner of the gift shop, decided to track Archer down. He sent out social media calls and asked if anyone could help him find the “mystery piano man.”
Archer’s girlfriend saw the post on Facebook, and the rest is history. “I didn’t know so many people would be affected by watching me play,” Archer said to WBZ reporter Juli McDonald.
John went back to the shop to meet Waters, and the two had a heart-to-heart conversation. John even played another song at the shop. This time, it was “All of Me” by John Legend.
“He’s a good young man, and I’m glad he gets to have the piano.”
That’s right. ReMARKable’s owner gave the 500-pound Steinway to Archer for free. “If it brings joy into his life, that brings joy into my heart,” Waters concluded.
The piano was delivered to Archer through his fourth-floor apartment window. Deathwish Piano Movers offered to provide free delivery. We’re glad that such a touching story gets to have a perfect happy ending.
Enjoy the piano, John. You surely deserve it. We hope you’ll keep on uploading your gigs. There are certainly a lot of fans out there, eager to hear you play some more.
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