LONDON -- The painfully silent gentleman played a range of music from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" to Lennon and McCartney. Beyond that, not too much is known about this quiet man who may be in his 20s or 30s, who may be English or not - save that he plays the piano with ease and confidence. The newspapers call him the Piano Man.
Since early April, authorities in southeast England have been caring for a man about 1.8 meters, or 6 feet, tall who was found wandering on a beach. Dr. Nigel Warrington of the British Neuropsychiatric Association and Talent Scouts (BNATS) noted, "This man's condition is extremely odd in that as we are much more used to people, such as politicians, and Prime Minister Tony Blair specifically, talking quite a bit but showing absolutely zero proficiency in any professional capacity."
Some people have likened this musically gifted man's experience to that of the pianist David Helfgott portrayed in the 1996 movie "Shine" as interrupted by mental illness. It is worth noting Mr. Blair's mental illness has continued uninterrupted since 1994.
When one has an extraordinary single skill in an otherwise unexceptional intellect, he or she may simply be described as a savant, without qualifier. A prime example of this would be the American actor Keanu Reeves whose only talent lies in being cast in movies which are successful financially, but Mr. Reeves has no discernable skill in the broadest sense of the word. The term savant is usually meant to describe a person of learning, especially one of great knowledge in a particular subject, without remarking on the person's overall state of intellect.
American musician and recording artist Billy Joel is currently advising, through his lawyers, the seemingly-autistic man to "cease and desist" from using the title 'Piano Man' under any and all circumstances. Mr. Joel, who has not had an album which sold well since the mid-1980s, has filed several superfluous court papers with the State of New York in order to draw immediate attention to himself. There was no comment from the artist formerly known as Piano Man.