Let’s Polka Sticker Giveaway #1

What’s black and white and red all over? The first batch of Let’s Polka stickers! They’re bright, shiny vinyl and they’ll look fantastic on your accordion case, music stand, bumper, laptop, newborn baby, or wherever you enjoy sticking your stickers. Best of all, we’re giving them out absolutely free — all you need to do is tell us a story.

Here’s what you do: Write a comment on this post telling us who or what got you interested in the accordion. Was it the sound of a strolling accordionist at a sidewalk cafe in Paris? An Oktoberfest gone wild? A Weird Al rock and roll polka medley? Tell us your story (be as brief or long-winded as you please) and we’ll follow up via email and send you a handful of stickers. It’s that easy!

And if the stickers weren’t enough, one lucky (randomly-chosen) commenter will also receive a copy of the new Corner Laughers album mentioned earlier today. So what are you waiting for? Get free stuff!

26 Comments:

  1. A British friend living in Portugal was getting cabin fever staying at home taking care of her new baby so she took up the accordion to get herself out of the house and to get in touch with her Portuguese roots. My wife and I visited the family in 2002 and she let me play her shiny red accordion. Discovering, upon return home, that we live only one mile from Petosa Accordions added to the sense that it was the right thing to do.

    Is that enough to get me a rad sticker? I’ll email my address rather than post it here to make it more difficult for sticker thieves to steal it from my mailbox.

  2. It’s funny you mention a Weird Al polka medley because that was exacly what first inspired me to want to play the accordion. I was just a kid then, but when I told my parents I wanted to learn, they said “Absolutely NOT!” and that was that.

    Years later in high school I got sick with mono and had to spend a lot of time in bed. I was so sick, I really thought I was going to die, and I had all these crazy thoughts running through my head, like “Before I die, I want to do this and this” and one of the things I wanted to do was learn to play the accordion!

    And so… I stuck to my plan and I bought my first accordion! The rest is history. :)

  3. Um, my story isn’t going to be very interesting, since I’m not a die hard accordion fan, but I have this friend who plays the accordion, which is awesome. And honestly, pretty much everything you play on an accordion becomes immensely entertaining. Kind of like any movie dubbed becomes funnier. Silence of the Lamb in Italian? Pretty funny. Armageddon in German? Hilarious. Leaving on a Jet Plane on accordion? Brilliant.

  4. Good stories so far! (Ian — I got your email; we’ll send your stickers out this week.)

    My story: From the first day I got to Stanford, I wanted to join the Band. But I didn’t play any traditional marching band instruments. I did, however, have a few years of piano lessons under my belt and I noticed that — from time to time — the band had an accordion player. So I figured, if he could do it, so could I.

    So I went down to Swain’s House of Music in Palo Alto (RIP; it was where the Apple Store is now) and bought a cheap, small Chinese accordion for about $50. Then I joined the Band and played as part of the trombone section (because their music was in the same key and I wouldn’t have to do any on-the-fly transposing). And thus began my illustrious career as the Band’s accordionist.

  5. I happened upon a family member en route to giving away an accordion which was originally found at the curbside on trash day years before. The accordion was restored to the point where it could be played and sounded really good and I decided that this wonderful instrument was going to stay in the family.

    I have basically taught myself how to play – with 2 lessons so that I could have some understanding of the buttons – and the rest is history. I still have this accordion – held together with electrical and duct tape and funny thing, it still sounds pretty good. I managed to obtain another accordion through another family member and I treasure it. It’s my fun instrument and goes with me to all family functions. As to my first accordion, I would never get rid of it – my only regret is that I only took piano lessons as a kid.

  6. Wait,was my story not good enough for stickers? I can do better. Once upon a time there was a beautiful accordion and her name was Francine. She loved horses and books more than anything. And one day she met a dragon, who loved accordions. They picnicked together, hung out, talked late into the night and fell in love. They lived happily ever after. The end.

  7. All stories get stickers, Kathryn. Even yours. :)

  8. Hmmmmm – When I was a little kid (many, many years ago) Dick Contino was the rage, and every little boy’s mum wanted her kid to be the next D. C. I think I must have been 7 or 8 at the time, and she signed me up for lessons…….which I dutifully took for 2 yrs. Around this time I felt I needed to spend more time outside with my buddies, so the accordion went into the closet. I’d pull it out from time to time, but as it wasn’t in tune with the piano (believe me, it was the piano that was out of tune) I couldn’t play duets with anybody, so eventually quit dragging the accordion out.
    By the time I was 17 or 18 I wanted to play guitar……..and bought one and taught myself enough to play some folky stuff and rhythm in a garage band.
    Lets go forward 25 years or so. I saw an accordion in an antique store, wondered if I could still play the thing, and was curious enough to plunk down $150 to find out.
    Strangely enough the routine of pumping the bellows, finding the keys by touch and likewise the buttons came right back to me, with one big change. Now (because of all the years of guitar playing accompanyments) I not only could play stuff with my right hand quick as it came into my head, but really understood the logic of that genius who developed the stradella bass layout, and had no problems with the left hand either.
    I’m still a lousy music reader, but a half-decent player. At this point I have two PAs; the original b&w one which is pretty light weight for strolling, and a huge red Soprani with musette which has a great sound but weighs a ton. I don’t necessarily play a squeezer every day, but do pick up a guitar, banjo or a box every day.
    I have a much greater appreciation of the accordion than I did as a kid lugging that heavy case back and forth to lessons.

  9. Great story! My uncle was also forced to play accordion as a youngster (back in Dick Contino’s heyday) but, unfortunately, he never went back to it. Keep squeezin’!

  10. Well—

    I spent my formative years in Nebraska, and as a kid we all assembled around the TV for Lawrence Welk every Sunday.

    My brother liked Jo Ann Castle’s ragtime piano (she could play a mean accordion too!). My sister was smitten with Bobby Burgess. My other brother liked the Semonski Sisters.

    But my heart was with Myron Floren! What a totally cool guy! The music he made from what my father affectionately called his “stomach Steinway” made me the first one in front of the TV on Lawrence Welk night.

    Myron was my first love, followed by many after – Maria Kalaniemi, Flaco Jimenez, Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics, Shayla Fink of Finjan. And of course, Weird Al.

    What can I say – I’m a bisexual when it comes to accordion players and not ashamed to tell the world!

    I think I’m the only “out” accordionist on O’ahu – I haven’t met anyone else on this rock brave enough to play in public.

    Ooooh-STICKERS!

  11. It would have to be listening to my wife knocking out Irish Folk songs at parties and family gatherings….

    Although I cant say I have a great love for traditional folk music her influence has led me onto bigger and better things. I now have a number of Motion Trio albums (they rock) and Ed Cox (www.myspace.com/edcoxlife4land) is an accordion influenced breakcore/techno musical fiend from England you may find interesting!!!!

  12. This is so cool, I am a Californian who family comes from the State of Texas. I don’t know how many of you know this but in Texas their is an Accordian Sound called Tejano. Man it’s the greatest sound I ever heard. When I was young my parents would play their tapes or 8 tracks of this Tejano Sound. Growing up my parents would tell me that this is music is our legacy and it came from Germany and how Polkas and Mexican music were combined to make Cunjunto Music. To me, Cunjunto, Tejano Bands, Orchrastra it’s all great. My little sister and I all ways tell each other, “Man we were born in the wrong state”. Then we laugh, we (my family and I realy enjoy the accordian, both my sisters and I have bought our kids little accordians for them to play on, my sons has his name on it, Xavier. I think it’s pretty cool and he does too.

  13. I’ve always loved accordion music…especially the traditional German folk-tunes that I lovingly call “My Oompah Music”. While in the USAF, I was stationed in Germany, and I bought my cherished Weltmeister accordion in East Berlin. Upon my return to the U.S., I was stationed in San Antonio, TX, and was blessed to learn to play my accordion under the instruction of the late Anton (Tony) J. Rozance from 1989-1991. Tony introduced me to a handful of accordion maestros, to include the late greats, Frank Yankovic and Myron Floren. After a 15-year hiatus (stopped playing when too pregnant to play comfortably), I’m once again playing…and looking for another great accordion teacher!

  14. My mother ownes an accordion and o always used to get it out and fool around with it. Her parents owned a bar when she was younger and one of the customers owed money, so in exchange for drinks he gave her a Guileti and paid for lessons. Unfortunately her accordion teacher died and she stopped playing because nobody wanted to hear it anymore!(Ridiculus!!) So i picked it up and have been playin for about a year. I really got in to it once i saw The Big Joe Polka Shoe and Weird Al wail on his accordion here at our fairgrounds

  15. My brother played a 12-bass Hohner, so I took lessons on that for about 6 months, but the family didn’t spring for a big one. Brother bought organ, I took organ lessons. Brother got married, I went back to the 12-bass Hohner, just for fun — hacked around by ear, learned bad habits, had fun. The day I got engaged, my husband-to-be promised me a big accordion. After about 9 years of marriage, a woman in a music store saw me drooling and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: Pick any accordion on the top shelf for $150 — $10 down, $10, a month, no interest — take it home and see if you like the sound, and if you don’t, trade it for another one until you find one that you like. So I did, without even asking my husband. I still have that accordion (but not the husband). I’ve taken lessons on and off since then, got better at reading music, but mostly just hacked around. Now I’m taking lessons again, trying to get rid of the bad habits I developed while hacking around. I play regularly, and have fun with other people who really like the accordion. I bought a big Hohner with more reeds about ten years ago, but I still have the 12-bass that played for over 20 years, as well as my first big accordion (a Morbidoni).

  16. Weird Al was definitely my first major accordian inspiration, but…I dunno what it is…it was always a kind of inborn admiration for me. I just really admire the accordian! I like the sound, and the way it is played, and the up-tempo fun of polka music. My friends are a little weirded out by my mix of records….punk rock mixed in with a little polka.

  17. Oh man, I was just starting to get interested in the accordion when I bought my first Zydeco album. But the true point where I started to loved the accordion was when I discovered folk and polka metal! I am a huge metal head and to hear the accordion being played with some heavy metal is truly awesome.
    I am in the process of picking out my first accordion currently and I hope to be rockin out with my squeezebox.

  18. WOW! Thank you for an accordion blog! Got turned on to it by a friend I met in Kansas City who is SO knowlegable about accordions! (thanks, Rudy!!) I look forward to reading it everyday!
    I am a professional musician here in Nashville…OK,… so I know that you’re thinking “country music…guitars… etc. etc.”. NOT necessicarily so! Nashville is “music city”, and many different genres of music thrive here!
    I am the leader of “Die Musik Meisters”… a polka band which performs regularly at a German restaurant here in town. I play accordion, keyboards, harmonica, sing and yodel there every week…but I was trained in the classic manner on the violin and viola at Ithaca College (Conservatory of Music) and minored in pipe organ there. So how did I get interested in accordion? Well…my parents tried to get my brother to learn accordion when we were younger (all good little German boys studied it…) while I studied the piano. My brother was more interested in the electric guitar, (horrors! such a decadent instrument! heh heh!) so the accordion got put in the closet…you know the story about accordions in the closet!
    As a child I can remember family get-togethers where World War 2 was re-fought on a regular basis, and after argueing about the merits of this gun over that one, or this general vs.that one, (and many glasses of schnapps) the accordions would come out and the party would really begin… of course with more schnapps! My father referred it as “accordion oil”…and the accordions (like a fine firearm) had to be well oiled!
    I always loved the sound of the accordion, and the happy songs they played, but alas! the accordion was only for “boys”…sort of like the tuba…(so how many girl tuba players have YOU known?) … so I never picked an accordion up during my childhood, …but they were always around! Well…years later I moved to Nashville (another story…I’ll save that one for another time!) and my husband took me to Helen Georgia…a “German wannabee” town in the Georgia hills. There was a lady playing an ACCORDION in a restaurant there, and she was having a BALL!! She was really whooping it up! I really enjoyed listening to her and seeing the people have such a big time! It reminded me of my childhood and the family parties where the schnapps flowed freely, and the polkas were pumped out on those squeezeboxes around the fire until LATE in the night! When we got back home to Nashville, I called my mom and asked if she still had my brother’s old accordion…(remember the one that had been put in the closet many years before?) She did, and after reminding me that accordion is for men and LADIES would not play such an instrument, she agreed to send it. She did. When it arrived there were still method books in the case (along with that musty smell!) and since I knew how to play the piano/organ/keyboards and had a degree in music, I was able to figure out what to do with all those damn buttons on the bass side…(circle of 5ths! how ingenious!) I discovered the accordion was a marvelous, expressive instrument! ACH! So natural! like the human voice! I started playing with a polka band, ended up starting “Die Music Meisters” and haven’t looked back since! I haven’t had such FUN and musical satisfaction with any instrument CLOSE to that which I’ve experienced with the accordion!! …and I’ve played a lot of different instruments over the years.
    I still have that old accordion that my brother was made to play…along with several much “better” and of course much more expensive ones…button boxes…chromatics, and midi-accordions,..but it all began with that old 3 switch student accordion!
    While I love a rollicking polka…and was raised on “Oom Pah” style accordion playing, I enjoy playing this wonderful instrument in many styles and have even soloed with the Nashville Symphony (which was a hoot!), so no corny, derisive comments about accordions around me, please! I’ll set you straight! It’s a grand instrument!
    OK…so now you have my accordion story…please send me a TON of stickers! I’ll make sure that they get spread around Music City! (Heck…I’ll even PAY for ‘em!)

  19. ive been in a punk band for along time. i heard an intro to a NoFX song that used accordian and melivin one of the guitarists in NoFX plays accordian. so i thoought from then it wa sa really cool instrument. but i never had enough money to buy one. but my mums friend came back form a bootsale one saturday afternoon with this accordian n i still dont know how uch the ypayed for it but i got this accorian.
    and i loved it

    its realli difficult to play but it s a realy cool and different quirky instrument

    especialy for a 17 year oldto play when my first instrument is drums

    x

  20. I’m not sure when I fell for accordion music. Liked everything from Gogi Grant singing “The Wayward Wind” to The Rolling Stones, Joni Mitchell, “Louie Louie” and Toots and the Maytals in my younger years.
    Then in 1974 Clifton Chenier visited Seattle and played his great zydeco music at a folk music festival. I’m a quiet, mild-mannered guy, but when I heard that zydeco accordion, I shot to my feet and yelled, “What IS this —!”
    My parents always liked The Beer Barrel Polka, and about 1980 I had the honor of dancing to that song with a Czech woman in Strakonice, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia.
    Last fall I returned to my native Pacific Northwest after 31 years working in Germany, and I’m getting futher into polka through the live performances and CD of the Smilin’ Scandinavians polka band of Seattle. So far I am especially enjoying Slovenian and Czech-style polkas.
    I will always regret missing a Frankie Yankovic performance in his latter years, as he was playing at a hall in Gig Harbor, Wash., and I chose instead a minor event related to my high school reunion. But Frankie’s music will always be with us. A few years ago I visited his native Slovenia…nice country.
    Ceske Pivo=dobry Pivo!
    (Czech beer is good beer!)
    Michael S. Mowrer
    Self-appointed president,
    Smilin’ Scandinavians polka band fan club,
    Issaquah, Washington

  21. It was a performance by Tuffy that made me want to play the accordion. Tuffy was my cousin; he was six and I was five years old and I hated everything about him, especially his superior attitude. On one visit I was forced to watch him perform on his accordion. Naturally I hated how he looked and how it sounded, but most of all I hated how everybody acted as if he were some gifted prodigy. On the drive home I told my mom and dad to get me an accordion and lessons, I could play better than that! I’m sure my mom and dad thought that was pretty funny, and also they were from South Dakota where accordions ruled, so the next week I had an accordion and lessons. I loved it immediately, and I practiced hard and became good. That was nearly fifty years ago, but I still love playing whatever the audience requests and shaking the bellows for “Beer Barrel Polka”. No other instrument comes close to the accordion!

  22. My brother is 45-years old and has been playing since he was about 12. Every Christmas he would bring his accordian and sheet music and we would all dance and sing. Last year was a big year when my 19-year old son accommpanied him on his drum set. They sounded awesome!

    Somehow between one of their practice nights and Christmas day, all his sheet music got lost. This was original sheet musing from the 60’s and 70’s!

    Anyway, I thought I would surprise him this year with replacement “vintage” music. I found your website while looking on e-bay and googling vintage sheet music. It would be extra exciting to add some of your stickers to the package! The more you can send the better; we’re a huge Polish, Catholic family!

    Thank you!

  23. My life has centered around chaos and randomness.
    I have played in improvisational/psychedelic bands and have not once cared about learning how to play my guitar…
    But I have always had a fascination with polka and have enjoyed hearing it from time to time.
    Recently I downloaded”hot accordion polka”..and I actually want to learn how to play…
    I purchased an accordion a few years back only to be used in noise production…my accordions name is JANE…
    I vow to learn to play and start up the best polka band that Nashville Tn. has ever witnessed.

    Thanks.
    marcus

    If you’d like to hear some of our “noise”..visit “exponible” at myspace ..

  24. I am at the age that when I started playing the accordion at the age of 7 (about 55 years ago) taking accordion lessons was the thing to do. I never dreamed at my age that I would be playing my accordion (including my first BIG accordion) more and more every year. I love the feeling I get when I play how happy my music makes everyone feel. I play regularly for Masonic groups, retirement homes, at our local hotel at Christmas and will be playing there this Spring. I think the Cotati Accordion Festival and the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention has made more people aware of the wonderful music we play and we are still around. There is a joke about leaving your accordion in the car and coming back to find, not your accordion stolen, but another one left in the car. What is happening for me is that all those people who started when I did still have their old accordions in a closet and now want to give them to me. I am collecting some wonderful instruments but they are all so heavy! Keep putting your stuff on the Accordion Blog. I hope you have stickers left because I would love to have some. Thank you.

  25. If not a single note or sound came from an accordion I would still be drawn to the damn things just because they’re so beautiful to look at. But when they are played….good God it’s whole other art form.

    I was lucky enough to have an Uncle who played and owned two accordions. When I asked him if I could borrow one of them he told me I could have it as long as I learned to play it. Deal! My playing isn’t that spectacular but my passion for the instrument has grown even greater. And sometimes I do just sit and look at the beautiful piece of art that is now mine. I’m honored to be part of the “club”. R.J.

  26. I play mandolin in Soittoniekat, an up to eight piece Finnish & Scandinavian music group, based at the Finnesh Center in Farmington Hills, MI. We have two accordian players, Don Reinholm and Roger Hewlett, who have their own CD’s. Last year, Don played the classical version of Sibelious’ Finlandia, written for accordian, when we were at the Annual Aura Jamboree in the Upper Peninsuila. He had been working on it for the past 20 years before perfecting it. Afer his performance, the entire 150-200 people in the dance hall jumped to their feet with a standing ovation…pretty amazing cordeen playing..