Forgiving Audience for Rubinoff and His Violin at the Tallahassee Governor’s Club. It was the early 1980’s. Rubinoff and I were invited to play at the Governor’s Club. The Governors Club was founded on certain principles. Chief among them were providing a comfortable and elegant environment for social gatherings, serving excellent food and offering outstanding service. Our private social club cultivates the finest membership….
Rubinoff was an honest man. He freely spoke his mind. If he liked something, you’d know. If he didn’t, he could be quite expressive. Fortunately, once he started to play his violin, my matter what he said was forgiven. People knew they were in a hands of a great master. So what happened?
First I must say that Dave liked delicatessen food: Corn beef, pastrami, potato salad…He lived in Detroit at the Leland House. I worked with him for many years as his arranger and accompanist. To me, he was like the grandfather I never got to know. When we went on a lunch break, we’d go to the closest deli. He also delighted in “cooking the greatest hamburger in the world.” He called it “Hamburger a la Rubinoff.” I got to eat plenty of the best hamburgers in the world. But that was David. He was excited about everything he did. He fell in love with every melody he worked on. He had passion for music and life. I felt honored to work with such a man, The bonus was he treated me like I was his grandson.
Forgiving Audience Springs Into Action
We walked in the capitol building for both the concert and dinner. Talk about eloquence. Each place was set with 4 or 5 glasses for wine. We had silverware galore and beautiful dishes. We entered slightly late. Everyone was already seated. Suddenly a scream issues forth: “This place is too damn fancy for me!”, yells Rubinoff.” The sentiment was projected with his heavy Russian accent. In all honesty, that is how to create a hostel audience. Luckily, they didn’t throw us out. After dinner he played his violin with me at the piano. By our second number, all were in his pocket. They loved him. The concert ended with bravos and a standing ovation. I thought our reception by the Florida legislators was magnanimous, appreciative and forgiving.
If you like this blog, feel free to share. I think it’s one of the greatest show biz stories ever. If you never heard Rubinoff and I give a concert, please enjoy our 45 minute 1984 New York Catskill Mountain performance at Scott’s Oquaga Lake House on this youtube link. It is free. He was in his mid-eighties. The man is an inspiration to all of us.
In one of the final years of his life, renowned violinist Dave Rubinoff plays the Stradivarius violin for an …