When a musician walked into Mark Waters’s family-owned antique shop, ReMARKable Cleanouts in Norwood, the man curiously asked one of the workers, Melissa Rediker, to play one of the pianos they had displayed. Despite the ‘Do Not Play’ sign that sat on top of it, they let the man give it a go.
Little did Rediker or any of their customers know then that they were about to be given a show. They were taken aback when the young man began impressively playing “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey — but he left before anyone could get his name.
Luckily, Rediker had taken a video of the man playing and posted it to ReMARKable Cleanouts’ Facebook page on Saturday. The video has since went viral, garnering over 14,000 views on Facebook and 100 shares, as well as 360,000 views on Twitter.
Customers raved about his performance, commenting that Waters should hire him, and some even offered to buy the piano for him. The video also left a lasting impression on Waters — who was not in the store at the time to see him play in person. Still, he decided that he wanted to gift the instrument to him for free.
There was only one problem: they needed help finding him.
“He started playing and the place lit up!” Waters said according to CBS Boston, adding: “We’ll give him the piano. Bring the kid in! We’d be more than happy to bring it to him. We can’t find him! Nobody knows who this young man was.”
Now the mystery musician has been found, thanks to the aid of Juli McDonald at WBZ Channel 4, who interviewed Waters and aired a segment on the 11 p.m. news on Tuesday night.
The impressive pianist is John Thomas Archer, a 23-year old architecture student from Mattapan. Archer told The Boston Globe that it was his girlfriend that had sent him a text, letting him know that he was being looked for. He heard about the video on Tuesday night.
“My girlfriend sent me a text that the media was looking for me,” he said. “I didn’t know so many people would be affected by watching me play. I am just baffled.”
A self-proclaimed “amateur piano player”, Archer revealed that the classic Journey-song was the first tune he learned on the piano — but that he only has a keyboard at home. Gladly accepting the piano as a gift, Archer returned to ReMarkable Cleanouts on Wednesday to meet Waters.
He even gave another performance at the store and played a rendition of “All of Me” by John Legend.
The only problem now is that they need to find a way to get the piano up to Archer’s fourth-floor apartment.
“A very talented and kind young man who will be receiving a piano…we can get it to his home, but having trouble finding a way to get it on the 4th floor!!” ReMARKable Cleanouts wrote on their Facebook page.
“Do we know anyone who can deliver a piano to a 4th floor? Asking for a friend,” they also posted.
Until then, Waters is glad to give the piano to someone deserving of it.
“He’s a good young man and I’m glad he gets to have the piano,” Waters said. “If it brings joy into his life, that brings joy into into my heart.”