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Craig Stallwood – Keyboard Player

Published: 10 May 2012
Noah Markson



“I was playing on a cruise ship in Alaska and we were getting towards the end of the set.  The ocean was completely beautiful and very, very calm; the water was like marshmallow.  We were playing some nice quiet jazz ballads and all of the sudden, without any sort of warning the whole cruise ship tilted over by 10 to 15 degrees.   I was playing a pink baby grand piano and the whole stage, including the piano, started rolling down towards the end of the window and I thought I was going to fall out of it!  Basically the whole cruise ship was a complete wreck because everything started falling over.  It was quite bizarre.  There were no waves at all, completely tranquil ocean, you couldn’t imagine a flatter sea and then all of the sudden the piano started sliding over while I was playing it.

I thought, shock horror!  What’s going on?  We’re all going to die!  We’d all had a few cocktails by then as well, it was really late.  Most of the audience had already gone to bed, but there were a couple of people left and they started screaming.  It was tilting like this for fifteen minutes.  We didn’t find out til the next day what had happened.  As it turned out an engineer had had too much to drink and had pressed the wrong button.  He’d turned the stabilisers off. They’re meant to keep the ship horizontal, it was so ironic because it’s one of those moments you just couldn’t believe, we’d actually been commenting on how calm the sea was and then that happened!” (Craig Stallwood)

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