Rod Dibble (1932 – December 19, 2017) played the piano at The Alley on Grand Avenue in the Lakeshore neighborhood beginning in 1960 (!). With over 6,000 songs (American Standards … no rock ‘n roll) in his repertoire, Dibble played for years, five nights a week, for five hours at a time. After his heart attack in late 2012, he cut back to 2–3 nights a week.
A table/bar built over the piano has 4 microphones for patrons to sing along. Under the piano is a box full of binders containing lyrics to many of the most popular songs in Rod’s repertoire, so guest singers needn’t memorize them (though few seem to need any reminders). Dibble rewarded guest singers who did an especially good job with a blast of cowbell. Dibble wore out multiple pianos during his decades-long career.
Links and References
- Grand Avenue’s Piano Man: The Last of an Era Piedmont Patch
- Piano man Rod Dibble’s got ‘em feeling all right SFGate
- The Alley East Bay Express
- Video-blog series of Rod Dibble in action at The Alley by Zennie Abraham
- A Star Is Born at The Alley EatDrinkFilms.com