SARASOTA, Fla. — A homeless man in Florida is gaining a lot of attention for his impressive piano skills.
Residents of Sarasota, Fla., can’t help but stop and listen to 51-year-old Donald Gould play.
“I was thinking I could just put my hat on the piano and make a couple dollars and get tips,” Gould told WWSB. “I didn’t expect it to jump out to this.”
The Marine veteran said he learned to play the clarinet as a kid and then studied music education at Spring Arbor University in Michigan.
Gould told WWSB his life took a turn when his wife died in 1998.
“They sat me down, and they told me what had happened, that my wife had passed away… and I just lost it, man,” Gould told WWSB.
From there he developed a substance abuse problem and his 3-year-old son was turned over to Social Services.
Now, Gould is keeping his spirits up by playing music.
People in Sarasota regularly hear Gould playing his own versions of classics like Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” or Bach’s “Toccata” on pianos placed around the city as part of a community arts program.