John Capron’s mother died when he was 7, and he spent eight years moving from one foster home to the next in the greater Boston area.
Capron had a difficult time connecting with his new foster families, he said. He finally walked away from his last foster home, spent some time living on the streets and ended up at a sanctuary for homeless teens, where he fell in love — with music.
When a counselor showed Capron how to play the song “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” by Journey on the center’s upright piano, “something just clicked,” he said.
For the first time, said Capron, he felt he had found purpose. Although he couldn’t read a single note, he quickly learned to play by ear and was soon drawing a small audience whenever he sat down to jam after high school.
Fast forward to last month, when Capron, now 23 and living in his own apartment, spotted an old piano sitting outside an estate sale clearance store in Norwood, Mass. He asked a salesperson if he could play his favorite Journey tune.
“When I see a piano, I can’t help wanting to play it,” he said.
He sat down, masked, and played a heartfelt rendition of Journey’s 1981 arena rock song he had learned as a teen.
An employee at Remarkable Cleanouts took a cellphone video of his impromptu performance and posted it on Facebook, where it has been viewed more than 83,000 times.
Dozens of people on Facebook were impressed by Capron’s performance and wondered who the mystery player was, while others were so taken with his impromptu song, they offered to buy the piano for Capron and deliver it to him.
When store owner Mark Waters saw the video and comments, he decided he could do better than that. A 1964 upright Steinway worth $6,000 had recently ended up in his shop, and it was in more pristine condition than the piano Capron had played.
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“It was clear that he had a lot of talent — and I had a piano taking up space in my shop,” said Waters, 62. “It just made sense to donate it to him.” (TheWashingtonPost)