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Washington Post (US, www)
Thursday, June 22, 2000

The Reliable Source

One June afternoon in 1976, a Methodist minister brought his 12-year-old daughter to Mr. Smith's bar in Georgetown, where she auditioned as a lounge singer. Bill Reckert, then pouring drinks at his family's bar, remembers being blown away by the girl's performance. "She played about half an hour. She just went from song to song. She played with exuberance and sang with enthusiasm," Reckert said. "And though there were just a few patrons at the bar, no one spoke until she was finished."

That girl was Tori Amos, and as most everyone knows, she went on to have quite a music career. Today, fans can bid on the white baby grand piano that she played at Mr. Smith's, where she performed regularly from '76 to '77. Reckert, now a 45-year-old senior photographer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has contributed the baby grand to an online auction on Yahoo!. Half of the sale's proceeds will go toward the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), a Washington-based charity co-founded by Amos, herself a survivor of sexual assault.

"I'm happy that I had this to contribute to RAINN on Tori's behalf," Reckert, a Sterling resident, told us this morning. "The piano has been in our family for about 25 years. I held on to it for sentimental reasons and also for the functionality of allowing both my daughters to take piano lessons. It would have stayed in the family and in our family room, if not for Tori's association with RAINN."

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