Donald Gould, the piano-playing homeless man from Florida, has captured the heart of the Internet. The video of him playing the 1970’s power ballad “Come Sail Away” by Styx has been viewed more than five million times in just five days since it was first posted. One of the few to not hear about the video’s success was Donald himself. Luckily, the same family who originally filmed his performance ran into him again. They told him about the Internet’s reaction and asked Gould more about his life story.
Gould reveals he used to play clarinet in the Marine Corps and even studied music in college. After the passing of his wife, which resulted in subsequent addiction problems, he moved to Sarasota, Florida. Presently, he spends his time playing the public pianos that the city provides to its citizens.
Many have reached out to help Donald out, including local club owner Steve Bishop. He is the owner of a piano bar and is always searching for new talent. He thinks he may have found his newest hit in Donald and is offering paid gigs to help him turn his life around.
If you haven’t seen the original video that vaulted Donald into the world of Internet celebrity, here it is. Next time you find yourself walking the streets of Sarasota, Florida make sure you stop by and say hi.