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During a down moment inside Government House, the new premier played a Mötley Crüe power ballad on the piano
If you said Andrew Furey had a “Motley” beginning to his tenure as Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, you might not necessarily be seen as being critical.
On Thursday, a day after Furey was sworn in as the province’s 14th premier, there was quite a bit of reaction to a posting on his Twitter account (@FureyAndrew) of a short video showing him playing the piano inside Government House as he awaited the taking of official photos.
It wasn't the only song of the day. Maureen Ennis had sung "O Canada" and the "Ode to Newfoundland" earlier as part of the swearing-in ceremony, but this was something different.
The song was Mötley Crüe’s “Home, Sweet Home,” and according to Fred Hutton, the well-known former journalist who is part of the new premier’s staff, the musical interlude was impromptu.
“He just played a couple of notes as he was walking by the piano and I said “Come on, gives us a song,’” said Hutton. “After he began playing, I started recording it because I thought ‘This is neat.’
“And it was.”
In his own way, Furey must have thought so, too.
“Among all of the firsts, I have to say that playing a Motley Crüe song on the piano inside Government House, in front of the Hon. Lt.-Gov. (Judy Foote) was a special moment!" he Tweeted.
Furey only stopped playing shortly after the Lieutenant Governor, apparently intrigued by the notes she heard, entered the room.
Today has been really incredible.— Andrew Furey (@FureyAndrew) August 19, 2020
Among all of the firsts, I have to say that playing a Motley Crüe song on the piano inside Government House, in front of the Hon. Lt.-Gov. @judy_foote was a special moment! pic.twitter.com/QS3OTxT6s7
Using comments to the Twitter post as a straw poll, Furey’s rendition of the Crüe concert favourite was well-received.
Yes, there was one who compared the premier’s piano-playing to Nero’s fiddling (“Rome is burning”), another who suggested it was nothing but a photo-op and someone who felt the piano needed tuning and tied that in with the job Furey faces as premier (“You have a lot of work to do”). But mostly the reviews — for the music at least — were complimentary, with plenty of “awesomes” and “well dones.”
There were also more than a few quips, including from Jon Murphy (@j_e_murphy , who felt the “Only thing that could make this better is if Eddie Joyce came in with the face-melting guitar solo,” in reference to the former Liberal cabinet member and now independent Member of the House of Assembly.
As for the history of Furey’s abilities on the keys, his mother Karen taught music and he took piano lessons when he was an elementary student.
We can’t say whether the song he played Wednesday was among those he was taught. What is probably the best-known power ballad of Mötley Crüe, a band that slots mostly into the heavy metal and glam rock genres, “Home, Sweet Home” was originally released in 1985, when the 45-year-old Furey was 10, but had greater prominence with a re-release six years later.
It gained additional notoriety and garnered a different audience about a decade ago as the title song on an album by country singer Carrie Underwood.