Who wants to play a Mark I or Mark II when you can turn peoples heads sitting behind a 1977 Amtrak Rhodes?
A Rare Breed Indeed: The Amtrak Rhodes by Max Brink, republished with permission from the Chicago Electric Piano Company
If you're already connected with our workshop on Facebook, then you may have already seen this rare breed that we serviced back in early March. For those that are not connected or for anyone who missed it, this is your glimpse of the Amtrak Rhodes.
Unfortunately, the only information that we have at this time about Amtrak Rhodes on lounge cars is that Rhodes were once on lounge cars. I'm sorry to tell you that that is all we know. This Rhodes was dated in mid 1977 and is consistent with other '77 Rhodes models serviced by our shop.
The only thing that the current owner knows about the history is that it was previously owned by a collector of train memorabilia that left it virtually untouched for well over a decade after winning it from an Amtrak auction. It's unknown exactly how long he had it for, but I can tell you that the tone bars and key bushings were in the best shape that I have ever seen! They looked like they were brand new off the Rhodes assembly line!
I don't know about you, but it makes me picture an Amtrak lounge car with Ramsey Lewis striking the keys while Joe Biden sips on a gin martini.
So far our workshop has been unable to find out any more information from our parts suppliers, or other experts around the country. If you or someone you may know has any knowledge of the history of Rhodes pianos in Amtrak lounge cars in the late '70s to early '80s, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.