At 90, Al Guastafeste – the pianist who served as Marilyn’s bandleader during her 1954 tour of US military bases in South Korea – still plays weekly to fellow residents at the Park Summit retirement community in Coral Springs, Florida, TAPinto reports.
“Since he was a 5-year-old boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Guastafeste – who goes by the stage name Al Carmen – has inspired admiration among his audiences across the world, including his years of performing for American troops in the Korean War during which he played for the famed Marilyn Monroe.
During his long musical career, one of the times that stood out most was his military service in the early 1950s, when America was enmeshed in the Korean War.
As part of his duties, he helped organize entertainment for troops in the Far East, which included playing piano for Monroe.
‘She worked hard. We rehearsed and rehearsed,’ he said, looking at photos of Monroe and him performing together that hang in his apartment at Park Summit. ‘It was exciting to play for her.'”
Mr. Guastafeste is also the author of A Different View of Marilyn, a delightful memoir of their time together.