For many years, I had been known as the “pianoman”. However, every time someone labeled me with that moniker, I knew I was getting compared to the great Billy Joel. As proud as I was with such a comparison, Pianoman would always refer to him, and not me. So in order to carve my own sonic niche, I always knew I’d need my own nickname.
After one of my shows, a few fans of mine were complimenting my piano style, and in their description of my hard-hitting fashion, they started using the term, “Hammer Hands”. At the time, I thought it was a funny term used to describe my merciless pounding of the keys. But then, “Hammer Hands” started coming up more and more among my fans. During my pre-show visualization exercises, I started to envision “Hammer Hands” performing for the crowd, rather than Shaun Barrowes. It would be “Hammer Hands” who got the crowds to their feet; it would be “Hammer Hands” who swooned the women; and it would be “Hammer Hands” who earned a deafening applause when the curtain fell. Not Shaun Barrowes the pianoman. I started to like the sound of that.
As a kid, I always fantasized of becoming a superhero. Wolverine was always my favorite, as I’d read X-Men comic books and let my imagination run wild. With this new nickname, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve acquired a piece of that fantasy. Sure, I may not have retractable bone claws or a healing factor that allows me to recover from all wounds, but when I step onto that stage, and the crowds start to cheer, I’m no longer that goofy kid who talks too loud or has a faulty attention span; I am “Hammer Hands”!
The name suits me well—I perform with all reckless abandon, and it’s only fair to let fans know what they’re getting themselves into when they purchase a ticket to see Shaun Barrowes in concert. They should know that Shaun Barrowes is merely my alter ego, and when I dawn my superhero persona, “Hammer Hands”, only then am I ready to rock the stage!
7 years ago