Master piano tuner reflects on 37 years of work

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Rock stars Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi and even John Lennon all have a secret connection to Bismarck. They are all just some of the 10,000 pianos tuned by Blaine Lutz.

"When you get into one of these pianos, you become part of it. Because these pianos are cut from live trees and each one are going to be different,” said Lutz.

10,000 unique jobs normal and famous.

"The Black Limosuine pulls in and here comes all the guys with the Bon Jovi group,” Lutz said. “The tour manager says we're going to tune the guitars, there's 15 of them. Tune the drums, set up the mics, you have to tune this piano and you have to do it in 40 minutes."

From his first, to this one at Wachter Middle school, he uses the same tools- screwdrivers, tuning forks, and his own two ears. He wraps the wires for each key. The meticulous approach has always been Lutz's preference, even as the industry changes.

"They're using a lot of electronics; however, it's fake. This is pure because it's live wood,” said Lutz.

But the one thing that doesn't change is being tuned into the job in front of him.

"When I get on these pianos, it's me and the piano. Nothing else."

Lutz is leaving Bismarck to go to Arizona, but said those who want to contact him, can do so at 701-220-3658.