Lead Organist At Organ Stop Pizza to Step Down After Over 40-Year-Long Career
Down in Mesa, Arizona there's a restaurant that's been a staple in the area called Organ Stop Pizza. Their attraction is obviously two things: Pizza, and the Wurlitzer pipe organ, but recently made the news as they commended their lead organist who has decided to retire.
Lew Williams has been playing the organ at Organ Stop Pizza for 42 years, entertaining families as they have a slice of pizza and enjoy their favorite music from an 82-pipe organ.
In March of 1979, Williams was offered the job at the pizza place, at 25 years old. He took the job, and moved across the country.
"At that time, I alternated between the Phoenix Organ Stop, which was at 7th Street and Missouri, and the Mesa Organ Stop, which was, at that time, right at the canal bank across from Friendship Village," he told Fox 10.
After a short time, he realized that the job offer was a career opportunity, and now, he's decided he's ready to retire.
"I feel that everything has a lifespan," Williams told Fox 10. "Everything has a productive time length, and things only last so long. People have lifespans, buildings have lifespans, jobs have lifespans, and after coming up on 40-plus years of doing it, I began to feel that it was time to step back and go have someone younger step in, and continue on with younger ideas and take control."
Even though he's done playing his usual 9-5 gig, he's never going to stop playing the organ. He told the news channel that his love for organs started as a kid.
We caught up with Lew This Morning. Hear What He Had To Say:
"In those days, I'd go down to the appliance store on my bike, and they had these little amplified red organs, and you could turn them on and play them, and they finally told my parents get one of these for your damn kid to get him out of the store," he said. "I got one of those at 10 years old at Christmas, and I started piano at 15, and I went through two college degrees and post graduate study at Geneva, Switzerland."
As far as what he's going to miss, it's the people.
"I think I'll miss the reactions from the people. When you have a really good crowd and they're with you and you're playing to them and they're responding to you, there's a very direct line of communication there, and that's something you really don't get anyplace else," he said.
Though he's retiring from his full time position, he's not going away forever. He's filling in as needed.