Antique Store Owner Gifts Piano to Customer Who Wowed Playing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’

The old piano sitting for sale in Mark Waters’ Massachusetts antique shop is typically off limits for customers.

But when John Thomas Archer came upon it earlier this month and asked to play, he was given the go-ahead, and proceeded to wow his fellow customers at ReMARKable Cleanouts in Norwood with a rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

Now, Waters has reconnected with the pianist and is in the process of giving Archer a Steinway model as a gift.

“I’m a helper. A giver. I like to give. When I give to you and you smile, that makes me feel good. If you can make somebody else happy, bring a little joy in their heart,” Waters, who’s owned the store for a decade, told WBZ. “That’s what life’s about.”

The feel-good story began on July 11, when the antique shop shared video to social media of Archer playing the piano as a crowd gathered around him to watch in amazement.

“[The piano is] against my desk and people are constantly pounding on it, so we put a ‘Do not play’ sign on it. He said he knew how to play it and asked if he could, so I said sure,” employee Melissa Rediker told the Boston Globe.

Rediker captured the tune on camera, and shared it to social media, where it soon went viral, and caught the attention of shop owner Waters.

“I saw the clip and said, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic,’” Waters told Good Morning America. “He just lit up and drew a crowd.”

Though Archer’s identity was still unknown at the time, the store put out a call for help in identifying him, and soon, Waters had tracked down the 23-year-old Northeastern University student.

Archer told WBZ he saw the clip of himself playing on a local news station, and felt compelled to respond to make sure he wasn’t in trouble.

“A very talented and kind young man who will be receiving a piano,” Waters wrote in a comment on the store’s Facebook page. “We can get it to his home, but having trouble finding a way to get it to the 4th floor!!”

On July 15, Archer made a visit back to ReMARKable Cleanouts, and played the piano once again, this time stunning with a cover of “All of Me” by John Legend.

Waters said the student — who had a keyboard at home, but not a piano — teared up with joy when he learned that he’d be receiving the piano as a gift.

“I love playing piano. I love when I’m pressing down on the keys,” Archer told WBZ. “It’s more about my emotions and my feelings… As long as people still feel the joy out of my music, I’m happy.”

As for Waters, his mission of brightening someone else’s day was also complete.

“I just wish there was more stories like this with everyone opening their hearts,” he told GMA. “I’d like to donate something every day if it brought people into a good mood.”

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