Some of the posts I was compelled to read were:
Van Over had recently heard a recording of a piano being destroyed by sledge hammers. Finding the aural experience disappointing led to the speculation (most likely fueled by certain psychoactive chemicals) about dropping a piano from a building, or better yet, a helicopter, and what that drop might sound like.This is the kind of history that keeps me reading more and more.
Larry tracked down an old upright piano, moved it to his farm, and contracted a helicopter service out of Boeing Field. The pilot didn't quite get the point, but having successfully not dropped pianos before, he saw no special problem in doing the opposite. As Larry later recalled, "There were a number of Newton's laws that the pilot neglected to consider."
Instead of the 300 participants he expected, the pilot estimated at least 10 times as many people filled the countryside below. At that moment, Larry got that special, tinny taste in his mouth indicating that his mental altimeter had exceeded the helicopter's. "No way, no way, no way," the pilot muttered with mounting conviction ... "They're not going to get out of the way."
"They'll move, man, they'll move," Larry pleaded with that persuasive power only true evangelists and zonked-out lunatics can muster. "Trust me, man, it'll be like the Red Sea all over again!"
The crowd was not disappointed and let loose a collective "Far out!" as it surged toward the remains of the piano. By the time Larry pushed his way to the piano's impact crater, not a stick, wire, ivory, or scrap of felt remained. "They devoured it," he recalled.
... somebody said, "Hey, let's do that again," and so was born the idea for the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair, which took place later that year.