Viral ‘Piano Man’ Transforms into a Sensational Pianist, Takes Center Stage at NFL Event with 70,000 Spectators, Soon Releasing Biopic Movie

ByQuyen Anne

Sep 18, 2023
When we see a homeless, we would never think of them as anything special. But this one homeless veteran proves that the homeless is more than what you think.

Donald Gould who’s now in his 50s was a full-fledged talented musician. But nobody knows about that. Not until the local government’s project to bring more music to the community came through.

Established by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, the Sarasota Keys Piano Project wheeled in a few pianos around downtown Sarasota in 2015 for the public to play.

And Gould would never miss playing that for anything.

Originally from Michigan, Gould immediately tried his hand on one of the pianos when he saw them. Wearing nothing but an old singlet, a pair of jeans and a disheveled hairstyle, Gould sat down and play Styx’s ‘Come Sail Away’. His impromptu performance caught the eyes of the crowd and the start to his new life.

According to Inspire Story, Gould majored in music in college and played the clarinet for the US Marine Corps and is adept at the drums.

Despite only learning it in his youth, those skills clearly never left him.

“From the piccolo all the way down to the tuba, I had to learn how to play every instrument,” the homeless man was reportedly telling a few young people who stopped to appreciate his playing.

Thanks to the cellphone footage of him playing the piano including an interview that racked up almost 3 million views, Gould started receiving job offers, including an offer to play the National Anthem at a San Francisco 49ers game before 70,000 NFL spectators.

70,000 people is a lot of people!

The once-homeless man did not only became a sensation locally but internationally as well—leading to his new love. Sabine Perez has a handicapped son and really wished for Gould to play him some beautiful music. She wrote him a message, and he answered her back about seven months later.

As the rest is history, Perez is now Gould’s partner.

The couple performs together in Germany where they currently live, have featured on German TV and are doing recordings together. With his newly found success, Gould never forgets what made him the man he is today.

In 2017, Gould returned to his same lucky piano and played ‘Come Sail Away’ there once again.


From homeless to successful and found new love, Gould’s life story is the one we would want to remember forever. Watch his story here:

Triple Pop Acquires Rights to Create Movie Biopic about Donald Gould aka ‘The Homeless Piano Man’

Austin-Based Record Label, Triple Pop, announces the acquisition of movie biopic rights from ‘The Homeless Piano Man’ who went viral playing a street piano version of Styx’s “Come Sail Away”

  • Donald Gould Promo Shot Triple Pop

    Donald Gould Promo Shot Triple Pop

  • Donald Gould Homeless picture piano

    Donald Gould Homeless picture piano

  • Donald Gould homeless before vs. after

    Donald Gould homeless before vs. after

  • Donald Gould Marine beard

    Donald Gould Marine beard

Austin, Texas Aug 10, 2021 (  – The interesting life and times of Donald Gould’s‘ The Homeless Piano Man’ have continued to attract the interest of entertainment enthusiasts worldwide, with producers optioning the biopic rights for a movie titled “Walk on Water,” based on the life of the viral piano player. In a related development, Producer Monte Robison, the owner of Austin-based Triple Pop, the record label that represents Gould’s recorded music, recently acquired movie biopic rights from Gould, who will also consult on the production.

It’s an honor to have the trust to tell Donald’s story and the power of how music can change a life,” said Monte Robison, the producer behind the movie, said in a statement. “There’s so much more to his story.”

(Courtesy ofDonald Gould)

Donald Gould became famous following a YouTube video of him playing a street piano version of Styx’s ‘Come Sail Away’ in Sarasota, Florida, which went viral on social media including Facebook. Multiple videos went viral worldwide amassing hundreds of million views. His destitute homeless appearance belied his extraordinary musical talent, generating further major media coverage, which led to a revelation of his incredible dramatic life story.

Prior to becoming homeless, Gould was a happily married Marine veteran, who played for the Marine Corps Band. The loving father became homeless after the death of his wife with his son taken away by social services at age three and adopted by another family. After years on the street, the videos made Gould famous and helped to turn his life around, eventually reuniting with his son.

(Courtesy ofDonald Gould)

The life story has been put into development under the title “Walk on Water,” which is also the name of Donald Gould’s debut studio album, with Mr. Robison’s affiliated production entity, Filmtheory, producing the movie adaptation.

Gould’s life story attracted offers to perform at major sporting events and he has further been covered in media such as Buzzfeed, Mashable, People Magazine, Washington Post, and ABC News.

CBS’ Inside Edition covered Gould in multiple segments such as Marine Takes Your Breath Away Playing Piano and Homeless Piano Man Plays at NFL Game.

Gould’s fans cross generations from the young to the old, men and women, especially military veterans, single parents, and those that have suffered from substance abuse and unexpected loss.

“In recent years, we’ve been approached several times about Donald’s inspiring life story being made into a play or a movie,” said Monte Robison in a press release, “so we figured we should get the ball rolling. It’s a dramatic story of redemption and faith and the complications of homelessness.”

(Courtesy ofDonald Gould)

The producer is searching for financing and a screenwriter to adapt. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Triple Pop. Los Angeles-based producer rep, Sebastian Twardosz with Savant Artists, is shopping the project for agencies and financiers.

For more information about “Walk on Water” visit –

About Triple Pop

Triple Pop is a full-service record label with A&R development, publishing, synch licensing, and digital distribution worldwide. The label owns and distributes recordings by artists such as Kacey Musgraves, Iva Dawn, Whisper Suite, and Kris Farrow.

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