Get to know: Gary Pressy
Condensed from the July 2011 issue of Vine Line, Cubs organist Gary Pressy shares some stories from 25 years of accompanying baseball’s greats. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Do you ever get nervous meeting any of the celebrities?
It’s funny—I don’t get nervous meeting them; I think they are more nervous about singing and the 80,000 eyes looking up at them. The key is, no pun intended, hitting the first note. Once they do that, they are on their own.
Tell me about one of your more memorable celebrity encounters.
Simon Le Bon, the lead singer of Duran Duran, stopped by the booth after he sang and gave me a really nice compliment. He said, “You are not an organist; you are an artist.” Coming from him, with all of the records and music he has recorded, that meant a lot.
Are you a fan of the game?
You have to be a pretty knowledgeable baseball fan to play the organ at the games. You have to know the rules and know not to interrupt the game. I was one of those kids that would run home from school and catch the final innings of the game with Jack Brickhouse.
What don’t Cubs fans know about you?
I love the historical part of the game, and one thing I do in the offseason is gather all the in-game trivia questions, like “This Date in Cubs History,” or “Fantastic Finishes.” I also work in the public address booth with two of the finest people in the business, our new PA announcer, Andy Belleson, and Andie Giafaglione, who runs the video scoreboard.