'Piano Man' still baffled by memory loss

A farmer's son from Germany revealed as the mysterious "Piano Man" told his parents that he has no idea how he came to be found wandering on a beach in the UK, it was reported today.

Andreas Grassl, 20, from the remote Bavarian village of Prosdorf, insists he simply woke up one day last week and realised who he was and had not been trying to mislead health workers.

Mr Grassl`s father Josef, 46, revealed his son`s comments in interviews with reporters who have descended on the family home close to the Czech border.

The Daily Mirror said Andreas told his father: "I just do not know what happened to me. I get little flashes of my past, like in a film. But I have no idea how I ended up in England like that."

The Grassl family lost contact with Andreas after he went to Paris shortly after finishing a job in the German town of Saarbrucken working with disabled people.

It is then thought he travelled by ferry or Eurostar to the UK and somehow ended up on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent where he was found by police in a dripping wet suit.

However, why he came to the UK and what happened to his personal documents is still a mystery to the Grassl family and, seemingly, also to Andreas himself.

Josef Grassl has told reporters that the family were unaware of the worldwide publicity and campaign to identify his son, who baffled health workers in the UK with his silence.

He said he called police in Germany after losing contact with his son, and they in turn spoke to colleagues in France, but Mr Grassl snr was told that there was nothing they could do because Andreas was an adult.

Neither the French or German police, or Mr Grassl snr, seem to have made the link to the publicity over the Piano Man, a story which has been covered worldwide.

He told the Daily Mirror: "I work hard every day, get up early in the morning to see to the cows, so I hardly ever read a paper."

Social workers had toiled for months in a bid to help Mr Grassl, and it is thought that thousands of pounds have been spent in the effort to identify him.

But lawyers acting for the Grassl family have denied that Andreas deliberately misled the health workers who looked after him for several months at mental health units in Kent.

One lawyer, Christian Baumann, told reporters that Andreas had been suffering from a mental illness when he was found wandering on the beach on April 7.

Mr Grassl jnr was dubbed the "Piano Man" by the media after carers described how he had "played classical music beautifully for four hours".

His keyboard skills were thrown into doubt after an insider at the Little Brook Hospital in Dartford where he was treated claimed that he would often just tap one note continuously.

But Josef Grassl confirmed that his son did have some musical talent, telling the Daily Mirror: "He learned to play the keyboard from the age of 10 and can also play the accordion."

It was also revealed that he was academically successful at school, sitting the German equivalent of A-Levels in subjects such as French and biology.

Andreas broke his silence last week before the German Embassy in London provided him with papers so he could return home at the weekend for a tearful reunion with his family.

Medio: UTV
Fecha: Miércoles 24 de agosto de 2005
Notas: Copyright © 2005 UTV Internet and the UTV plc Group. All rights reserved.
ID: 1948 Editar

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