Judging by recent events, it would be unwise to cheat J. Michael Diehl, a former New Jersey piano dealer who would like you to know that Donald Trump’s company paid him late and partially for his pianos. Diehl has dedicated himself this election season to dogging Trump about those fucking pianos, and you truly cannot blame him.
Diehl is 89 years old and long retired, but for years he owned the Freehold Music Center in Freehold, New Jersey. He wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post Wednesday pointing out that Donald Trump really fucked him over on those goddamn pianos.
Diehl says he got a $100,000 contract in 1989 to provide pianos for the Taj Mahal Casino when it was first opening in Atlantic City. No one had ever failed to pay him before, but then, no one had ever been Donald Trump before:
But when I requested payment, the Trump corporation hemmed and hawed. Its executives avoided my calls and crafted excuses. After a couple of months, I got a letter telling me that the casino was short on funds. They would pay 70 percent of what they owed me. There was no negotiating. I didn’t know what to do — I couldn’t afford to sue the Trump corporation, and I needed money to pay my piano suppliers. So I took the $70,000.
The partial piano payment took a huge financial toll, Diehl adds:
Losing $30,000 was a big hit to me and my family. The profit from Trump was meant to be a big part of my salary for the year. So I made much less. There was no money to help grow my business. I had less pianos in the showroom and a smaller advertising budget. Because of Trump, my store stagnated for a couple of years. It made me feel really bad, like I’d been taken advantage of. I was embarrassed.
Diehl had five children at the time, and says the whole family struggled in the year after Trump got his bargain pianos.
Diehl has previously talked about Trump and his corporation’s remarkably shitty little musical maneuver, telling Philly.com last year that the contract was for eight pianos. He added that he would not be supporting Trump: “I’m not going to vote for him, that’s for sure. That’s a crude way of doing business.”
Diehl was also quoted by USA Today this summer, in a story about the many lawsuits brought by people who allege they were stiffed by the Trump Corporation.
In July, in the culmination of his quest to yell at Donald Trump about his freakin’ pianos, he appeared in a Hillary Clinton campaign ad:
Don’t mess with a man’s pianos.