FORT MYERS, Fla - Stephen Brittain's home looks normal from the outside. But inside, his 1,300-square foot living room houses nine instruments: 5 grand pianos, 2 upright pianos and 2 pipe organs.
"This is the obsession," says Stephen, "for lack of a better word."
The home was originally built to house such instruments by the previous owner, and Stephen fell in love with the space. Some of his large acquisitions were gifts from friends, who knew he'd house them properly.
"After the first instrument came to live with me, the word got out I was a good place to store instruments that were going to be loved and cared for," he says.
And they all can be played.
"I don't keep things that aren't functional," he says, "That would border on hoarding."
His latest purchase amounted to his musical Mount Everest. It's a pipe organ that once was housed in theatres in Chicago and San Francisco.
Stephen got wind of it, bought it, and then he and a friend drove it from California to Fort Myers in two trucks in five days.
The organ has 1,765 pipes, along with trumpets, drums and chimes. It's all behind a wall that has shutters which open and close to control volume.
Stephen says it's not noisy on the outside either. The original builder of the home added sand to the walls, to muffle the sound. "It's not too loud," says Stephen, "It doesn't make your ears bleed."
So what are the next plans for his collection?
"I'm done," he says. "I promised I would drag nothing more into my living room."