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BB King

Could I be a Rock star?

Posted on 2005.09.12 at 20:56
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Dick Dale and the Del-Tones - Mr. Eliminator
Yesterday I went to Harvard Square with my friend Bill and his sons Nicholas and Augie. There were street musicians out, and Augie (who is 7) asked my why I never play out on the street. "You have all the stuff, I mean, you have a guitar and a microphone and a sound-box thing!" I explained it was called an 'amp,' and asked him if he really thought I was good enough to play for people and get money. "Well, you could make SOME money,' he answered, 'but you don't play like a rock star."
He wouldn't really elaborate on that. I may have to work on my rock star chops.


metalclarinet at 2005-09-13 02:55 (UTC) (Link)
Anyone can make money playing on the street. I watched one drunk slapping on an untuned guitar. He couldn't even keep a beat. He got some change.

When I was on vacation in New Orleans, I hung around the French Quarter and occasionally played my clarinet just for fun. Guys with dates come over to hand me money. It is not like I was playing songs. Just doodling. I think they were trying to impress dates. I refused the money and got the most hateful looks. My bad.

Another New Orleans memory: I watched a Cajun accordian player rake in a lot of money. When he took a break, I watched in give money to less talented musicians.

There are a lot of beggars in large cities. I think some people simply want to encourage a better class of beggar. Back when I worked in the the tonier part of town, I knew some street musicians. I watched many people walk past, toss money and leave. They never heard more than a half a minute of music.

What playing on the street will make you do is play songs start of finish with no futzing about mistakes or forgotten words. It's good for your playing. Go for it.
theservant at 2005-09-13 03:01 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmmn. Food for thought!
suzermagoozer at 2005-09-13 13:24 (UTC) (Link)
I totally agree that going out there and pushing your GEETAR skills out in public is good for your playing. Its a good challence and heck...an adventure, if nothing else.

I think most people respect the nards of someone who goes out and does that...because we know we never could. But YOU could.
theservant at 2005-09-13 13:26 (UTC) (Link)
Another helping of food for thought!
theservant at 2005-09-13 20:39 (UTC) (Link)
Anyone can make money playing on the street. I watched one drunk slapping on an untuned guitar. He couldn't even keep a beat. He got some change.

So you HAVE seen me play!
herspace at 2005-09-13 14:16 (UTC) (Link)
well of course you should play on the street. cause I think thats really cool...

I always love to stop and listen to people who are playing on the streets...especially if they are really good. If i have change, I always try to give some as well.
theservant at 2005-09-13 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I always try and give something just to encourage the practice.
mrfares at 2005-09-16 01:23 (UTC) (Link)
We pass by a lot of these guys on the skyway each day. The regular guy by our ramp owns a cello but rarely plays much. I figure he chose it for the big case for catching change. In the evenings there is a guy in his spot who I think is practicing guitar in public. He's ok but how often should you give change to a guy who is there every day? But I love to hate the mean fiddle player. He dresses like some overheated historical society re-enactor and taunts people. I think he is usually a little wasted. He scares the children who go by when he tells then to dance or asks them questions. I think I've caught him more than once acting like the guy in the SNL skit who sings rude things about people who don't give him anything and then he tries to pass it off as some Wobblie protest song.

I've gone through other skyways occasionally and am jealous that more of the ones closer to the south end of Nicolett Mall seem to be actual musicians practicing their strings because they are really good and few have open cases.
The two worst were the guy with the creepy singing marionette show and the guy faking it with a pre-programmed electic piano.
theservant at 2005-09-16 01:26 (UTC) (Link)
There is one guy in the Square, who Nicholas really likes- a Chinese man who plays this odd sort of one-stringed violin kind of thing that makes high-pitched screechy noises in some kind of non-western mode that I can't quite grasp, or perhaps just at random. When he plays it, he gets these crazy eyes and stares forward with frightening intensity.
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