Last evening, I played and made very close to 10 dollars, on a night when people were only throwing money in regards to whether or not they thought the musician stood a chance to make his way through the upcoming onslaught of activity which will be the Super Bowl, and then the Mardi Gras.It felt like an audition.
There was money to be made along the parade route on Canal Street.
Just plop yourself down somewhere behind the lines of people; in front of some business but not right in front; and collect money from people who can see what you are doing and reward you for it; and for others who actually lean over so that their ears are less than two feet from your instrument and who also might reward you.
I stood by a guy who was doing just that and saw him get at least one 10 dollar bill from a guy who stood in front of him and listened to him for about 12 seconds.
So, I could have done that; but instead I went to do business with a certain Jamaican guy and then made haste to Decatur Street, where I played at a brand new, well lit spot on a corner where the corner has been cut so that the front door faces diagonally across the street.I always considered that spot better for visually intensive acts; even gutter punks who want to display their dogs better. But, there I was visually demonstrating Grateful Dead music.
It will be hard for the Mardi Gras to seem like the biggest thing ever, after the Super Bowl, but that will be an observation which will be lost on a person coming into town for just those two events.
It will be like fishing, for us buskers.Worms For Sale!
The busker might as well dub himself "Ishmael" and just perch himself on some spot; preferably after thanking God in advance for leading him to it; and then just play your darndest; and wait for the big fish to come along.
He's the guy who is lubricated enough and in the very mood to astound another human being with a demonstration of his wealth.
Particularly his wealth as seen through the eyes of a guy whose face lights up and who utters a prayer of thanks (probably too late, by the way; almost like saying "thank you" after someone has prompted it; by asking "What do you say???"
But, I digress.
The big fish wants his companions to see just how drastic the lure of money is; and; "Watch this; I'm gonna get this guy to play 'Imagine' by John Lennon ten friggin' times; you watch me....
Every time he plays it; I drop a 20 in his hat; and then we keep saying "Again. One more time!"
...You see; now that guy might have more talent than I do; I can't play a guitar; but here he is; like a puppet; like a court musician whom the king can put into motion with a clap of his hands...*clap* Music!!!....
And I toss him a few crumbs, you know, 20 dollar bills -not enough to even park your car, hear me? and he starts picking away like Peter friggin' Frampton, huh?!?...stick with me; and I'll show you the ropes, fellas.
And, so you hook the big fish and, after he starts to walk away; he stops and returns to you and hands you 100 more dollars, saying: "I'm gonna give you another hundred; because a hundred aint' much in this world; I wipe my ass with them....."
And so, that is why there is a guy with a musical instrument on his back for every 37 people that are out walking the Quarter.
...Did you guys see how he hopped to it and played that song over and over? That's the power of money, gentleman......And, as I sit here on this Sunday; having decided to keep blogging; and maybe just change the focus; it will soon become incumbent upon me to go out and take out the guitar and play music. Somewhere. Anywhere (almost).
Howard Looking HaggardHoward looked very pale and frail and shaking and sickly and pretty much disoriented this morning.
He is still reading 1,000 page books at the rate of a day or two; but it seems that his reading just allows him to totally dissociate with the external world.
He just read a book about F.D.R, who was the president (for 12 years!) back around the time of WW2.
Howard devoured (rhyme intended) that 1,000 page historical novel in a little over a day.
I asked him this morning: "So what do you know about Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, now?"
His initial response was: "Nothing."
Then, he caught himself, and seeming to suddenly recall the book that he just read almost non-stop during the previous day, quickly added: "Well, I understand why a lot of people thought he was just an amazing guy. He was amazing; dealing with Germany and all that...."
So, now I have to keep an eye on Howard. ..."keep him on a short leash"...
It made me briefly consider the possibility that Howard may be in decline from some kind of degenerate disease like Alzheimer's Disease or any number of them that they have; and that, at some point, I might have to alert Emergency Response personnel of him being in a state of mind which poses a danger to himself.
I suppose I will at least wait until he is found swimming in the Mississippi River and offers the explanation that he was trying to get to McDonalds, and save myself the phone call....
So, that would apparently be it, for now. Things are still shaky financially and I will have to put in a good solid nights work in the joyful hope that I will touch one soul; who has money.