Sunday, March 3, 2013

Caterpillar Weather

Saturday was cold.
I lay under my blankets until 10:15 in the morning; and then got up and went across the river.
It was cold and windy. I blogged here until about 3 p.m. and then went on my usual way.
I walked down Royal Street with half a mind to wimp out and go back across the river and bundle up and call it a day.
Tanya and Dorise were playing in front of Rouses Market. Tanya was wearing her insulated body bag with only her face and arms and violin sticking out.
I felt bad for them and thought that they were out there in the hostile elements because they have bills to pay; and I thought they were suffering.
But, I stopped to listen. I came up behind them and said: "This is caterpillar weather; they only come out when it is this cold..."
I Make More Money Telling People About Tanya And Dorise Than I Do Actually Playing Music
I had about a dollar on me.
Their basket was half full of cash, and there was a perpetual group of tourists on the side walk across the street, listening.
Tanya played a very spirited classical piece which must have warmed her blood just by the vigour with which she played it.
Then, they started a Metalica song, to my mild surprise.
I saw a couple across the street and heard the guy say: "Is that Metalica?"
And, indeed it was "Nothing Else Matters" was the song.
I walked across the street and said: "I was just saying that myself," and then sang a bit of the song to demonstrate that it actually was Metallica that they were doing.
"I love Metallica," said the guy, who was from Dallas.
His girlfriend was from Houston.
They had a lot of questions about Tanya and Dorise, which I was able to answer. ...She's been playing since she was 6; yes, they make a thousand dollars each on an average day....
And, after talking about myself, and the plight of the un-mplified acoustic guitarist in NOLA;  and music in NOLA in general, the man handed me 20 dollars and wished me luck.
I thanked them and told them how "liberating" it was to have the 20 bucks and to be able to sit down to play on my own terms and not have to pander to the audience in hopes of making money.
I then had about 21 dollars on me; and wasn't worried about getting new strings for the guitar. But that would have to happen the next (to)day.
New Fishing Hole
I went through Jackson Square and found a little 5 dollar sack of special tobacco and wound up playing at a totally random spot, off Bourbon Street, but off in a direction which only leads to one very expensive hotel and a restaurant which has a month-long waiting list for tables.
I figured that I had the luxury of trying that spot; and the fact that I had never seen any buskers there didn't signify to me that it was a bad spot.
I was playing my butt off. One of the strings broke, but I continued on and invented some pretty cool stuff, minus that string.
People walked past, but they just weren't the tipping kind.
A cab driver rolled his window down while he waited for the light to change and threw me 3 quarters, saying "You are awesome," in an accent which could have been Somalian.
I finally gave up on that spot, like the fisherman who tries a certain cove on a certain lake where nobody ever fishes, thinking...you never know...
3 More Dollars
I made a bee-line for Decatur Street where I found Brad who was playing and who had made just a few dollars.
"Do you want to go to Bourbon?"
"Sure," said Brad, who probably avoids that spot because musicians ( other than myself, who has the blessing of the people in the surrounding condos) have been run off and ticketed from there.
We went there and jammed.
I broke a second string and commenced playing the 4 string guitar and inventing stuff.
The reason that I sought out Brad after I broke the string was because his style of playing by ear and using whatever tuning he comes up with is just what I was about at the time.
Throwing out most of what I had learned about the instrument in my life and looking at it like it was a totally new and exotic 4 stringed thing which needed to be explored put Brad and I on the same level.
We played for a while and made 6 dollars, which we split and then I split, so that I could make the last ferry across the river.
I didn't feel like walking around the Quarter all night just to stay warm; when I had plenty of insulation across the river.
It was a Saturday night, but the tourists were feeling the cold and it was a "sparse" Saturday night.
Open Sundays 1 - 5p.m.
6 Mile Walk
Today (now) I am faced with the prospect of walking 6 miles, round trip, to get strings for $5.93, instead of paying 10 dollars at the store two blocks up the street.
That is what I will probably do (after making sure on line that they are open on this Sunday afternoon) because everything starts with new strings and they pay for themselves.
I woke up with $15.39 this morning. It is still cold outside; maybe 45 degrees.

1 comment:

Alex said...

If you went around with the basket, Tanya & Dorise would make a *lot* more money and they'd surely cut you a slice. It could be a steady living (keep in mind $20 a day is $600 a month, enough to get an apartment, and I assume rooms are less) plus then you'd have the Asian and the African-American musicians with their white errand-boy, it would be cool.