Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday After Mardi Gras

Tarentino From Detroit
I was coming out of Walgreens across the street from the library yesterday afternoon with an expensive energy drink in my hand.
I had gotten food card money Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., and I can never resist splurging in that situation on something like a Starbucks coffee energy type drink, which I will sometimes spike with instant coffee.
This is what I believe I substitute for a heroin addiction.
I saw a guy carrying a guitar who was as tall and had as curly brown hair as a guy who used to play in front of Rouses Market who wound up being from Ireland after I asked him, (who knows where he was from before I asked him..) and who was a very competent musician with an amp and microphone; but who wore an expression upon his face which seemed to me to say: "What, you can't tip me?!?"
I had the impression that the guy was probably a pretty big deal in whatever little hamlet he came from and was irritated that his tip jar wasn't being stuffed while he played songs like "Mrs. Robinson," by Simon and Garfunkle, or "Wild World," by Cat Stevens across the street from Rouses Market.
That particular guy (who this guy turned out NOT to be) and I eventually had a conversation and he turned out to be a pretty cool guy and from Ireland; and I had subtly tried to hint that "just a guy with a guitar" was a slow selling item at that particular corner.
I have played there and have gotten one 20 dollar bill that I can remember.
So, I crossed the street and intercepted the guy and asked him if he was the guy from Ireland.
He wasn't, but we smoked together and had a conversation about music; and then I went into the library to blog and he his way.
The Case
I left the library after having looked up the numbers of any place which might sell gig bags for guitars.
The drizzle falling from the sky that Thursday afternoon highlighted the importance of protecting the beautiful Indiana Scout.
I learned that The Guitar Center with its 20 dollar bags was well beyond the reach of the local bus system.
I called Paul at Bywater Music; $34.99
I called Music Express: $39.99
I called Dorise and explained my mission and asked her if she was going to Guitar Center any time soon.
She wasn't. "I don't actually go to Guitar Center much."
"How much is the difference?"
I realized that I was trying to save only 15 bucks.
And, I thought about how Paul has been good to me and how he is in the unenviable position of having to compete with the Guitar Centers and the E-Bays of the world; and how Balil had just given me the guitar and how $34.99 +tax bucks for a case for it would equate to me having paid just that amount for the Indiana Scout; and I thought about Dorise' subtle hint "...maybe Paul has some used ones that he could sell cheaper..." and...
I decided to call Bywater Music and ask Paul if he would, at least, knock the tax off and sell me one for 35 dollars even, telling him that I was trying to decide weather or not to walk there or take the bus, which was true.
I walked all the way (2.5 mi.) there and got the bag, and then walked all the way back into the Quarter with 13 dollars in my pocket.
I had dropped off some weight preparatory to my trek to the Bywater, principally my sleeping bag; at the sign spot.
I went and retrieved it.

Across the street, Steve Miller ("Book of Dreams") was having a show at the Saenger Theater, to begin soon.
I tied my sleeping bag to my pack and then walked down Canal Street, past the theater.
There were groups of people standing about.
A group of 4 guys were by the roadside and one of them said something like "Play something."
"You know, I was just wondering to myself if I can still remember "Big Ol' Jet Airliner..."
I had the guitar out of the brand new case and indeed could remember it -and even the lyrics.
The gates were just opening up at that point, and they each handed me 5 dollar bills, one saying "We enjoyed that!" (they had sung along...) and a couple were stuffed into the sound-hole of my guitar, while I was in the process of thanking them, and I wound up coming ahead about 35 dollars, or the exact price of the case which was only 3 hours old..

I wound up coming ahead about 35 dollars, or the exact price of the case which was only 3 hours old..
Then, I ran into Tarentino from Detroit (see above) who was busking on Royal Street in the entrance to a business.
I remembered him from our conversation. We jammed together and I was pleasantly surprised when he said "I know everything Beatles; I love the Beatles," or to that effect; and then was able to name almost every Elvis Costello album and a memorable song (and quotes of the lyrics) off of them.
This was pretty cool and he is the first musician of that ilk whom I have met since coming here 2 and a half years ago. The drawback was only that he is only at an "intermediate" level of skill upon his guitar.
When he left me to watch his stuff while he ran for whiskey, I played "Shakedown Street," by The Grateful Dead, during which performance a guy stopped and leaned upon a parking meter with his back to me, but only 10 feet away. He could have been listening, I thought.
I did my best "Shakedown," and indeed, the guy came over and laid two 5 dollar bills into Tarentino From Detroit' s case.
I interpreted this to mean that the guy saw evidence of a second musician; Tarentino's guitar sitting there, for example; and was giving us each 5 bucks; and so I stuffed one into Tarentinos soundhole.
We jammed further and got a few more singles. It was getting cold out. The best part of the experience was singing along note for note on songs by Elvis Costello which I know well, but which are obss

1 comment:

Alex said...

The geetar center cases will be *really* cheapo, I've seen 'em. The $34-odd cases will be rather decent, padding, pockets, etc. I'd go with one of them, and go to the place you might need to repair your geetar some day. It's good to have friends in geetar places.