Saturday, March 1, 2014

70 Degree Saturday

Friday, I just about repeated Thursday, step for step.
"It's Too Cold To Busk, Daniel!!"
The air temperature had only warmed up about 5 degrees over the previous nights, and the only noticeable difference was that my un-gloved hands were not stinging.
I opted not to try to busk; especially after a stop at the Lilly spot where only a few souls trundled past hastily and complaining about the cold. It was probably about 48 degrees.
I ran into a group of people on a corner who talked to me and eventually prayed for me.
I walked the parade route and was able to pick up a bit of residual whiskey here and there; a girl gave me a beer; and, like on the previous outing, a lady, upon seeing the beautiful blue guitar on my shoulder, out of its case, asked me to play "some Eagles."
A bit of "Tequila Sunrise," by those pop icons produced a 5 dollar bill, and then a bit further up the road another lady laden-ed me with food. I got some more cold edibles from Rouses Market and then headed for the dock, feeling much overlooked by all the skeezers, who had bigger fish to fry during this carnival season.
60 Dollar Saturday
Saturday, I woke up with 2 dollars and change and immediately headed for the music store to replace the pick which had fallen from where I had wedged it in the strings of the Indiana; this after having said a short prayer, as per the advice of the people who had prayed over me the previous day, to ask Jesus what His will was, not mine...getting a pick (so that I could work, duh) was the first thing that had popped into my mind.
Learning that The Louisiana Music Factory had moved, I walked the 2 miles to its new location, passing Sydneys beer store along the way, where I spent myself down to 0 dollars with the purchase of 2 Steel Reserve Blackberry malt liquors.
It was then to the Lilly spot.
I arrived, with my freshly bought pick around 5 p.m., or 1 hour before the first Mardi Gras parade was to embark from a place 3 miles away and to eventually arrive upon Canal Street.

Alan, the guy who lives in the condo to the left (as I face them) of the guy who installed a spotlight which is trained upon me, was sitting on his perch across from me, petting one of his 3 dogs.
This one is a Labrador, ginger colored, the other two are those obnoxious long haired types that stare at you while you are eating like 4 legged skeezers. I think they call them "Yorkshire Terriers."
16 Dollar Tune Up
All I did was to sit and tune and play my guitar with the new pick, which is thicker (1.0 mm) than the ones which I prefer that the store was out of.

A guy walked up and handed me a dollar before I had even begun that, saying "I appreciate your presence here."
Then, I was still tuning and playing "China Cat Sunflower," by The Grateful Dead when a young lady walked up and, after casting her eyes about apparently looking for some kind of tip jar or hat, stuffed a bill into the top of my backpack, which was loosened just enough at the top to allow that.
Then, another lady walked up and asked me if she could take a picture of me, adding "Do you want a couple bucks?"
"Either way," I said ...I appraise a photo of myself at about 35 cents, ma'am...
As she aimed her lens at me, I said "You can call this one 'Street Musician Trying To Motivate Himself With Beer," which brought a smile to her lips and a 5 dollar bill to my hand, along with the appology of "Sorry, it's not much, (but....)"
I had gotten 16 dollars in a half an hour without even setting up any signs or tiposauruses.
I walked across the street and told Alan so much, as he petted his dog and conversed with almost everyone who passed him.
A lot of the people seemed to be acquaintances, perhaps neighbors, of his; the rest were tourists, many of whom almost seemed to be wanting to become such; and the cute Labrador "He loves to be petted," was convenient.
I say this, because, these people who had chanced upon Alan, sitting on the stoop; of his Bourbon Street condo in front of swung open doors which offered a view of the lush appointments of that dwelling, seemed to be focusing all their attention on he and his dog, after having actually interrupted the conversation which Alan and I were having. And apparently not even seeing me standing there in my food stained clothes with the uncased guitar over my shoulder.
I had told Alan that I was thinking of walking the 3 miles to where the parades begin and busking there (because I had overheard another busker telling a third "I'm going to be down on Magazine Street, that's where the action is!").
"Why do you want to get messed up in all that," said Alan. "I think you have a good spot here!"
"I think you have a good spot here!"
Well, that was enough to remind me that I did indeed have a good (and privileged) spot; and I decided that I was just going to make a night of it right there.
Alan asked me how the "gutter punks"* did, during the daytime.
They are the other group of musicians (a large kind of effeminate dreadlock wearing black man, along with a young lady who shows a lot of cleavage; and a "Rainbow Child" guy of about 30 who looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo for lack of a better description) to which Lilly has extended her "support for the arts" and who are allowed to play there until 8 p.m., or until I show up thereafter "Daniel has first bid," they've been told.
I really didn't know, I said, but added that they are likable enough, but then further added that the "shift" which they play can be a tough one, moneywise.
"I guess it's 'catch what comes'" or something like that, Alan concluded.
We had our first real conversation, in between tourists wanting to pet his dog and make the acquaintance of he who lives on Bourbon Street, and I went away (to stock up on weed) thinking that I had solidified my position as the court composer of the 900 block of Bourbon Street.
60 Dollars
I started playing right after dark, and after fully setting up my signs and spotlight and trinkets, and played about 5 sets, relentlessly returning after each break until the clock had struck 1:30 a.m. and I knocked off after missing a note when the whiskey had caught up to me.
"I Do Not Know This Guy!"
One highlight of the evening was when a guy who was drunk sat next to me and became obnoxious in his insistence that I let him play my guitar.
He eventually passed out there, on Lillys stoop with his head between his legs.
I hastily made a sign with an arrow pointing toward him reading: "I do not know this guy!" which fetched at least one 10 dollar tip.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Haha skeezers.... I was once playing on Castro Street in Mountain View in front of Lucky Foods, with my Awesome Handmade PVC Flute (tm) and some old skeezer sat down right next to me, well, I aimed that sucker right at his ear and played plenty of high notes, and he was gone pretty quick. I guess a trumpet is good for running off the scumbags too.

If I can get my trumpet playing in shape, I'd seriously consider at least taking a vacation out there. I have a fair bit to go, first, and I need tons more busking practice, around San Jose and Palo Alto, and up in the City (SF) too.

In other news, for some reason this goofy "Cost Plus World Market" place here has "peanut patch" boiled peanuts in the can(!) and I got 6 cans, and some odd New Orleans potato chips that actually have no crawfish in them, although the title on the bag would lead you to believe so.

Boiled peanuts are an institution where I grew up, and while the ones in the can aren't as good as back home, they're pretty close, and boy are they good. I've been reading more about New Orleans lately and it seems that bread pudding is also an institution there, just like back home. A *real* hunk of bread pudding back home can be used to eat, or to throw through a window like the dense brick it is, your choice.