Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Angry Individual

Johnny and I had only been playing at the Lilly Spot for a few minutes, and 5 dollars, Saturday night, when Charlie, the girlfriend of Barnaby across the street; came across and forbade the use of amplifiers, citing the fact of the 8 PM curfew, which is technically in existence; and the fact that they (she and Barnaby) had not been calling the police on me (have not been for almost 3 years now) but that an amplifier was too much.
She had started off by telling Johnny B. that she has known me for a long time; and that she considered me a friend; and perhaps intimated, in that way, that Johnny B's amplifier was putting me in jeopardy of losing the playing spot (and for what, 3 dollars an hour more, on average?) because I am actually allowed to play there; after a discussion had taken place between all of the people that live around there.
Lilly and all her horses and all her men, might not alone have been enough, if anyone else were opposed to me being there.
I had a feeling that; somewhere in the agreement was factored in the fact that I played acoustically, and could thus, by moving down to the other side of Lilly's building, be far enough away from the lawyer, whose place I used to play in front of nightly, after I first discovered the spot, until he complained about hearing the same songs repetitively, so that he couldn't really hear me; and everyone was apparently alright with that arrangement.
The tacit message was that, by using an amp, I was making it harder for those who had went to bat for me, and who have basically paved the way for me to have the privilege of being the only street musician who performs on Bourbon Street in New Orleans after 8 PM, to continue to do so; in the face of those who might have their qualms about it, and who might walk past me with a sour looks on their faces; on their way to and fro...
Johnny was probably thinking that he would carry the brunt of the load in helping us make 100 dollars each. He definitely had turned up his amp up a bit more
than it had been the first few nights that we played there.
We had made 160 dollars the previous (Friday) night; and that was a night when I had decided to just relax and play "second fiddle" to Johnny, and I basically let him run his own show, right down to initiating the banter and patter with the tourists -and I would just play lead guitar and add backup vocals.
He seemed to have steamrolled this; and assumed an even larger role of playing "the boss" especially when chastising me over me having taken my sweet time to get to the spot; and he had turned his amp up a bit more; and, at one point when a few tourists were listening, he snapped his fingers and said "Hit it, Daniel!" as if I were indeed "just" his backup musician.
I don't know how much this factored in to the almost immediate arrival of Charlie, who told Johnny that amplifiers were not allowed.
When I talked to she and Barnaby later, they mentioned the fact that they hadn't been able to hear me much at all, over his amp.
Johnny had gone off with quite a flurry of anger, insulting Charlie every step of the way, calling her a "foreigner," (she has an accent from somewhere) along with many other worse things, and, as I stood talking to her and Barnaby, after having told Johnny that I was going to do so to try to pacify them, He passed by, toting his cart, and said something to me ("See you later, Daniel"?) but nothing to either she nor Barnaby, and Charlie deemed this to be exceptionally rude and unacceptable behavior, especially from a guy who otherwise looks very clean cut.
"He just wants a piece of your pie," said Barnaby.
I went to get a beer.
I was returning, when my phone rang and it was Johnny, and he was ranting pretty loudly.
I said "My friends hate your guts," which set him off on a tirade.
He seemed especially concerned with the fact that his methadone (9 days worth) was sitting on my coffee table at the apartment, and any imagined falling out which we may have had which might have led me to decide that I was going to punish him by withholding his medicine; was concerning him to the point that he threatened my life at one point. "Dont' play games with me; I'm nobody to play games with!" types of phrases....
"You can get your medicine any time, I'm just saying that my friends are looking out for me...They might think that they are better judges of character than I, and they very well may be right, because that was never a strong point of mine....but you can get your medicine."
"Ok, fine..."
I went back to the Lilly spot and, after starting off pretty slowly, probably made about 45 bucks; but it was a long set, maybe 4 hours.
When I got on the cable car, Johnny was on it.
I got back off; I didn't want to ride on the same car as he.
He got off and followed me; yelling at my back, something which I don't remember now.
I wound up walking home, stopping at the Big Easy for a last beer on the way.
Johnny was in the lobby of the building; I went and got whatever of his stuff (especially the "medicine box") I saw laying about, and off he went.
He went to the hostel around the corner, which is 15 dollars per night for dormitory style accommodations.
That is about the last that I saw of him. He is a very angry individual.

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