Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Free Day

It is Wednesday morning, right before Veterans Day, and close to Thanksgiving, a time that I wrote the song linked to the previous post.
I still have some more lyrics for it; and it will probably make my CD in some form similar to that version; I have decided to cut my losses and just forge ahead with the sound that I am getting in my little "studio" apartment and just call it my sound for this era of recording.
Last evening, I woke up in the dark, after having fallen asleep approximately 8 hours sooner, during daylight hours. I thought that it was Wednesday.
I decided to go into the Quarter, even though I would get there around midnight.
37 Dollar Monday
Monday night, I had gotten to the Lilly Pad at the relatively late hour of 11 PM and had netted 37 dollars, by the time I knocked off at around 2:30 AM.
One 20 dollar bill came from a woman who said that I sounded good, as she placed the bill face up upon the pile of about 7 singles that were in there.
I also had had a young guy come by who wanted to play my guitar, and who did so, after promising to throw me a tip, and who gave every indication of wanting to hang out and "jam" all night. I finally coaxed him away and discovered later that he had thrown 37 cents into my jar.
Last night, the streets were pretty barren at 1:30 AM, when I got to the Lilly Pad.
I decided not to play there but rather, took a circuitous route back to Canal Street which took me past Cafe Du Monde, which is near the top of the list of "must see" places, here in New Orleans, and which almost perpetually has musicians playing out front, and the quality of them seems to meet a certain standard. The only musicians getting away with playing "easy" stuff there, would be of the ilk of tuba players who are holding down an "authentic" brass type of ensemble.
I've seen guys playing guitar there who were doing stuff that I, admittedly, probably "couldn't" play; but it is also stuff that I have never devoted one hour of my life trying to play -like a guy playing "New York, New York" (you know, "Start spreading the news...") on a hollow body guitar and doing it in a Wes Montgomery, or a Joe Pass kind of style; something he may have been playing for 30 years.
But the point is that there are usually musicians in front of Cafe Du Monde who can hold their own, and buskers actually follow a schedule there, where Joe plays for 3 hours every Sunday morning from 9 AM until noon, for example, and then the trombone and acordian duo, for another example, take over.
So, at the hour of 2 AM, I broke out my guitar and harmonica, after seeing about 15 patrons, still seated and eating beignettes (sp?) -those hunks of fried dough spattered in powdered sugar, that are one of the "must eats" here in New Orleans.
Cafe Du Monde is world famous for them.
And so, I was able to play for a pretty nerve wracking 20 minutes that seemed longer, for the nice patrons, while the remaining waitstaff kind of twitched a bit and threw me a few glances, which I understood to mean: "Don't entertain them, it's 2 AM and we're trying to get the hell out of here and go home," and so I addressed that issue with the lyrics of my first improv, which I think the staff enjoyed. I think the lyrics were actually something like "Don't entertain them, we're trying to get out of here."
I was finally tipped 2 bucks by a guy who was leaving; making me realize that I probably wasn't going to get any tips except from someone who was leaving; and I was able to stretch my set to a Beatles Song or two, with harp solo and then threw in an original that I am working on for the CD; feeling that I was emulating Elvis Costello, or at least his fearlessness when it comes to making himself "vulnerable" when it comes to his repertoire.
Someone else tipped a couple bucks, and then, as there was only one table of people remaining, I began to pack up, whereupon one guy came over from that table, as if trying to catch me before I went off, and tipped me.
The icing on the beignet was when one of the green and white clad waitresses came over and gave me a dollar.
The acoustics were not bad there, and I think I would have regretted it "for the rest of my life," had I not jumped on the opportunity to play in front of the Cafe Du Monde. Tanya and Dorise even play there, every once in a while....
6 Dollar Tuesday
That made for just about a 6 dollar Tuesday night, but, considering that I started so late that every other busker had relinquished their claims on that famous spot, and that I had gotten one of the dollars from a waitress who works there, it was a satisfying night.
Plus, waking up thinking that it was Wednesday, when it was only Tuesday, kind of gives me a free day, the way I feel...

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