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Apr 11, 2021 - 2:08:02 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Old Scratch

I don't believe the term 'busker' was ever widely used or known in North American - I don't recall being aware of it till the later 1970s, when I was busking myself - don't know how I learned the term - was it used in 'Mary Poppins'? As for: "Yet, many major Cities actually have Buskers Festivals, and their populace seems to know exactly what a busker IS...." - no: people in those cities think buskers are people who perform in Buskers Festivals, that's all. You're giving people too much credit ... !


laughlaughlaugh.. You also may be correct...Hey, I've met BUSKERS who, when I said, "Hey, it is good to see a fellow busker".. who didn't know what the word meant.!!!! I HAD TO TELL THEM that THEY were buskers..true!!!  funny..........

Hey, Old Scratch.. tell us some of Your busking stories.. I'll bet you have some..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 04/11/2021 14:14:57

Apr 11, 2021 - 8:43:14 PM

Old Scratch

Canada

839 posts since 6/22/2016
Online Now

Don't get me started, we'll be here all night ... !

Apr 16, 2021 - 5:14:02 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

I fulfilled my two hour paid, busking event today.. It was odd in that I knew the venue could hear me play, and I wanted to please them so I played as well as I could.. I brought in less than they paid me, but they DID have a grant for paying buskers... Have never been paid to busk before.. I could do this again.. My buddy Larry, did a THREE HOUR busking event playing his concertina... His fingers must really be tired!!!

Apr 17, 2021 - 6:32:26 AM
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16 posts since 10/4/2018

About seven years ago the Village started a small farmer’s market twice a week during the summer. Frank the accordion player and I started playing at the market on Mondays under the gazebo and put out our tip jar. The market closed at noon and the booths that sold actual farmer type products such as tomatoes and sweet corn would often give us food. Michigan ripe peaches were the best. One day an egg seller brought a live chicken and as a joke, tied its leg to Frank’s chair with about three feet of what looked like baler twine. The little kids loved it of course but, being mostly summer urban kids, wouldn’t get within reach of it’s beak especially after I told them that chickens had teeth!
I painted signs in my younger days so I got the old sign painting tools and made a sign for the next week saying “We do not accept live Chickens”, and, “Foreign & domestic currency & food welcome! Wouldn’t you know it . . . people would dump Canadian stuff in the jar and a lovey group of French tourists, who were on a road trip circling Lake Michigan, threw in some Euros! After a number of weeks the fun was over with the sign. Never had a better fun gimmick or sign idea since.
The summer before the COVID invasion we were playing for the market people when a guy and his son showed up with a guitar and uke. Said they reserved the spot at 10am. After years of playing at the market we’re suddenly out. No explanation. Frank and I simply went back to our old Saturday routine. It’s OK but I’ll bet those guys never got a live chicken as a tip!

Apr 21, 2021 - 1:09:04 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

One would think that if a 1/2 inch screw was to be TIGHT holding an L iron to a piece of wood that it would be a 'no brainer' solution to keeping something secure... Well, over the years I'm found that the constant, subtle, pulling of Harry's bow causes just enough vibration that I've actually had an L iron BREAK..yep.. surprised me also.. Today, I noticed that Harry has been 'taking bows' (that is bows, not bows..smiley)... you know, the leaning forward kind.. Well, apparently the bow vibrations have caused one of the screws anchoring him to actually work 1/4 of an inch out allowing movement of the unwanted kind!! ..This is not the first time screws have worked loose.. I need to switch to bolts with fiber nuts..!!! 

Tomorrow I've scheduled a PAID busking gig that is THREE HOURS LONG>. I'm crossing my fingers on this one.. Two hours has always been the approximate limit of my endurance . I'll have to pace myself........I'm only attempting this because the pay far exceeds what I'd make just busking on a corner..

I may have mentioned THIS but don't remember.. Someone asked me and Harry to play in a airport hanger for an hour as  part of  his wedding festivities... I declined.. I know from experience that I'm a Busker, NOT a performer.. There is a difference.. My busking event 'show' is about 5 minutes long and adults don't want to spend an hour watching me and Harry... (been there, done that).. ..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 04/21/2021 13:17:04

Apr 23, 2021 - 2:51:27 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Maybe you other buskers can comment on this.. Over the years I've watched how people 'tip'.... This one regular tipper always crumples a dollar bill into a small wad before putting it in the jar. I have NO idea what the motivation is for that.... Some other people will take a $5 or larger bill and fold it into a $1 so it doesn't show..I have always thought that those people liked the idea of surprising a busker..Then, and not bad, others will seem to flaunt a large bill when tipping.. "OK, I NOTICE"...
and appreciate.........There are those people who are approaching from maybe 60 feet away, will stop and get out a tip before arriving , while others will pass by, walk the same 60 feet and then come Back to tip..
Today, a lady reported that she wanted to take a video to send to a violin playing friend.. No problem.. She took the video but came back in 5 minutes and said that it hadn't 'taken'.. Another video was made.. In another 5 minutes she was back and said that she had forgotten to have the audio on... Finally, after the third try, she got her video... After all that I'd hoped she would have left a tip..but 'no'... I'm not upset. It takes all kinds.
Busking is a crap-shoot in every way and in every way interesting......

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 04/23/2021 14:52:06

Apr 26, 2021 - 7:07:08 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

This dishevelled guy, William, who I'd seen shuffle about town in ill fitting clothes, oversized shoes and always uncombed hair has been a regular tipper when I'm busking. He has a serious speech impediment.... He has lived in an apartment near my daughter's coffee shop.. Today if found out that he lost his apartment over a year ago and has been homeless..My heart melted....I'm not sure he has it together enough mentally to get a caseworker to help him so I'm going to put in a few hours to see what I can do for him...I told you I meet a lot of interesting people while I'm busking..

May 9, 2021 - 8:14:55 AM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Yesterday when busking, I met a 10 year old boy who could coarsely play 'Old Joe Clark' when I lent him my fiddle.  He apologized because he said he usually had tape on a fiddle fingerboard  and mine had none.. He did ok.. THEN, I showed him how to play the same tune using the Nashville Shuffle... His eyes got bigger!! THEN I showed him how to use the shuffle and play the tune on Two strings at once... His eyes got even MORE large.... Then he tried what I showed him, and right there on the sidewalk he went from being a 'note-finder' to being a fiddler... and his ears did the work that the tape would have done..That was the highlight of my week.. I gave him my contact info and hope to be hearing from him again soon..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 05/09/2021 08:16:27

May 9, 2021 - 9:07:05 AM
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Earworm

USA

235 posts since 1/30/2018

Hey TuneWeaver, et al., I have busked! Well, I'm not sure it counts since no coin was exchanged, but I found a nice spot in a park and played a while and some people heard me. What comments there were, were positive and no one chased me away. I feel powerful! I plan to test out a variety of hats until I find the right one.

Edited by - Earworm on 05/09/2021 09:09:34

May 9, 2021 - 9:26:26 AM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Earworm

Hey TuneWeaver, et al., I have busked! Well, I'm not sure it counts since no coin was exchanged, but I found a nice spot in a park and played a while and some people heard me. What comments there were, were positive and no one chased me away. I feel powerful! I plan to test out a variety of hats until I find the right one.


I can relate.. the first time I went 'busking', I played on a courthouse lawn Far AWAY from people because I was afraid..The next time I went to a corner and nervously played, quietly.. After I got a few tips my confidence increased and the rest is 'history'... Now, the city can't get me OFF of the sidewalkssmiley

May 9, 2021 - 10:17:04 AM
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Old Scratch

Canada

839 posts since 6/22/2016
Online Now

"Two strings at once..." It's funny to me how many beginners have trouble with that - some get it right away, but more have the damnedest time trying to get the two strings going at once. It was one of the few things that came easy to me, as I recall - I'm still struggling with everything else.

May 9, 2021 - 10:41:09 AM
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Earworm

USA

235 posts since 1/30/2018

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver
quote:
Originally posted by Earworm

Hey TuneWeaver, et al., I have busked! Well, I'm not sure it counts since no coin was exchanged, but I found a nice spot in a park and played a while and some people heard me. What comments there were, were positive and no one chased me away. I feel powerful! I plan to test out a variety of hats until I find the right one.


I can relate.. the first time I went 'busking', I played on a courthouse lawn Far AWAY from people because I was afraid..The next time I went to a corner and nervously played, quietly.. After I got a few tips my confidence increased and the rest is 'history'... Now, the city can't get me OFF of the sidewalkssmiley


I did a tad bit of "research" ahead of finding a perch, though, and from scouting a few city parks around, determined that there really are NO city parks that don't have a lot of people right now ... families, bikers, walkers, fresh air seekers seem really eager to get outdoors and to be among fellow humans, and me too. My main goal this time around was to find a place where I could feel calm and focused. I really liked the little spot I found too, and may be back. ;)

May 9, 2021 - 3:26:29 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Yesterday when busking, I met a 10 year old boy who could coarsely play 'Old Joe Clark' when I lent him my fiddle.  He apologized because he said he usually had tape on a fiddle fingerboard  and mine had none.. He did ok.. THEN, I showed him how to play the same tune using the Nashville Shuffle... His eyes got bigger!! THEN I showed him how to use the shuffle and play the tune on Two strings at once... His eyes got even MORE large.... Then he tried what I showed him, and right there on the sidewalk he went from being a 'note-finder' to being a fiddler... and his ears did the work that the tape would have done..That was the highlight of my week.. I gave him my contact info and hope to be hearing from him again soon..


A comment on my own post... This kid had learned the 2-1-1 pattern when he took Suzuki lessons and learned to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star using it.. Common practice... So when I used that pattern as the Nashville Shuffle, he could already DO it but didn't realize the significance of the pattern... He has a fiddle instructor somewhere, and I suspect that because the kid could Play the Shuffle when shown how to do it....well, it may be just another case of a fiddle instructor underestimating his/her student.. I'll give the instructor the benefit of a doubt and suppose that the Shuffle would have been in the kid's next lesson..! (although I doubt it)!!  I HOPE the boy gets in touch with me..I really do hope!!

May 9, 2021 - 6:03:32 PM
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LukeF

USA

102 posts since 10/15/2019

Lee:

Neat story. It sounds like you might have a future student coming your way.

May 10, 2021 - 7:50:50 PM

5486 posts since 9/26/2008

Hey Donna Jo, the city has a busking law and if you do put out a hat, you need the busker's license. It's cheap though, like $5 for the year.

May 10, 2021 - 8:26:32 PM

2465 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Hey Donna Jo, the city has a busking law and if you do put out a hat, you need the busker's license. It's cheap though, like $5 for the year.


West DesMoines/Urbandale, that's where the money is!

May 11, 2021 - 4:24:28 AM

5486 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Hey Donna Jo, the city has a busking law and if you do put out a hat, you need the busker's license. It's cheap though, like $5 for the year.


West DesMoines/Urbandale, that's where the money is!


That's where the money lives, but not where the loose pockets are wink

May 13, 2021 - 2:19:24 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Hey Donna Jo, the city has a busking law and if you do put out a hat, you need the busker's license. It's cheap though, like $5 for the year.


West DesMoines/Urbandale, that's where the money is!


That's where the money lives, but not where the loose pockets are wink


Good point, Billy.... I've often noticed that the apparently most affluent people are less likely to tip..Of course there is no 'rule', but when I see a poorly dressed, maybe less affluent person coming down the street, I play as best as I can for them because they are just as likely to leave a tip as is a well dress person...One's dress does not equate to liking or not liking a street performer..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 05/13/2021 14:20:30

May 23, 2021 - 3:38:33 PM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

It was refreshing to hear from a guy who spent 20 years,(off and on) busking in New Orleans..He commented that he not only appreciated the act Harry Hare and I have, but he also understood that there were Thousands of hours of work behind the fiddling that was going on... One doesn't just go busking.. It takes a LOT of prep!!! Years..

Jun 16, 2021 - 1:35:42 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Harry and I were busking today and at one point, Harry just keeled over backwards.. There was an ambulance on the corner, but they were busy tending to someone else, so rather than bother them, I drove Harry home myself and when I got there discovered that he had broken a leg!!!! The emergency repair required a complete rebuild from the waist to his toes.. !!Two young ladies had just walked by as he fell back and they looked with concern.. I said, "Look..Harry just 'fell' for you!!"...Keep 'em laughing, I always sez?

This isn't the first time I've had catastrophic failures.. Twice, I've had angle iron breakdowns and Many times, screws miraculously backed themselves out of the wood.. Now, the leg broke where I had a long screw holding Harry to his fiddle case.. the wood split vertically ..It is tough being a puppet around me!

Suddenly, the lyrics to "Fun's All Over", make sense:
Hey hey the fun's all over
Jumped into bed and the bed turned over,
Fiddler's drunk and the fun's all over
And I'm going home to my family.

Hey hey the fun's all over
Drank all the wine and turned the glasses over
Fiddler's drunk and the fun's all over
And I'm going home to my family.

Hey hey, the fun's all over, Harry got drunk and just fell over.. We're all pretty drunk including Rover, and I'm going home to my family!!!


Multiple people have commented that his falling over may have had something to do with his new shoes ...but I think it is more just him drinking, mid day!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/16/2021 13:40:08

Jun 17, 2021 - 12:18:07 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Two little busking stories..
Today, I set up in an unlikely spot, but it was a shaded spot and that was the determining factor..I didn't have big expectations.. The FIRST person who came by was a guy who was sort of crazily dancing down the sidewalk ..He had leaf covered branches sticking out of his hat,  sort of like camouflage.."typical interesting Bloomington resident.", I thought.. as he bounced by, he dropped a $20 in the tip jar and just kept going.. Like I said, it was an unlikely spot to busk.. wrong again, as usual..

Yesterday, I was on a different shady corner near a drug store..A shirtless man was 'dancing' down the sidewalk (happens a lot, really).... then he sat in the middle of the sidewalk and just stayed there for about 20 minutes.. After he left, the security guard from the drug store asked me if I knew what was up with that guy......My response was about him and Many other people we regularly see downtown.. "He was bored out of his mind and lonely..just looking for a chance to be out around people..he wanted to be SEEN even though he couldn't communicate that..".......Then, to the security guard, I added.." I, myself would be bored just sitting home on such a nice day and THAT is one of the reasons I busk.. Just like the 'sidewalk dancers', (coining a term here, I am) I want to be seen and want to be around people. I don't want to be bored at home .. I'm lucky in that I have a gimmick, a puppet.......Yes, I do have a lovely wife at home, but we can't spend All of our time together.. I need to get out and DO things.."

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/17/2021 12:20:38

Jul 18, 2021 - 5:58:35 PM
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9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Headed home tomorrow after ten days in the great American Northwest.. Got to busk three times in West Seattle and had a ball..The best event was their Sunday farmer's market.. Why? People were in great numbers with lots of kids and the people had Cash... Plus, the City hasn't seen Harry Hare or me before so they were very welcoming.. We are having our wings cleaned for the flight home tomorrow !!! I spent a lot of my busking time practicing "chickenman's" new tune, Jump Reggie Jump..

I have some new ideas for Harry.. After seeing a lot of Steampunk Tendencies photos, I've decided to 'tweak' Harry. I'm going to add wires and gears to the base he stands on and put wires up into his body so it looks like he is mechanical/electronic.  A few scrap IC units and I'll fool even more people than I've been fooling lately .. Today TWO men watched closely and thought that the bow support wires were Bluetooth antennas!!! I'm going to work with that...I'll get a battery pack and run some wires from it to under the standing platform so it looks like that is the power..Little will people realize that the entire puppet works with One spring and two pieces of heavy duty sewing thread..!! "Let the Deception begin."...To quote Rich Rosen, "Life is complicated..It has both real and imaginary parts."........

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 07/18/2021 18:13:25

Jul 19, 2021 - 7:13:22 AM
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DougD

USA

10329 posts since 12/2/2007

Have you discussed this with Harry yet? It might upset his psychic balance.
Really, I think his appeal lies partly in his charming, friendly simplicity. Its easy to imagine he's real, not some electric Frankenhare. All those wires and gadgets might scare off the little ones too.
My advice - Leave that "steampunk" stuff in Seattle or Brooklyn or wherever it belongs, not in the Heartland!

Jul 19, 2021 - 9:11:55 AM
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5486 posts since 9/26/2008

I agree with Doug. What warmed my heart was seeing how those little ones do think Harry is real. You might take that magic away by making him seem mechanical in any way.

Jul 19, 2021 - 9:20:58 AM

9468 posts since 3/19/2009

Doug, Billy..I understand exactly what you are saying. The steampunk features will be consealed under the rug and under Harry’s clothing and will only be revealed to older watchers.

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