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Aug 12, 2022 - 2:47:02 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

One of my best/buddy homeless friends is a hardcore alcoholic. He'll die from alcoholism.. and he knows it. I watched him and another homeless guy today. Once they got two or three dollars one of them would go to the liquor store and get those 'shots' and drink them. Didn't take long for both of them to be wobbly drunk.
That same guy, yesterday, said "You do realize that I make more money than you do".. He was referring to that I only busk for two hours and him and his buddies hold out their "Anything helps" signs All-Day-Long..
He has no future and that makes me sad..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/12/2022 14:52:45

Aug 13, 2022 - 9:31:12 AM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

A woman sat about 40 feet from me for an hour and a half while I was busking.. Eventually she approached and asked if I'd play in 'another register' higher or lower because she was tired of listening to me play the same tune all this time in the same 'register'...?????? For the record, I played in three keys about 30 Different tunes and used notes from open G to high C....I was polite and told her that this is the style of music I play for busking.. The Devil on my shoulder wanted to say "Sorry, I left my tuba and piccolo at home"......To end the conversation, I did what any sane, able bodied buster would have done....I blamed it all on Harry Hare....

Aug 18, 2022 - 1:48:42 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

There are SO many things to say about busking that I have to condense them!!
So, this week the weather is beautiful. I went busking each day and made virtually NO tips..
Yesterday, after busking for 1 1/2 hours and having just $3 in tips, with a Lot of pedestrians.. I put my fiddle away, wrapped up my puppet strings and SAT.. I just watched the street and the sidewalk and the people on them. I didn't even play my fiddle...just Watched............. My insurance agent stopped by to chat, the guy with the radio show gave a tip ( I told him he was paid up, but he insisted..Loves to see us).. Watched my loony homeless friend, Bradley have an animated conversation with another homeless guy.. entertained an art gallery owner who RAN up to me to tell me that John Mellencamp just was in her studio.., heard from a restaurant owner who said I'd get free beer on hot days because his daughter Loves Harry Hare....chatted with two teens who were on their way up the street to make their fortune busking ( good luck with that).....Got to chat a little using my Spanish language skills to a burrito shop owner, and watched as my alcoholic friend Andrew, tossed his empty vodka bottle toward one garbage can and watched it bounce from the first can to a second can.. We cheered !!! (noon and he is already pie-eyed) ... Pretty good shot.. I also watched a different homeless guy who always sits in the full sun on a concrete planter and everytime someone throws something into the garbage, he goes to check it out to see if there are any edibles/drinkables... Pretty sad but he'll do that by the hour..
I now feel about the block I busk on like the other street people feel.. This is OUR living room...!! That is, the people walking by are just passing through our home!!wink

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/18/2022 13:59:37

Aug 27, 2022 - 1:17:26 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Gay Pride festival in downtown Bloomington today. Larry didn't want to busk here because he thought there would be too much entertainment already so he went to Nashville, Indiana instead.. I stayed here in town and did very well tip-wise and met the most wonderful people.
Usually on a Saturday afternoon the crown is tourists/students, but today it was Everybody.. All sizes, shapes, ages, genders.. Lots of Kids....."THEY'' were the most colorfully dressed people I think I'd ever seen ..It was a fun day and a lot of adults got Harry Hare hand stamps!!!

Aug 29, 2022 - 2:44:50 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Today I had the great privilege being able to have an  interview with Tom Roznowski, who has a syndicated radio show named Porchlight..Tom features : PorchLight with Tom Roznowski has been described as a “children’s show for adults.” Every episode is created around a particular theme (River, Childhood, the Beatles) and features original essays, recorded material from various genres, and discussions with individuals who lend a unique perspective to the subject at hand.

We had a 37 minute interview and the entire focus was how I got into fiddling, how I created Harry Hare and what it is like to be a busker in general..It was very fun and cathartic!!! I made my own personal copy of the interview. Tom is one of the regulars on the street where I have been busking, off and on for 7 years. He and the other business owners on the block appreciate me and Harry and this interview just supports the idea that we are making our little community a fun place to visit. It was Tom who gave me the $1,000,000 bill (fake, rats!) but nevertheless!!! It is nice to feel wanted!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/29/2022 14:45:29

Aug 29, 2022 - 3:16:30 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

In my interview with Tom Roznowski, he asked me what my best tip was... I said Something, but at the time didn't recall the BEST TIP I EVER GOT (mentioned in this thread a few years ago)....Seems a group from a nursing home was in the area a director asked me and Harry to play some tunes for them.... No problem.. A couple of the folks gave $1 tips but one lady gave what looked like a CHECK.. we Never get checks.. Later I looked at the check ...and found that it was just a piece of paper with a face stamped on it.. As I was looking at it, the director came apologetically..saying" The lady who gave you that paper has Alzheimer's.. She no longer knows what money is so we give her these pieces of paper so she can THINK she has money.. " I felt Honored to have received that tip.. Frankly, I'm in tears just thinking of this.. BEST TIP WE EVER RECEIVED..

Sep 1, 2022 - 2:42:32 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

A local young woman in her late 20s tools around in her wheelchair regularly.. We got to be buddies a few years when I tried to teach her to fiddle...(didn't 'take').. anyway lately she has been elusive and I always see her on the Other side of the street.....However I saw her on the other side of the street today but when she saw me she hustled on over and said, "Well, MY day just turned to crap!".. I knew she wanted to talk so I just put my fiddle down and listened to her story.. I'd loved to have kept on fiddling but KNEW that talking with her was far more important.. Her problem can be solved easily as soon as she gets in touch with her landlord.. We buskers fill a lot of niches..To be a good listener is one of those niches.

Sep 6, 2022 - 5:38:31 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

SORT OF a busking story.. After tonight's jam I was chatting to young fiddler about why I've gotten distanced from the local contra dance group.. I played a few times a year for the dance for over 20 years and loved every moment of it.. but.. So. As a busker, I don't have to play until I drop, don't have a caller telling me to 'pick it up' or slow down, don't have to play waltzes, and with busking it is always my turn and I don't have a banjo player or guitar player saying they don't like a certain key.. I get to meet wonderful people and can arrive at the scene when I want and go home when I'm tired... I'm a busker first, jammer second!

Sep 6, 2022 - 6:59:57 PM
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5946 posts since 9/26/2008

Playing for dances is not a jam, it's more of a supporting role for the dancers. You want to know the secret to good dance tempo? Watch the walk through as the dance is being taught. Inevitably the dancers will start walking at the proper pace for the given dance. That's our little secret, keep it under your hat wink

Edited by - ChickenMan on 09/06/2022 19:01:52

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Sep 15, 2022 - 3:32:07 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Local drama on the sidewalk these days.. Seems two unhoused guys ( homeless, as I call them) have taken up camp on two downtown benches in front of an art gallery and a restaurant....These are Nice guys but they are also Drunks.. By noon they are usually staggering... So I looked up the City Code..and copied it to give to the shop owners and the Police...
No panhandling more than one person
no open containers (BIG violation)
no panhandling within 20 feet of an outdoor restaurant eating area
no panhandling within 20 feet of an ATM
no panhandling after sunset
yada, yada
I bring this up because I"M CONSIDERED a Panhandler by City Code, BUT I'm also ALLOWED to do what I do as long as I follow those simple above rules....
I'm working with the shop owners and the police to get these nice but DRUNK guys to move on to a new location. We shall see..

What roll do I play?  Well believe it or not often the POLICE are unfamiliar with the CODE.. they are expected to follow, and the shop owners often don't realize that panhandler behaviour is in CODE.. So, I'm informing them of the code so they can have a leg to stand on when they complain to the CIty about homeless, drunk people sitting in front of their businesses..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/15/2022 15:36:39

Sep 15, 2022 - 3:50:34 PM

3108 posts since 9/13/2009

We had similar issues, esp with mayor that understandably wanted to get rid of the panhandlers/drunks; and not really differentiating busking from panhandling. (or in how to write language in the code that differentiates.

However, for many our town, and many other jurisdictions... the buskers found that the fight put in terms of free speech... First Amendment stuff, which invalidates many of those codes.

Sep 15, 2022 - 4:00:32 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler

We had similar issues, esp with mayor that understandably wanted to get rid of the panhandlers/drunks; and not really differentiating busking from panhandling. (or in how to write language in the code that differentiates.

However, for many our town, and many other jurisdictions... the buskers found that the fight put in terms of free speech... First Amendment stuff, which invalidates many of those codes.


Yes, I don't think buskers are considered panhandlers in General although we do follow city codes for panhandlers.. Buskers are welcome throughout Bloomington, which is a good thing.. and panhandlers are not UNwelcome unless they don't follow City Codes.  

Sep 18, 2022 - 12:11:31 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

The interview I did for Tom Roznowski's radio show Porchlight, will air next Saturday night. After that it will be archived for anyone who wants to hear me go on and on about ME and busking (no vanity here, right?wink)..I'll post a link later.

Anyway, today just as I started to busk I realized that Harry's fiddle was way out of place.. I tried to make an expedient fix but couldn't since I didn't have any tools with me.. I struggled with it and made it through the session.. When I go home I took of Harry's shirt to see what had gone wrong.. You won't believe this.. I had a 1 1/2 inch screw (in all the way) holding his fiddle to the right orientation..Well, the constant vibration of the fiddle actually backed that entire screw out and it fell.  This is almost as unbelievable as the time an 'L' iron broke from the fatigue of constant vibration.  I'm thinking, Harry is not just a puppet, he is a MACHINE and machines need maintenance..

Sep 20, 2022 - 12:06:49 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Another exciting day busking..sort of.. I saw that several blocks of the main street thru town were barricaded with swat teams and police all around. I avoided the area but wondered why downtown was DEAD.. Turns out the there is a rumor of an active shooter on campus (proven false) but there IS a man with a gun hiding in the city sewers which explains why so many police are around and many businesses are closed temporarily... After two hours the person still isn't apprehended. Someone will probably have to go down into the sewer and search, could be dangerous......Still made $10... and have a good story to tell!!! Our town is Action Packed!!..We have a great online newspaper called the Bloomintonian and it is run by Jeremy Hogan, who I saw downtown at the sewer scene.. Jeremy will have story online today yet, I'll bet. The local newspaper MAY have the story tomorrow.. We shall see.

Sep 20, 2022 - 6:31:26 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Not a shot was fired .. The guy entered the sewer 1/2 mile from my house and was caught about a mile away. Just another day in an Action Packed city. I'm going to sent the suspect a bill for lost busking revenue.

Just the other day a friend of ours said that her grandson was bullied in middle school... then another middle school kid took a loaded gun to school and was stopped.. That kid with the gun was the SAME kid who had bullied our friend's grandson.  Could have gotten ugly.. What is the world coming to ???

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/20/2022 18:34:22

Sep 24, 2022 - 1:19:48 PM
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10381 posts since 3/19/2009

Looks like I'm the only Posting busker.. Gets lonely!..
Anyway, you might remember that I once told the story about a woman and her  granddaughter who went into a cookie store to get some change to give to me as a tip for my fiddling.. The grandmother asked the granddaughter if they should buy a cookie for the mad playing his fiddle on the corner.. The little girls replied, "Nah, he wasn't that good"... Funny,
Fast forward several  years.(?not sure how far back it really was but I Thin it  was Pre-Harry Hare) Today that same grandmother comes buy and reminds me of the incident with her granddaughter.. Guess what! The granddaughter is now 15 and standing in front of me.. I asked her if she remembered the incident (she didn't) and told her that I'd been for the past eleven years telling the story about what she said as a four year old.. She thought it was a hoot..!!! I also found it interesting that the grandmother remembered the incident well... I love busking!!


Last night I was busking at the Lotus Festival, which is an international music festival held annually here in Bloomington.. While busking two groups of strangely dressed men stopped by and took LOOOng videos and left nice tips. These guys would be performing on stage later and were mesmerized by Harry!.. It is so nice to see that the people who came from all around the world for us to hear, enjoyed US.. Tit for tat!!!

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 09/24/2022 13:28:26

Sep 24, 2022 - 2:42:36 PM

10381 posts since 3/19/2009

What? A second busking story today? Yes. While busking a woman said she was from Asheville, North Carolina. She indicated that Asheville LOVES buskers and would love to see something like Harry in her town.. Guess what? I've already made the body of a similar puppet and am waiting for a head to arrive in the mail ...and this puppet will be sent to a family of four kids all of whom are buskers in ASHEVILLE...I told her to watch for the puppet this fall. Harry's progeny may not look like a rabbit/hare, but they will certainly be musicians..

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