Why I Play Music on the Street

August 28, 2010
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Why I Play Music on the Street

Every now and then I come across poetry about busking – the art of performing on the street. Here is a poem by JIMMY ISAMBARD, who is an artist and musician living and busking in London, UK: Photographer: © Rachel S. Geylin Why I Play Music on the Street/Jimmy...
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Drawing Portraits on the Train

August 28, 2010
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Drawing Portraits on the Train

While busking at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, a guy who works on the ferry-boat asked me if I’ve lost “one of those” – he said as he pointed at my musical saw. He said that he found a musical saw on the ferry boat, together with a...
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Homeless, Haikoo & the New York Times

August 28, 2010
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Homeless, Haikoo & the New York Times

When I was busking at the 14th street subway station, Joe, the homeless man who has an artificial hook hand, sat on the bench for more than an hour. He told me that he could hear the sound of my musical saw from upstairs, so he knew that I...
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Playing for Pocket Change

July 26, 2010
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When I was playing at the Music Under New Yorkbusking spot at 59th street & Lex subway station, Mark and Michael of ‘Suddenly Tragic Productions’ stopped by to chat with me. They asked me a lot of questions. Of course I knew they were filming, but what I didn’t...
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An Elevator Has Two Sets of Doors

July 24, 2010
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An Elevator Has Two Sets of Doors

When I was busking at the 14th street subway station, a teenager named Art rubbed my musical saw with his hand three times and said: “can I have three wishes?” He then went on to say: “I wish you’d play that song I like”. As I’ve seen him before...
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Poetry and Art

July 17, 2010
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Poetry and Art

If I didn’t play the musical saw in the NYC subway, I would miss out on meeting some of the most wonderful people in the world whom I’ve met in the subway. One such gentleman is Jeffrey Dayton, who surprised me with a beautiful poem he wrote: You are...
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I Think of You When You’re Not Here

July 10, 2010
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I Think of You When You’re Not Here

As I was playing ‘Over the Rainbow’ while busking at the 14th street subway station, Joe Lucas, the homeless guy with the hook arm, showed up. I haven’t seen him in months. He went to Montana to visit a friend and then to Rhode Island to visit his sister....
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Words, Images and Music

July 2, 2010
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Words, Images and Music

When I got to the 34th street subway station I heard a voice saying “Saw Lady”. I looked around and saw two ladies talking but it didn’t look like it was them calling my name. I kept walking and I heard the voice again. I looked around. From a...
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R.I.P Rue McClanahan

June 25, 2010
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R.I.P Rue McClanahan

As I was dragging my busking gear up the stairs to the subway station, a guy left his shopping cart by the bottom of the stairs and offered to help me carry my stuff up the stairs. He wasn’t even heading to the subway – he volunteered to go...
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I AM A BUSKER

June 16, 2010
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I AM A BUSKER

Every now and then I come across poetry about busking or about musical saw playing. This time a poem was sent to me. And not only was it sent to me, but it was writen especially with me in mind! I AM A BUSKER/Janina Jayme I AM A BUSKER..WITHIN...
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If I Murder My Wife, Can I Marry You?

June 9, 2010
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If I Murder My Wife, Can I Marry You?

Climbing the stairs up to the subway station with my heavy busking gear, I noticed a guy wearing an MTA shirt who was also walking up the stairs. “Excuse me…” I said to him. MTA guy: “I’m sorry, I can’t help you (motioning to my busking cart) – MTA...
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Nobody Gets Out of this Alive

June 3, 2010
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Nobody Gets Out of this Alive

As I got off the train at the Union Square subway station two guys who were getting on the train said: “Saw Lady! How are you?” Just as I started to play, Chill, who sings on the trains with his acapella group, came to say ‘hi’. He told me...
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Weren’t you here two hours ago?

May 28, 2010
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Weren’t you here two hours ago?

Busking at the Staten Island ferry terminals is always an anticipated opportunity, because it doesn’t happen very often. A guy told me that the last time he heard a musical saw being played was 50 years ago, in Panama, when he was 12 years old: his godfather played the...
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They Came Up For Air

May 25, 2010
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They Came Up For Air

At the subway station, the lights were off and temporary emergency lights were on. I asked an MTA track worker why the “candle-light atmosphere”. He said they are working on the station and needed to turn off the lights, but the train is working. It gave the station a...
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Lost Child on the Train

May 21, 2010
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Lost Child on the Train

When I got to the Music Under New York busking spot at the Union Square subway station, Juan Castillo was playing pan-flute there. He told me that he had only been playing for two hours, since he had a hard time getting up this morning. He has been working...
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