Lady Steps Out of Limo to Put $300 in Buskers Hat
As I reached the subway station, on my way to playing in the subway, a lady looked at me and said “I saw you on channel 13!”. That’s so nice.
When I got to the Times Square subway station there were two hoofers (tap dancers) on the platform. Each one of them had their individual tap-board. It reminded me of when I used to do that – tap dance on street corners. That was my official beginnings as a busker.
As I started to play at the Music Under New York spot on the mezzanine by the record store, the store owner came out of the store, walked towards me and said “why so loud?!” Then immediately he said “I’m joking”.
He told me that he had contacted the people mentioned in the ‘Village Voice‘ article I gave him about ‘Fania’, the record label he likes.
He said he only came out of the store to say ‘hi’ to me. I lowered my volume even though he didn’t ask me to. It’s nice that he likes me, despite the fact that he hates it when musicians busk next to his store.
A guy greeted me, saying “you haven’t been around lately”. I explained that I had a gig at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. “Welcome back!” he said.
A guy carrying a cello on his back said ‘hi’.
Romero and his two friends who sing on the trains said ‘hi’. I noticed Romero wasn’t wearing his hat. He said he doesn’t wear it in the summer.
A Chinese guy carrying a triangular zither was on his way to playing on the1/2/3 platform.
Two folks asked me to hold a sign that said “Welcome to Mathatan” (this is not a spelling mistake). Their friend, who’s name is ‘Mat’, is moving from Seattle to Manhattan and they are taking photos of things that are only in Manhattan, as a welcome present for him.
At 1:45 Romero the singer passed me on his way back. He was done singing with the morning trio he works with and was now on his way to catch up with the afternoon trio he sings with. “You work so hard” I told him. “I’m in demand ” he answered.
A guy told me he read about me because he did a paper for college, about subway musicians. “How did you do on your paper?” I asked. “I aced it” he said.
An MTA worker told me that he starts working at 7AM. I told him I’ll be on TV tomorrow and he said he will watch.
The record store owner came to tell me that they have to raise their sound system’s volume because they can hear me along with their music inside the store. I told him that I can hear their music also along with my music…
Geo (Geovanni Suquillo) the guitar player arrived for his permitted time slot after me. He told me that a musician from Bolivia told him that the Andean group was playing upstairs on Broadway. They were playing a Beatles cover song. A limousine stopped on the street behind them. A lady in dark glasses came out of the limo, went to their donations box and put $300 there. She got back in the limo and drove away.
It was Yoko Ono.
Geo also told me how he was playing in the subway in Queens when he heard shots. Then he saw the crowd running. Police and a lot of men wearing black suits (FBI?) came, so he stopped playing and went to see what happened. He saw the police putting tape around an area with a dead person on the floor. He didn’t resume playing after that…
As I was talking with Geo, Heth (guitar player who plays in the subway with his brother, Jed) walked by on his way to playing at 8th Avenue. He told me that the police is not giving busking permits for street corners at 60th street and Lexington Avenue any more. Also, they are only giving permits to 3 spots on Broadway these days. They are shutting down busking spots. Heth said he is going to fight it with the help of some 1st amendment rights organizations.
Ming-Jun, the cello player, also came by, on his way to playing on the platform.
I was finished packing up and Geo was ready to start playing. He was wearing the yellow shirt of the Ecuador soccer team – he told me that he is rooting for Ecuador’s soccer team – they have a game against Columbia coming up for the world cup which will be in 2012 in South Africa.