Juggling Fire While Drumming

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On the train on my way to my busking spot there were two Nortenos with an accordion and a guitar. They were taking the train to Manhattan but they were not playing. Apparently, they don’t work this train line.


The three acapela singers who call themselves ‘The Fellows”, Bo, Chill and the one who’s name I always forget, told me they were finished singing on the trains for today because some police officers and a captain got on the train, so the guys decided it was time to stop for the day. Some guy gave them a check for $3,500. When they went to cash it, they discovered the guy put a stop on it. I guess he thought it was a joke…
The guys said they heard on TV that the cops were busting musicians on the streets/subways, rounding them in a van like it was a drug bust. But now supposedly they stopped because people were saying how especially in these dark economic times they like to have music around.

The Fellows

A delivery guy asked me where I’ve been. He noticed that I wasn’t here for two months. I told him I’ve been playing elsewhere on account of the cops busting musicians in this spot. He told me he is off today – he only works two days a week doing deliveries from Brooklyn to Staten Island to Manhattan, than back to Brooklyn.

Pat the painter who exhibits his artwork in the park upstairs showed me his new paintings. He has a beautiful new one of the Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central Station. He hasn’t been selling his paintings on the street for a while and he misses it. Tomorrow is going to be his first day showing his artwork at Union Square again.
Pat went away, then returned an hour later and gave me a copy of one of his paintings (the one of the Brooklyn Bridge, because it was my favorite out of all his paintings).


Albert, the messenger, told me that Arnold, the other messenger, got laid off about three months ago. Albert hasn’t seen him since, and neither have I. Maybe he went back to his family’s farm in South Carolina…

Photographer: © Aaron Porter

A sound artist recorded me for a sound installation of sounds of the city he is doing at the Diapazone Art Gallery.

At 4pm Mike Alaska, the drummer who is originally from Texas, was looking for a spot, so I gave him mine. He has been busking in NYC for four months. He is the most diverse drummer I’ve seen – he has an array of different drums and he does a lot of tricks with the drum sticks while playing. He told me that he also juggles fire while drumming, but not in the subway, of course.


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by Scott R Munson