Tuesday, May 1

My favorite subway musician

I never give change (or bills, either) to people playing music or otherwise panhandling in the subway. "I can't afford to," I insist to myself. It always seems to make much more sense to spend $3.80 on a Chai latte from Starbucks, the cup half filled with ice. See how that works? Makes much more sense.

I even have a favorite subway musician. This guy used to play all the time in the passageway when I transferred from the 7 to the BDFV. He had a guitar and he sang, and the music was actually good. I didn't recognize any of the songs, but I really liked his voice and his style.

I actually thought about him a couple weeks ago, when I passed by the flutist who only plays "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic. "Where is the awesome guitarist guy?" I wondered. "I haven't seen him in a while. I hope he's okay."

Then, last week, he was there. I couldn't keep the smile off my face: my favorite subway musician was still around! And yet, I didn't give him any money.

17 comments:

The Ambiguous Blob said...

I once fell in love with the guy who played a red guitar near at the bottom of the escalator in the sub station.

Dropout! said...

I feel bad for whoever ends up being your favorite kid.

I feel worse for whichever poor sap gets suckered into being your baby daddy.

Strange Bird said...

I wish the panhandlers near the LA subway would play music. I still wouldn't give them any money, either, but they'd piss me off less.

kat said...

My favorite is the Hispanic duo who ride the N/W back and forth between 59th Street and Queensboro Plaza. They have a captive audience for almost two whole minutes. One sings and they both play the mandolin.

Good times, good times.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I alway hate walking by pan handlers especailly when they are doing something nice like playing music...but I never give any money

kittenpower said...

i don't give the money either...

The Very Reverend Ace Clemmons, Jr. said...

a commando flash would be acceptable as well.

The Cajun Boy said...

throw the kid a buck for christ's sake TAB!!!

Sex & Moxie said...

I have to be in a particular frame of mind to be able to deal with the subway musicians. Must have had coffee first.

Anonymous said...

$1 per day wouldn't break you.
I ALWAYS give at least a dollar. Because at least they are doing something productive.

Grant Miller said...

I used to work with a guy that was a street musician. He was apeshit nuts.

Ripsy said...

I give money to the awesome ones. I wonder if the musicians have turf wars and fight westside story style.

Beatrix Kiddo said...

Don't give him a dime, TAB. You know he's just going to blow it on a cardboard box to live in. Or a slice of bread. Or maybe even a brand-new guitar pick.

Sipwine said...

I almost cried at Dropout's comment.

You never know who you are listening too.
Link
That is a long story, but the gist is:
Joshua Bell(who's tickets run 40 dollars a pop) was playing for a busy plaza. One woman noticed who the famous violinist was. Most people ignored him, and he made 35 dollars.

Bruce Springsteen has done something similar as well.

Dropout! said...

Sipwine-why?

The Accidental Bitch said...

the ambiguous blob - With him, or with his music? Did you pay him?

dropout - Oh, I do too. And I think sipwine meant that she thought you were funny.

strange bird - Yeah, it helps us fool ourselves into believing they're just playing for fun rather than actually asking for money.

kat - I almost want to go to the N/W now, just to see them.

princess extraordinaire - I don't know, the music makes it better. At least then they're busy and not staring at you.

kittenpower - Does it make you feel guilty?

the very - I am impressed by your ability to write a relevant commando comment! Kudos

the cajun boy - He hasn't been back! But I will.

sex & moxie - So do you plan your morning around that?

anon - There is no way I'd give $1/day. Because then I'd feel like I had to give $1 to EVERY panhandler, and there are way more than one on my way to work.

grant miller - Work with him? In an office? So he played on the street for fun? ... or is this your sly way of telling me that you were once a street musician?

ripsy - I don't think they fight westside story style. Maybe eastside, though.

beatrix kiddo - That's exactly why I didn't give him money. Doesn't he know that carbs are bad for you?!

sipwine - That's pretty impressive. I bet the more skilled players make the most money. Kind of a street musician meritocracy...

The Ambiguous Blob said...

with him! I didn't even hear his music for long enough to know if I liked it. There was just something about him... and no- I didn't pay him.