Busker’s Of The World Unite! (2003)
I had just finished my world record attempt on the civic horse carousel, the humour of which was questioned by ‘elvis’ on the riot-act.com website (are triple j the only people that find justin heazlewood funny…remember, they broke savage garden) I was feeling a little damaged and introverted and wondering why someone with the nerves of a marshmallow soaked in chamomile tea would expose themselves to the scourer-like glare of the Canberra media and public.
I was waiting for my bus, smoking (not trying to sound cool or condone smoking…it hurt my throat, but I was so unsettled I was just sucking the stuff as some kind of cheap medicine) and guzzling pineapple juice (it’s good for your voice) when a kid of about thirteen came up and asked me for money.
Do you have a couple of dollars so I can get a drink? He said. It’s really hot.
HAW! I said in my head, like Alf would have. Remember how Alf used to go HAW!?
Maybe one dollar for the bus, or a dollar fifty for a kidney transplant, but two bucks for a drink? Geez I feel guilty enough buying one for myself. Using my Nan’s practicality, I said
‘No mate, I’m really struggling myself, but do you want some pineapple juice?’
HAW! Said the nan in my head…he can’t be that thirsty if he’s turning down an offer of free beverages.
I even went as far as to mumble that I didn’t have any diseases, but who’d trust anyone telling them they don’t have diseases?
After watching me for a while with cat like poise, he asked me why I wasn’t busking. I didn’t really have an answer.
‘You should busk,’ he said.
‘Yeah I should,’ I sighed. Opening one of the latches.
‘You could make some money.’
‘Yeah I could.’ This was the last thing I wanted. I’d just escaped from the scorching scrutiny of a Melbourne cup day publicity stunt, and here I was being challenged on the blue steel chair on platform four.
‘Go on,’ he said. He really wanted me to busk. So I did. I opened the case, and farted around on some chords, until committing to playing Kelly the deli girl. Within seconds a taller youth with a cap and an optimistic air had rocked along and thrown twenty cents in. By the end of the song, he’d thrown in twelve Winnie blue’s, saying he was trying to quit.
At the end of the song, the youth was impressed and the young kid grinned at him.
‘I told him to busk,’ he said proudly.
‘Do you want to be my manager?’ I asked, and gave him a dollar fifty to get a drink.
There are business opportunities everywhere.
If you can get the capital from your confidence.
i used to Busk with my Clarinet when i was 9, its good wholesome tax free income.
by the way, i like how you justified the damage smoking causes to your throat by mentioning the healing qualities of pineapple juice 🙂
i write my own original songs and arrangements, but im too self conscious to sing them…
You’ve got to get over that. Performing will save your life.