Saturday, August 28, 2010

Once upon a time I was a busker

Once upon a time I was a busker.
I was a bad-ass motherfucker busker
Cutting my teeth sharp
Go play 100 gigs to your clapping friends
or hit the streets for a few days and see what you really got
I had some of my best shows ever at Park St Station and Harvard square
Sometimes I wouldn't make much
Sometimes I'd make a lot
it all depends on your spot
amplification is also key
I'm not much of a busker anymore
My skins gotten too thin
or I'm not desperate enough
I suppose I got enough validation from strangers to start playing for clapping friends
I remember long Saturdays playing for burrito money
going underground in the cold
coming out of porter square station in a blizzard
20 dollars richer
huffing all my gear through the snow covered streets to an apartment in Cambridge I shared with 2 roommates
I lit Harvard square on fire one night
Burnt it down
I could hear the smart kids screaming
my fire hurt so much
made 100 bucks in an hour
thats not every night
thats not every time
Sometimes I'd make a buck
take a beating
shit luck
no meaning
I played all originals
Sure I guess its easy to please the masses and go out and play a bunch of covers that everyone knows and throws
dollars and quarters
pelting you in the head
you can play freebird for that asshole walking by
or play happy birthday for Mr Impressive out with his girl dropping 50 cents in your case like your a jukebox
are you a jukebox
or a joke?
Get a job if you wanna do that shit
I play happy birthday my own way
or I don't play it at all
go play your own shit your own way and see what people really think
see if they listen
see if they know what you mean
are you an artist, a performer
or both?
have you ever made someone cry
with your own tears
transformed into notes
and words
somehow magically like some sort of soul stew
Or you can go do Bonjovi songs
whatever man
whatever floats your boat
I find myself in Berkeley California with a handful of new songs and very little money
the more things change the more they stay the same
Figure I'll check out the busker scene
the more things change the more they stay the same
no amp
no mic
just me and a guitar
A few people dropped me some loot and a nod
a crazy lady got in my face and started yelling at me about making her cry last week.
Someplace I never was and something I never did
2 paralyzed homeless dudes got most of the money coming out of peoples pockets
one woman yelled from down the corridor that "I was pretty good. Keep it up"
I yelled back "Thanks for the validation. I was just about to quit until you told me that"
Mostly people ignored me and went about their business
as I do when I ride trains
a lot of people looked over their shoulder
I made 6 bucks and a condom
almost covered cost
The motherfucking BART is a goddamn ripoff I don't care what anybody says
everyones a comedian
I did get to work on my new songs without disrupting the landlord
I wasn't expecting much
I know you need an amp and a mic and a mic stand and a good spot to make anything
I killed a friday night dead though
that night is dead
so dead
not breathing, not eating, not complaining or straining
I bought 3 tacos for 39 cents each
what a fucking deal
went home and looked for jobs on the Internet
Once upon a time I was a busker
I'm not cut out for busking anymore