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Buskers Benevolent Association Int.

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InOBU 10 Jul 01 - 11:44 AM
InOBU 10 Jul 01 - 09:16 PM
Amos 10 Jul 01 - 09:21 PM
InOBU 11 Jul 01 - 08:56 AM
Rick Fielding 11 Jul 01 - 12:52 PM
SINSULL 11 Jul 01 - 01:09 PM
InOBU 11 Jul 01 - 02:25 PM
ollaimh 11 Jul 01 - 07:22 PM
hesperis 12 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM
Marion 12 Jul 01 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Jim Krause who didn't sign in. 12 Jul 01 - 02:58 PM
InOBU 12 Jul 01 - 05:15 PM
ollaimh 12 Jul 01 - 10:57 PM
georgeward 13 Jul 01 - 01:42 AM
InOBU 13 Jul 01 - 08:39 AM
georgeward 14 Jul 01 - 04:34 AM
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Subject: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 11:44 AM

ollaimh really had the idea... but lets get cracking, for the craic and against getting cracked... In 1978ish I began organizing buskers in New York against a crack down on busking, luckly just a short burp in the fortunes of buskers, but... well we wanted some sort of City Charter revision to acknowlege our ancient pre constitutional rights to the streets... Well, Philip Petite, the arialist who walked between the towers of the World Trade Center, used to like to listen to me play the pipes, when he was busking. He once said, "Join an association! Never! If they do legalize it - I will stop doing it!"
But, well, I do think we have to do something to lift the hoof of the state off our colective necks in the many nations we are found. So lets brainstorm. How might we organize an International association of buskers. If there is one other out there, Ollaimh?, well, we are the start of it.
Cheers
Lorcan Boul an Boher.


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 09:16 PM

6 or seven hours latter... Hmmmm what a depressing silence... think I'll go out busking.... maybe I'll get hassled by a cop so I'll have someone to talk to... ;-}
Larry


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jul 01 - 09:21 PM

I concur!! I haven't busked in forty years, but by God I think I ought to have had an international association with available transport, too. Go for it lads!!

A


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:56 AM

Damn.... I couldn't even get arrested! What's up... you all want a guild instead of an association? Where is ollaimh? It was yer idea in the first palce!!!! Oh well, I resign from the organization... back to the dark subway tunnels and lonely park bridges to ply my greusome trade... Larry


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:52 PM

Larry. Interesting idea, but for the life of me I don't know where much of a membership would come from. I know most of the Buskers in Toronto ('cause I'll talk to anyone who lets me) and the vast majority would appear to be "anti-union, anti-association etc" with a capital A. To a man or woman they see themselves as independant individuals fighting tooth and nail for that "good spot". Even the ones who've gone through that humiliating "Govt. Pass" audition, hardly see themselves as "scabs" (your word), but rather folks who've had to "fuck the authorities" in order to keep their asses out of jail (or a least a fine). Prostitution (of any kind) has none of the "old fashioned" moral values attached to it in the "street world", it's simply one more thing to barter with. To many under the age of thirty (and that includes quite a few buskers) "Union" is simply an outdated concept for those who can't hack it in the "street battle".

I know it's frustrating, but I don't know how you'd even get a few of them together to try and explain things in 2001.

Anxious to her others' thoughts.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:09 PM

On the assumption that they will stop busking only when there is no money in it, I make it a policy never to pass a busker without dropping some change and saying "Thank you". If he/she happens to be playing an acoustic instrument and singing folk songs, he gets paper money. This applies to everyone but the tone deaf accordianist on the "7" Train who insists on singing/playing "New York, New York" and "Feelings". Love to see the look on the faces of the break-dancer/rappers when the middle-aged lady pays for the entertainment while the rest of the car glares at them and her.


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 02:25 PM

Hi Rick:
What we got started in the 70's in NY was a loose pack of us, who kept a petition near to the case to ask the City Council to amend the charter to stop the harassment of music in the streets of New York. Basicly an association of buskers would be a way of creating a pool of buskers - their friends and supports who would get petitions sent around to stop the controll of and harassment of buskers, as we have always been a primary funciton for the passing on of folk traditions and the fucking tourest boards bragg about us while another branch of government is trying to kill us. Some world.
I agree, I don't think it will happen, but that is why we are getting kicked to hell and back, well, not back, just to hell.
Cheers - Larry


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: ollaimh
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:22 PM

yeah buskers in toronto are likely impossible to organize. i tried halfheartedly, but the subway groupp is divided by ethnic issues and feral anarchists--ie karl brandishes a knife occasional , and the eastern europeans are against anything that would smack of communism, even a union.

although the idea is good. like an international website to give busker information, and maybe organize letter writing campaigns against assholes like the byward market in ottawa. good money there but ugly management. unless i'm hungry--which happens i'd rather do montreal when i'm otta town and enjoy the nice people even if i barely support myself--montreal at good times is like toronto at bad times.

but the good newa was last weekend, after a lousy june , i made 200 dollars a day, plus for three days running. now i'm cocky. common mel lastman try to stop me busking i'll strange you with my harp strings, common mike harris, i'll make your streets safe--matbe my lousy june was just bad karma.

we really need a busker retirement coop. i like the job but the benefits are lousy.

the buskers in vancouver are abit more organized but they traditionally face much more intolerant governments. the mayor phillip owen has a real crakdown. it's absurd but cops are arresting buskers out there while crak dealers are ignored.

i met an american busker whose name i forget who wrote a song with the lines

in washington square you can sell guns or crack but try to sing a song and there's a cop on your back.


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: hesperis
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM

website? is there a website?


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 12:11 AM

Hi Ollaimh, do you know my buddy and former student Chris Coole?

Hi Sinsull....I agree 100%. The day I give a buck to an accordionist playing Feelings, will be the day I have myself committed! On the other hand, then I'd probaly feel guilty and give a Neil young clone two bucks!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: Marion
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 02:34 PM

Ollaimh, I had a funny experience in Montreal. I've only busked one hour there, and it wasn't an ideal location (I didn't go there to busk, just had to wait for a friend and thought I might as well play). For the first half hour, lots of people smiled at me, but nobody gave me a cent. Then I tried the one Quebecois tune that I know, and during that one tune, three people gave me money, and a guy driving by with his window open pulled over to ask me the name of the tune. Coincidence? Maybe. One of the very few times that I've had the impression that it mattered what I played.

Larry, since you're feeling ignored, I'll ask my question here: you've mentioned a few times the idea of "our ancient preconstitutional rights to the streets". I don't understand what you mean by this.

Sure people have been busking for a long time, but I don't see why that in itself should mean that we have the right to busk without any intervention. I mean, people have been practicing medicine for a long time too, but I doubt many people would argue that this means there should be no regulations as to who does what where.

I'm on your side - I don't want to have to do the audition or license thing, and if I were empress, busking wouldn't be regulated. But I recognize that this is simply because I don't want the hassle and expense of dealing with regulations - not because I feel I have an inherent right to busk without regulations.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: GUEST,Jim Krause who didn't sign in.
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 02:58 PM

I guess you could call what I do at Farmer's Market, busking. For the Downtown Association which sponsors the Market doesn't pay me, the folks who buy the flowers, fruits, and vegetables, etc. do.

And I have mixed feelings about the buskers I hear here in Lawrence. Most of 'em ain't that good. For example, there's the guy that sits outside one of the banks downtown and does bad covers of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and a couple of others. Sometimes I can hardly restrain myself from grabbing his guitar from his hands, and telling him "Hey buddy, let me teach you how to play that thing, will ya?" He has no rhythm, and hasn't the foggiest idea what a lead break is, substituting a sliding A minor chord up and down the neck in no particular time signature that I can recognize. It is no coincidence that I have never seen any coin in his guitar case. It's guys like him that make me think that maybe some sort of audition process might not be a bad idea.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 05:15 PM

Preconstitutional right = a bit of a joke, really, a sort of Indian law practicioner joke... Soverighty can only be taken by an unabiguios act, not by inference, and there is some dissagreement with American Indian law and international law, that the act must be bilateral (congres has been given a unilateral right to end aspects of Indian soverigity) and the freedom of buskers goes back before civil society... BUT, the fact is the restraint of freedom to busk is a direct and palpable assault of folk culture. Actually, busking is well tolerated in Washington Square Park, contrary to the American Busker's song... as long as you are not loud enough to interfere with NYU's on going program to claim the park as it's campus.
I found busking in Montreal really the pits, folks listen but don't give money, whereas Quebec City was more lucritive but tougher cops... But, I have noticed a decline in generocity in England, Canada and the US, hell, maybe it is my gray hair, when I was young and good looking people figured I was going somewhere, now they see an old guy playing the pipes, and no matter how good you are, they say, "look at the old bum..." Some yuppie jerk flipped a quarter in my case and said, "here ya go pops..." I gave it back and told him it would cost more than a quarter for me to be his dad.
Ah well...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: ollaimh
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 10:57 PM

to marion, montrealers like french music--they seem to view irish as honary french, but i know several people who played folkie and or countryish music for hours without making a bean. i don't think tthat sells.

my french is pretty bad so i sing the odd tune in french but it seems they are ok with irish songs in english but add an american twang, and you likely won't make a bean.

mostly i save my voice and play jigs and reels on mandolin or cittern?bouzouki and then they have usually given me money before they realize that i'm well a maudit you know what. which is funny because i'm a maudit acadien who is from a totally assimilated family. ah life is complex.

and rick fielding i used to see cris coole a lot in the subway. i don't think he's doing it as much. i've seen a few gigs posted for him so maybe he's a big friggin' shot now. although i did see him go through dundas west station a few days ago and he said hello. he's a great banjo player and recently i've seen him playing guitar, as in tunes.

i'm doing irish though and most of that crowd--i.e. the blue grass and related stuff--don'y play with celtoids--or at least it seems that way to me. hey in toronto many of the celtoids don't play with celtoids. oh for the good old days playing in people's kitchens in rural nova scotia.

of sourse the good old days meant abject poverty. i actually went to school with kids who got ricketts every winter, and occasionally scruvy. before you all think i'm doing the we were so poor i do admit that the canada welfare act has changed that. especially as poverty in french/acadien, and nova scotia gaelic culture was shamefull, so people would suffer badly rather than ask for help, now you just get the wellie cheque


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: georgeward
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 01:42 AM

I'm groping without success for the name of the guy who had a buskers assoc. (as I recall it) going in Boston in the 1970s, with ambitions of taking it much further.He was at it for a number of years, and with some success. Steve....??? C'mon someone, help me out.

Also, the US case that pertains to a lot of this (Goldstein v. Nantucket, if I recall - U.S District Court for the Southern District of NY) was fought and won by Robb Goldstein. Robb used to live in Chatham,NY, not far from me. I haven't seen him in some years, however. Anyone know his whereabouts ? -George ::-.--O


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: InOBU
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 08:39 AM

olliamh! Right you are about Montreal and Quebec in general... I used to busk every once and awhile with Andre Simoneau, the great Hurdy Gurdy player and maker. When folks from the ministry of culture would come around, Andre would hiss at me... Don't talk, Larry, just play... most of them can't tell Irish music from Quebec music anyway! George Ward, RIGHT you are! As to the general right to busk, it is generally a free speach issue, however the controlls come about when in places that are private though appear to be public, like the subway, and crowds on street issues. Cheers, Larry


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Subject: RE: Buskers Benevolent Association Int.
From: georgeward
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 04:34 AM

It can be a labyrinth alright. Steven Baird is the association man I was trying to think of.

-George ::-.--O


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