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Busking is begging?

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The Shambles 28 Jul 04 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,MMario 28 Jul 04 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,scratchy-bow 28 Jul 04 - 12:23 PM
The Shambles 28 Jul 04 - 12:30 PM
alanabit 28 Jul 04 - 12:48 PM
BanjoRay 28 Jul 04 - 12:57 PM
alanabit 28 Jul 04 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jul 04 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Blackcatter 28 Jul 04 - 04:11 PM
Don Firth 28 Jul 04 - 04:23 PM
AggieD 28 Jul 04 - 04:36 PM
Betsy 28 Jul 04 - 05:14 PM
Shanghaiceltic 28 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM
The Shambles 28 Jul 04 - 05:21 PM
Blackcatter 28 Jul 04 - 05:29 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 04 - 05:43 PM
Kudzuman 28 Jul 04 - 05:53 PM
Blackcatter 28 Jul 04 - 05:59 PM
GUEST 28 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM
Peace 28 Jul 04 - 06:14 PM
Blackcatter 28 Jul 04 - 06:19 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 04 - 08:34 PM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Jul 04 - 08:49 PM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Jul 04 - 12:52 AM
Marion 29 Jul 04 - 01:06 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 29 Jul 04 - 01:12 AM
Ellenpoly 29 Jul 04 - 04:26 AM
pavane 29 Jul 04 - 06:55 AM
Pied Piper 29 Jul 04 - 07:10 AM
CharleyR 29 Jul 04 - 07:24 AM
The Shambles 29 Jul 04 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 29 Jul 04 - 11:56 AM
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Subject: Is busking just begging?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:14 PM

I get the impression that the idea that street busking for money is generally thought in the UK to be begging.

I also have the inpression that in other parts of the world it is thought to be a legitimate way of displaying one's musical talents and a means of being rewarded for this?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:16 PM

yes - I suspect most people in the US would consider it begging - but a good chunk would realize it's a display of talent in exchange for (hopefully) gratuitious payment.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,scratchy-bow
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:23 PM

It isn't in my opinion. In fact it's a good way to improve your playing ability and repertoire.

Begging it is not, in particular, if you are playing or singing well and generally adding to the overall character of an area.

In tourist areas it could be considered an advantage.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:30 PM

Interesting remark about the tourist areas as comments in the following thread that prompted this one. Things planned for Sidmouth 50


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:48 PM

It all depends on the attitude of the performer. If someone goes out hopefully punting away on an instrument or looking gormless while juggling three clubs and doing nothing to make a show, I am afraid it is begging.
I have always had time for those who started off bad but wanted to improve. We were all bad at first. Those who work hard to entertain to the best of their ability are certainly not beggars. What do you call those people who have pockets full of money, who watch a show from start to finish and then slink away at the end without paying anything. What right do they have to call anyone beggars?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 12:57 PM

You watch the show till you reach the point here you think it's worth a contribution. If it isn't, you don't.

Ray


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 01:00 PM

Exactly. So I wonder why some people have the damned nerve to watch a show for over half an hour and then say, "It's not worth paying for..."


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 01:07 PM

One of the reasons I love walking around in New York City in the evenings in summer is because of the number of street-corner buskers. And it is such an eyeopener as to who is out there. I learned early on to ignore stereotypes. Imagine my surprise one evening in Greenwich Village as I watched several young black men unpack a few instruments, waiting to hear what modern jazz they might perform--only to have them open with some marvelous chamber music! You'll find about everything out there. It adds to the richness of any community, and is in no way shape or form "begging."

We had Marion here in Fort Worth for a couple of days on her busking tour, and it was a challenge to find good places. She told us that a woman approached her on the street who had lived elsewhere and missed the busking activity of her home town. The woman even suggested a good corner for Marion to try. That's nice to know.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 04:11 PM

Here in Orlando, FL, a few years back they passed a law that made begging illegal. Before it was overturned by the courts, what happened was that several of the beggars because doing frankly stupid things and calling themselves street performers. At the time you didn't need a liscense to be a stret performer. Because of the the men who were trying to "beat the system," Street performing was nearly outlawed as well. Now, you not only need a liscense, you can only doing in certain lplaces and for only a short period of time (the liscenses are set up for specific events, such as a public performance in the band shell) You cannot lay out your hat for $$.

Since the begging law was overturned, the city set up "blue zones" Spraypainted areas about 30 feet square in a few places in Downtown. People are allowed to beg in those spots only. Street performers are still restricted even more than that.

Politicians are stupid.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 04:23 PM

Just last Sunday afternoon (7/25/04), I was up on 15th Avenue East near the Café Ladro, across from the QFC (Capitol Hill in Seattle), when I encountered a fellow playing a cheap but serviceable imitation of a Martin D-Model and singing. His guitar playing was simple but adequate (straight chords with an occasional bass run), and he had a quite a good singing voice, especially for country and western songs.

The Café Ladro converts to a sidewalk café when the weather is good. Since the sun was shining and the temperature was in the low eighties, there was a fair number of people to provide an audience. They were obviously enjoying his performance, so I leaned against a parking meter and hung around a bit. One of the fellows sitting at a table kept requesting Johnny Cash songs, all of which the young busker was able to provide. He also tossed in several other songs, well-known and obscure. One couple there had a little girl with them, maybe about four-years-old (cute, big eyes, ribbons in her dark hair, blue dress and black Mary Jane shoes). She was having fun. She watched and listened to the singer intently. Café Ladro patrons would hand her dollar bills for the busker, and she made frequent trips to drop them into the metal plate he had by his guitar case. Without being so nosey and crude as to try to do a precise eyeball count of his take, I took note that there was quite a salad of ones there, garnished with a fair amount of change, and I could see at least one fiver in the mix. He was doing pretty well.

After a while, he took a break and I talked to him a bit. He'd been playing and singing for twelve years, he told me, and he was self-taught on the guitar (I noticed that some of his chord fingerings were a little weird, but they worked). His repertoire consisted mostly of country songs: lots of Johnny Cash (although he had to up the key, because his voice wasn't as deep as Johnny Cash's), Brad Paisley, Clint Black, and others. "How many songs do I know? Well, at least 250, maybe as many as 300. I'm learning new ones all the time." I told him that I was in the thick of the folk music, coffeehouse scene back in the Sixties. He offered me his guitar and asked me if I'd like to sing. I demurred, saying, "It's your audience. I don't want to cut in." He told me that he'd had to borrow the guitar he was using from a friend. "Somebody stole my good guitar," he said. I sympathized, saying, "That sounds like the opening line of a good country song." He laughed and agreed, pulled out a small notebook (I could see it contained a long list of song titles) and wrote a note to himself.

I was just returning from the grocery store and I had to get home, but as I started to leave I remembered that I had two dollars and some change in my jacket pocket where I'd stuffed it as I emerged from check-out. I fished out the two dollar bills and dropped them into his plate. "Hey, thanks!" he said. "I really appreciate that." "Gotta support the profession," sez I. I waved and took off for home. He picked up the guitar and started to sing again.

Hell's bells! For years I had regular jobs singing in coffeehouses and clubs (for negotiated regular pay, not for tips, although I got a lot of those, too), and I did folk festivals, concerts, and television. But seeing and listening to that young guy made me wish I was his age again and doing what he was doing. I was inspired. When I got home, I pulled out my guitar and practiced for a couple of hours.

Busking is offering a service. You can accept or not, and you're free to pay something for it—or not. It isn't begging. It's an age-old tradition. Minstrels and troubadours (many of whom provided the more ancient songs and ballads that we sing today), if they were not lucky enough to be working in a castle or manor-house for a rich patron, would make their way by singing in the town square, hoping that the people they entertained would toss them a few coppers. Not begging.

Standing outside the 7/11, accosting people, asking them if they have any spare change, and offering nothing in return but a well-rehearsed woeful expression—now that is begging.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: AggieD
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 04:36 PM

Perhaps I've just had a bad experience of buskers, a lot of them that I've heard are just terrible, & just stand strumming a battered old guitar & mumbling a few unintelligble words. I call that no better than begging. Yes I have heard the odd 1 or 2 performers who are very good, but just why are they out there with a case in front of them that has been primed with money if they aren't begging, no matter how well they perform. If they are just out there to improve their performance they shouldn't feel that they have to extract cash from people.

If we as dancers collect cash every single penny goes to charity. It was something that we decided to do a long time ago, as we felt that we didn't want to beg money from people just to go into our own pockets.

And yes I have given money to street performers if I think they are
putting on a good show.

Unfortunately what one person thinks is a good show another will think is rubbish. Yes I do agree that if people stand & watch for half an hour then condemn something they are being rather stupid, but as you say people should have the freedom to chose. Why should they be expected to pay if the perfomer(s) are not begging for the money, just playing to improve their performance, or to get across their love of the music? They should just go out & do it.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Betsy
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:14 PM

I've done busking in Europe and I was doing it for money for a few beers and to help out with some money and food for my flat mates - no more no less.
Put on a performance / sing the right songs the money will flood in .
After all , I wasn't mugging anyone, selling drugs or anything nasty , I already had this easy way of making a few Quid (Bucks) relatively quickly by making people feel good albeit for a short while - and I always tried to say (or show/indicate if in the middle of a song ) a thankyou for all contributions.
It's all a matter of fair exchange - nowadays, I always give to a decent busker or to the busker who looks as if he's /she's really trying to give the bypasser or listener some value or pleasure.
To the introverts and mumblers - I give nothing - but, I believe that trend existed when I was doing my bit on the pavements and sidewalks.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:19 PM

If I see and hear a good busker I will put something in the hat. It is not begging as far as I am concerned.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:21 PM

Sorry AggieD, I can't quite follow the logic of this. It appears that collecting money for your performance is OK as long as you don't actually need the money collected or if it goes to someone else.

I am not knocking collecting for charity but if you are dancing for the fun of it and to improve - why should people be expected to pay you as performers (wherever the money eventually ends up)? Why do you not also just go out and do it?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:29 PM

And most Buskers don't expect everone to pay them. It's kind of nice, actually.

I've paid $5 to go into a restaurant to listen to live music that wasn't worth the $5. At least on the street, if I don't like the performance, I'm going to pay anything. Plus, I am often hurting for money myself and it's nice to know that I can listen and just drop in a few quarters or something.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:43 PM

Apart from the licensed buskers on underground stations the ones you are most likely to encounter in London are the teams of beggers who work through tube trains with one of their number squeezing two notes out of an old piano box.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Kudzuman
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:53 PM

Just got back from Anchorage, Alaska and there was a couple of guys there playing some really good blues. Guitar and Tub Bass (the tub bass guy was amazingly good!! ) We were heading of to catch a plane so I only got to listen for about 5 minutes. I dropped a fiver in the case and wished 'em well. They were making music....what's that worth to you? It's better than making war, eh what?

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 05:59 PM

Yes. Would it be so horrible if buskers were the millionaires?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 06:13 PM

yes it is begging so get off your fat arse and get a real fecking job.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Peace
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 06:14 PM

I started out in Greenwich Village's basket houses. I performed for about four or five sets a night and then passed the hat. You want to learn how to work an audience, that was the way. I had evenings where I made as little as two or three bucks. Had some others where I made over $50. One night I got a basket with a hundred dollar bill in it. I'd never seen one before. I held onto it for about thirty-two minutes. That paid rent where I lived for over two months. Sometimes ya win, sometimes ya lose and sometimes ya play in the rain.

Busking is the street version of the basket house. I never felt like I was begging. There is certainly a 'market economy' at work when one is playing--or maybe a market economy at play when one is working--but begging it is not.

I learned that if I was gonna take requests, it would be a good thing to know the regular requests very well. Occasionally, it took me outta my comfort zone, but hungry bellies don't really care a helluva lot about 'artistic integrity' (whatever THAT is). If an older couple wanted to hear "A Bicycle Built for Two", I could do that. And if someone wanted "Sheila" by Tommy Roe, I could do that also. I even did "Walk, Don't Run" one evening, strumming that great Am, G, F, E progression and using my voice to imitate the lead guitar. I got the people who had asked for the song to do the drum break, and we had lotsa laughs and a heckuva good time. There was an older Village lady who used to come in and ask for this or that song from her younger days, and I learned most that she requested. She couldn't afford to put anything into the basket, but every now and then she brought this starvin' young performer some home-cooked food or pie, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, because there were times my stomach thought my throat had been cut.

To quote a comedian I heard on a TV show years back, "Them's mean streets for a wiener dog in a cardigan." Yep, them's true words. It is also true that buskers offer their art for people's consideration, whether that be in the form of their voice, playing, performance or whatever. It isn't begging to produce a product and offer it for sale. The side benefit is that there is a Darwinian process at work, and ya learn to adapt or ya won't be at it for all that long.

It takes a serious set of cajones to put your talent on the line that way, and I admire people who have the 'brass' to do just that.

Bruce Murdoch


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 06:19 PM

Nice to hear that story Bruce.

I've been doing walking historical and ghost tours in Downtown Orlando for the past 4 years. Sure I charge up front, but I have a money back policy. "If you don't think you got $10 worth of enjoyment/information in the past 90 minutes, let me know, I'll be happy to give the cash back.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 08:34 PM

This argument has been going on for along time - The full text of (the Elizabethan) Harman's Epistle to the Reader from
Rogues, Vagabonds & Sturdy Beggars is here. Also look at the link (at the bottom of the page) to the review. There was a 1531 regulation passed by Queen Elizabeth - which is where the term 'Sturdy beggars" come from.

It seems there is some agreement in this current thread about the intent and (musical for musicians cause this is a music forum) ability of the performers. Strictly speaking, being paid by a 'patron' such as a business or a council means that you are not a real busker.

This Google Search also brings up the group called Sturdy Beggars. It also currently finds a copy of the original regulation.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Jul 04 - 08:49 PM

The 1531 act was punishment for 'behaving improperly'. Those who were regarded as being fit enough to work for a living but who chose instead to try to beg for food or money were branded as 'sturdy beggars', and were given a very hard time if caught. It didn't seem to matter much whether they were 'mugging', or 'performing' or anything in between, even including criminal activity (including the 'coney'** game) - people's attitudes don't seem to have changed much.

Robin

** 'Ferrets' were used to track down 'coneys' in the 'warrens' where they lived and worked. A Coney was a female rabbit, so you can guess what these 'sturdy beggar' ladies were doing...


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 12:52 AM

It's not begging. Most of the time it's a job. And everybody learns on the job, I don't care what it is.
My busking days were the best training I could have had for being a fulltime performer over the last 3o-odd years.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Marion
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 01:06 AM

In case anyone's wondering, the woman I met in Fort Worth was nostalgic for the buskers of Boston. I did notice in my travels that there were more a lot more buskers in the northern US than the south (not counting New Orleans in that generalization).

Marion


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 01:12 AM

Busking today is yet another link on the long chain of that tradition. It will be that (a grand old tradition) no matter what value judgments we put on it here for whatever reasons. That's how I see it.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:26 AM

Busking has a long tradition and I hope it's never outlawed by stupid policy makers.

Begging is asking for money and giving nothing in return. This is sad, and I think harmful to one's soul to have to do. I have a friend who when asked for spare change, replies that he will gladly exchange some for anything given in return...a song, a poem, something to make it an exchange of "gifts". I like that, though I know on occasion he's gotten some funny looks, and sometimes not so funny retorts.

Busking can be quite wonderful or really awful. As long as I have a choice to stay and listen, or walk away, I'm fine.

I only have difficulty if I've standing in line for something and I'm being "busked at" with no control over for how long or how close I'll have to be to the performer. This can be truly annoying.

I only wish I had more money to pass along to those who have brightened my days...

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: pavane
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 06:55 AM

Back in the 1800's, police in the UK banned a lot of traditional customs (Straw Bears, Plough Jacking etc) as a form of begging.
(listen to Rattlebone & Ploughjack album)

The new licencing laws in UK (from next year? - see PEL threads) will probably make it (even more?) illegal.

They had to specifically exempt Morris dancers, and last I heard there was still a problem for circuses.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Pied Piper
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 07:10 AM

When you busk, you give before you receive, no one is emotionally blackmailed into giving, and what they give is entirely up to them.
How many people with "proper jobs" can say that?
PP


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: CharleyR
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 07:24 AM

I consider the term 'begging' to mean asking for money and offering nothing in return. I think to answer the question as to whether busking is a form of begging we need to distinguish between two types of 'busker' - there are the tramps/homeless/whoever who have got hold of a penny whistle or a guitar and sit there producing random notes from the instrument and who probably normally just beg without an instrument and are trying to vary their techniques, and there are musicians, people who have musical ability and have made the effort to work out a repertoire of quality music that can really be enjoyed by an audience and who also pay attention to their audience through their presentation and saying thank you for contributions whenever possible. It doesn't take much brain power to distingush one from the other and to tell a beggar from a performer.

I have busked a lot over the past couple of years, and as a student, earning money is one of the main incentives for me, but so is the enjoyment, you get to interact with people, you're out in the fresh air (great when the weather's good, anyway) and you're out there doing what you enjoy, and I would much prefer to do that than to work exhausting 8 hour shifts in a bar for less than the national minimum wage (being under 22 years old), which is my only credible alternative way of earning at the moment. We have also got quite a few gigs out of it from people who heard us and liked our music. It's a good feeling when you say thank you to people when they put some coins in the case and they say thank you to you for the music they've enjoyed listening to and that has cheered them up or made their shopping trip more enjoyable. We always make sure never to play to 'captive audiences' wherever possible, e.g. people sitting outside cafes, people in queues or near to shops where the shop assistants would be able to hear us. If people want to listen, they can do, if they don't want to, they can carry on. We don't go up to people and ask them for money, we play our music and if people want to contribute, they can do, but we never make people feel pressured to do so, therefore I do not consider busking to be begging. There are people out there who also consider Big Issue (homeless magazine) sellers to be beggers, although they too are not asking for something for nothing, they are trying to earn money by selling a product.

I went to Cologne yesterday and heard some fantastic buskers outside the cathedral, there were 3 accordians and a contrabass balalaika, they were playing organ pieces and each of them took a part and together they made a great sound. I tend to have high standards when it comes to music, being a player myself, but I stood and listened to these guys for about 10 minutes and then gave them some money as I really enjoyed their music, they were obviously talented musicians and they certainly made my day more eventful and added to the atmosphere of the place. I certainly would not like to think that these people and other performers like them were considered to be of the same level as the people who stop you in town and ask you to give them money for no good reason.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 08:50 AM

Apart from the licensed buskers on underground stations the ones you are most likely to encounter in London are the teams of beggers who work through tube trains with one of their number squeezing two notes out of an old piano box.

Although I do not consider busking to be begging, for most of the reasons already expressed - I have experienced this on the London Underground and have some concerns with this practice. Although the box player was slightly more acomplished than just having two notes - I did not welcome being confronted by the other member of the team, who came up to where I was sitting to thrust a collecting box in my face. If a big ugly chap like me was intimidated by this, I am quite sure that many others will be.

I would probably still not consider this to be begging but I can understand why some people would but I certainly would not consider it to be good busking practice either. Although I am sure a lot of money will be collected using it - I fear that most of it not due to how much the passengers will have appreciated the box player's musical talents. Which is the only reason that folk should contribute.

Perhaps it is up to buskers to always ensure by their actions that their busking could never be considered as begging?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 11:56 AM

I `ad a beggar in my cab once just after `ed done the night shift in London. `e said spare tuppence for a cup of cha, guvnor. I gave `im fourpence and said, at that price you can get me one an` all.
What am I like?


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 03:03 PM

*Great* stories from CharleyF and Bruce Murdoch!

I especially enjoyed Bruce's bit about scat-singing the Ventures' lead guitar part over the chords and getting the crowd to do the drum part. What a kick! I've done that type of thing with friends, in a private-party context, but don't remember scatting instrumental parts out on the street. *Maybe* I did once or twice -- I used to play really long hours, and would get pretty delirious at times.

For a while, I did keep a kazoo in a wire-coat-hanger holder hung around my neck so that I could hum/play "instrumental breaks" and other parts I was unable to produce any other way. Gave it up because I couldn't/wouldn't use it for every song (not even for most songs), and as I began to put in longer and longer hours, it became increasingly cumbersome.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: jimmyt
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:06 PM

This has been a very fun thread to read, and after spending a lot of time reading so much negative crap below the line it has been really refreshing to actually read real stories and information and not backbiting and naysaying.

I love buskers, and have always wished I had ever had an opportunity to try it. I am sure I glamorize it in my mind and it is probably lots of very hard work with little pay but I still wish I had taken the opportunity to 1)busk 2)bartend 3) be a waiter when I was younger. I always try to support buskers and frequently buy their CDS if they have them. I think making music is a noble cause, however good or mediocre at it you are.

I was in Asheville NC a few months ago and there was a button box player working outside a cafe where my wife and I were having lunch. By the time the waiter had taken our orders, I looked up and he was talking to a passer by and next thing I knew he was gone. I had hoped to give him some money for his wonderful music, and when I saw him walking down the street a couple hours later I stopped him and gave him a five. He was most surprised when I told him I had enjoyed his music earlier and hadn't had a chance to do it before he had left.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:07 PM

Shambles, the tradition of having someone collect for the performer is called 'bottling.'
Much like a barker or shill at a carnival or sideshow.
It is an old and respected tradition that seems to be falling out of favor because of the experience you had in the subway.
When I busked years ago, I had a 'bottler,' a very witty Dubliner who could charm the coins out of peoples' pockets as he passed the hat.
Many times, buskers will use pretty young ladies/wives/sweethearts to bottle for them.
Appearance and attitude matter when bottling, and a threatening mien - even if the bottler is the nicest person on earth - will have an adverse effect on the take.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:08 PM

By the way, where is InObu on this thrread? This is right up his alley.
Seamus


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 09:00 PM

After a long vacation from the art form I've recently spent some time busking both at a festival where they allowed such activities and at a local market where it is regulated. I guess I've gotten a little soft in my time away because I don't remember it being such hard work. It also happened to be the very hottest days of the summer thus far. I was completely drenched by the time I had finished each set and unfortunately not very well received at the market, even though I was playing to the very best of my ability. I'm certain the heat of the day had something to do with the general lack of interest by those passing. Well, if nothing else, it was good excercise, and If you can work up a sweat with a good set of music, it certainly must be healthy for the ol' cardio-vascular and cardio-respiratory systems.

Reggie - still catching my breath - Miles


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Deckman
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 09:36 PM

HEY!!! ... I know the difference between busking and begging. The very LAST time I begged ANYTHING, I woke up married!!! CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: alanabit
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 12:33 PM

Cripes! Remind me to stick to busking Bob!


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 12:37 PM

What Marion notes above is too bad; most of the great early bluesmen spent time busking in the south. They used to set up a soap-box on the corner and play, and sometimes a rival would go to the opposite corner to "cut head" or steal his audience. It's sad that well's dried up. (On the other hand, it might just mean good blues musicians can go straight to club gigs now.)


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: breezy
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 03:12 PM

is begging the same as busking?


nah


so thats it


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 06:54 PM

Shambles, the tradition of having someone collect for the performer is called 'bottling.'
Much like a barker or shill at a carnival or sideshow.
It is an old and respected tradition that seems to be falling out of favor because of the experience you had in the subway.


No problem with someone collecting for the performer. It was just the nature of this operation. Perhaps some more details will help explain exactly my concerns?

The two enter the compartment and stay there until the next stop. These stops present the only opportunity for the buskers, or indeed anyone else from leaving until the train stops, as there are connecting doors but these are strictly only to be used in an emergency.
The time between stops will vary between 3 minutes or could be as long as 30 minutes. 5 - 10 minutes would be the norm however. For this period the bottler or bagman will make a point in this time of approaching everyone sitting in the compartment.

The passenger knows that should they chose not to contribute, when the bottler stands over them and presents the bag to them, that they will have to share to compartment with these two, until the next stop. Now if there are a few other passengers present, it is probably not too threating a situation but if there are few or you are on your own, perhaps it could with some justification be thought more than a little intimidating? That is why I say that the money collected here is probably not generally due to how much the passengers have enjoyed the music and not good busking practice.

I am not by any means a regular traveller on the 'tube' these days, so I have no idea how common a practice this is. My experience was a couple of years ago and took place in the middle of the day when the train was stopping outside in some of the less frequented stations. The same areas, late at night would be even more potentially intimidating.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 10:14 PM

Think about it this way. How many hours have you worked at crafting your skills? For most of it is thousands and thousands of hours. I've been working on mine since 1964 and continue to work on them. Now, like anyone who has worked to rein in a set of skills, I am entitled to be compensated for my skills should I take them to the streets. Entitled doesn't mean I expect everyone to be appreciative because some will have different tastes in music but...

... fir those who might stop, listen, appreciate then compensation is like one hand washing the other.

BTW, I haven't busked in 30 years but that doesn't change my opinion.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: breezy
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 04:18 PM

do you mean 'compensation'?

Thats what you get when you sue, or lose earnings.

I dont think you mean compensation.

I think 'a reflection of your ability to communicate via a musical media' would be a more suitable way of describing the act of receiving reward for such efforts.

In the tube I would state that I would wish to hear further before contributing and probably 'sorry no change' would be another line.
also
i'm a musician compared to this, how about me doing a number and you pay me.
also
you should pay us for listening

also

well I'm sure you could make up your own, I would probably follow em around and annoy em if I felt they were out of order.

once chatted to a busker who set up n with a very loud amp and engaged him in conversation for a long time.
They I played along with him from a distance of 30 metres as he did, -yes you guessed- bob dylan

i can play along with morris dancers too, as long as their drummer can keep a reasonably steady beat


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 07:08 PM

While traveling with my family in the west of Ireland a few years ago, we saw buskers in nearly every town, from guiter players to pennywhistlers to fiddlers. I stopped and listened to every single one, and threw in a few bills each time as well. My mother, who is herself an amateur pianist, asked me why I was encouraging "those beggars." I gave her an earful.

Isn't it obvious that perfoming music is a great art, an exhilerating means of human interaction and expression? Here in the states, too many people look down their noses at buskers. Anybody who loves the arts should be grateful for a chance to see live, experimental performances up close ...


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 12:45 AM

"i can play along with morris dancers too, as long as their drummer can keep a reasonably steady beat"

How do youknow you've got a drummer at the front door?

The knocking speeds up...


Re Shambles's comment on tube 'buskers'

"do you mean 'compensation'?"

... sounds more like 'compulsation'...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 11:58 AM

In the US, at least, the word "compensation" is often used as synonymous with "wages" or "payceck," etc. -- it doesn't always have to mean "something to compensate for not getting regular pay," like welfare, unemployment, etc.

So, breezy -- Bobert was correct to use the word in the context in which he did (at least in American English, which I believe is his native tongue). It's interesting to note that it might seem to be incorrect in UK usage.


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: breezy
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 04:22 PM

no he wasnt, compensation means 'making up for something lost' - redressing a balance

perhaps something did get lost in American speak and thats why the worlds in the shit

I like the word 'compulsation', does the heart beat faster?

bye!!!


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 06:01 PM

With a big thug with teeth missing leaning over you shaking a money box, it probably does....


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Subject: RE: Busking is begging?
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Aug 04 - 11:55 PM

Hey, breezy. I ain't all that hung up on the word. Who cares... You come up with the word that reflects one being "rewarded"?, "paid"?, you pick. Don't matter a rats butt to me... As long as it is understood that thousands of hours of work and preparation can and should be___________ to folks willing to share their sklls with the general public.

Bobert


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