Tag Archives: busking

niaga gniksub

i’ve been sort of worried about busking with my tuba at the pike place market, because — in the distant past — they have had “problems” with people who were not actual musicians playing trumpets and other loud brass instruments, indiscriminately, with very little skill, and taking no regard for their neighbours. this unfortunate occurrence caused the people in charge (the “Pike Place Development Association” otherwise known as the “PDA”) to completely ban all “brass instruments and horns”…

what they mean, of course, is all brass instruments “with a cup mouthpiece”, because brass instruments with a reed mouthpiece (i.e. saxophones) have been allowed all along… which is REALLY STUPID, because you can make a lot louder, and more unpleasant sounds with a reed than you can with a cup mouthpiece…

which, of course, leads us to the real reason brass instruments are banned, which is because, in the distant past (i.e. before any of the current PDA staff were born), one or two individual people were being SO obnoxious (with their brass, cup-mouthpieced instruments) that the PDA had to do something, but it had to be something that didn’t look like they were targeting one or two individuals, so that they wouldn’t get sued by those individuals when they found out.

it’s kind of like that story about the scientists who were studying group behaviour in monkeys, where they put a monkey in a room with a ladder, and at the top of the ladder was a banana… it turns out that the story is an urban legend, but the concept comes across: now, the 2nd (or 3rd, or 54th, who knows) generation of PDA staff is convinced that any brass cup-mouthpiece instrument, played by anyone is going to be the equivalant of a marshall stack cranked up to eleven, and totally blow everyone away for half a mile in any direction.

and, it’s my impression that, ever since then, there have been “whingers” among the vendors at the market, particularly on the “Joe Desimone Bridge” section, who — encouraged by the attitude of the 54th (or whatever) generation PDA staff who have never, actually, experienced a loud “brass” instrument — complain to the PDA if someone has an instrument that looks like it’s going to be too loud… which has resulted in the PDA deciding that you simply can’t busk at the bridge spot on saturday — which is the best day for busking — even with instruments which are not banned… 😒

i’ve been busking at the market a few times since i got my permit, but i haven’t busked at the bridge spot, because i’m worried that, despite the fact that the PDA assured me that they are “experimenting” with allowing tubas (no trombones, baritones, or trumpets, though), and they did, actually, sell me a permit despite the fact that i told them i didn’t play anything else that is allowed, one of the whingers on the bridge will take offense at my tuba and i’ll go back to being on the “banned instruments” list again.

that all changed today.

i busked with hobbit for an hour at the bridge this morning. we made $9.50 each (which is not very good), and then we went up to the clock spot and joined jack and dave for another hour, which netted us $35 a piece, which is a lot better.

then, because it was REALLY cold, i decided that i was going to go home. as i was going back to my car, i had to cross the joe desimone bridge, and TWO vendors asked me if i was done playing music. when i said i was, they asked me when i was going to come back…

they want me back! 😎

they don’t like any buskers (particularly the bad ones, which, according to them, are most of them), but they want me back!

and i wasn’t even playing the melody!!

maybe i shouldn’t worry about the whingers on the joe desimone bridge so much any more… 😉


tomorrow is the sousa bash, in the evening. i may go busking in the morning, but i haven’t decided yet… in a way, i really want to get out there and make myself more known to people who might call me for sets later on, but another part of me says that it rained most of the day today, and it’s probably going to rain tomorrow, which can be aleviated by rain-gear, but it also means that there will be fewer suckers paying audience members out there… and tomorrow is the return to standard time, which means that 9:00 am comes at 8:00 tomorrow… or is the other way around… i can never remember, and it always takes me a week or so to adjust, every time. 😕

only a white man could come up with the idea of cutting two inches off of one end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end, and selling it as a bigger blanket.
     — some Native American wise guy

🍄 one mushroom today: 14 total. running low. need more…

this “microdosing” is starting to really bug me, in a way. i REALLY want to take 100 mushrooms or more, but i don’t have 100 mushrooms to begin with, and even if i did, i don’t have the time or the setting to be able to take that many without freaking out… i was talking with norma at trolloween about mushrooms, and she was saying that she really doesn’t like feeling “altered”… and i realised that i do, REALLY like feeling “altered”. microdosing does what it’s supposed to do, which has made my life a lot more tolerable recently, but it also reminds me, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! i do it, that i’m not really doing what i would like to be doing. a trip to the mushroom fields outside of mount vernon may be in order. i literally know where they grow ’em… 😉


busking at the pike place market(!) today. in two hours of playing, i made $55… in ones, fives and quarters. it was a fairly good couple of hours, considering that i only knew three or four of the songs that we played, and was improvising/faking it for the rest of them. i gave my phone number to three “band leaders”, so there’s a pretty good chance i’ll get called again some time soon.

before today, i have never busked with my tuba at the pike place market, because their official policy is “No devices for electronic amplification of any sound are allowed. No horns, brass instruments, or drums are permitted…” which pretty much makes it impossible for me to even think about busking there… but, apparently, they’re “trying out” tubas, because there are a lot of tuba players who objected to their policy. i was one of two tuba players at the market today, and the other guy (conn 15J, 3-valve, B♭, i think his name is jim) was, according to one of the other buskers (he played soprano sax, tap-danced and sang) looking at my tuba like it was a woman… damn right he was looking at my tuba with lust. it’s an instrument to be lusted after, and i’m glad that someone else recognised it for what it is. 😉

and, by the way, soprano sax is not only a “horn” but it is also made of “brass”, and it has been allowed all along. it’s only “horns with cup mouthpieces” that are banned, and it’s ACTUALLY “horns that are played “inconsiderately”, and make problems for the neighbours”… which has come to mean anything that anybody THINKS is too loud, regardless of what the instrument actually sounds like… although, these days, strings and “woodwind” instruments get a pass, and brass instruments (with the exception of tubas, as noted before) are completely banned.

the last time i was permitted to busk at the market was 1982, which was before the current market manager (the one who sold me my current permit) was born. back then, you didn’t have to buy the permit, and there was only one market manager. now there are a bunch of them, and talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing… 🤦 i’m glad i got my permit, but i’m going to leave dealing with the authorities (meaning the market manager(s)) to someone else, because i already don’t like it at all…

if it’s not already obvious…