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… 😉