music to my ears…


One thing I’ve noticed lately is that with summer rapidly approaching, and the temperature subsequently rising, there has been an increase in buskers on the fair streets, skytrain stations and bus stops of Vancouver – and I’m actually quite enjoying it. 

Generally I really don’t appreciate people asking for my ‘spare’ change (seeing as I definitely do not make that much money) but when they’re out there workin’ it and/or are talented, then hells yeah I will pry open my purse strings and part with some change!    Now, on the other hand, the buddy slumped over on the sidewalk clearly drunk or high or shaking and going through withdrawls, usually smoking a cigarette with an empty starbucks cup in front of him, can kiss my ass – I would rather shove the entire contents of my change purse up my nose before giving any of it to fund his various demons. However, *deep breath* that is a story for another time.

But as I was saying,  I love the entertainers – the ones who have the guts and determination to stand out there on the front lines, directly in the public eye and put themselves and their talent forth for our judgement… all just to make a bit of cash.  I mean, they don’t have to be good (although they usually are) for me to appreciate and respect them, they just have to try dammit.  However, there are three performers that are quite good and stand out to me – they are as follows:

1) The older white guy with glasses, a moustache and a trucker hat who plays the guitar and sings bluesy/country songs about being a drunk, his wife leaving, and other such fun activities (I don’t think the songs are biographical in nature though – they sound like they’ve been around for a while) at the bus stop on Howe across from Chapters. He’s kind of crazy and makes weird high-pitched yells on occasion (mimicking people at the bus stop I think.. or as a way of getting attention when people at the bus stop seem to be ignoring him) but he’s out there even in the rain and he’s older and has a cane… and the lyrics to most of his songs are quite amusing.

2) The asian looking guy with the toque who sits outside the Bay on Granville street playing the guitar – he’s really good! I’m always impressed and he seems pretty cool. I saw him one time in ‘real life’ (ie not busking mode) on Commercial Drive… he seemed equally as cool.

3) Last, but definitely not least (he’s my very favourite in fact) the older black man with the saxophone who plays performs at Burrard Skytrain Station and Commercial Skytrain Station. He is fantastic! He dances, he sings, he plays the sax, he has a little amp set up and everything – In short, he deserves every penny he gets. He is the one person for whom I will stop, get my wallet out of my backpack/cavernous bag, fiddle with all the zips and get out my change just to give it to him. He just always seems so happy and full of life,  and it always makes my day when he happens to be doing his thing at a station I’m passing through. My personal fave was the day he was singing Louis Armstrongs ‘What a Wonderful World’ at the Commercial station – it was amazing. It kind of echoed and he had the background music playing… and it was actually really touching.

Can anyone else think of buskers that stand out for various reasons?


About Lauren W

I am a combination of contradictions and approximately 18 kinds of awesome.
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