Beginnings
Busker Central

One day, my roommate brought home what I first thought was some sort of bum. He had long dirty straggly hair, missing a few teeth in the front, and had some old raggy baggy shirt on. I wasn't quite sure what was going on so I went along with it.

My roomie had come upon this guy sitting on a downtown sidewalk playing his guitar and had become fascinated with him. Just why, I wouldn't know. The busker had a total of thirty-six cents to his name but seemed to be a jolly guy.

This was my first exposure to busking. I think my roomie gave him a good meal, flipped him a fiver, and sent him on his way. I had already dismissed this guy as weird and had gone for some cold brews.

Having now studied guitar for 5 years, I was jamming with some locals at the beach in Florida. We decided to go over some songs, cross the street to the alcove between the restaurant and store, and put on a show. We made a sign that read "Donations gladly accepted for munchies and strings".

After some folks decided they liked the music we were performing, we noticed some cash starting to roll in. It was then I happened to remember that guy...that guy my roomie brought home. I think perhaps this is what made me see the light. Although that guy was probably more of an alcoholic, he had first shown me the basic principle of performing in a public place. Now, this method of making a sign and playing some pre-arranged music was actually yielding amazing results.

We hit 10 bucks and gave each other the high-five. This was a first for both of us so we caught some brew at the tropical bar then relaxed back across the street with our guitars under the gazebo by the shore.

Although the busker my roomie brought home at first didn't seem to mean anything, I could now see the basic principle of performing in public places. Coupled with the sign and donations, I was smitten by the busker "bug".

Then, after our first show, we decided to go to the French Quarter in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras...but that's another movie.

Curt Miller

Busker Insights
Street performing at Busker Central