Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, May 27, 2005


The ice cream truck repeating (repeating repeating repeating) the first 8 or 10 bars of Beethoven’s ditty “Fuer Elise,” with its sour electronic intonation resembling a sickly set of chimes; while the young white man with dredlocks plays a soft, sweet, dusty-sounding pattern on his African-style hand drum. The 2-year-old picks up 2 sticks and hits them together, accompanying the drummer, and dancing in a slow galloping circle. The two percussionists, who’ve never met, look very happy to be playing together. As Beethoven blares down the block and kids splash and shout in the cold lake.


Last Sunday, the 2-year-old made his public debut. We went to a street fair, to see the crafts, mostly kitschy, and see and hear the busking jugglers and musicians, mostly very good. We bumped into a friend of my spouse’s from the peace movement, Jonny Hahn, a full-time professional busker who’s been doing it for decades, hauling his small piano (missing the top and bottom octaves) around in his van to set up and play. Wonderful guy and a darn fine musician. We chatted for a bit and then he asked if we would watch his piano and CDs while he ran into a building for a quick break. We said sure, and Nat wanted to play the piano, and that was fine with Jonny, so Nat did the 2-year-old tone cluster thing, not loud (he rarely bangs -- only when the expressive moment calls for it, right?), and very happy. He didn’t make any tips.
I need to call or write Jonny. Small world story. I was at dinner the other night with a NYC based guy who is putting togeather a multiday guitar fest for my town. We were gabbing and Jonny's name came up and the guy freaks - 15 years ago he was busking and had ridden the Green Tortise into Seattle and crashed with Jonny (he had not known him previously but his fellow busker had). He had not used that name in years and suddenly he is in Jonny's (sort of) old home town with his old house mate. It was a funny degrees of Bacon moment.
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