Day 7. North Beach

Happy belated 4th.

Today I got home from the girlfriend’s and was inspired enough by her to write the beginnings of a new song.  I’m told that there are basically two different types of songwriters.  There are those that are completely open to the music and allow it to flow freely from them in any given context.  And then there are those that are quite a bit more self-critical and require a certain amount of sitting on their music before a willingness to share it springs forth.  I feel that my good days are when I’m completely open to the music.  Most other days my inner critic tells me to work a little harder.  Today was a free flowing music day and I can always count on them to give me (at least) the beginnings of a song.   Today was no different.

As my guitar chops are getting back up to snuff, I’m able to go a little bit longer, further, deeper, etc, with the music.  I’m also able to feel more confident in trying out songs that were written on the same day.  So with a little bit of fresh inspiration, I threw my guitar on my back and made my way across the bay to try out a new song.

I was considering going back to Montgomery bart for the busk, but as I was on the train I was reminded by something or another of the Beat Museum in the lovely neighborhood of North Beach.  Did you know that San Francisco has a Museum for the beat writers?  It’s mostly an all-things-60’s-heavy-on-the-Kerouac museum but they have some pretty funny buttons for sale.  One of them read’s a Ginsburg quote, “Starving Hysterical Naked.”  I liked that one.

North Beach isn’t the best neighborhood for busking.  But it does get a fair amount of foot traffic and a little bit of tourism thanks to its connection to the beat era with City Lights bookstore, and of course it’s home to the majority of San Francisco’s strip clubs and porn stores.  So I figured it was as good a place as any to set up camp for an afternoon and do some singing.

When I got to the Beat Museum I kindly asked the dude at the counter if I could do some busking outside.  He replied, “It’s a public sidewalk, knock yourself out!”  I thanked him and went outside, dropped my guitar case, and started in with a song.  As I was playing a gust of wind came by and blew one dollar out of my guitar case.  I felt a dilemma inside.  I wanted to stop the song and pick up the dollar, but something inside of me told me that the song must continue.  So I watched as the wind swept my dollar around in circles for a minute or so.  Eventually it settled in the gutter and I was able to reacquire it when I had finished the song.

There were a couple of weird things that happened during the busk.  One was two guys that looked like Armenian gangsters stopped in front of me.  One of them was on the cell phone and held it up to the sound that I was making.  This gave me a tickle and I messed the song up a little bit.  They smiled at me and spoke some Armenian to each other and then walked off.

The other weird thing was a dude that kept walking past me.  The third time he walked by he put three dollars in my hand as I finished a song.  That was the first time that someone had put the money directly in my hand.  It was a little bit moving.

Other than that it was a lot fun watching the strippers show up for work in sweat suits, without any make-up and stuff.  Some girls have no idea how naturally pretty they are… or maybe they do.

Money:  $6.oo

Brother Can You Spare A Dime:

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