Street Musician

Street Musician

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Street musician across from the Farmer’s Market in Ferry Plaza, San Francisco. Aka “the dude who makes music by beating on plastic tubs.”

There was a time in my life when I was utterly fascinated by this kind of stuff — making music out of items that were not meant to make music. Me and my friends would get together and beat hard on pianos and jump up and down on top of old milk cartons making explosive noises. We called ourselves Orphan Down There, and our spiritual leader was a dude named Jonathan who was known for profoundly weird turns of phrase and/or heartbreaking Debussy-esque piano riffs in the heat of the moment.

This was a magical time, a time well before Stomp and deep into Einsturzende Neubaten territory. Those days are long gone. Maybe they never existed.

I now quote a classic Orphan Down There song from the era, lyrics improvised by Jonathan: “Kill your mother!!! With a stick!!! Kill your father!!! With another stick!!!”

Oh, to be young again. How it sucked, but being old sucks worse.


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