Monday, April 25, 2011

Buskers keeping on

The other day when I rode the escalator down to the concourse in Commercial Broadway Station, I heard the rich music of a saxophone. It was great to see a busker; I hadn't seen one in a train station for a long time.

True, I haven't been riding the train much lately, but I don't think that's the reason. The 2010 Olympics put a bit of a damper on the local street music scene when the authorities hit buskers with some new bureaucracy. They were asked to audition and pay licensing fees if they wanted to play in train stations during the games.

I ranted about that in this blog at the time, and got an immediate response from Saw Lady, a fabulous musician who plays the subway in New York City and also was being hassled by bureaucracy. Her name is Natalia Paruz and she is still going strong.

In view of all that history, I was glad to see another street musician taking his chances at the bottom of the Broadway escalator.

Buskers are a breed apart. Willing to stand out in all weather and play music for anyone who comes by, they deserve whatever breaks society can give them. They shouldn't have to pay for licenses and they shouldn't be taxed on their tips.

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