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abe_normal 06-26-04 04:43 PM

rules of the street
Something happened today while I was performing at a local farmers market that I would like some feed back on. I have performed at this market for over a year now and I'm the only act that is not a street musician (there are usually 5-10). So I show up today and a painter had set up in my use usual spot, which puts me a good distance away from a lot of the street musicians (some use amps). I walked around looking for a different spot but the only one I can find is 5 ft. from a unamped guitarist and I decide to make it work. My act consists of half patter half music on cd. This guitarist watches me set up waits all the way through my ball routine then halfway into the club bit this guy walks into my circle and taps me on the shoulder and demands I turn the music off. So I stop juggling to tell this guy that I perform here ever week and this has never been a problem before and as I started to tell him that I would switch off w/ him so he could snag some of my crowd he walked off mid sentence I of course go right back into my show as I had a crowd of about 30. I start the torch finale to my routine and in the middle of this he sneaks behind me and turns off the music and runs off. With the wind taken out of my sails I wrapped up the show picked up my almost empty hat and went in search of answers. This guy had beat me to the table of the committee that runs the farmers market I was now told no music even though others were allowed to play w/ amps so I kindly told them not to use me in any of there future ads (as I have already been featured in several ads with out my consent)
And not to expect me back if this is the position they were going to have. Then on my walk back to pack up I realized that the guitarist (whom I have never seen before) had won. I wasn't about to let that happen he played peewee Herman and the pink panther covers for godís sake. So I spent the rest of the day getting my crowds as loud as I could to drown out the guitarist and during when I usually have music playing I worked on a new bit Iím calling ten differences bet. Real street musicians and lazy hacks that sit in one place and play covers. Ok now the question is what would u do in this situation and was I wrong to verbal retaliate even though it produced some abnormally large hats from what Iím use to in this location

The Amazing Beaumanz 06-27-04 10:56 AM

From here on out, i would make it a point to set up near that same guitar player and get the biggest loudest crowds and do exactly what you did. If he sings, i would make references to him sounding like william hung (that american idol guy) or ask him in the middle of a show if he takes requests, and request him to stop!! Use the power of the people!!! Once a crowd is on your side, they will do almost anything you ask them to do.

But, the best thing to do is to talk to him and let him know it was disrespectful for him to break your circle and touch any of your equipment. A hostile workplace doesn't do you or the audience any good.

GlassHarper 06-27-04 06:20 PM

Stepping lightly
Hey, Normal --

Most venues are first-come, first served. Get up earlier next week!

The first piece of disrespect here, it appears, was you stepping on another performer's pitch. It obviously sprialed downward from there.

Next time you are faced with a situation like that try "nice guying" them to death. When your neighbor doesn't have a crowd built go over, drop a buck in his bucket and ask him if he wouldn't be kind enough to share the pitch, ten or fifteen minutes on and ten or fifteen minutes off. Might not work, but you come off as a rational, kind-hearted individual and isn't that better than other way around, no matter who "wins?"

Another strategy is to have a fall-back pitch. On days when I got to the Ithaca Farm Market too late to find a venue I had to drive fifty miles to the Windmill Farm Market in near Penn Yann, NY where I knew there would always be room.:rolleyes:

scot 06-27-04 07:39 PM

The new Wild West
There are no rules on the street. There are no rules in life, there are only ultimadums. Do whatever you want. You'll always be a little in the wrong and a little in the right. If it makes you happy to smash the guy's guitar, it's ok.

That "musician" can do whatever he wants to you too. Including putting a bomb under your car.


Spike McGuire 06-28-04 02:40 AM

You could find out where he lives and brutally kill his children in their sleep while he helplessly watched, hung upside down outside the window (something else you would need to do). It would be poetic if you bludgeoned the children to death with his guitar.

Or you could heir 10 different people to deliver singing telegrams to him during his set.

The second one is more socially acceptable, but the first one would make you feel better. To quote Scot "do whatever you want".


worldwidese 06-28-04 05:42 PM

Grin And Bear It
You mentioned you got unusually large hats at that spot, and with that "Ranting" routine. So just go there to that same spot, set up, go with the flow, and later you can cry all the way to the bank.

grOmmet 10-02-04 11:19 PM


If you can't get to the pitch before this guy...... why not try the Mr Reasonable bit??

A wise man once said:

"Diplomacy is the Art of letting the other person have YOUR way"

Have FUN out there!!!!

harmonicakev 11-15-04 03:04 AM


but the only one I can find is 5 ft. from a unamped guitarist and I decide to make it work. My act consists of half patter half music on cd.
5 ft.5 ft.

Why don't you just set up IN the guy's show?? Oh , that is setting up in his show. are you serious?

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