Little use on the streets of Tucson, Day 2

Last night’s pitch.

From my journal:

    What am I missing? I get so depressed when I hear and see these lesser talent folks raking in so much more. Forty dollars in under three hours which he spends on booze. Scruffy, swarthy, overalls, singing babbly nonsense with a high broken voice…

That’s the gist of what I took away from this Sunday, 2.27. Or perhaps, what was taken from me. Were it not for a five dollar tip at the very end of my depressed pitch, I’d have emerged with a single dollar from forty five minutes, playing in the sun in a good location on a weekend. I couldn’t stay out any longer, my throat started hurting like mad. Morgan and I decided it’s probably the dryness out here that I haven’t adapted to. Just like the first time I went to Hueco and I needed to drink a two gallons of water every day just to avoid dehydration headaches. I suppose I could blame the horridness on the strange chilliness of the day and the weird hail flurries that preceded my stint and prevented me from setting out earlier or the smallish crowd.. but enough passed smilingly… it reminded of that day in New Orleans.

When I spoke with Marcus, the man in the hillbilly getup who’d raked it in the previous night, it depressed me to the extreme. Here I am, plying my art honestly, spending it on food and travel fares and I earn so much less than a terrible “musician” who puts his earnings into alchohol. Me clean, upstanding, singing decently and he unshaven, lazing against the parapet, croaking painfully. Almost all I could bear. The only bright spot beyond the $5 dollar tip came from two bums who enjoyed Ue Wo Muite Arukou and recommended me the spot to begin with. But, of course, they didn’t tip.


At least I’d had an excellent morning, jamming away with permanent couchsurfer Ben with his excellent blues soloing and slide guitar skills, even to my newest songs. Happily Morgan’s potluck at the end of the day was a small, relaxed affair. With three guitarists in the room we attained a campfire-y feel, swapping leads and vocals for quite a while. I felt humbled where I’d felt so noble and skilled and wronged earlier on the street. The other two musicians knew their way around the guitars so much better than I, who rely on a capo, open chords, and finger picking. Without my ability to belt I’d really be nothing. Towards the end I had us turn Trapeze Swinger into a verse per person song. Shaky, but fun.

Tucson boasts many such murals. Perhaps the proximity to Mexico is a factor as I saw a similar wealth of art in San Antonio.

I really like what the sun did to this photo of City Hall.

Nothing like a Southwestern sunset.

Earnings: $6.00, 45 minutes
Song of the Day: Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

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