Tuesday, June 23, 2009
'Call me a relic, call me what you will..'
At this point in my life, I have more than a few things in common with Coney Island.
We're both a bit ragged around the edges, we've had our ups and downs and we both were something in our day.
To be honest, now that I've started I'm not sure want to take this analogy too far - you might end up thinking that our best days are behind us - but here's the thing I hold onto: we're both in the middle of a big rehabilitation project. Once again, people think we have potential.
And we both know that our future is in the hands of young people with vision.
Coney is being reborn - it's not too pretty to look at right now, but it'll come good, if enough people with energy and creativity think it still has something to offer.
I'd wanted to go and play on the boardwalk today, but almost as soon as I got there this morning a cop - and there were lots of cops around - took one look at my guitar case and just pointed to a boardwalk bye-laws sign saying 'No performing without a permit'.
No problem. I walked back to the Subway, rode one stop back and got off at West 8th Street, across from the New York Aquarium.
As it turned out, playing at that particular station was just perfect.
The sound was great, on the downtown platform there is a rollercoaster-type motif for seating, which is comfortable and prominent, and best of all, a couple of school trips came by, having just visited the aquarium. All the kids today were cool beyond belief. They sang along with 'Drift Away' and 'Tracks of My Tears', and they danced to 'Under The Boardwalk'.
When I said "Do you know this one?" and played 'People Get Ready', they all shouted 'Waitin' On The World To Change,' so we played that one too. I asked if anyone had any requests, and one kid said "Do you know 'Slow Ride'?"
"The Foghat song?" I asked. "No, from Guitar Hero," he said.
It was great fun today. I played for about an hour and a half and made - remarkably - $8.58.
I don't count the money in the case until I'm packing up, and it amazed me today that the total was just one cent less than my best ever day. Running total is now $26.77.
Bright Side Of The Road - Van Morrison
Fourth Of July Asbury Park (Sandy) - Bruce Springsteen
For Everyman - Jackson Browne
After The Goldrush - Neil Young
Drift Away - Dobie Gray
Under The Boardwalk - The Drifters
Tracks Of My Tears - Smokey Robinson
People Get Ready - Curtis Mayfield
Waitin' On The World To Change - John Mayer
Refugee - Tom Petty
Fall At Your Feet - Crowded House
Peace Love And Understanding - Elvis Costello
Message In A Bottle - Sting
Dont Think Twice, It's Alright - Bob Dylan
Rosalita - Bruce Springsteen
Waiting For My Real Life To Begin - Colin Hay