Busking in Ballard

Today we went to the Ballard Market to do a little street performancin’. A gas, that was. The rain stayed pretty much away and we played for as long as my voice held out. I think my lymph nodes are swollen. Do these look swollen to you guys? [picture removed by administrator]

Anyway, we in HAD love the Busk. We just strip everything down to the minimum. Marty and I have our flat-tops and capos, MC has his acoustic bass, Paul carries his mandolin, a flute, a saw and the one clamp-on tuner we all pass around. We all have built-in vocal cords.

It’s Dusty, however, who has the real thing going on. Just a hi hat, snare, a small crash cymbal and various little clinks and clunks. He carries some of this in a beige suitcase, which he uses for the kick drum. He plays the whole thing with brushes. It sounds perfect and looks perfect. In fact, today Dusty proudly displayed the initials “HAD” on the front of the suitcase, carefully applied using strips of electrical tape, giving the letters this Irony Maiden aura. He said he was up all night doing this, but MC and I didn’t believe him.

We’re thinking about taking this busking thing up a notch. With basically a full acoustic band going, if you want anyone to hear you, you gotta sing really loud. Since none of us is a particularly loud singer, but we kind of like the idea of remaining truly unplugged, we’re thinking some kind megaphone-based vocal amplification system. We’ve been talking this over, and the image forming in my head is ridiculously awesome. Like Dr. Seuss meets Dr. Who.

So we played all the HAD tunes we could pull from our heads (we forgot the list in the car, wouldn’t you know it). Amazingly, we collectively remembered everything in our current live rotation. Everything, that is, except for our old paranoia anthem “Alias,” which we always forget for some reason – probably some kind of memory-erasing experiment by the CIA.

Still, it turned out real good, all in all. CDs went away, people were kind and generous and we made a whole bunch of super cool new friends.

Typical of us, we didn’t take a single picture. But there was a generous fellow with really expensive-looking camera taking some snaps… I didn’t catch his name, but if you’re out there, my friend, and you’d care to share some of those shots with us, please let us know!

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