Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Busking Year, Week 3: "I Saw A Pit Bull Cross The Sea..."


Not really......

The crossing of the pit bull and the sea, I mean.

But littler e. and I did come up with an original tune, in the key of G, involving a pitbull, the sea, and an orange frisbee.

Sort of a metaphor, handed to us by e.'s friend m. during the making of the crepes late on a lazy Saturday morning, for the fear and hysteria that can be whipped up when so-called, oh-so-scary "invaders" from afar arrive at your shore.

Or some such thing.



The Sunday of Week Three was crazy.

Really crazy.....

After a sleep-over pick-up and a stop for eggs, toast, hashbrowns and sausages at the littler e.'s favourite just off-campus restaurant, we still managed to get started relatively early, around 11am, at Locarno Beach where we found a table, dedicated to dear Margaret and Gerald Hart by their family, under a big rain-shielding cedar, and got down to work.

littler e., in addition to playing bongos and capturing a big whack of raw video (yes, the image at the top of the post is a sloppy capture from one of stay tuned....), also let fly with an original Uke instrumental that got her a standing, well, walking actually, and clapping ovation from passerby.

It was a blast.

Then, after a lunchtime play-date drop-off for the littler one at her friend p.'s house in Kits, I eschewed the grant reviews for a while and instead made a beeline for the Spanish Banks dog-park for a quick set all on my lonesome, what with Bigger E., C., and the Whack-A-Doodle being away in Victoria with the Uke-wielding German Metal Head exchange student girls (honest, it is literally true that).

I got down to alternating the ballads with the pounding at this stop, and soon foot-tapped a six foot square patch of beachsand flat....Even got a nice young couple to hangout with their retriever on a nearby log for a bit while I used the harmonica to great effect on both Hallelulah and Falling Slowly before sending them on their way with Rusted Root so that I could let go and finish things off by stomping my feet to a different beat with a fused BMFA/Astral Weeks string-breaker/smash-fest.

Finally, after nightfall, homework, and an inital muck-about with the raw video feed on our new machine that The Woz would probably barely recognize before he threw it out the window, Bigger E and I headed up to the top of the Littlest Mountain and played under the swirl of the drizzle and the falling of the fog against the lights of the fountain.

It was beautiful.

Really beautiful.....

What with the rounds, the couple that sat down under an arbour right nearby to listen to almost the entire set (and/or to watch the fountain with their coffee mugs and mufflers), and the fact that we managed to hit a harmony or two that caught smack-dab right in the middle of my throat.

Or was that my heart?


What a day.

O.Y.O.B.D, Week Three:
Venues: Locarno Beach East under the trees; Spanish Banks way, way, way west with the dogs where the RV's will soon be parked for the duration of the Circus; Queen Elizabeth Park, under the TaiChi arbours by night and fountain light....
Set List: Pretty much Week Two all over again, only with a whole lot more Hansard and Christopher, both in music and in spirit, as well as the two 'originals' mentioned above...

Number of Not-So Bad, Non-Evil Green Empire Coffees: Three for me, the first from the 'Only U Cafe' just off campus, the next from Cuppa Joe's on 4th near Dunbar, and the third, after nightfall, from homeground espresso beans (probably could have done without that one, if truth be told)...
Number of strings broken: Two....The oh-so-common high E, as well as the big fat 2nd A string - Evidence, it is hoped, that I really was bashing while out on the Banks with the Spanish Dogs....
Working on: Long December by the Counting Crows and a whole lotta Hank Williams for my Pops - I mean, really, when you think about it, there is so much fantastic stuff already written, piled high atop all the even more fantastic stuff that came before it, that, well.....Why should anybody who just wants to play even bother worrying about trying to write 'real ' originals?
And thanks to Cathie From Canada ('s Heart of Hearts Land)..... Just for noticing, and for posting up some inspriationally raw Janis which, by the way, we've already loaded onto the MP3 player in the Gypsy Caravan (a.k.a the VW [no-so] Microbus).....And in case you didn't know it....the Zamzar - it's a (still free) wonderful thing.
Faces We'd Like To See In The Passing Parade One Day: Well, in addition to the usual suspects on the sidebar (you most definitely know who you are), how about our good friend and Interwebzical friend, Jon, who pushed us towards the real thing back when it was just a gleam in his "Saturday Night's Alright for Uke Cover-Fightin" lovin' eye (and ya, man, we're comingyour way.... this watch out!)



the rev. paperboy said...

I am so jealous of both you and anyone in Vancouver who has the opportunity to go and see you and the Es doing your thing -- you sound like you're have the BEST time ever.

Gary E said...

I really wish you could come our way Ross. But I'm afraid the trip is too far. The only thing I miss about the coast is the busking and skiing on the slopes.
And at 17 months it looks like we have a Rock Percussionist here in this house.

Anonymous said...

quite interesting read. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did anyone know that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.

BC Mary said...


You've created a wordless, soundless joy with your photos and reports from the musical front.

Enduring memories for the E's, too.

What a clever man you are.

CathiefromCanada said...

Thanks for your posts on these unique experiences -- really enjoy reading them.
I posted Me and Bobby McGee on my blog for you and your girls.

Gazetteer said...


We really, really are.

Having a great time I mean.

And while I realize that we'll soon hit a plateau (that 10,000 hour requirement thing to become really good at something, I reckon), the amazing thing is how fast you actually get better (at least when you are coming, in my case at least, pretty much from zero at the start).



We've been North before - and we will be going North again....


(and we'll keep you posted via....



Are you a real person or a Twit-Bot?

If you are, indeed, the former - how, pray tell, would the Tweets help you keep up with us other than to give you the same thing you'd get from here with an RSS feed?


Awwwww Mary - thanks so much (again, and again, and again, and again!).... I'll be back to the polibloggiwallowing again sometime soon - this is just so much, to be honest, easier - and, of course, more fun....


Thanks Cathie!

Wrote you a note in an update at the bottom of the post.


For those really interested in a go at the musical real thing for real .....Trent Reznor has some interesting things to say, here.


Jon said...

I've been following you on Google reader and wishing I was there to hear. For myself, I've joined the Petalukes jumping flea club and started to play for someone besides myself and a few bus drivers. Your posts on busking have been very inspiring.

RossK said...

Thanks Jon!

But hey....

...Will the Petalukes be meeting/playing in early July - 'cause will be down there then...

Jon said...

Not sure, but I'll keep you posted.

RossK said...


Email is:
pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca


free-look said...

what a way awesome thing to do!!! iffin i'm driving around vancouver and see a guitar guy and bongo drumming kid, i'll stop for sure :D

RossK said...



This Sunday, January 24th, check out the dog beach under the Burrard Bridge behind the Aquatic Centre in the late morning or the top of Q&E Park in the early afternoon....


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