I had to make an emergency trip to Santa Monica today. When I say “emergency,” I mean I found out about a cool store that has great guitars, and I wanted to check it out.
Anyway, when I got done playing guitars I can’t afford, I decided to wander the three blocks down to the Santa Monica Promenade. Besides the usual collection of mall-stores-made-hip-for-outdoors and coffee places and restaurants, there were several people busking. Yep, there were buskers.
Busking, for those who don’t know, is another name for street performers, normally musicians. I’m actually not cool enough to know that word, but a friend of mine told me about it last week.
Anyway, there were three people doing this. One was really good, one was oddly entertaining, and one was actually disturbing.
The disturbing one was a little girl around 10 or 11, singing with a karaoke machine songs like “Killing Me Softly With His Song” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” What the heck????? This kid was a KID, for heaven’s sake. She had a big (though slightly pitchy) voice and there was a huge crowd watching her – although some were entertained while others were shocked like me. Very, very inappropriate songs for a little girl.
The good one was a guy a few blocks away, playing his guitar and singing some really cool stuff. Great voice, great energy, and great guitar player. Better than some of this year’s American Idol people .
The oddly entertaining one was a girl, around 20 or so, wearing a skimpy blue dress, huge turquoise high heels, playing the guitar and singing with no amplification, so you really couldn’t hear her except when she went to an occasional operatic high note. You could definitely hear those. Oh yeah, I should point out that even though today is July 31, which I believe qualifies as “summer,” she was wearing one of those big Russian-type fur hats. Once in a while she’d sit down on one of the metal benches they have there, pull out a cheap, plastic, horrible-sounding keyboard and sing with that for a while – still barely audible except for the occasional operatic high stuff.
So to my friend Jessica, the up-and-coming busker from Santa Clarita, there’s plenty of room at the Santa Monica Promenade for someone with actual talent – like you. Go for it, and I’ll be there!
(Plus, I’m gonna need to go play some of those expensive guitars again soon).