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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 07-Apr-06


Friday 07-Jan-06 


A common way to make money on the streets is by making music for the passers-by. In London, like other cities and towns, there are patterns that appear and reappear.

On the way out of Waterloo station in the morning, I often pass an older Irish guy who plucks at a small guitar and sings well-known folk songs. He has a good pitch, which I'd guess he defends vigorously, under cover, outside the station precinct (and hence outside of its jurisdiction), and with regular passing pedestrian traffic. When the weather is fine, he moves further along, out in the sunshine.

He is always cheery and will smile and nod as you pass, whether you give him something or not. This builds a quiet and unspoken relationship with the regulars, of which there are many. I thus will occasionally toss a coin into his guitar case, for which he smiles and adds a thanks into the music, and I walk on feeling good. I don't feel obliged to donate every day, but now and again I contribute to his day.

He embodies the perfect busker in many ways. His music is pleasant and recognizable. His manner is also pleasant and you do not feel the need to rush past. He has found an excellent pitch on which to stand and is there for a defined period, come rain and shine. I go past around 7am -- and he is always there to catch the early commuters.

And so he changes minds both by bringing a little light into the morning trudge to work and by his professionalism in his craft. And long may he last.

Your comments

Good one!
Basically my way of  'doing business'. Slow and easy. Very friendly and respectful. Not ever expecting anything in return, yet seeming willing to give everything. Plus, being very, very good at what you do. And, ultimately, everyone seems to love you and is basically willing to help you along the way or whenever necessary.

-- Jimbo

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