Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Great Fun Busking Today in Birmingham

Hello, Pickers! I busked today down at the Pepper Place Farmers Market in Birmingham, Alabama, and had a great time.

I do a couple of things to ingratiate myself with the somewhat skittish powers-that-be (market operators and cops): First, I dress for the part. Today I appeared in a tuxedo shirt, white silk bow tie, red suspenders, corset around the right arm (okay, it was a hair scrunchie–but who wears corsets anymore?), dress pants, and shiny black shoes. Second, I played singalong songs that kids and parents will recognize and appreciate and which I actually can play, as opposed to stumbling my way through, say, Old Joe Clark or Ballad of Jed Clampett or such. Finally, I smile and nod, and when someone walks by with a dog, I break into a dog-friendly song like Doggie in the Window or Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

I was asked at one point to move around the corner, and I did so smilingly and without complaining.

I played for four hours and got $54 in my case. Well, you can’t live on that, but the way I figure it, I got paid better than $12 an hour to practice today. The best part is the little kids about 2 or 3–they’re old enough to be interested and still un-self-conscious enough about themselves to jump around a little.

Fun! I got plenty of pictures taken of me, but as I was by myself today, I didn’t get any for myself. Next week my wife is going to come along, and she’ll take pics.

Haha…that made my day! But then again, how can you do anything but smile and nod when picken dressed like that?

That’s more than I have made from practice.