Monday, August 06, 2007

I'm Too Saxy For My Job

I’ve always found that I can usually achieve a level of mediocrity in almost all things that I try; however, I’ve unfortunately been unable to find that one thing for which I might achieve a level of greatness. Music happens to be one of those pursuits that fits into the former category. I’ve learned a few chords to keep myself amused on an acoustic guitar, figured out enough notes on a bass guitar to play in a garage band as long as you don’t expect me to throw down any John Entwistle bass lines, and I can play Mary Had a Little Lamb on piano with two hands. I figured that limited level of competency precluded any hope of a career in the performing arts, but my mind has been changed.

I’m going to cash out my 401(k) and get me a pawn shop saxophone. Then I’m going to work real hard memorizing just two songs, which is all that is required to be a street musician. I know this because there is a street musician on the corner where I work (no, I don’t work on the street corner, but in a building located on the same corner), and this saxophone player seems to be making a living by repeatedly playing Tequila and Theme from The Simpsons. Repeatedly. Like over and over again. Every day. He has wisely chosen a high traffic, extremely transient area near the train station where passersby are clueless to his limited repertoire and out of earshot by the time Pee-Wee starts his big shoe dance again. However, his more permanent neighbors are ready to stuff the silly Trix rabbit down his sax before we throw ourselves out our windows or relocate our office to Montana.

I shouldn’t be so hard on him. At least he’s doing something to try and earn a buck rather than just thrusting a paper cup in my face. And he did just add If You’re Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands, so he must be using his earnings for lessons. But he had better keep working at it, because as soon as I learn Theme from Sanford and Son and What You Need by INXS he is so going to have to find another corner.

6 comments:

HR said...

Don't cash out. I have a sax in my basement that I was going to donate to my kid's school, but you can have it. (Some parent really owes me.)

Good luck on your musical pursuits. I hope to see you soon on a street corner near me.

keysunset said...

Yeah, take HR up on the offer. That way you still have the 401(k) as a cushion for the lean times when you're not making enough to afford lessons AND to eat.

And be sure to strap that thing on a bike and bring it down my way. I love the songs you've chosen for your repetoire!

k said...

God bless the street cloggers and bloggers.

lim said...

A pawn shop saxophone? That sets a rather high tone, in my opinion.

I would pay to hear you play Mary Had a Little Lamb with two hands on the piano.

You have already achieved greatness, the playing on the street corner will just be icing on the cake. Follow your dreams!!

I want your sax said...

as soon as I learn Theme from Sanford and Son and What You Need by INXS he is so going to have to find another corner.

Maybe you should rethink your picks. I heard some Australian guy doing these songs at the Chicago Theatre about a year and a half ago, and he really had that Sanford and Son Theme
dowwwn

Might I suggest Baker Street and The Pink Panther?

p.s. As soon as I learn Theme? Are you making fun of immigrants?

lh said...

I nominate your blogging for "achieving a level of greatness".