Concert for the Frenchmen

“Actually, the places I choose to play at are very picturesque and quiet. I learned quickly. Once I tried to play for nine beer juggling Germans in France. After about three songs they bought six toy apes with a flip out penis (from an African street vendor).”

I wrote this little note about the “nine beer juggling German tourists” when I drew this sketch when I was playing violin on the streets and restaurants of Paris in the late 1970s. I learned not to play on the big noisy streets, but find a quiet place where people can hear the violin and focus on my offerings. This street scene depicts my feelings of fear and being out of place, trying to make a little money to pay my hotel and food bill. After I played for the German tourists, they ignored me and bought the silly toy apes. I still remember, at the time, I was offended that they were speaking very loud and didn’t want to acknowledge my french songs. I hadn’t received a nickel for my efforts. As I walked away, a small packet of coins landed near my feet. It was dropped out of the second story window. When I looked up, I saw what appeared to be a mother and a daughter smiling at me. I waved a thank you and continued into the night.

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