Musicians on Venice Beach are hardly anything new - you've probably all seen the guy on rollerskates who zooms around in robes with an electrig guitar and amp hanging from his shoulder. But this guy was different - first it was a bright, warm June day and his wearing long jeans, a jacket, and a hat. He was very pale, clearly not a frequent denizen of Venice. He was also very skilled - more so than the street buskers on Venice.
I remembered reading an article about a violin virtuoso named Joshua Bell played his violin - a million dollar stradivarius - in the subway like any other street performer. He played for a couple of hours, including some of the most challenging compositions in classical music's annals. In that entire time, only a handful of people stopped to watch. None said a word to him, and only a few dropped some money in his violin case. Naturally, it was decried as an example of the coarsening of our culture.
Well, culture must be alive and well on Venice Beach - this photo notwithstanding, almost nobody managed to walk by without stopping to listen. Girls approached him and asked him for hugs, and pictures - spooky drifters accosted him with their stories of giving up on dreams of professional musicianship because of Viet Nam - tourists snapped photos, bikers stopped suddenly to listen.
Must be the yogurt.