Drum Bum Buddies

Me and my new friend 


Great day in Golden Gate Park again today. Beautiful weather, lots of people.

And some new, old friends. The homeless guys.

Basically, I view this thing as a social experiment. Watching peoples reaction to some dude playing a massive drum solo in the middle of a park or street is awesome to see.

Part of my overall theory is that we’ve become so fixated on our computer technology and  gadgets, that we’re growing too isolated as a culture.  Nobody communicates anymore.

And the sad fact is that it seems to be true. A great many people just walk on by as if nothings happening. Most people, are pretty wrapped up in their own world and ignore the world we all share.

There seems to be one exception. Homeless people.

The homeless, love to stop and hang out. And it seems they always have some kind of percussion instrument.

Friday it was a dude with bongos. Yesterday, a different friend used a 2×4 hunk of wood, banging it on the ground. More or less in time.

Now, I’m going to be honest. I’m not a fan of the homeless. Actually, I would probably categorize myself as…unsympathetic. I basically believe that people choose their path. And that people are responsible for their own condition. Ok, that was before I started playing drums in the street.

It kind of messes with my preconceived ideas to find that homeless guys are completely unabashed in just walking up to you and participating.

Maybe it’s out of necessity. Maybe they are so close to not surviving that they simply communicate. Because if they don’t (ask you for some change usually), they’ll just die from starvation. So they communicate.

But what makes this odd is that I’m comparing this fact to the “normal” members of our world. “The normal” are kind of wrapped up in their own cocoon.

Maybe we think we know so much, that we don’t think we need to interact any more. Wrong kind of lesson.

There is one other group that will communicate because they don’t “know better” Kids. The majorette of people who put cash in the can are kids. They bug their parents as they walk by and then their parents give em a buck and they walk up and gently put it in the case.

I made friends with one today. He walked up with a branch in his hand like it was a drumstick. I traded him for one of my sticks and let him smash away while I kept time on the kick drum. He was elated.

Maybe thats the lesson. The one thing homeless and kids have in common. Nobody really listens. We tell our kids to “keep it down” and we ignore the homeless. (thanks to Edward Maesen for the great pics)

A simple lesson. Listen

Author: Ian

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