BART station musician wars

Powell Street Station, San Francisco
Photo by Flickr user FNP

My partner and I were walking through Civic Center Station Friday night when we heard the most ungodly combination of noises.

On our right was a gentleman attempting to play a soprano saxophone. Actually, he was playing it quite well — especially considering that on the left was some long-haired dude wildly strumming a guitar, whooping and hollering and generally trying to throw the saxophonist off his game.

The saxophonist was playing his song without missing any notes (I think; it was hard to tell in all the cacophony), being generally very Zen about the whole situation. The guitarist, on the other hand, was just playing random combinations of notes on the guitar and screeching as loud as he could, evidently just to make it impossible for anyone to enjoy his fellow musician’s performance.

The oddest part was, the guitarist had several dollars in his open case. I suppose it’s possible he put them there himself, but it seems just as likely that some folks actually gave him money. Why?

My partner said he was tempted to take money from the one and give it to the other. I wish I’d thought of that when we were walking by. I wonder what would have happened if we’d done it.

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