Meanwhile Back In The Present

A note on visual presentation of a busking act

Extremely Frank Jeremy goes it alone

(Dear reader, we will transport you back to 1978 and the Iranian border shortly, but things are happening in London 2021, which are claiming our attention.)

That’s me, Extremely Frank Jeremy, playing in a street market in London. I’m actually playing the guitar sitting down, and I’ve got a bass drum, played with a foot pedal, as you can probably hear, although you can’t actually see it. But take my word for it, it’s there.

And so where’s Bongo Mike? Well unfortunately, I’m recording this in September 2021, and the fact is that Bongo Mike passed away in June last year 2020.

It’s taken me this long to get used to it, but you get over these things because you have to. And now I’ve started busking again by myself. So I’ve had to work out a new act. The reason why I say that is because, when you’re busking, it’s not just a question of – as a friend of mine in Yugoslavia used to say – “It’s easy, just take guitar and play”. I mean, that’s quite an interesting way of putting it, but it’s not quite as simple as that really.

If you’re actually going to do something that is going to work, in the situation where you’re playing, you need to think about a number of things. Sure, the sound – if it’s a musical act, that’s the basis of it – but you need a visual dimension as well. When I used to play with Mike it was quite a striking thing – there was Mike sitting on his stool, playing the bongos, I was standing playing the guitar next to him, and it had a visual integrity to it.

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