City Streets Filled With Sound of Music After Busker’s Squabble with Cops
By Pug Ransom
Published October 4th, 2015
ALBANY — The recent controversy in the city over busking has opened the door to a flood of performers invading Albany to play on street corners for spare change and loose dollar bills.
“Let music ring,” said Burgard Crupp, spokesman for Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “The melodious sound of song is a welcome change from the despair and hopelessness that usually permeate the air in this city.”
The musical invasion comes on the heels of the widely reported disorderly conduct charge leveled against a street musician in mid-September, who was told by a police officer during a confrontation on North Pearl Street that he was breaking the law because he was performing without a permit. That charge, however, was ultimately dropped by the District Attorney’s office after it was determined there is no law in Albany governing busking and no permit is required.
“There’s a song inside me and since I don’t need a permit, I’m going to force you to hear it,” said Viggo Crudd, a pan flutist who said he was inspired to pick up the instrument as a child after seeing a late-night commercial featuring the legendary Zamfir.
Red Scowles and Gwendolyn Nobb stood on the corner of State and Swan streets playing the washboard and tambourine, respectively. The duo, which calls itself ‘Nasty Pants,’ said they decided to take their act to the street after being kicked out of their last band for not having any talent.
“I live to make music,” said Nobb, as she tuned Scowles’ washboard. “I don’t really know how, but that’s beside the point.”
Noel Cartwright, a lobbyist for the NRA, Big Tobacco and the British Petroleum corporation, said the rash of street performers has made it a “little challenging” getting around downtown.
“I was rushing to grease a state senator down at Jack’s Oyster House who was holding a bill up in his committee regarding a new line of assault rifles and I tripped over some hippie’s banjo case laying on the sidewalk at the corner of South Pearl,” Cartwright said. “For a second, I entertained reaching for my Glock and blowing that dirtbag’s head off. Fucking commie; he’s probably a Bernie Sanders supporter.”
Though city officials appear fine with the flood of performers pouring into Albany, Common Council President Benedict Treason said leaders will soon vote on a bill that would ban from all city streets jugglers and mimes.
“Let’s face it,” said Treason. “No one likes those assholes.”