Venice like most cities has it’s share of street musicians. This violinist seemed pretty humble, so we ask if we could take his picture. He of course said yes and he played to the camera. We gave him a tip and thanked him for his time. As we walked away, it kind of hit me that this guy reminded me of my dad. I remember as a child listening to my dad play old time songs on his harmonica and us kids thought it was lame. It wasn’t our style of music at the time. Later years we found out he had a secret life playing his harmonica on the radio at night on KDKA in Pittsburgh. He was known as the “Telephone Booth Harmonica Player”. He would sneak off to a telephone booth, call the radio station and they would put him on the air to play a song or two. Apparently at the time KDKA broadcast of over the United States so he had a big audience. People would call in and request songs for him to play. It was his own little private life no one knew about for years.
I spent 25 years singing and playing guitar all over the U.S. I’ve since retired and moved on to other endeavors. These days I kind of like singing those old classics from the Frank Sinatra era. My dad has been gone for 14 years and what I’d give today to hear those old harmonica songs he use to play as we fell asleep at night. Once we were asleep, he’d be gone to his telephone booth, plunk a dime into the slot..totally incognito..to entertain the world.