Couplet 6: Boston and Bayern, with some unexpected advice from a New York Jewish Street Musician!
On Ani's camera the photo above is the last taken in Boston and the photo at right, back in Würzburg is the first one taken back in Germany. In the blink of an eye, so to speak, one goes from one world to another.
Mackie and I arrive in München to find no one other but Alex Jacobs, the busking Mirimba player from New York!

More than twenty years earlier, when we were newly returned to New York after years of travel and busking in Europe, I met Alex in front of that Feinkost Delikatess on the Upper West Side: Zabars.

We both wanted to busk that same spot, one of the few good pitches in all of enormous New York. Back then, we were fresh back from Europe and Alex was amazed at my tales of busking in Germany.

It seems I put the bee in his bonnet (or rather yarmulke) because he is now a big star in Europe and especially in Germany. With the irony so thick we could walk on it, Alex kindly offers advice to us on how to make it in the Vaterland!

I have a hard time dealing with his Know-it-all manner. But I hold my peace (piece?) while he whipsaws through my feeble answers to very pertinent questions. He does't mean to be like that, but he's excited to tell me all the things you've got to do and know here to thrive, even to survive, as a busker/gig musician. And besides, he does know it all. Twenty years ago he picked up the busker ball and has run with it across all Europe and especially Germany. As he counts the thick wad of Euro notes, the day's takings, I listen.

Ne asks:

Do you have a video? No? Here! Look at mine! It's all big concerts and Television appearances. How many CDs do you have? What? You were the one who told me in the first place to make a CD, or rather cassette! Here take an assortment of mine, Klezer,Classical, and etc! Do you have a bank account? Do you know what an Überweisung is? How are you going to get paid without an account? Are you Angemeldet? Do you have a monthly phone plan? Do you know where it's legal to busk and where it's not? Can you do a show in German?–

at this I begin to protest Hey I was doing shows in German before you— but he rolls on

Do you want to be a gig musician or just a busker? You've got to know what you want. Do you have Krankheitsversicherung? (Health care ins.) Where is your car from? Oh man, you've got registered in Holland?! Do you have an agent? Maybe I could give the address of one I'm not using.

And so on and so on.

Very sobering.

Ani arrives slightly exhausted by all the world hopping. Mackie just wants to lie next to her.
Whle Ani sleeps the streets and churches of Würzburg wait patiently.
München is not only full of buskers, it's full of Klezmorin! I counted no less than four Yiddish music groups! Oi veh!

Incredibly there is more than enough place for all the musicians, Jewish and otherwise. München lives up to it's fame as a busker's town par excellance.

In order to qualify for the Bewilligung (permit) to play the streets here, one must show the man in charge that one can actually play!

Whle Ani is away in Boston Mackie and I continue our wandering and busking in Bayern. I must be in true shock to be alone.

Of course Mackie is there and he helps me from going over the dark side. But it seems that I haven't taken many photograps during this time. Some mornings I wake up and know I'm in Detlef but I swear, I can't remember where we are outside!

We must not forget to Mention Wolfgang, the greatest and kindest mechanic in all Germany. Just outside of Regensburg he is the man to go to when Detleff is not well.

So the Gurdylady is back and as if the four months of Itinerant Folia hasn't been enough, her little vacation from our vocation has given the coup de grace (?, coup de gras? coupe de grasse, or all of those). Mackie can't get enough of her.
Somehow Ani, Mama, drives a huge van to bring the furniture for Julie's new apartment from Ikea's!