Monday, November 24, 2014

February in Guatemala!

Once again winter is back in Boston. I've started to play in the T with a new suitcase version of the Professor World Band. It's still in the developmental stages but I've been having a lot of success with it and making lots of people smile. I'm going to road test it this February and fly with it to Guatemala for a month. Last time I was there was in February of 1980! Coming up on 35 years ago!
 I have some great stories to tell about that trip. I was hitching across from Belise to Mexico because I ran out of money. I started busking with my mandolin to make some money for food and lodging. I was quite an attraction as a light skinned redhead with long hair and a beard in a beat up old cowboy hat. I had big crowds of people who gathered as I belted out Beatle songs that everybody knows. I earned enough to stay in cheap hostels and food was very inexpensive. I made an effort to learn Spanish and carried my dictionary and vocabulary notebook with me everywhere. After a month or so I could have some interesting conversations with people. I still remember playing in Antigua on the crafts market and I look forward to playing there once again on this coming trip. Not for the money this time but just for old times sake and spread the message of the Professor World Band.
The police used to stand around and watch sometimes with big submachine guns and very macho looking scowls on their faces. They never really bothered me but they did make me a little nervous. I kept thinking better not hit any sour notes or it could be your last!  My friend Ricardo who lives with me in the coop is a street musician from Guatemala. He tells me that it is legal there now. I do remember eventually getting stopped from playing in Guatemala city and told to go back home because I didn't have any money. I hitched on up through Mexico back to Austin Texas where I was living in a coop.  What an amazing trip that was! My guardian angels must have been looking after me to make sure that I was safe.
I remember Guatemala as a beautiful country . I know that times are pretty tough for many people there and there is crime and poverty. I will be careful but I also hope to arrange to play in schools while I'm there. Where there is joy there is hope and that's what it's all about. That, and not to mention getting away from the cold Boston winter.
So I hope my next update will be about the wonderful time I had with the Professor World Band in Guatemala and hopefully I will be able to post some photos of us performing at the market in Antigua and also at a school or two. here are a couple of pictures of the new suitcase version of the Peace Wave Generator that he took in South Station last week. Thanks to Nda-jiya Suberu for sending these.