Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

A Korea Busking P.S.

October 24, 2010

Last night after a day at the races, I returned to my hotel with and decided to dine with a couple of Formula One journalist colleagues. As we made our way through the Formula One festival in Mokpo on our way to an Italian restaurant, I heard music coming from one of the performance stages on our route. It got my juices flowing as it was just an acoustic guitar and voice, and I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if there is anyway I can finagle my way up onto that stage???”

I asked my colleagues if I could indulge a little of their time just to check out the stage situation, and they agreed. As we approached and I saw a Korean man playing guitar and singing into a mic in front of an audience in chairs in front of the stage – not a massive audience, but a nice one – I said to one of my colleagues, “This guy seems awfully much like one of the guys I busked with in the street last night.”

My colleagues told me to go on and see if I could speak to the man hosting the show, the man with another mic in his hand, standing off to the side. And as we arrived at the stage, the performer got down off the stage and his set was finished and the MC announced a dancing act of young women to follow. But suddenly the singer/guitar playing and I realized that, yes, we had met up again. It was Won Jin, with whom I had busked the previous night.

We greeted each other warmly and I introduced Won Jin to my colleagues. It became clear quickly that there was a fixed show on the stage and I would not be able to gate crash, but Won Jin asked me if I was going to show up again later to busk on Rose Street at 10 PM, and agreed to do so. He also said he had a full show on the stage today at 5 PM. But I told him I had to attend the race, so could not see his show.

So off I went with my colleagues and we ate in the Italian restaurant, and at the end of the meal I took out my guitar to tune it, and one of the colleagues – we were now 5 at the table – suggested I do a song. So I sang “Crazy Love” in the Italian restaurant. Fortunately it was not too posh, so rather than being kicked out, I was applauded by the Korean waiters and waitresses.

Then I returned to Rose Street and played for nearly an hour, during which time another Formula One journalist – a photographer – colleague passed by and was surprised to see me playing in the street. But he realized too that I had new found friends that not many of the journalists without guitars had, and that the idea of carrying around a guitar to all the races wasn’t so bad, actually. I agreed.

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