#3. The Boar
Is this his name? Probably not, but I gave it to him because he resembles…yup, you guessed it…a boar. I know; it’s terrible and offensive, but I’m gonna roll with it. He also rocks a pony tail similar to
#2 Luke Ryan
Luke is a guitarist that is commissioned in the MUNY program. He usually performs underneath Grand Central Terminal by the S train, and has more of a Southern twang sound. Unlike The Boar, however, Luke is actually not too bad. He breaks out a few smooth solos and accompanies them with some warm riffage. He also has CD’s available for purchase (I have not bought one…yet). What makes him so unique though is his character. For one, he looks like a combination of Rocco from The Boondock Saints with a biker vest and Mick Foley. Next, he has a sign with him at all times that reads “Too Weird To Live, Too Mean To Die.” I don’t know about you, but a guy that carries a (almost) Hunter S. Thompson quote with him must be, at the very least, intriguing. Not to mention the names of his songs being things like “Weasel Slapper.” Lastly, in between songs, Luke talks to the crowd with the same personality as the guy running the water shooting game at a carnival. I’m not talking about the dunking booth guy that purposely gets you pissed off so you spend more money. I’m talking about the water shooting guy that delivers compliments in a creepy voice and makes you wonder what exactly his intentions are (i.e. at a couple: “hey guy, c’mon and win a prize for your girlfriend. She’s got a backside that deserves one.”). When Luke talks to the crowd, especially to women who are appalled by him, it’s nothing short of hilarious. If you see him, he may offer you the opportunity to guess his weight for a nickel or partake in a conga line. Rock on, Luke.
# 1 The ApparitionI have seen him twice, maybe three times, but once I wanted to hear his music again and try to pin down what he sounds like, he was gone. TA (as he will be known for now) is the best musician I’ve heard in the subway system…ever. From what I remember of him, he wielded an acoustic guitar and had a very depressed tone in his music. Think Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt” with a voice between Mr. Cash and Sufjan Stevens. What makes his tale even better his that he would ONLY play music when facing a column! When turned around and facing people, he would simply stand there, but after a quick break he would turn back around, face steel, and break out into melody. As I said, I’ve only had the pleasure two or three times before he pulled a Keyser Soze and vanished. Believe me, if he comes back, I’ll be excited.
Where did you go???