Things got a little awry when I switched cars at 14th street on the Brooklyn-bound A train. As soon as I made the switch, I knew I was in for a treat - I looked up to see a throng of middle school aged kids, eager to hear some music from the punk kid with the guitar. So I delivered the Against Me! classic Reinventing Axl Rose. The crowd went wild. The kids clapped along, laughing and talking loudly. One of them gave me a quarter. I slowly made my way down the train car but there was hardly anyone over the age of 16... Which is fine, don't get me wrong. I'm no ageist and I generally play only all-ages shows. However... well, I guess the kids don't really tip that well. Apparently they had been on a field trip to Central Park and were riding back to their school in Brooklyn. One of the teachers requested Imagine, by John Lennon, so I indulged her.
Over the next couple hours I played a lot more songs and didn't make too much money. There were several songs that were met with complete indifference. I ambled down the aisles, putting my heart and soul on a platter; nobody wanted a taste (it's a bad analogy, but you get where I'm going).
I was nearly home when I bust out Piano Man on the uptown A train. I could hear a man next to me whistling and singing along softly. When I finished the tune the people all around me erupted in applause. Many of them gave money and my confidence was renewed. Such a great feeling! I wrapped up with Yesterday and a song by the Frames (featured in the Once soundtrack) called Say It To Me Now.
As I touched down at 145 street a woman walked past who had seen my Piano Man performance. "Your performance was really special!"
I thanked her, feeling on top of the world; when I got home I counted $49.32.
Not sure how I should feel about that...