Busking through

Amsterdam


                                                      Amsterdam


So this is the place where all the demons dance,where everything go·s.
Europe's very own free for all...You can almost hear the,·Soup dragons·.,.·Im free to do what
I want any old time..A stones cover originally ..but the dragons do it better,it just seems to fit the picture.The Hague might be the capital city although Amsterdam is defiantly the cultural capital of the Netherlands.
Just watch out for those blinding,bright flashing lights and those easily lost situations,this is not a Mummy and Daddy place..If your looking for that piece of action and maybe a bit of limitless freedom,you might just get a taste of it here..So watch out for those tiny saxophones..
It surprised me to learn that within the last decade,one needs to obtain a relevant 
busking licence to pitch here in the big yellow and as Amsterdam is a pretty quite town they have totally prohibited amplification.Presumably your only permitted to street peddle the highly potent and hallucinogenic skunk and expose yourself in plain view from a display window but your not permitted to show your tip-hat....
Other than the obvious free for all of  which the city has to offer.Amsterdam does have a pretty dolls house kind of appeal,with tall and unique,pastel colored,wooden beamed houses by the canal.The color-scheme here is very alive and vivid...Indeed if you take away the coffee shops and the red light district you would still be left with a very attractive city.
As a citizen here,I suppose one would certainly enjoy a variety of  liberal advantages...Mind you I don·t like the sound of the new busking laws...
During the sixties counter culture there had been a number of radical fringe groups such as the ·Provo's· who provided the city with the infamous ·white bicycles·,in order to solve Amsterdam's then high pollution problem.Eventually the authorities abandoned the plan,although the white bicycles were reborn in song by the psychedelic rockers·Tomorrow· and then later by ·Nazareth·.
Busking seems popular here,although it does look like permits are needed,( pretend 
you didn't know.) Amsterdam is a quite city,so acoustics are good,( they would need to be as amplification is prohibited.,again let on you didn't know.) They say you can·t show your tip-hat...,WHAT,.?!! 
I remember getting hit by a friendly flow of welcoming passers-by.Although you might find yourself sharing pitches with other assorted street vendors and hustlers.
I don·t reckon Amsterdam is one of the more safest places to be.Most of the rules have already been broken. 
It must have been in the mid-nineties since I last busked here in the big yellow.Then there were no complicated busking laws.It was then a pretty happening scene,there were whole groups,duos,solo projects..etc..jazz,blues,authentic,.,.,the lot..
I don·t think their were any restricting amplification laws either ,as I wasn't stopped and confronted and plenty of uniforms passed by me then. 
I stayed in a hostel type barge not far from the center,it was cheap and friendly.
It was ideal..The place was already filled with backpackers and other touring buskers.The majority being on their very own,magic carpet ride ,due to the big yellows easy access for assorted drugs..Don·t be fooled by the soft drug description either,some of the stuff you can get over the counter here in the coffee shops could blow your head off for almost a whole day,some of the stuff here can be almost hallucinogenic.So be aware,once you start that there is no coming back.Nobody can see your mind screaming...Well if you happen to be into that kind of thing,be my guest,you can get the whole package here..
I was well stoned during one pitch by the small canals near the red light district.I couldn't resist the near-by coffee shop vibe.Abstract sounds would then fill the air.It was a good pitch as far as I remember,of which ended in a collaboration with other friendly local buskers.
It seemed some of my more abstract compositions went down well here,probably due
to the surrounding drug induced atmosphere.
Just around Central station seemed to be a popular pitching point,although it seemed popular for other assorted street hustlers as well.Mind you,you get them everywhere.
During my stay in the big yellow I have had as many dark adventures as bright ones.
I got mugged,badly beaten up and I nearly got stabbed once..On the other hand,my musical adventures rose from street level to paying gigs in small clubs and coffee shops..Amsterdam is a good enough busk,although I don·t reckon it is the utopia other people make it out to be,especially with these new busking laws.
Restricting busking laws only takes the art away from busking.

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