Busking – a musician’s life for me

Max was given his first guitar at the age of nine, cost six guineas from the Bell Musical Catalogue. The first song he learnt to play was “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. After playing in various local bands, in 1980 he moved to London to join street theatre group the Demolition Decorators, touring France and Holland with them. Whilst in London he also played in a number of musical/theatre projects at the Albany Empire, Tricycle Theatre Kilburn and others, and in London he also tried his hand at busking for the first time.Tiring of London, or possibly London tiring of him, he returned home to Oxford and has been there ever since

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I recently had the good fortune to meet my old friend Johnny Hinkes who was busking on the streets of Oxford. We had worked on a session together many years ago and I was impressed by his ability to get into the meaning of the music we were playing as well as his reading and improvisational ability.
So why busk?
We had an interesting conversation about busking, playing for love or money,accompanying classical music,  Richard Rodney Bennett and “Stealing Bob Dylan from Woodstock: When the World Came to the Isle of Wight” by Ray Foulk, amongst other subjects.

Here are some more clips of Johnny playing



Here is a link to his CD Baby page
and a link to his webpage

A bit more about busking in Oxford

Statement on busking in Oxford city centre

Oxford City Council encourages busking in the city centre. It adds a great deal to the vibrant and exciting city centre experience that we all know and love. For the last decade, the City Council has had a Code of Practice that buskers are asked to agree to observe when they obtain a busking permit from the Council. The Code includes:

Not busking for more than 60 minutes in one place

Not obstructing the highway

Using amplification responsibly and maintaining a reasonable volume.

The aim of the Code has always been to create a level playing field for all buskers and to stop any nuisance to everyone else who uses the city centre – traders, local residents and visitors. We currently have no legal power to enforce this Code of Practice and have received complaints from traders, in particular, about buskers playing loudly and for long periods of time outside their shops, which is not fair to them.

The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has been proposed in order to provide a legal power to take action against busking which leads to complaints from the public. In all cases, buskers will be asked to conform to the Code before any enforcement measures are used. 

The PSPO will allow the Police or designated Council officers to issue a £100 fine or, in the most extreme of cases, to take the person to court, which could result in a maximum fine of £1,000.

But the Order will also remove the current requirement to obtain a permit before busking. After the PSPO has been introduced, people wishing to busk will be able to do so without contacting us in any way. All they will need to do is adhere to the existing Code of Practice.

The measures proposed will therefore have no impact on the vast majority of buskers and will in fact make it easier for musicians to busk in Oxford city centre. We think the measures will help to improve the liveliness of the city centre.

Released on Wednesday 20 May 2015

Oxford City Council Leader Bob Price said: “Point three of the Code of Practice – to smile, enjoy yourself and entertain others – is there to encourage people to regard busking as fun, rather than just as a way to make money. “It is not an element of the Code that would be the subject of enforcement action.”

Quote added on Thursday 21 May
More links!

 Solo          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgD_fLYjeU8

 Solo           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK6JM48NddQ&feature=related

Solo            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K_xpGehGOA&feature=related

Solo            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvkEQPvz3PM&feature=related

Solo             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHFyX0qnmg

  Max and Lewis                                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g71H2HPMwwc

  With SweetnSour Swing                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7LiPudxFV4

With SweetnSour Swing                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeiZnr8si2Q

With Sweetnsour Swing              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRMAj7_EYDk

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