Photo by myself at the West 4th subway platform.
The other night I was standing on the platform at West 4th Street, when my ears pricked up at this incredible sound. What I heard was something between a thunder and a rumble.
Two bucket drummers were riffing, without a care in the world. Different plastic drums, the kind used to store soy sauce and building supplies, made a whole range of tones.
When I got home, I showed my fiance Mark my photos. He said immediately, 'That's Larry the Busker!'
A quick look online made me a bit speechless - Larry was the first to use five-gallon plastic buckets as drums on the street. He's been drumming since the age of five. He even has his own Wiki page.
Nothing is off limits as part of the 'drum set'. Larry moved seamlessly between banging on the buckets, the ground, and the subway structure next to him. He uses his feet to manipulate another bucket, while twirling the batons in the air, no less.
Larry and his wife Sonia were in a world of their own, and didn't seem to even communicate while performing. I was lucky enough to find a video of them performing in the exact same spot (!).
A short movie made about Larry when he was 15.
Related posts: Early Snowfall in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Even More Snow, in Central Park, and Fresh Snow, at the New York Public Library.