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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jim McLean busking in europe late 50's early 60s (12) RE: busking in europe late 50's early 60s 29 Mar 20


As a teenager in the 1950s I hitched around Europe during holidays and when my apprentiship was over I went "on the road" permanently playing the bagpipes.I spent a lot of time in 1959 in Germany and in 1961 I toured Europe and Scandinavia with Nigel Denver, busking and working. I once walked almost the length of Yugoslavia in 1961, living off of handouts from villagers in exchange for a few tunes.
There were no great problems with borders although we were almost refused entry into Turkey as we had no money. A few tunes on the pipes and the custom officers waived us through.. I wonder why.
Busking in the French Riviera was very lucrative as was Paris. We were in Berlin when the wall went up, August 1961, but posing with the pipes and guitar at Checkpoint Charlie got us a lift out with a Daily Express reporter. It was a great experience and I have many, many tales..... but not enough room, or time, here.


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