David Ades must pass audition
BYRON Shire Council’s regulatory services manager Wayne Bertram tested the limits of his job description this week when called to “audition” critically acclaimed local jazzman David Ades for a busking permit.
Though “blown away” by Ades’ dulcet tones, the self-confessed simple bloke with a penchant for Cold Chisel tunes admitted he was well and truly out of his musical depth.
“I really wouldn’t know what’s good when it comes to jazz,” he laughed.
Ades – who has played some of the world’s hottest jazz clubs from New York to Paris, and shared stages with the likes of Michael Franti, Dr John, Vince Jones and The Cat Empire – was equally bemused as he filled the council chamber’s foyer with the sound of his 1932 tenor sax.
So why does a saxophonist of his calibre want to play on the street?
“I’m a musician. This is what I do. I live to play,” said the man who once famously scored a “fiver” from actor Dennis Hopper while busking in Central Park, New York.
“Gigs are scarce this time of year with all the bands up from Sydney and Melbourne so busking can be the best way to get amongst it.”
While Byron Shire’s busking policy is currently under review, Mr Bertram clarified it wasn’t so much about talent or taste as it was about public safety.
“We leave the judging to the public. If you’re no good you won’t survive. The public will vote with their feet,” he said.