Pop's opt-in email list

Your email will never be sold, and I won't burden you with tons of meaningless drivel (just an occasional spoonful!) I will keep you posted a couple times a month on upcoming shows, music releases,and the occasional free download for fan feedback! I look forward to writing you. Mike "Pops" McGee

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unnecessary Farce

The year is starting off grand! No Burn’s Night engagements but I have been piping at Desert Foothills Theater before each performance of the play “Unnecessary Farce” by Paul Slade Smith. Petey Swartz is directing it and it is absolutely delightful. It gives a whole new twist to “Death by Bagpipe”. If it comes to your town be sure to see it! You will love it.

On a more somber note, we had a local Police Officer gunned down yesterday morning. He leaves behind a young family. All of this because some dirt bag had an outstanding warrant. So tragic.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Street Art and Artists

While surfing other blogs I found this post, and thought it might prove interesting to the pipers here. I have no idea who Marion is, he may be a piper, singer or guitarist. Regardless, this common sense approach has merit in my book!

"I'd like to propose the following rules of etiquette for busking, based on my own experiences and intuition.


1. Share the best locations. If another busker indicates that they'd like your spot, agree on a time for them to come and take it over (at most one hour later) and then don't leave until they arrive. Conversely, if another busker has the spot you want, ask them how long they plan to be there. And if they're really on a roll when you get back to claim the place, i.e., they have a crowd built up, give them a few extra minutes so their roll isn't broken.

2. Share information. If somebody has harassed you or tried to steal your tips, warn buskers taking over your spot. If a passerby compliments your show, tell them they should come back in an hour and hear the other busker, too.

3. Keep a respectful distance, especially between musical acts. A musical act and a non-musical one can be closer together, but should be careful not to interfere with each other's visibility/traffic flow.


1. Respect a captive audience. If your location is such that everyone who hears you is just passing by, then you can be as repetitious as you want. But if you are close to market vendors or an outdoor cafe or such, don't play the same tune for 10 minutes or sing the same song five times an hour.

2. If you're amplifying your music, keep it at a decent volume.

3. Be careful not to block traffic flow, along the sidewalks or especially access to vendors or stores.


1. I've been photographed, filmed, and tape recorded while busking; none of which I minded particularly, but I think it would be reasonable to expect a tip for it.

2. I've had people want to tip me by giving me a two or five and taking back a smaller amount, or just want to change bills for coins; again, I don't mind this, but the person should wait until I finish a tune then ask for permission. Until then, hands out of the case!

3. If you like the music but can't give much or anything for a tip, it's still OK to respond to it (by stopping to listen, letting the kids dance, talking to the busker between tunes etc.). Perhaps some buskers will disagree with this, and be annoyed if someone tips 5 cents or stops to listen without tipping at all. But personally I find that small tips or people responding to the music provides a lot of encouragement. When busking is a crucial part of your income, and you go for a stretch of time without any tips, it can get really discouraging; a kid dancing or someone smiling at me can give me the energy to keep going.

Additions, arguments?