Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jim Hinde, 1951-2008

I was thinking of Jim Hinde's "Doin' The Perp Walk" today while I watched Dennis Kucinich stand and deliver the patriotic bitchslapping that this lying, corrupt, treasonous administration has been needing for seven long years. I wish Hinde had been with us to hear it too, but he left ahead of the headliner. Dammit.

If you don't live in Seattle, you may never have heard of Jim Hinde; if you do, you may have heard him and not known his name. The should-be-legendary Pike Place Market busker died in his sleep on Monday. A Vietnam vet, sometime ad man, erstwhile hobo, cranky political observer, Emmy recipient and family man, Hinde became the de facto leader of the Pike Place market arts scene and a powerful organizing voice in our community -- horrified that the lessons of the 60s were lost in the rush to Iraq, but putting his shoulder to the wheel to raise your consciousness (and your ass and some bail, as his song went).

If any guitar in my living memory killed fascists, Hinde's was it. He was the real deal and I'm heartsick that I never requested the interview I'd so hoped to get with him. And I'm heartsick that you'll never get to walk down the Market and hear the man playing and singing, because that's a fine Seattle afternoon right there.

Jim Hinde -- Doin' The Perp Walk
Buy Hinde's "Shout Down The Wind: Songs Of Peace, Protest And Patriotism" on CDBaby

(MP3 posted with the hope and belief that if you get just one Hinde song stuck in your head, you're going to buy his work. Support the artist, support the artist's survivors, and support the notion that genuine protest folk has a place in the culture circa 2008.)


kirsten anderberg said...

Jim Hinde, the man who fought endlessly to RAISE the Pike Place Market Busker Fee solely to keep competition away from him at the Market. Jim Hinde, man who played a little narc for the Merchants Association by playing both sides of the fence as a mock "journalist" for the Market News, claiming to be a fair and impartial reporter, yet every issue regarding civil rights of buskers was censored BY HIM when he worked for that paper. Jim Hinde, notorious sell out, poseur as Market Historian and busker elder. Jim Hinde, the man who filed more than one complaint about my feminist political satire at the Market, and even came to court to testify that I should NOT have Free Speech, Civil, or Constitutional Rights at the Market. Jim Hinde, busker scab, who did more to undermine the Busker Union at the Market than any one other person, using it instead as a false credential for himself as a board member forever. Jim Hinde, man who sang trendy hip songs about how awful Starbucks is, in between him going to Starbucks several times a day to refill his mug! Fact is, Jim Hinde did not show up at the Market during its busker hey day. He, instead, was a significant contributor to the Market's demise regarding street performers. As I said, he wanted to keep buskers OUT of the Market, with MORE illegal fees for free speech rights on public property, and he simply was horribly threatened by me and did all he could to run me off of the streets of the Market, a place I had busked a DECADE prior to him showing up fresh off of the Fruitopia tour bus he came here on.

In my opinion, Jim Hinde was an actor, not a busker, civil rights activist, etc. He wanted to play the role of a busker, so he got a gig with Coca Cola and Fruitopia, and used them to build a false identity as a busker when it seems he had ZERO busker credentials. Then he shows up in Seattle and begins to just dominate the media as *our* heritage spokesman even though he was not even here for those time periods and has no idea what our ACTUAL performer heritage is and was at the Market.

I could not stand Jim Hinde, I will not lie. I hated him ever since 1990 when he faked being a busker and journalist and weaseled his way into my private hearing with Market authorities for supposed "obscenity" in my busking act at the Market. I won that hearing and expected a fabulous article in the Market News about how I won, from the busker/journalist at the hearing. But the paper was silent. And that is when I found out Jim worked for the Merchants Association, the group that hassles buskers the most, and that he was actually there as a spy for them, and was there to write terrible things about my losing the hearing in print, but since I won, he had nothing to say. This guy was not in any way for busker RIGHTS. He worked against busker rights. I was trying to assert my free speech rights on public streets in court rooms in 2006 and Jim Hinde was leading the pack, along with fellow busking scab Artis the Spoonman, to have me literally banned from playing the Market's public streets due to my political content!! WHAT UTTER HYPOCRITS! Because Jim Hinde never said anything truly radical and was a POSEUR radical at best, he never encountered any backlash due to anything he ever sang about. But I sing about *controversial* issues, unlike Jim, and Jim did NOT LIKE RADICAL POLITICS! HE HATED MY RADICAL POLITICS and not only signed personal complaints with the Market over my political content in my music, but also went to court as a busker scab against me. He also tried over and over to get the very same free speech busking FEES that I tried to get ABOLISHED, RAISED to protect his own turf. He did not want ANY competition to the almighty dollar at the Market...

I was not impressed with Jim Hinde. I feel he reduced the Market and busking to a cheap whore status in Seattle, in many ways. He certainly was the first INAUTHENTIC busker we had land in our midst via Coca Cola, and he really milked it as an identity quickly...rather than earning his place, he sort of took it, and I know many people who are not cool with Jim Hinde. Jim also was very angry and violent. He would yell and scream at buskers who did not OBEY HIM and he could be quite threatening in one of his rages, honestly. I guess that was it, Jim Hinde wanted other buskers to OBEY him, as some sort of authority, and I never saw him as anything but that guy who came off the Fruitopia bus and then claimed to be our historian!~

Other buskers and I had discussed making a band named "Jim Hinde is an asshole" so we could put band stickers all over town. That was in 2007. Now that he is passed on, one of these buskers wrote me and said now we had to change the band's name to "Grateful Jim Hinde is Dead."

Jim Hinde was a fictional writer at best, in my experience. He was a busker scab, working against busker rights, he wanted to keep buskers out of the Market by raising the permit fees, he was a problem. I hope the Market can finally be challenged regarding the illegal free speech fees it extorts out of buskers now that their patsy and spy is gone...He most certainly behaved as a SPY for the Market's PDA and authority agencies, spying on and narcing out other buskers...which is why I say he was a scab and a poseur. Also, he was an oppressor of lyrics, an oppressor of free thought and political civil rights, he worked tirelessly to get my feminist lyrics censored at the Market.

AG said...

Huh. Lady, I have no idea who you are, and you've posted no links to give us any idea of why we ought to believe you. I liked his music and I've posted a few examples to make my point. (I also have no idea what a "fake journalist" is, or a "fictional writer" -- what, he wrote in Klingon? He made stuff up? He was a hologram?) I'm leaving your comment up mainly because I'm hoping someone else can come along and contextualize you, but I gotta note the "radical feminist oppressed art" thing is all too often a term used by people who possession of a vagina with possession of talent and a message. Am I wrong? Prove yourself. Otherwise, I'm underwhelmed -- length of rant does not equal veracity of rant.

Anonymous said...

Kristen is not completely off base. Hinde did sell out a few times here and there. It's no secret that he had some personality issues but still at the end of the day, Jim was a fairly complex guy. Kristen's accusations of pandering to the gentrification of Pikes is somewhat of a personal attack. Gentrification is an un-stoppable global epidemic that limits true expression. Jim did have an abrasiveness and may have pandered to this phenominon but still I did enjoy his music and he did have a message. At the end, he didn't die rich or famous so I'm not exactly sure how much of a sell out he really was... Jim, R.I.P.