Beat from the street (November 17, 2016)

Many stories lurk throughout Asheville, whether they are behind the Vaudevillian jazz-folk played by buskers around Pritchard Park, the colorful businesses decorated with funky, hand-made crafts or the laughter echoing from a patio as locals and tourists alike enjoy delicious beer.

Harry Gore, musician, originally from Richmond 

What brought you to Asheville? 
Harry Gore believes the democratic process was successful on election night
because his candidate won. Photo by Karen Lopez. 
It’s a good busking scene here.
“Yeah and like I said, I’ve got two venues I’m actually playing at.”
Which ones?
“Well, I’m playing Friday night, no, Saturday night. I’m playing at a place called The Crooked Door in Marion, a coffee house there and Sunday morning I’m playing at The Feed and Seed in Fletcher.”
So you’re busy. That’s awesome. So if you were to describe your style, what words would you use to describe it?
“An eclectic mix of rock and roll, power-pop, blues, folk rock, Christian rock, a little bit of everything really.”
That’s awesome. Power-pop, I’ve never heard that before from a busker. So if you were to read your personality in three words, which three words would you choose?
“Hahaha. My personality in three words, oh goodness. Joyful, positive, oh what is the third one? Rocker.”
Yeah, that’s good, if you were to describe creative influences on you and your music?
“Oh, OK. Yeah, now that’s a little easier than three words. I have so many, you know? Like I said, I’m 59 so I was born in Philadelphia so I’ve been listening to a variety of so much stuff, everything from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Motown, gospel, country, a little jazz, a lot of newer stuff, punk and new wave and reggae, some of the newer stuff out, not a lot of it. Most of the music that’s out right now is horrible.”
Yeah, it’s true. You listen to Top 40 and you’re like, “My God.”
“Not just Top 40 but anything. Just everything that you hear whether it’s Top 40 or hip-hop or even worship music, it’s gotten to this really stale formula. There’s no creativity anymore. You know, I’m from a place where music was fresh and new and creative. I kind of miss that. There’s still artists that are out there doing it, but you don’t hear them on the radio as much. It’s more underground.”
It’s more off-the-scene. So if you were to have a life motto or a saying that inspires you on a daily basis, what would you say it would be?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”
How has your experience been in Asheville so far?
“So far so good. It’s been great.”
Yeah, in light of everything that has just happened.
“Oh, with the fires and stuff?”
Yeah, the fires and the election. Everyone was super down.
“Well, I’m not. The guy I voted for won, so I’m happy.”
Wow. It’s democracy, I guess.
“Well, that’s how it’s done. You put your ballot in and whoever gets the most votes wins. I don’t understand why these kids — well, I sort of do but I don’t. I don’t understand what’s the point in protesting and destroying things when he’s the president. It doesn’t make any sense. What’s the point of destruction, you know? They accuse the other side of being destructive when that’s not the case. They do the very same thing themselves. To me, that’s hypocrisy. That’s not right. I’m talking about all these kids who are listening to Soros and going out there and just creating havoc right now. That should not be. I said I’m 59. When you voted for somebody, you voted for Kennedy or whomever, there wasn’t any of this crap going on where people had such sour grapes they decided to go and break stuff. They said, ‘OK, he’s in the office now for four years. Let’s deal with it. Let’s go on and live our lives.’ That’s not the way it is with this generation right now.”
There’s a lot of strong feelings for sure.
“Yeah, to me a lot of kids are being dumbed down. They don’t know their history. They’re being taught a faulty history and they don’t know true history, going back in the past, you know? They’re not being taught that. They’re being taught a lousy bill of goods and that’s not good for the country. OK, my guy won, but I’m not gonna break stuff. I’m not going to put you down because your person didn’t win. You know, Jesus told me to love you. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Anton Morrow, 17, artist/writer, originally from Asheville 

So why are you here today?
Anton Morrow expresses his concern about Donald Trump's victory.
Photo by Karen Lopez.

“To be completely honest, my friends dragged me along. I stand for what they stand for but I’m a little bit too anxious to stand up for myself, which is disappointing.”
The anxiety is definitely understandable. What repercussions do you feel a Trump presidency will have on the United States?
“Millions of people losing their lives for what they stand for, who they are and their sexual identification.”
Do you think you’re going to see a lot of protests happening in the coming future?
“Most likely. Many of them are not going to be good. Many of them are going to be pro-Trump, sadly. I have no idea at this point.”
So if you were to say what inspires your writing and your art, what would you say it would be?
“My father. My dad is a huge book guy. He’s a writer, a professional writer. He’s a strictly horror writer.”
So if you were to describe yourself in three words, which three words would you use and why?
“Angry, anxious and majestic.”

Protesters express discontent with election results in downtown Asheville.
Photo by Karen Lopez. 
That’s good. So if you were to say one thing you like about Asheville and one thing you dislike about Asheville?
“I like how queer it is and I dislike that we have Trump supporters here.”
Yeah. Have you encountered any Trump supporters so far?
“Way too many. It’s never good.”
Do you think you’re going to find any today?
“Most likely.”

The original version of this article was published in The Blue Banner.