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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

King of Accordion


Barry does not ask for much. He only wants to be known as the King of Accordion. But the media attention he has received spins him the way it wants, so to the media, he is the King of whatever works best to suit their needs, including the front man to a recent Occupy Wall Street march. A little spin or artistic license often makes a story more enjoyable to read - I have been guilty of that myself. My writing has evolved from the fact-reporting style of the news journalist to one that is highly personal, weaving in connections from my life experience that are triggered by the place, person, or thing which I write about.

Nonetheless, I do like to feel that I have neither misunderstood nor miscommunicated the feelings and thoughts of an individual subject. It is for this reason that on personal profiles, I often email a biographical inquiry and use excerpts so that you can read the subject's own words, not my translation. I have also frequently recorded long meetings/interviews. I make these available as well.

Barry Hamadyk, currently a Brooklyn resident, hails from New Jersey. Barry has played accordion since he was 5, and it is this love that he endeavors to communicate by attracting people with his regal garb. He can be found in the parks of New York City and is a habitue of Washington Square Park, sitting on a bench for passersby while recordings of accordion music play continuously. His preferred repertoire are waltzes and rhumbas. At one time he played organ for roller skating rinks.

Barry found that as his wardrobe became more outlandish (along with his Nordic look), the more attention he got. Once a crown was added, response went through the royal roof. This organic transformation has evolved over the last 5 years. Although, at a surface level, one may see Barry as someone akin to our friend Mark Birnbaum (with a shared passion for music), the motivations for the flamboyant dress are actually quite different, as are the men and their backgrounds.

Being referred to as the King of New York rather than the King of Accordion is not Barry's only dismay with a news article recently written. It also was reported that "he gets a lot of money, too, without much effort." However, Barry neither really solicits money nor collects it.

I spoke with Barry for quite some time and found him extremely forthcoming and congenial. If you meet Barry in the parks of New York, say Hi and remember, he is the King of Accordion :)

Related Posts: The Conductor

1 comment:

Steffe said...

Sure sounds like an interesting man. He does look a bit like some old King form my neck of the woods.