Citizen Harry

By: bmshep

Apr 02 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Male Citizens

1 Comment

Focal Length:24mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:FinePix S5Pro

This is Harry. Harry Perry, that is. Venice Beach street performing legend. Harry has been doing his thing, playing electric guitar while rollerblading, on the Venice Beach promenade since the 1970’s. Harry was born on the East Coast and moved around a bit with his family, finally ending up in Detroit, where he finished high school. His father was a pioneer in radiation oncology when few minorities even went to medical school. It was in Detroit that Harry became interested in music and sang in the school choir. He was also a star athlete and set many track and field records. He continues to run several miles a day, besides all of the rollerblading. At the end of high school, Harry had formed a band and was under the same manager as Bob Seeger. He went on to college at Michigan State, but was cast in the musical Hair and dropped out to perform in that show with Meatloaf. When the Detroit cast dissolved Harry put as many of his possessions that he could fit into his van and drove to California in 1974. He’s been street performing ever since, starting on roller skates before the advent of rollerblades. In his early years in California, Harry was a devout yoga student and became a member of the Sikh Dharma which has bestowed upon him the title ‘Nihang Baba’, a wise elder in the community. He has made many cameos in movies, such as White Men Can’t Jump and Fletch. Harry is 59.

Favorite Accomplishments: The fact that I came to Venice Beach and play guitar on the beach every day. I’ve had to go to federal court to fight for my right to do so, but here I am!

Regrets: Hmmm….have to get back to you on that. Nothing major coming to mind.

What are your passions and obsessions? Guitar and trying to get to the stage with a band.

What’s the toughest thing you’ve had to do? Divorce. Being in court, with your ‘friends’ taking sides, talking about you in front of your kids…..that’s tough.

What is something about you, that even those who know you, would be surprised to know? That I don’t do drugs or drink, or even smoke. Haven’t for decades.

Sound Off! Have a last breath conciousness.


One comment on “Citizen Harry”

  1. What a fabulous Spirit!!! I remember going to Venice Beach a couple of years ago with my wife and adult son when I first saw Harry. Mind you, my wife LOVES HARRY and she just HAD to get pictures of him gracing her with his music. He also hugged her and serenaded her with a song… he was very up-close and personal. Thank you Harry for giving her that generous gift! You do ROCK!!! and I wish you many blessings of success, peace and long life!

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