Update: In the introduction to this episode, David mentions that Gazzo was at the very first Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival in 1985… This prompted Dick Finkel (producer of the festival) to write this:
“David…..just for the record; in your intro for Gazzo’s interview you mention that he was at our 1st Festival……NOT SO. He did play here a couple of times, but not until at least our 5th or 6th year.”
This Episode proudly sponsored by:
The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
Going into its 31st year, the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in North America. Running July 3 – 12, 2015, “StreetFest” features a cast of international street acts in over 1500 outdoor shows in Downtown Edmonton’s Churchill Square! Circle shows, colourful rovers, balloon artists and installations, face painters, Be Your Own Busker workshops, nightly Troupe du Jour group shows, Kids’ World and a Late Night Madness adult cabaret , bring you all the laughs that you can handle. Visit edmontonstreetfest.com for more info!
- Interview by: David Aiken
- Interviewee: Gazzo
- Original Recording Dates: March 28, 2015
- Additional Audio From: December 6, 2011 conversation that Robert Nelson had with Al Millar which was originally released in Episode 6 of the podcast
- Date: Aired: June 1, 2015
- Location: Recorded at the Ibis Hotel, Al Rigga Road, in Deira, Dubai, UAE
- Mixed and edited by: David Aiken for The Busker Hall of Fame
Comments: With out question one of the hardest working performers to have ever stepped out onto the street, 2015 Busker Hall of Fame inductee, Gazzo, has had a career that’s spanned more than three decades and thousands upon thousands of shows. His natural charisma and insane work ethic have been the tools that have allowed him to travel the world, amazing audiences and gain the respect of his peers.
Stealth and intrigue – these are two elements to any successful magic show, but in Gazzo’s case, these traits also appear in his really world existence with some pretty remarkable life choices and medical catastrophes that would have meant the end to performing for so many others in this field, but this guy never quit.
David Aiken sat down with Gazzo in Dubai while they were both performing at Dubfest to dig a little deeper into the life, the legend and the ongoing mythology around one of Street Magic’s greatest performers.
Bonus images from the archives with commentary by Gazzo:
“This was shot in Covent Garden probably in about 1982. I was split-pitching on the West Piazza during the day time and perform on what’s now ‘Magic Corner’ in the evenings with Jerry Sadowitz and play for the Opera crowds.”
“This is a shot from a magic convention that I performed at in about 1985. Dressed up my regular street wardrobe a bit for this one”
“This shot was probably taken in about 1986, likely in Boston. You can see I’m wearing the T-Shirt from the Orangina Busking Festival that took place in Boston around this time.”
Key West, Florida – Sun Set Celebration Performers, 1986 – Far left is Joey Joey with the sword, then Dennis the Bagpiper, then Moche Cohen with the blue shirt, then Marty with the white headband, then Schmeggly with the green headband, then Gazzo, then singer guitarist in white t-shirt, then Bert Lee from NYC, then, Lou wearing the sailor’s cap, was a singing guitarist, at the far right is Love 22. Second row – Scott Houghton, Bounce the Clown (with Spark Plug the dog), Will Soto and his son (in the Pink T-Shirt) and Mademoiselle Ooo La La with the accordion. An amazing cast of players!”
“This image was shot at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas in 1992. Yet another example of how, given the right wardrobe, I was able to take my show and play it anywhere.”
“This shot comes from my appearance on Penn & Teller’s: Fool Us. I was asked to come on the show just to perform my cups and balls for Penn and Teller which I knew would never fool them, but I got some great footage out of the deal, so I’m not complaining.”
“Toronto Buskers Festival 2011, they’ll never hire me again because I complained like a bitch because I was going through a bad time in my life and I felt everything should be centred around me. After complaining about being stuck working the Magic Pitch I did eventually get to play the bigger pitches as well.”
“This was shot at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in about 2012. Behind me in the plaid jacket is the famous puppeteer JP who is looking at a drunk who was standing to my the right. Funny the things that stick out in your memory.”
“This was shot on the waterfront in San Francisco in February 2015. In my opinion, San Francisco is still one of the most ‘Street Performer Friendly’ cities in America and it was a great to be working near Pier 39 and the other venues in this city where so many of the GREATS have done shows.”
“March 2015, Dolphin Creative had three different Street Performers Festivals on the go. This was the great group I got to perform with as part of “DubFest” but this wasn’t even everybody. They brought in a TON of acts and the sense of harmony and camaraderie was off the charts. Huge thanks to Stuart Avery and Andy Meldrum for all of their hard work and all the fun. This was also when I got together with Dave Aiken to record the interview that has become this podcast.”
And thanks again to:
The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
For sponsoring this episode!
Find out more about Sponsoring this Podcast by emailing cbg@BuskerHallofFame.com